Hey everyone! I’m so excited to share the results of the #pfmessages project – you can read the original post about the project here if you’d like, but to summarize, I thought it would be cool to start a link-up of posts about the money-related messages that are often hidden inside literature, music, films, and popular culture.
Ok, so first off I want to acknowledge that I’m bending the #pfmessages rules a tiny bit here. I had suggested that we all analyze the money-related messages in novels or other fictional works, but for my own contribution I’ve decided to talk about a series of memoirs: the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. That being said, I would also argue that memoirs are by nature a form of creative non-fiction—that the landscape of memory is vast and messy, and choices must be made about what to play up or down in order to present a coherent narrative.
So with that in mind, here is my #pfmessages contribution about the Ingalls family and what they taught me about the utter weirdness of money.
When I was in third grade, my class did a unit on space and astronomy and NASA. It was the coolest. We got to go to the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium and eat freeze-dried ice cream, and we also got to do an experiment where we planted a bunch of tomato seeds that had been in space and a bunch of tomato seeds that had not been in space, to find out which ones would grow better. (I assumed that the tomato seeds that had been in space would grow into crazy bionic alien plants, but surprisingly, they just turned out to be a little less likely to sprout than the non-space seeds.) My hero that year was Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, and I wanted to be an astronaut just like her.
Before I get started with today’s post, just a quick reminder about #pfmessages – if you would like your contribution to be included in the wrap-up post at the end of this month, make sure to post it or email it to me by December 27th. Anyone and everyone is welcome to contribute! If you don’t have a blog, just send your contribution (ideally 1-3 paragraphs) to me directly at: theyachtless [at] gmail [dot]com. Thanks to those who have contributed thus far!
Were you one of those people who spent a lot of time in chat rooms in the 90s? I definitely wasn’t. Partly because I wasn’t allowed to (remember all those warnings about how dangerous chat rooms were?), but also because I simply couldn’t understand the appeal of using a keyboard to communicate with someone I’d never met in real life.
Let’s talk about Ebenezer Scrooge, being that it’s December and all. I don’t know how long it’s been since you’ve read A Christmas Carol (or watched the 1992 Muppet movie version of it, which by the way is fantastic), but Scrooge is actually a pretty complex guy. He experiences fear and regret and loneliness, just like anyone. He has memories of love—and of heartbreak. And most importantly, he courageously allows himself to undergo a deep and genuine transformation in a very short period of time, becoming a much kinder, more generous, and more caring person.
I hadn’t planned to post again until next week since this whole weekend is technically a holiday. However, I had an experience a few days ago that I’ve been thinking about a lot, and so I thought I’d share it with you here today. I’m curious to know if it’s something you can relate to in your journey with money—or in your journey with anything, really.
When talking about financial choices and financial philosophies, narrative is key. Most people who are thinking consciously about money have a story that ties the different phases of their life together and helps them understand their financial journey thus far. I have a story like this. Perhaps you do too.
Know who’s awesome? Albus Dumbledore. Clearly. For many reasons. But this observation of his is one of my favorite quotations, something I think about a lot:
“It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
This could be applied to a lot of things, but since this is a personal finance blog, let’s go right ahead and apply it to personal finance.
Choosing to be financially conscious is a relatively new thing for me. And this week I decided that it’s time for a reevaluation of this still-evolving aspect of my life. Specifically, I want to ask myself: what is the impact—on myself as well as on others—of my ongoing choice to be more financially conscious?