Category Archives: money

Life Choices

Workouts:  sadly, hit-and-miss this week.  And I’m going into birthday week… telling how little will get accomplished!  5 days to 50!!

People are funny, aren’t they?

Warning:  philosophical meanderings ahead.

Everyone has a story;  everyone makes choices that seem completely unfathomable to other people, I’ve observed.  Life is complicated and yet, really, it’s very simple, isn’t it?

I had drinks last night with a friend on a lovely patio.  It was a beautiful August evening – perfect for sitting outside with cocktails, patio food and conversation.

Patio Friend talked long and solemnly about the challenges in her marriage and with her grown children.  And believe me, these are serious challenges.  It’s not a life I would take, despite the large home, backyard pool, new vehicles, big screen TV’s, financial comfort, secure pensions…..

We ended the conversation where she told me she had put considerable thought into leaving, but in the end, had decided that she couldn’t part with her material standing.  She hated her life, but she didn’t want  mine.  She actually said that.  Single, with a tiny house, less than adequate retirement savings ( but not for long…and she’s a lot older than I am), older car, no kids, less financial security.

At first I was extremely insulted although I said nothing because I was astonished anyone would say such a thing.  How rude!

I came home and puttered around the house for awhile, had another glass of wine, read on the deck (until it got too dark….the days are getting shorter!!), and then cozied into bed with my new Chatelaine magazine.  And I thought long and hard about what she had said.

My first thought was that she is selling her soul for a pool and a new car.

But then I realized that this coin has two sides – I wouldn’t want her life either!  I’m just too mannerly to say such a thing to her face.

I love the fact that my life is calm.  My house is tiny but it’s very comfortable – and it takes no time to clean and tidy.  My car is old but it’s very reliable and I haven’t had a car payment in more than 10 years.   I have an active social life although it requires much more work because I don’t have a regular date to socialize with.  I have much less interest in material possessions – I couldn’t care less about TV’s and electronic gadgets, expensive furniture, fancy vehicles and granite counter tops (although I do yearn for a new stove). I have lots of quiet time to think about life, about what I want and what’s important to me.

I have come to the realization that if I added these material things to my life, I’d still just be…..well,  me, living in my life, with the same thoughts, same likes and dislikes, same emotions and same body.

Only we can change or enhance our own life.  Stuff doesn’t change our lives, we do, and occasionally, if we’re very lucky, other wonderful people do.

And if we want to change it, it’s as simple as a decision.  The details are sometimes messy, but the principles are very simple.  If you don’t like the ball someone is throwing to you, don’t catch it.

But people are different.  Friend couldn’t imagine living without her stuff and the crises her children and difficult marriage seem to generate (drama addict?) or her big house.  I couldn’t imagine living without peace and serenity.

I think I’m going to like being 50.





Filed under friends, health, joy, money

No Title – Just Stuff

Workouts:  Wednesday – nada; Thursday – three rounds of each floor of  Bayshore Shopping Centre in the A/C (not sure how far but that’s the only way I was going to get some miles clocked when it’s 110F outside); Friday – nada; Saturday – 2 miles + shopping at The Rideau Centre; Sunday – 2.5 miles (so far)

I think I picked up a  bug last week – definitely feeling yucky.  It wasn’t the “Back-to-Work-Blues-After-Holidays” and it wasn’t the heat which I love.  Not sure, but I’m feeling a whole lot better this weekend.  🙂

The heat finally did break here, and it’s a lovely Sunday morning.  The flowers are perking up and there is a cool breeze.  I hope it breaks for all those suffering in the US.

Do you see a theme in my workouts?  Shopping malls.  Definitely a great way to get some activity when it’s too hot to be outside.  A little hard on the wallet, but I restrained myself.

The shopping trip yesterday was with Younger Sis to pick out a birthday gift……yes, 50 is rolling around fast!  I decided I want a watch.  I picked out a beautiful one, but I don’t get it until the actual day.  That’s the way we do things in our family.

I fell in love with this watch ….but at $695, it was beyond my budget, never mind my sis’s.  That’s a mortgage payment!! We don’t give big gifts in our family – small and thoughtful is the way to go.

But I love this watch………..  😦

You can’t really see from the picture, but it’s very sparkly.

Also this week (since I was a slacker with posts), I finished not only The Girl Who Played With Fire but also the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.   Yes, I just couldn’t put them down.  AND…..I rented the Swedish movie version of the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Because I’m obsessive like that.  And yes, it had English subtitles.

I hope the American version is better.  Just sayin’.

With Daniel Craig, how could it not be?  🙂

Must record the date in my calendar…..

Off to the market for fruit and vegetables.   Have a lovely Sunday.

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Filed under fitness, food, money

Money Sense

Workout:  1 hr. walk on the Rideau Canal

I’m usually on the Canal in the winter time, skating, but today Best Friend and I walked for an hour along this lovely pathway.  We were passed continually (by grandmothers and kids pushing toy cars) since we did more yakking than power-walking!  It was another steamy day – glorious.

In the afternoon, I met with a potential new investment adviser.

I wonder if I’ll get a belt buckle when/if I sign up?

I’ve been dissatisfied for a long time with how my money is performing.  Ya, ya, I know — it’s been a tough couple of years.  But I’m worried I’m going to be a bag lady in my old age.

No picture here.  It’s not a funny subject and I’m really not kidding.

I often worry that, without a supplementary pension, I’m not going to be able to support myself in my old age if I live for a really long time.  Lots of women end up in poverty because they haven’t been able to save enough or don’t have a second income to assist them (husband’s social security).

The new guy’s name is Kash.  I kid you not!  He seems very smart, organized and driven.  I’ll do a little research and see if he checks out.  He tells me he can do better than my banking rep — Golden Retriever Barbie could do better than my current money manager!!

After that, I met my favorite physiotherapist for a glass of wine which is always fun.

And I’m pooped.  It’s been a busy day.  I enjoyed some reading on the deck and now it’s time for bed.

And Kate and William are in Yellowknife!  Where the sun never sets.  How will they know when the day is over???

A little ball hockey was followed by a quick plane ride to tour some fire-ravaged towns that are starting to rebuild and could use the morale boost.

Now we can all sleep because we know what Will and Kate did today.


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Filed under fitness, friends, fun, health, Kate Middleton, money, Royal Wedding, summer, William and Kate, wine


Workouts:  3 45 minute walks after work last week, 2 30 minute lunctime walks.  Not sure what else – don’t remember.

I’m reading an interesting book (of course!) called The Habit Factor by Martin Grunburg.

The gist of the book, and I’m only half way through, is that much of our lives are governed not by concious action, but by habits, good and bad.  The author argues that it’s the snall consistant actions of our everyday lives that determine what we accomplish in life.  He has lots of great quotes from both historical giants and current great minds that support his theories – you may see some of them on the quote board shortly.

While I’m reading this, I’m formulating a short term (30 day) plan for better health,  As I move through the book, the author  will show how to apply his strategies to every area of life => career, health, energy, money, family, spirituality.

Interesting ideas.  I”m hoping that by building on my health experiments of this year and using some of the techniques in the book, I can reach some new health goals.

But first I have to get this freakin’ laptop fixed!!!!  It’s driving me crazy.  It’s going into the shop tomorrow for a couple of days, so bear with me.  Wish I could take some pictures of how pretty my wild roses and peonies are!  Here’s a pretty picture of what mine sorta look like.

On a completely different note (but not really), this is a small discussion about cycles and hormones.  And because I’m a math nerd, I have a graph…..

Isn’t it pretty?  God, I love numbers.

I am a creature of hormones.  Sometimes, I feel that I’m at the mercy of my hormones.  Just like my Mom, by the way.  My sisters take after my Dad.  I’ve kept a mood journal in the past to tie my state of mind to my hormones.  Here’s what I know for myself:

Days 1 – 14:  high energy, good mood, very moderate appetite

Day 14, 15:  high energy, high libido, party girl!

Day 16 – 24:  moody, lower energy, HUNGRY!  (This is new as I approach 50)

Day 24 – 28:  sad, exhausted, hungry (PMS)

Let me say that I’m never really outwardly bitchy because (if I do say so myself) I have very well developed social skills.  I mean, it’s only fair to the people around you to take responsibility for your words, right?

My goal as I finish this book is to take the knowledge gained from the experiments and work to formulate some small good habits over the next 30 days.

Stay tuned………


Filed under books, brain, dieting, Dukan, fitness, food, fun, health, joy, maturity, menopause, money, sugar

Summer Days

Do you see a theme in my titles?  It’s all about the weather it seems.  This is true for all Canadians.  We live and breathe by the weather – likely because our summer and sunny seasons are so short.  NO ONE IN THE WORLD enjoys summer more than Canadians.

Activity this week:  none.  No excuses.  Just none.

It’s a glorious summer day on this long Victoria Day weekend. 

Which almost makes up for 10 straight days of rain.  My grass is cut.  The front shrub beds are weeded (still need mulching), and I’m ready to plant flowers.  Yahoo!  I’ll take pictures when I do.

Big news:  I have a job interview on Tuesday morning.  I took the day off anyway to enjoy a 4-day long weekend and this is a perfect way to spend the morning.  I’m really looking forward to trying out my big-girl interview skills.

It’s been 21 years since I’ve interviewed with a prospective employer for a job.  I was 28.  Now I’m all grown up.  I have a good feeling about this.  The possible job has 4 weeks holidays, and 24% more money than I made this year (14% more than the highest I’ve ever made with my current company).  I’d say that’s worth changing jobs.  And I believe that the job is……nice.  Calm.  Productive.  Which would be a big change from my crazy, problem, crisis-heavy job. 

Question:  If I have an easier job, with more money, will I have more energy for my personal life?  Will I have more mental energy to socialize, to workout, to eat better, to find joy?  I certainly hope so.

I feel that this is the year to make changes.  I’m going to be 50!


Filed under career, fitness, fun, health, job, joy, maturity, money, relaxation

Parisian Style

Let me just say, I don’t have it.

Parisian style, that is.  I was just reading this online magazine, Lonny Magazine.

It’s a guide to all things gorgeous and lovely and stylish.  Including a  guide on how to be Parisian chic.

Like this.

Parisian chic is thin.  With great jeans and shoes and a cute little trench.  And a bunch of other cool things that you’ll see if you go to page 74.

Great magazine.

It’s a lovely day, the sun is shining and we’re headed into a long weekend.  All is good.


Filed under decorating, dieting, joy, money

Gotta love Spring!

We had a massive storm about 5:30 this morning.  Big-ass lightening and thunder 1/2 hour before the alarm went off – no more sleeping for this girl! I swear I jumped a foot off the bed once or twice.  A pillow over the head didn’t help.  I know this because I tried it.

It rained, then sunned, then rained, then sunned all day long.  Only in the spring.  I LOVE  spring primarily because there was no snow involved.

I’m trying to schedule a long walk this afternoon and I’m dodging the big black clouds and the drops.  My 6.5km yesterday felt really good – a first for the year.  And I have a lot of lost time to make up for.  🙂

On other notes, I went to work really cranky this morning.  It’s PMS,  you know.  And then Loser Coworker showed up in a new car.  Seems he negotiated himself a gigantico car allowance.  I pretended to be happy for him but secretly I was resenting my 15 year old Honda.  Yes, I know it’s sensible to drive a car that’s paid for, and dependable, and economical.  But sometimes……

It was one of those days when this kind of nonsense got on my nerves and I did what I hope not to do too often – whine.  I was an expert at whining today.  Academy award caliber.

Olympic medal quality.

In my next life I’m going to be loud, demanding, princess-y, and high-maintenance.  Seriously.

How does one learn to negotiate these kinds of perks?  How do I learn to put my needs and expectations forward when asking for what I want?  I need to learn this lesson now because I’m in the middle of a new job search.

And I need to learn it FAST!

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Filed under career, job, maturity, money, Uncategorized