In the past week, I’ve read nineteen plays, finished a book, and have been working non-stop on an audiobook that I thought was due April 22nd, but is actually due April 12th (I realized this on April 3rd). Nothing like panic to make you feel alive, right? Needless to say, if you’re looking for me between now and the 12th, I’ll be in the sound booth.
I did, however, take some time to call my dad yesterday, because it was his birthday. I love my dad. He doesn’t read my blog (unless my mom reads it and finds a post she thinks he’ll like, and then she prints it out for him to read), but from talking to my mom about it, he has an idea of what I’ve been trying to do with this lagom quest, and how I’m trying to get my finances in order. My dad worked full time while my mom stayed home with me and my sister, so we were a one income family for most of my growing up years – my mom went back to work part time when I was in middle school, and then full time when I was in high school to help pay for me and my sister to go to college. But prior to that, we lived pretty simply, and I don’t have childhood memories of being deprived or wanting things all the time – my sister and I knew our family’s financial situation in a very matter of fact way, and we knew that if we wanted to buy stuff, we had to save our allowance/birthday/Christmas money to buy it, or once we were older, we had to find a job to make money to buy it.
When I was talking to my dad yesterday, I told him that the way I’m trying to live right now makes me think of how he and my mom must have had to live while raising two kids on one income. He told me that before I was born he used to work for Household Finance – I think he was actually in their repo division and hated the job – but he said he and my mom had followed the advice offered by that bank to people who were in dire financial situations about getting out of debt and staying out debt, and it had worked for them. My parents pay their credit cards off in full every month, they own their home, and have been in a financial position to pay for braces, college, and help me out with a down payment on a house. They clearly understand how to make their money work for them better than I do, so I’m excited to hear what he has to teach me about it. Once this audio book is done, I’ll be paying him a visit, and I’ll share what I learn.
While I was talking to him yesterday, he cheerfully said something to the effect of how he always has a wallet full of money these days is because he doesn’t really go anywhere or do anything and doesn’t really want anything. Right now we’re in synch on the not going anywhere or doing anything point, but I guess time will tell if I get past the not wanting anything phase. Perhaps age does bring some benefits.
Because he doesn’t really want anything, I always end up sending him money for his birthday, to be spent when the fancy strikes him. I know some people scoff at the money/gift certificate thing, but I personally love it. It doesn’t feel impersonal to me – I would rather have money to spend or save on something I really want, love, or need, rather than stuff I don’t want that I just end up getting rid of. April kind of snuck up on me this year so I was a little stressed about how I was going to come up with any money to send him, but then inspiration hit.
I had some jewelry from Tiffany’s that was very nice, but I just never wore it. I think I bought a couple pieces myself, and some was from Ron as gifts. It had just been sitting in my jewelry box getting tarnished, and I knew I’d never miss it. So I sold a couple of my barely worn pieces on eBay, and voila! Birthday money for my dear dad. A gift courtesy of the store for “someone who has everything,” for “someone who wants nothing.”
Happy Birthday Dad, I love you!