Tag Archives: money

To Boldly Go…

Planets universe world

Usually I answer Sadje’s Sunday Poser in her comments, but today I have more to say regarding her question: “What does it mean to live boldly?”

WARNING: long post ahead!

To me, living boldly is basically the opposite of everything I do. I’ve always been super cautious (with a few exceptions), and maybe it’s because my parents were in the insurance industry. Where other people see opportunities for fun, I see accidents and death. I am hyper aware, for instance, that every time I get in a car (whether I’m driving or someone else is), I’m running the risk of injury, or hurting someone else, or financial loss. Every time. People simply don’t think about this because it’s unpleasant to worry about; they’d rather focus on something ridiculously improbable like being abducted by an alien. I still go places, but not as many as I might, and I try to limit time spent in a car.

I remember the first morning I woke up in California and turned on the news in my Burbank hotel room. They were reporting a fatal crash on the 405 in Santa Monica. That was my introduction to moving to the Golden State. Whenever I’m out in a car, I see accidents on the side of the road (granted, most appear minor) and hear a siren coming from somewhere, indicating an ambulance or firetruck. They say most car accidents occur near your home, so I don’t feel that much safer dashing to the grocery store than I do trekking up the 405 to see my grandchildren. Parking lots are incredibly dangerous with people backing out of their spots and failing to look around. I see that ALL THE TIME.

That’s just one issue. I’m also cautious about new places, new people, new foods, new technologies. My first assumption is that I won’t understand something and will screw up. This is why I didn’t pump my own gas for years, though it was cheaper, until they took the attendants away. I was petrified I’d do it wrong, spill gas on the ground, and cause an explosion. This is simply the way I think. Whenever my phone or computer is being weird, I think, OK, what stupid thing did I do wrong now, even though 99% of the time it’s not my fault. But that initial thought always pops up. This is one of the reasons I’m hesitant to try any new technology unless my daughters make me. I thought an iPhone would be too complicated, but they insisted, and now I love it.

Phone text time hand

I think living boldly means being unafraid to try new things. A bold person impulsively decides to travel to a foreign land, even if they can’t afford it, assuming everything will work out ~ and then it does because they meet a billionaire on a mountain who offers them a fabulous new job. Welp, I do not talk to strangers on mountains! Nor do I climb mountains to begin with. Hell, I’ve fallen in my own bathroom and cracked my head, so I have no confidence in my ability to balance on a pile of rocks. Bold people eagerly try new foods and beverages without worrying they’ll get a tummy ache, headache, or some disgusting gross parasite. Bold people make friends with strangers, while I assume that anyone new who strikes up a convo with me must be some kind of scammer. And yes, as Sadje notes, bold people will live their ideals, speak up in the face of injustice, confront abusers, rescue doggies in hot cars, etc. I don’t do these things because they’re scary and/or inconvenient, nor do I participate in marches or demonstrations. I’d be the one hauled off to jail, sprayed with teargas, or attacked by a lunatic. I will quietly call the police if I see someone, including an animal, being hurt or threatened, but that’s all.

The boldest thing I ever did was join dating sites, and that has been documented right here on this blog as an utter disaster. I don’t only mean that the experience as a whole made me feel more anxious and undesirable and lonelier than ever. What I mean is it was physically dangerous at times to meet these strange men, even in public, and also some of them were scammers. A few were stalkers and it took some effort to get rid of them. Luckily, I didn’t ultimately lose anything or get hurt, and I managed to get out before things got even worse ~ I consider my year or so of depression as a reasonable price to pay in order to say good riddance to the whole ordeal. But bold people keep trying. I have friends who’ve been on these sites for 20 years and they’re still optimistic. Gah!

man shock surprise computer laptop

There are quotes attributed to George Carlin, among others, about how life should not be a journey to the grave with the notion of arriving safely, but instead it should be a wild and crazy ride where you slide naked into home plate covered with chocolate, clutching a champagne glass, and screaming “woo hoo!” Um no thank you. Ick. I’ll take the safe, comfortable journey. That’s the thing about bold people ~ they never understand why everyone doesn’t want to be like them. They consider it a defect to crave comfort and security, and they’ll go to great lengths to convince you that you’re wrong and should take more chances. Maybe they’re trying to justify their own imprudence? I don’t know. I do understand the desire to act boldly, gamble, say what the hell, and throw caution to the winds. I have, on a few rare occasions, given into these impulses myself. They’ve always turned out badly, however, so I stopped. I don’t have a problem with risk-takers though; I just wish they’d stop proselytizing and attempting to drag others with them into their mad schemes.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Avo Toast

avocado egg toast

Avo toast
Impulsive lattes
Trendy boots
Brand new books
These are some reasons why I
Don’t have a mansion

Big house woes
Property taxes
Leaky roof
Cleaner quits
I long for the simpler days
Of avocados

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Double shadorma written for Word Craft Poetry’s Tanka Tuesday.

All the Feels [fpq]

Sunflowers

How are you doing? Seriously, are you okay? Feeling good? Just okay? Not so great? Why do you think you’re feeling the way you are? ~ Fandango’s Provocative Question

This is gonna be another one of my long rambles, so you might want to exit if you’re not in the mood for a big read. This isn’t a trigger warning, just a courtesy note for bloggy friends. Much like Mark Manson in the linked essay, I don’t believe that TW’s actually work, and now the rightwing loons have glommed onto this concept in order to ban every book they hate, which seems to be all of them. So thanks for that.

How am I? Well, physically I’m not doing that great, though of course things could be worse, and I’m sure they will be eventually. For now though, in addition to chronic back pain, I am also besieged with near-daily migraines due to the heat wave. It appears that the heat may subside this weekend, so hopefully I’ll feel better then. Exercise would probably be good for my back, among other benefits, but I don’t even pretend to bother during this heat. I just slog through the days, attempting to manage my pain, and at the end of each one, I try to feel optimistic about the next. It can be difficult though.

Despite that, I’m not in a dark place mentally over my daily life. Things are OK in my tiny bubble. My work is fine. My friendships are solid. I have food/clothing/shelter and an internet connection 24/7. I have successfully avoided any stupid romantic dating drama for several years. I’m always grateful for my two lovely daughters and adorable grands. When my kitty Gatsby isn’t being annoyingly loud, I’m thankful for him as well.

gatsby kitty cat love hearts

The rising prices have affected me of course, and I’ve cut back on some purchases, like random Amazon buys, and I drive a bit less, but it’s hard to see where I can do more, since I don’t live extravagantly to begin with. Most of the “helpful” advice from the electric company doesn’t apply to me at all. I don’t have a lawn to mow or water, I don’t need to charge a vehicle, I already do laundry in the mornings, we rarely use the dishwasher, we already have the A/C set to 78, etc. Despite my modest lifestyle, however, I just had the joy of paying SCE $141 for the last cycle.

I am concerned about the state of USA politics, which is utterly abysmal. I guess old people like me have a tradition of believing everything is worse than ever, but unlike some oldies I don’t pine for “the good old days,” since I don’t believe they actually existed except in fantasyland. Things were on a slight upward trajectory though until the magats crawled out from under their rocks and elected you know who and other disgusting racist magat creeps.

Sad face dislike thumbs down

Though reading the news can be stressful, I think it’s important to stay at least somewhat informed… and also make sure to vote against any magats on your ballot. I don’t want to dive into the weeds here, but suffice to say I can’t believe anyone still supports the ex-prez and his criminal behavior, or any other magat, and if he gets in again it will be a disaster for our country and the world too.

Please remember that I will delete nasty comments at my whim. If you disagree, do it respectfully and especially don’t insult other commenters. Thanks.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

I Have Questions [socs]

Questions

Why do I get an increase in my HOA dues the minute I sign up for a few Meetup lunches? That doesn’t seem fair.

Why is one cat so stealthy quiet while the other one feels compelled to MROW his every mood? They are both predators, so you’d think they’d behave similarly.

Why did I spend a half hour searching my car for the necklace I thought I’d lost when I could have easily checked my jewelry box to discover I hadn’t actually put it on?

Why do I spend more time scrolling past the movies and TV shows on my various channels than actually watching some damn thing?

Why is every other driver on the road so annoying when all my driving is completely reasonable?

That’s all, for now.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Nine to Five [fpq]

America beanie baby bear

Funny that Fandango’s Provocative Question today should be about working ~ I recently passed my 21st anniversary at my job. Twenty-one years! Almost longer than my marriage (officially 21 years and two months before our legal separation when he moved out in May 2009 and then another two plus years before the divorce was finalized) and much happier. Yes, I like working and I love my job. You don’t hear that too often, do you?

This job saved my life, if I may be granted a moment of dramatic indulgence. I was desperately unhappy back then and searching for an escape. It was “lucky” that I needed to work at that point due to our financial situation and extra lucky I found this position. Having a purpose to my days and a place to go each morning where I felt valued and appreciated was like an anti-depressant to me. It still is.

So, no, I do not want to work from home, even if I could. I like having a reason to shower as soon as I wake up, dress nicely, and go to the office. I do not want to schlump around the house making excuses to put off working, which I would do, I’m sure, because there are always kitties to play with here and items to rearrange symmetrically. I get that others feel differently, especially if they have an annoying commute, but my commute is easy-peasy.

Irvine sunset traffic driving
Well, usually…

As far as Covid, I don’t worry about it with respect to work. I’m generally alone at my office, and even when I’m not, no one sits within 10 feet of me. When a coworker is sick, they stay home. People rarely wander in randomly, and I don’t have to deal with the public. My greater risks are when I get together with friends for game nights and/or visit my little germy grands. But those activities are worth taking a chance for!

The reason I posted Patriot Bear up top is because he’s been on my desk at work almost from Day One. If you do the math, you’ll figure out that 9/11 happened two weeks after I began this job. To do my part to support my country, I bought this little bear. I know, not everyone can sacrifice so much… what can I say?

I also have a lucky Sand Dude on my desk that my eldest made for me. I thought I also had a pic of him, but I can’t find it ~ maybe I’ll take one at work today, if I remember. I’m pretty sure he’s in either my old FB or Insta backup folder, but when I open those the icons have to be clicked individually to show the actual image, which is a colossal pain (yes, I already tried monkeying with the settings). Easier to take a new pic! That plant in the background has been there a long time too. His name is Little Sam, since the larger plant is Sam. Idk why I named them that, but they’re thriving so they must like their names, right?

Office plant

The editing work I sometimes do on the side is done from home, but that’s a different thing.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Money Honey

gold and silver round coins

Inflation has grabbed us by the… purse,
And it appears things are getting worse,
So we all wonder what we can do
To save a penny or maybe two.
I could do my housecleaning at night
With only a bit of candlelight,
And what if I bathed at the beach?
It’s a little salty but an easy reach.
Instead of cooking I’ll eat candy bars:
Snickers and Twixes ~ hurray for Mars!
You’ll get no argument from me
That times are tough and so must we
Figure out how to save some dough
Before we end up on Skid Row.
This poem is meant to be in fun,
But my electric bill has gone up a ton,
And I’m not sure what else to cut,
Since I already conserve like a nut!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Inspired by Di’s Truthful Tuesday.

Last August Share [syw]

light sea sunset red syw

Thanks go out to Di @ Pensitivity101 for continuing the Share Your World prompt while Melanie recuperates. Let’s get on with today’s questions.

1. Which of the following could you do without? TV, Computer, Mobile Phone.

That’s easy: TV. I can watch shows on my computer or iPad instead, and even though the screens are smaller they do just fine. A mobile phone is an absolute necessity, and I need my laptop computer for writing.

2. Do you have a lot of old photographs in a box, or did you put them in albums?

Both. I have a dozen or so albums, but there’s also a big storage box full of photos generally sorted into large envelopes.

3. What was the first thing you bought for yourself when you started work?

I’m going to assume you mean my first office job as opposed to babysitting and part time work. I bought clothes ~ skirts, blouses, sweaters, shoes ~ because I mostly had only jeans up until then.

4. What is the biggest thing you have bought that did not require finance?

When I furnished my own apartment after my divorce I had the cash from the sale of property to buy all new things. I still have a lot of it over 10 years later.

5. Gratitude: this week I’m grateful to the friends who recommended Downton Abbey to me. I’ve just finished watching the grand finale, which was wonderful, and the whole show was marvelous. I really loved it!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Making a Spectacle of Myself

new glasses and sunglasses car selfies

My prescription didn’t change much, but I feel I’m seeing a whole lot better in my new spex. Both pairs fit great, and it’s awesome not to have a giant scratch on my sunglasses. As always when my glasses are new, I solemnly vow to take better care of them THIS TIME. I think I’ve been saying that for 50+ years.

I highly recommend Costco (no, they are not paying me, sadly) for your exam, glasses, and sunglasses. I’ve always had a good experience in their optical department, and their prices are significantly lower than Target, LensCrafters, and all the other outlets controlled by Luxottica. Some of my friends use online retailers, which are much better now that you can upload a photo and actually see how the frames will look on your face, but I prefer to physically try them on before purchasing. I’m categorizing this post under health, since for me Rx glasses are a necessity.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Tanya [fss]

Sexy vampire

After the shock of seeing the amount of his latest electricity invoice wore off, Ted decided that, in order to save energy going forward, he would… become a vampire. Since he worked at home anyway, choosing his own hours to create marketing copy for travel agencies, he could easily do so by moonlight instead of powering up during daylight hours when energy rates were highest. His salary wasn’t the greatest, but he vastly preferred working on his own to making more money at a corporation where one was required to make constant inane chitchat with fellow employees and suck up to managers. Ted now realized that his introverted, reclusive personality was perfect for his new lifestyle as a vampire, and in a roundabout way he had the electric company’s gouging to thank for that epiphany.

But where to meet a lovely female vampire to assist in his transition? Naturally, being somewhat of a techie, Ted turned to the personal ads, bypassing traditional dating sites for Mystical Match. Here, one could peruse profiles from witches, genies, werewolves, and even some of the minor gods. Ted set his filters to female vampires only, up to 500 years old, as one needed to have some standards, and within a thousand miles. He figured if he connected with the right vamp, she’d have no issue with transforming into a bat or something and flying to him. After all, it was an honor for them to switch someone over.

In no time at all, Ted met Tanya, who was happy to leave her stifling basement apartment in the city for Ted’s home in the ‘burbs. She particularly liked his huge basement, protected from the sun, where they could hang out and watch old movies when they weren’t snoozing during daytime. After his transition, Ted spent most nights working harder than ever in order to pay for all the furniture and what-not Tanya was ordering, but he was happy to have her there. Until today.

“Tanya!” Ted shrieked when he saw his latest invoice from the electric company. “This is three times that huge bill I told you about. What’s going on?”

She shrugged. “It’s probably that huge refrigerator system I had installed. How else are we to keep our blood fresh? I’m certainly not going to go out hunting every night when I’ve gotten hooked on Downton Abbey.”

“You’ve been running the air conditioning all day too,” Ted complained. “Look at this!”

“I’m going through the change,” she said, baring her teeth. “Stop criticizing me.”

Ted began to think he had made a terrible mistake.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter 59.

Eggy Share [syw]

Share your world claw egg

Di @ Pensitivity101 is helping out again this week with Melanie’s Share Your World. Thanks Di! Let’s get started…

1. Do you prefer to live in a single story property like a bungalow, a high rise apartment, or a house?

Currently, I live in a third-floor condo and I enjoy the relative quiet and security up here, a bit away from the street and parking lot. I can hear people in the pool, but the noise is distant and doesn’t bother me. I don’t think I’d want a first-floor apartment, nor would I want something way high up in the sky. I don’t mind a house, but it’s more work with gardening and such. Plus you have to worry more about security. Of course, when I win the Mega-Millions, I won’t need to concern myself with such trivialities as an alarm system, for I will have staff like they do at Downton Abbey.

2. If you won a large amount of money on the lottery, would you want publicity or keep things quiet and low key?

I can’t imagine why anyone would deliberately publicize a lottery win, though you also have to be careful how you go about protecting your privacy (lottery lawyer convicted).

3. How do you like your eggs? (No, this is not a trick question)

I often poach a couple eggs to have with toast. This isn’t my favorite way to have eggs, but it is the most nutritious as I don’t add anything to them. Sometimes though I get crazy and make scrambled eggs in melted butter with shredded cheese, which is so yummy! Naturally, my favorite way to eat eggs is when they’re baked into a cake.

4. If cars were no longer available, what would be your choice of transport?

I took the train to visit my daughter a couple months ago and it was very efficient, so I guess I’d do that. Of course, I’d have to find a way to get to the train station and from the station to my destination. Back in Chicago, all this was pretty easy due to convenient transit schedules for buses and trains, but I don’t think it would be that easy here in SoCal.

5. Gratitude section: I’m very grateful for the improved sleep I’ve been having the last several nights and I sure hope that continues!

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.