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Posts tagged with: holidays

Happy Thanksgiving!


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I hosted a small gathering for part of my extended family (12 people) while a larger part of the family went to my sister’s house in Houston.  While I certainly would have loved to spend this day with everyone under the same roof, that just wasn’t feasible.  By the end of the weekend though I will have seen everyone.  Here’s an example of yet another area I have made changes to in my journey to being debt free.  No, not avoiding my extended family (LOL!)  but instead making adjustments to perspective.  Here’s what I mean:

In years past there would have been zero hesitation on my part about loading up the car and taking a road trip to my sister’s for Thanksgiving.  With so many of us in the family I would have ended up in a hotel for at least 2, probably 3 nights, and thought nothing of the financial impact.  I wouldn’t have thought about the gasoline it would take to get there.  I’d be sure to bring loads of food and wine to share with the group (even though my sis always had the menu covered).  I would have spent money in the preparation to take the trip and then spent more money while out of town.  I would have mindlessly paid over $100 to board the dogs and likely added grooming to their stay for another $100.  I probably would have picked up little gifts for my nephews and sister “just because.”  I would have spent money while on the road feeding us from bad fast food restaurants.  I might have even bought new stuff to “entertain” the kids on the road.  All in the name of time with family on this certain day of the year.

My how things have changed in the last 12 months.  I knew I was not in a position to take on the expense of a “quick and cheap” trip to Houston.  So, I declined the trip and instead will see much of the family at some point over the four day weekend.  I used to get so wrapped up in being with them on the exact date of the holiday that I would not employ common sense!  Now I see the true importance being that I visit with my family while also being fiscally responsible.

I spent $100 on Thanksgiving Day groceries and have enough leftovers to feed us for at least the next week.  I asked people to bring items and found some free game and craft ideas for all of the kids who joined us.  We played old-fashioned games both indoors and out and had a super great time!

I had a momentary flash to some of the nasty comments made by readers over the last week and my niece caught my smile as I did so. She only said “oh–you’re reflecting on something!  I can tell!”  I smiled because I know I HAVE made incredible progress in my thought patterns and spending practices.  I smiled because I “get” what is important now and am making changes to live my life more in alignment with those important things.  I smiled because even through a pretty shit*y near three months (and mostly shit*y 32 months before that), my focus on debt reduction remains.  I smiled because somehow through all of this mess I have still been able to avoid adding new debt and have made more than the minimum payments on my debt.  And I smiled because the gym was open today from 8 am – 2 pm  and I was able to get a 30 minute workout in before having company over!!!

So here’s my thank you for today:  Thank you to all of the jerks who were nasty and mean in their comments.  You did give me good food for thought that I am and will continue to think about.  But in this difficult season of my life, you made me realize that I”m pretty much a rock star in my world right now–a rock star with a cheap gym membership.  I promise you motivated me as I figured out the stupid elliptical machine that almost owned clumsy me this morning and this is my big Texas size THANK YOU!  I’m more motivated than ever to prove all of you wrong.

Cough Cough… Mandatory Sick Days?


My co-worker came into work a month ago with a nasty flu. When we asked her why she was there, she said she had burned through her vacation time over the holidays and couldn’t afford to take the time off.

We tried our best to defend ourselves from her coughing, sneezing, and wheezing through plenty of hand washing and Lysol spraying, but one by one, we watched as the entire department came down with the flu… followed by the surrounding two departments within two weeks.

Despite my best efforts to protect myself like Rene Russo in ‘Outbreak’, I was sidelined by the bug and lay on the couch for three days begging my husband to take me to the ER because death was imminent.

I can be a little dramatic when I’m sick.

One of my coworkers has a husband who is undergoing cancer treatment and his immune system is weak. When she ultimately came down with the virus, she had to wear a mask in her home, sleep in a separate bedroom, and use a different bathroom to protect her husband.

California is working to pass legislation forcing companies to give between 5 and 9 sick days a year to employees. Studies indicate that employees are unable to afford time off and come in to work, spreading the flu.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think my company is to blame for the fact that I’m laying on my couch praying I don’t get pneumonia…again, but I wonder if this law would make a difference.

Then again, I’m not a fan of government involvement in anything so I have mixed feelings.

What do you think? Should the states mandate sick time so folks like me stop getting sick from infectious co-workers?