It’s an institute you can’t disparage…

30 06 2008

My boss has sent me to consult in another town. My current focus is training supervisors to effectively manage their employees. I do not know any of the employees in this area. In order to maintain a good reputation and to not get sucked into any of the drama, I speak only of things that are related to the task at hand and make pleasantries about things such as the weather and television programs.

I have never employed such a strategy before. It is absolutely amazing what people will say to fill the empty space between you. I know some dirty dirty gossip about many of the people in this town, and I have no idea who they are.

Today the woman I am training told me that she is getting married in July. I oohed and ahhed over her ring and asked the appropriate questions about the date, the dress and the honeymoon. Then I went back to work.

A few minutes later the woman tells me that she has to keep the wedding to herself at work, because most of the people there know her fiance’s past. I made a noncommital noise.

A few more minutes pass. She tells me that a lot of people are upset that they won’t be living together. They live about 30 minutes apart and neither of them want to sell their house, so they are going to continue living apart. This revelation elicited another noncommital noise.

WTF?!

I thought I was bad because I really enjoy having a different day off during the week than my husband. This gives us both a day to pursue our own interests for a few hours. I don’t get annoyed when my husband gets his weekly fill of video games and he doesn’t have to see me lounging around reading for several hours in one stretch. I mourned the loss of Mondays off when I started my new job.

We now live in a society that is accepting of premarital sex. This woman is 50 years old and has been dating her fiance on and off for 23 years. I just don’t get it.

To each their own. Every marriage works for different reasons and who am I to begin to understand what makes their relationship work?





Cherish Every Moment

30 06 2008

On Friday afternoon I attended a visitation. It was a terribly sad occasion. A friend’s husband died. They had been married for almost thirty years. Anyone who saw them took notice of how much in love they were. Often I’ve hoped that my husband and I will have such a connection.

This event reminds me how important it is to treat each day as if it may be the last. Life goes by so quickly. Thirty is not old, but then again in the grand scheme of things neither is 60. My husband and I will see 40, 50, 60, 70 before we know it. Hopefully we will be able to take the time to enjoy each event that occurs between now and the end, because nobody knows when the end will be.





Life In The Slow Lane

29 06 2008

Most of the advice my husband gives me starts with the phrase “slow down”. I am like a whirling dervish, focusing solely on completing my task, never enjoying the process it takes to get there. I don’t read directions, I don’t consult others, I just do whatever it takes to get done as soon as humanly possible. Needless to say, I learn a lot from mistakes that are made in haste. Also, I find myself to be slightly annoyed by patient and conscientious people that always do things right the first time.

I think the frenzy was brought about by my previous job, which required me to do the work of what had previously been two positions. No problem. I don’t need to eat or go to the bathroom. I don’t need to read emails. I realized quickly that I would need to learn a lot about the financial side of the operation in order to get out of that position, so I kicked the frenzy up a notch.

And it worked, I got a new job. A new job that doesn’t require me to work myself into a constant sweat. A job at which I will never have a backlog of work. A job at which I always take my breaks and lunch. Not once have I had to wonder about the state of my bladder.

After the first week, I found myself telling a friend that the new job wasn’t going to work out, that it was so boring. I thought about starting the search for my next position. Then I decided to heed my husband’s advice.

I will attempt to slow down. I will read directions. I will stop and smell the roses (literally). I will enjoy my backyard, sitting in my lounge chair, reading. I will take walks. I will take care of myself. It doesn’t take that much time and life is more rewarding when one observes the path they are travelling.

I am embracing the slow living movement. Care to join me?





Money, so they say…

29 06 2008

Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future of my family’s financial state. My husband and I are in our early thirties. After next week, the only debt we will have is our car loan and our mortgage (when the car loan is paid off, I plan to call the Dave Ramsey show and scream “We’re Debt Free!!”).

We save 15% of our income towards retirement and have (what I consider to be) a good amount of money set aside for our golden years. We have always put the 15% in our company funds, but today I spent some time changing our retirement strategy.

We will put up to the company match in our work funds and then put the rest into Roth IRAs. I have intended to do this for quite some time, but kept putting it off. On Friday, the financial implications of using this new strategy were demonstrated to me in a manner that really hit home.

If at age 30, a couple each invests $5000 annually into a Roth IRA earning 12% interest, they will have a nest egg of $5.4 million at age 65. This can be withdrawn tax free. If the same level of wealth was obtained via a 401(k) or IRA, the couple would be taxed on their withdrawals. Last year, my husband and I fell into the 28% tax bracket, so this would amount to more than $1.5 million in taxes.

Take advantage of your ability to contribute to a Roth IRA! I think the two hours I spent on putting this into place today will provide a great return on investment!