Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Everyday stuff

I have a gardening blog and a knitting blog.  This blog was supposed to be for everything else, but I don't want to blog about work (don't bite the hand that feeds you) or family (they can tell their own stories) or friends (honesty is NOT always the best policy).  So maybe I should blog about the everyday stuff, things I might want to have a record of years down the road.

Like what I did with the shares MetLife gave me when they demutualized.  I have a life insurance policy with MetLife and one with the Principal.  According to my faulty memory, MetLife demutualized, and I took the shares of stock they gave me and transferred them to my brokerage account.  I later sold those shares to help finance my daughter's education.  After going through old files the other day, however, I discovered that BOTH companies demutualized, the stock I transferred and subsequently sold was from the Principal, and instead of taking the proffered stock from MetLife, I chose cash.  It was a measly amount, which may be why I did not recall that.  But I also had several of the details of these two exchanges mixed up.  I may have mentioned one or both in a pen-and-paper journal, but who wants to dig those out?  Much simpler to execute an electronic search on a blog.  Assuming this blog still exists in some future time.

And while we are discussing money, let it be known that I NO LONGER HAVE A MORTGAGE!!!  After my daughter graduated from college, I suddenly had extra discretionary income.  My financial advisor suggested investing more in my Roth IRA, but most of my retirement is already in the stock market basket.  Instead, I started making payments against the principal of my mortgage.  And YAY ME I paid it off last month!  I still have a home equity loan, but not for long.  Once that obligation is met, I will be totally and completely debt free.  YAY ME again!

This is all part of preparing for retirement.  If nothing else, I will at least have a roof over my head.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Sort of like New Year

Every year I take the days between xmas and New Year off, ostensibly to renew and refresh and declutter the house and my mind.  But the past few years, too much has been going on at that time of year for me to achieve much of anything.  Likewise, summer can be a time of rest and relaxation, especially after a weeklong vacation somewhere other than here.  But this year?  NOT.  I traveled more than usual, in short stressful bursts.  By my niece's wedding in August, I just wanted to stay home.

So Labor Day weekend turned into a go-nowhere-see-no-one-let-me-get-one-thing-done-dammit kind of break.  I haven't exactly seen no one - my SO came over Saturday night for dinner and my daughter is coming over tonight for our semi-weekly walk - and I did make it to the DQ for a Peanut Buster Parfait, but otherwise I have been home.  Alone.  For three days.  Aahhh!

The only to-do items on my list this weekend were 1) to meditate at least once each day (check) and 2) to jump start my yoga routine (check).  I had not done any yoga for about a month, so I was leery about overdoing it, but after some initial soreness, the yoga muscles remembered.  Thanks to gardening and walking, I have not lost much muscle tone.  Initially, the flexibility was not there, but that has improved already.  Yoga moves chi and unblocks energy channels - all that breathing and stretching and twisting - and it always feels good.

The meditation is my attempt to deal with work.  I can't change the circumstances of my employment or my need to be employed (that money thing, you know), so I am trying to make an attitude adjustment, to make my work life more bearable.  One solution has been to work at home one or two days a week, and that helps.  I'm hoping the meditation will provide additional assistance, or at least quiet the excessive whining that goes on my head from eight-to-five each day.

Any meditators and/or yoginis out there?