Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time Goes By

Time can be so fluid.

Tomorrow is August 1, Lammas.   It's hard to believe we're beginning the 8th month of 2010.  So many things have happened this year, not just to/around me, but to so many friends and loved ones.  I can't say that 2010 has been a horror (thus far) like most of the 00's have been, but it's definitely had its ups and downs.

My Pop is gone 4 mos as of tonight/tomorrow.
My daughter is 16 mos old.
I start PARF in 2 wks.
My ankle isn't healed yet.
My life is moving in ways I wasn't expecting.

I certainly have regrets, but there have been harvests.

I have met so many wonderful people on my travels to AZ and back.
I recorded a new CD.
My mental health is slowly improving.
My physical health is slowly improving.

Looking around myself, I can see different lifestyles and different directions. I have no idea what the rest of 2010 will bring, but I'm hopeful for clarity.  I'm hopeful for health (physical and emotional).  I'm hopeful for creative growth. I'm hopeful for financial understanding (which should lead to financial growth). I'm hopeful for joy and love.  I'm hopeful for hope.

Let the world rest less strongly on my shoulders.
Let the problems of what surrounds me not drag me under.
Let my vision soar, along with my mind and my Voice.
Let the Harvest come. (as though I could stop it)

Let the reaping occur.
Let the wheat be threshed.
Let John Barleycorn do his job, as he does every year.
Let the bonfires rise into the night sky, sharing their light of brilliance, regret & desire.

Be your own Harvest.
Own your regrets, your sorrows, your missed chances.
Be the abundance that you deserve.
May you always be nourished, full of Life.

The Wheel never stops.
Water flows,
 Air rushes,
Fire ascends,
Earth shifts,
 and the Spirt grows.

Gryphon 073110


  1. Blessed Lammas my dear. Strong woman, gorgeous mama.

  2. Thanks, Lisa! Love you, honey. You are a huge inspiration to me. Blessed Lammas, sweets. Know that I always have a spare spoon for you!!

  3. What does "financial understanding" mean, pray tell?

  4. Financial Understanding for me is basically learning how to manage my money. I need to go back to basics. I need to learn how to balance my checkbook, make a budget, and handle my bills. I need to learn how to handle my finances for my music. I need to be responsible in my spending.

    There are classes on this, as well as credit history/clearing up bad credit history with CCE that I'm going to take.

    If I can get the basics down, establish good habits and make some good patterns, then that should lead to more financial growth. (That's my thought, anyway)

    Speaking of Financial Understanding, what is a "no buy" week? How do you do that, especially in terms of food shopping or gas money? I'm very curious.

  5. Warning:wall of (hopefully helpful) text ahead!
    What I found to be the most helpful for financials was to just start making a record of every penny I spent. I use linux software called kmymoney, but you can just do it in a spreadsheet too. It's part of my before bed ritual now, to check my wallet for receipts or cell phone for pics of receipts and enter them. This practice resulted in me being a lot more aware of what I spent my money on, and being more mindful of extravagances like getting a chocolate frap at starbucks.

    The next step after that for me was to check my records against the bank every few days, and make sure that A)I hadn't missed entering anything and B)there were no errors in what I was charged, like being overcharged or double billed.

    MS Money isn't bad for this, and you don't HAVE to buy the new version every year (unless you wanna use it to do your taxes). If you just wanna record what you've spent and plan what you're gonna spend, you can use any version of it (tho I wouldn't advise one older than 2006 or so.) I haven't personally used quicken, but it's supposed to be good too. Both MS Money and Quicken try very hard to be user friendly, and should you decide to go with MS Money, I'd be happy to help you set it up via phone.

    If you want a free solution, several are listed here. I've tried gnucash, and found it too complex for me, while also lacking some functions I wanted. I haven't tried any of the others listed there, but I generally find makeusof's reviews good, so if they say an app is easy/intuitive, I'd believe them.

    Alternately, is a good online financial management site, and has the added benefit of automatically connecting to your bank accounts (if you want it to), so you don't have to manually check what you entered against your bank. I tried mint, and my only issue was it doesn't budget the way I like to. it does general category budgets ($100 for groceries, $100 for entertainment, etc), where as I like to budget via having specific scheduled transactions ($40 at Harris Teeter, $20 at farmer's market, $70 for World of Warcraft for Thane, etc). It's a minor quibble, but it kept me using the software I already use.

  6. More 'wall of text' warning...with admonishments.

    Re: budgeting. Tracking every single cent that leaves your pocket is a start. The next crucial thing is the emotional reality check. Money does not merely evaporate, like water. A person must cause it to leave their pockets.

    'Emotional reality check' is the thing you need to do if you ever wish to deeply understand the (financial) circumstances you have chosen and orchestrated. Why do we spend money? What emotional needs does it fulfill? What negative feelings does spending bring up or allay? How does it feel to have an empty wallet or a full bank account? Why is the stress of 'too little' appealing? The emotional elements are foundational to our behaviors.

    From my LJ reply, edited:

    'No buy' is exactly that - you buy nothing, spend no money. Yes, you can rule that gas or food is 'allowed,' but consider it carefully. Why gas? What other consumption is happening that is using up your gas, such that you have to refill the tank? If it's not about conspicuous consumption (eg, it's driving to your job, where you then spend no money), then it might be allowable.

    Food shopping: why buy during a no buy week? There are no pantries in your apt, no staples and food that needs to be used up? [I have a pantry with soup, pasta, beans; a CSA I paid for in March for vegs...and I don't food shop more than twice a month.] You can narrowly define the 'no buy' as NOTHING beyond gas and regular bill paying [utilities, insurance, if it's due that week] - BUT no stuff, no tchotke, no doodads or geegaws. No snacks, restaurant meals, bottled beverages, food not from your kitchen (that you've already purchased, IOW).

    It's a way of paying attention to leaks and outflow and the ways in which you fritter away $20, $30, $100 a day, which many people can and often do. Note: a no-buy week is not also a 'shoplift things instead week.' (JK)

    Why not expand the 'no buy' to a NO GET week? Nothing new comes into your life - no stuff, no furniture, no clothes, no cast-offs, no junk, no re-processed crud someone else has found wanting or reject-worthy. Purge with outflow, no will feel liberating. TRULY purge the space (eg physically get rid of things), cleanse it, then see if there's some object or stuff or free whatever that needs to pierce the actual emptiness. Only invite in things you love, find beautiful, and will really value.



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