Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Love and Money

Love and Money. You can have the fullest heart and fattest wallet in the world, but if you keep them to yourself, they aren't worth much. They sit there, gaining their own interest but don't ever get applied to anything. And it's those 'anythings' that transform them into something more.


A friend once told me of a song that reminded her of me. Turned out that after just one listen, it reminded me of me, too. I come back to these lyrics often.
Survive and you're amongst the fittest
Love ain't love until you give it up
Riding high amongst the waves
I can feel like I
Have a soul that has been saved
I can see the light
Coming through the clouds in rays
I gotta say it now
Better loud than too late
-Pearl Jam "Amongst the Waves"
Love ain't love until you give it up. My New Years resolution continues to be to connect with people more. Spend time with strangers and turn them into friends. Spend time with friends and turn them into closer friends. Call my sister once in a while. Listen and learn from my bosses. Tell people how much I care about them.

I never used to do these things. I used to keep my words and my worlds to myself. Other than when I coached - where I got more extroverted - I didn't share much. But now I do.

I've learned that you can be the most caring guide, the most loving friend, and most genuine person. But if you don't share your caring/loving/genuine qualities with people, what are they worth? They're just sitting inside of you, not transforming into anything greater. I gotta say it now, better loud than too late.


The more I think about it, I'm applying this same philosophy to my money. At least, in the here and now. Triathlon is not an inexpensive sport. Yes, you can do it on the cheap in some ways, but in the end, it's still costly.

I'm a saver by nature. My mom and dad have told me that my sister and I scrounge and save like people who have lived through war and poverty. We were raised never left wanting for anything, so it's weird do what we do. I'm an assistant in Hollywood, so the world knows I'm not burning cash for warmth. But certainly okay, and grateful for it.

So this past week I bulked up on triathlon gear - little bits and pieces of accessories that help me get through my training better. All "wants" and no "needs". Comforts, more or less. And there are more to be purchased. I haven't even gotten into the meat and potatoes of my nutrition - which may in fact be meat and potatoes if I can buy a bigger bento box.

I'm also looking at hotels and flights for the trip up to Coeur d'Alene with the team. Not my race, but no way in hell I'm not gonna be there. And then there's the plane ticket and final deposit for China in May. That's not free...

All these purchases grate against my "save your money for retirement, you idiot" mindset. But I'm trying, for now, to mute that voice. No, not to go on an irresponsible spending spree, but rather, when I think about the value of what I'm getting for what I'm spending, it just makes sense to me. A dollar is a dollar, and it only becomes something when you exercise it - apply it to a purchase. In my head, if you compare a dollar for a pack of gum and a dollar toward someone's #beatcancer fundraising ... the latter is worth more.

The amount I will spend to head to CDA and to China - sure, that pays for transportation and a roof over my head ... but what I'm really investing in are the experiences. Those invaluable moments when you see your friends and teammates out on the course, becoming Ironmen. The first moment in my life I'll set foot in Asia and see in person of the world's greatest wonders.

At this moment, keeping money in my savings account is like keeping love to myself. I will miss out on a lot. Sure, there's a cost and a risk, but I know the value I'm getting for my dollar is beyond worth it. I'll set an end-date for this permissive spending for sometime this summer. And perhaps a little OT at work will not be unwelcome. But in the end, I have little doubt that this will be one of the most memorable stretches of time in of my little life, so that's what I'm going to invest in. Everyone wins, I hope. Including you,

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