You know that “Pick Three” thing, about the areas of our lives that compete for our time and attention? It goes like this:
So, summer is over.
Okay, I know summer isn’t technically over for another few weeks (and not until, oh, 2017 if you live in the Southern Hemisphere). But it is the first day of September. And so I’m taking some time to think back over my summer, and the choices I made during it, and what I learned from them.
Long time no post, eh? June was a bit of a rough month for me: nothing terrible, but my job suddenly got more demanding/stressful than it had been previously, and I also managed to catch some sort of virus that hung around in my system for three weeks (or possibly two separate viruses back-to-back?), so I spent much of the month exhausted, coughing, and buried in work.
However, I did hit a goal.
One of the interesting (and/or awkward?) things about blogging is that it does a pretty good job of capturing ups and downs from week to week. And when I wrote last week’s post, I happened to be feeling fairly “down” about the current state of my finances. To review, here is my situation:
There’s not a lot I can do to drastically change the reality of these facts right now. I can’t go back to my 20s and make different decisions. I can’t apply for jobs in engineering or hedge fund management and expect to be taken seriously (also, what is hedge fund management?). And while I have bought two—count ‘em, two!—Powerball tickets in the past 12 months, I’m disappointed to report that neither one turned out to be a big winner. I suppose I could rob a bank and/or flee the country, but somehow those don’t strike me as realistic options.
The facts, in other words, are pretty much the facts. At this moment in time I owe a certain amount in student loans. I have a certain amount saved for retirement. I am a certain age. And so on.
But here’s the thing:
The facts aren’t the whole story.
Apologies that I only posted a few times in May. I spent a lot of evenings and weekends working on research deadlines this past month and so had somewhat less time for other activities like blogging. In other words, you could say that I was scheduled up.
Anyway…It’s time for a May update! Super exciting!
If you read my post No Car No Car No Car No Car from a few weeks ago, you may recall that I, well, have no car. You might also remember that my full-time job involves frequent within-town travel, which means that I rely heavily on public transportation to get from place to place throughout my day.
Our public transportation system in Boston is called the “T”, and it consists of both buses and subways. For various reasons, however, I tend to spend more time on the bus than on the subway while traveling around for work. Honestly I think I probably spend more time on the bus than pretty much anyone except bus drivers.
My high school had kind of an unusual schedule—or at least I think it was unusual, but maybe you can tell me. There was no such thing as a lunch period or study hall. Instead, each class only met four days per week instead of five: for example, maybe your French class didn’t meet on Tuesdays, your Geometry class didn’t meet on Thursdays, your Biology and P.E. classes didn’t meet on Fridays, and so on. This meant that you usually had one or two free periods—or “X periods”, as they were called—built into your schedule each day, and during these periods you were allowed to do whatever you wanted. You could eat lunch, work on your homework, wander the halls, check your email at the email station (I went to high school in the late 90s, guys), or simply walk out through the front doors of the school and go off-campus.