Monday Memes 33

Or should this entry be called “Money Memes 33?”

I have recently spent a lot of time examining what I like to call my own personal return on investment – actually more like my return versus investment. In this “unscientific survey,” I have examined the amount of time and energy I invest in EARNING a living versus the amount of time and energy I actually invest IN living.

The early results are in, and the findings are NOT encouraging:

1204-20121002-WORK-WORKYes, it seems as though I WORK WORK WORK and realize little enjoyment in not only MAKING a living but also in spending my earnings – I mean, who gets excited about buying a new set of tires for their car?pay billsYes, sadly I seem to spend the better part of EVERY day just trying to keep up/break even on life. It beats me down sometimes, I mean, this is SO true:

dieI’m not sure what the answer is but I plan on investing considerable time and energy into finding out (the answer). Don’t get me wrong, I lead a fairly nice, fairly comfortable life but, my goodness, how nice it would be to afford the luxury of going out to dinner and not think about how high my credit card balance is on the old AmEx. Hopefully things will be better soon – some questions will get answered at work, some debt will be erased through hard work and good fortune and there are trips planned for the upcoming months (some weekend and some international). Maybe it’s all in one’s point of perspective but man oh man, how can it take days/weeks/months to earn and save money, only to be spent in literally like two minutes?

BTW – Someone messaged me and let me know that I generally post graphics here, not memes in the traditional sense and questioned why I called this column Monday Memes. Listen. Go pound.

Monday Memes 30

There are a number of changes happening currently at my workplace – most good, some not-so-great, but all accompanied by emails that – at some point or another – includes one of these statements:

“Your compliance will be greatly appreciated” or

“I/we trust that it is understood that compliance to (insert whatever change here) is a necessity” or

All employere will be required to comply with this new policy.”

I kinda’ hate that word – compliance – and, as a result, “rule-breaking” has been on my mind a lot lately. And so, given my recent frame of mind, here is today’s “Monday Memes” post for your contemplation and enjoyment. Please read and comply, LOL!

break the rules

BTW – Deliberately is “dileberately” spelled incorrectly in the meme above (think about it).

go left44

break-the-rules-quotes

Poor poor me

Im Poor

I have never understood the seemingly discordant relationship between the amount of time it takes to MAKE money versus the amount of time it takes to SPEND money. For example, I need a new set of tires for our car, and suspect four new tires will cost between $600 – $800 dollars. It has taken me a bit of time to earn/save that money and yet, it will be spent in the blink of an eye. One debit card “swipe” and “POOF!” that money is out of my account. Gone. As though it never existed there.

That sucks, I think.

It seems like you should feel good about spending money for at least half as long as it took you to earn and/or save it. Another example: many of my friends save all year to go on a one week vacation. Saving? 358 days. Enjoying? 7 days.

That just isn’t fair. Plus, who gives a sh*t about new tires, I mean, none of our friends have ever invited us over for dinner and to “take a gander at their new tires.” Ugh. I hate being poor…

Universe? Could you possibly send me the winning Mega Millions numbers in a dream? I would be the kindest, most generous and most humble mega-rich person ever. Promise.

No, really… Give me $200 million dollars and just watch all the good that I will do. I am waiting…

Revelations About Grammy and Pop-pop

On Sunday, I began the task of organizing and clearing out my parents’ house, readying it for sale after my father’s recent death. My Mom passed away six years ago and my Dad (Pop-pop) pretty-much left the house intact since – I mean, my Mom’s cigarette case is still on the coffee table and a pack of Kool 100’s is in the freezer (now six years old). Anyway, today was the first few hours in what I can see will be a lengthy process.

My goal today was to organize my parents’ living room, making it look as though they still lived there – not for any creepy reason but out of respect to their memories, and the house they loved. My father spent his final few weeks at home before he passed away there. Since the hospital bed got picked up, there has been a “hole” in the living room and the coffee table became the unofficial sponge bath staging area, holding towels and bedding. It was important to me that the room be returned to its former semi-glorious state, more or less as an homage to my parents and the house I grew up in.

As my project got underway, the first thing I noticed was that, in the final few months of his life, it appears Pop-pop replaced household cleaning products with household disinfecting products, as if Clorox Wipes and Dow Scrubbing Bubbles would make his cancer disappear. I wound up dusting the furniture with a damp cloth (goodness knows, my Mom accumulated 1000+ dish towels in her life, LOL!) Then I began the “clearing-and-straightening-up” process. I immediately determined three things:

1. My Mom never met a silk flower she didn’t like. Or a candle ring. Or a garland of silk ivy…

candle ring

I must have tossed three or four candle rings (all seasons, BTW), more than a few garlands of silk ivy (my Mom had taken to wrapping them around curtain rods; it is a look for sure) and two silk arrangements from her OWN funeral – saved by my father after – now all dusty and faded. Don’t get me wrong – my LOVE for my parents is boundless BUT my Mother definitely had her own ideas when it came to “home accessorizing.” Which leads into revelation two…

2. Grammy had an addition to burgundy key tassels. A serious addiction.

tassel

I must have “liberated” about eighteen of these today from my parents’ living room, They were on door knobs and cabinet pulls, hanging off the dining room chandelier (not even kidding!) and pinned to curtain edges. Again, I love Grammy, but Mom, please – enough with the key tassels already. And finally, Pop-pop’s answer to key tassels?

3. The Yellow Pages. My Dad was a phone book “hoarder.” I cleared 2005 thru 2013 out of the house today.

phone booksMy father’s attraction to phone books is odd – he hated talking on the phone. I suppose he just always wanted to ensure he could find a number when he needed one.

So anyway, when I left, I was quite pleased with how the living room “looked” – it was neat, organized and clean. I was not happy, however, with how the room “felt.” Sad thing is, in my efforts to make it look like someone “lived there.” I made it look like a model apartment: stacks of books here, strategically-placed pillows on every piece of upholstery and – forgive me, Grammy, forgive me Pop-pop – I also re-arranged the lamps.

I know – I am a horrible son (and anal retentive/ mild OCD, too!) And, know what was REALLY missing from the living room, the one thing I cannot “fix” or glam up? My parents are gone.

I’d stack those phone books, re-hang all those tassels AND wind faux ivy around any length of chain, rod or rail if I could only have my parents back. I missed them today, BIG TIME. And while I relished pitching those excessive things out, I’d be the happiest child on earth if I could hear my Dad ask for a phone book, or have my Mom ask me which candle ring I liked better.

I miss you Mom, I miss you Dad. Please look after each other, OK and, if you could, give me a glance every now and again, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

How Do You Decide?

boxes-keep-throw-donate

It has now been over a week since my father passed away, I have been busying myself with “executor” duties almost every day. It is hard to imagine what one must do to “prove” that someone you loved has died until you are actually called upon to do it. Thanks to my awesome friends, sympathy cards continue to arrive. They are sweet and touching but also serve as daily, multi-color reminders that Pop-pop is gone. Sigh… Then there is tomorrow’s task.

Tomorrow I will be at my Dad’s house for two reasons:

1. Monday would have been his 85th birthday so I want to “visit” him and Mom at the cemetery and mark the day with a small celebration.

2. It is time for the purging to begin. To borrow a mantra from professional organizers (and hoarders), it is time to begin the process of “Keep. Throw Away. Donate.”

I am not looking forward to this endeavor.

My Dad lived in the same house for forty-two years and, while he was a tidy guy, he was also very frugal – meaning that few things ever got “thrown away.” This thing was saved for parts. That thing was here in case we “ever needed one.” And let’s be honest – a person just accumulates a LOT of stuff in the course of eighty-plus years of living.

I am going down alone, partly because I need some alone time at my parents’ house and partly because I simply do not know how productive the visit will be. Sure, some things are easy – old magazines and papers, well-worn bath towels and dozens of “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” containers with the lids (my Mom always sent food home with us when she was alive). Some things are harder – my Dad’s clothes, some of my Mom’s remaining things that Dad could not bear to part with and pictures, lots of pictures. My senior picture, all the grand kids’ photos – heck, my parents’ fridge is one giant photo collage. Where does it all go? How do you decide what to keep?

I’ve decided to let my heart decide. During future visits I will have input from my sibs but this first “run down” it will just be me, alone in the house my parents loved, the house I grew up in, the place that holds many memories for me. Those are what I most plan on keeping – all the great, loving memories of growing up there, the “Hallmark Holidays” with my family (my goodness, my Mom never met a holiday guest towel or candle ring she didn’t love!), the tree I grew from a seed that is now like 35 feet tall in the back yard, the bent mailbox post (bent because I ran over it as I was learning to drive almost forty years ago…)

Some things will get tossed. Some things will get donated. But some things I will cherish forever.

No Answer…

As part of my usual evening routine, I typically call my Dad (Pop-pop) about 9PM. I have done this virtually every night since my Mom passed away almost six years ago. I call partially just to check in, to make sure Pop-pop is OK. I call because I love my Dad, and these calls have allowed us to grow closer since my Mom passed away. And I call just to tell him “Goodnight” and that “I love him.”

I did not call tonight. There would have been nothing but a recorded message. My beloved Pop-pop passed away Wednesday morning, 08 October 2014 around 1:15A, after an extended battle with cancer. My call would have gone unanswered.Telephone off ReceiverIt seemed weird tonight, not calling Pop-pop. Granted, our conversations have grown shorter and shorter these past few weeks and months, but tonight my night feels a little empty. I remember reading once somewhere that it takes twenty-one consecutive days to create a “routine” but only three days to break that same behavior.

I think it will take me longer than three days to “forget” about calling Pop-pop. I love you, Daddy-O, and already miss you terribly.