Years ago, when I was probably 8 or 9, my mom and I were packing for the yearly Girl Scout mother/daughter camp-out held at the campgrounds a few miles outside of town. My mom entered my room to supervise my packing and found me surrounded by about a dozen stuffed animals of varying sizes, all of which I planned to take with me on our trip.
“No,” Mom said. “You can’t take them all. Choose one; that’s it.”
What Mom didn’t understand was that the stuffed animals I left behind would be devastated and deeply offended by my lack of loyalty (I was a child growing up in the Toy Story era, mind you). I ended up smuggling all of my stuffed animals to camp in the bottom of my rolled-up sleeping bag. That night I ate marshmallows around the campfire with my fellow Girl Scouts, impressed by my powers of deception — until it was time for bed.
Continue reading “how packing a carry-on can enrich your vacation”
A little over a month ago, I quit my job. I left without another position lined up, and even though it was a premeditated decision, it felt akin to leaping out of an airplane at 12,000 feet without a parachute.
It’s been nice to have an open schedule. I’m spending time with my parents, doing some writing, and finally getting enough sleep for the first time since birth. But the intoxicating freedom of my decision has come with an unforeseen drawback: I no longer have any idea how to measure the value of my life.
We spend a lot of our lives at work. It makes sense, then, that either intentionally or by happenstance, we measure our value based on how successful we are at our job — and, as naturally follows, by how much we get paid. After all, our employers are literally paying us for the value we create. The more you make, the more valuable you are, right?
It quickly becomes an easy — and dangerous — way to measure your worth.
Continue reading “how to measure the value of your life”
It’s no secret that I’m a bird person.
I have been fascinated with birds since I was young. I sit and watch them in parks and parking lots. I doodle them in the margins of my notebooks and seek them out in pet stores. A year ago today, I brought home my cockatiel Jasper, which was one of the single greatest decisions I have ever made.
Continue reading “what birds can teach us about ourselves”
Over the weekend, I helped my boyfriend move from Kansas City, Missouri, to his new home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he’ll be starting grad school this fall. I use the term “help” generously, because he moved all of his necessary belongings in four boxes, two carry-ons and a laptop bag with almost no assistance from me. And for about $1,000.
How’d he do it? The answer is simple.
Continue reading “Living an asset-light life”
One day, a couple of years ago, my dad inadvertently gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received.
Continue reading “a lesson from dad on owning less crap”