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Notes From This Month

July has been even crazier than usual.  A few notes:

1) My grandmother passed away and Jen and I were able to travel to her funeral to say goodbye.  The degree of financial security that we've scratched together allowed us to do this without stressing about money, even with the costs associated with last-minute travel.  To me, this is a great example of what money allows you to do-- it isn't an end in and of itself, but a means to allowing you to attend to those things in life that you need to without worrying.

2) One of our cats also died. He was 15 years old and had been with Jen and me since near the beginning of our marriage.  Losing a pet is difficult, particularly for kids.  In our case, I think it also reminded Jen and me of our own mortality and how quickly time passes.  

3) These two events have reminded us to waste less time with things that don't matter and we've adjusted portions of our lifestyle to reflect this reminder.  We spent some time discussing our marriage, parenting, goals and ambitions, and our current lifestyle to find places where we can improve.

4) Finishing up a dissertation is much harder than beginning one.  This process has taught me a ton about myself, my abilities, and my interests-- these are priceless lessons!

5) The best and happiest times are almost always the cheapest:  spending time with friends and family, watching your kids do something great, harvesting the vegetables that you planted months ago (oh, and tasting the difference!  We planted a ton of different types of lettuce and the bag lettuce at the store is cardboard in comparison!), and so on.  

6) Hard exercise hurts.  In my case, this isn't just muscles, but things like knees, hips, and feet.  Pushing through makes them hurt less, plus you feel like you're shaking your fist at the gods!  

7) One half cup of plain oatmeal, some blueberries, and a boiled egg will fuel you just fine until lunch, even with lots of exercise.

July has made me a kinder and wiser person, but I also feel like I've undergone some sort of paradigm shift where, for the first time, I'm absolutely willing to tell people to pound sand, when it is appropriate.  

Maybe I'll get another post in this month.  If not, I'll see you at the end of the month for our monthly report!  

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