“season’s greegins!”

So, I’m getting a jump on one of my New Year’s Resolutions (writing more) and adding a long-overdue post to my blog. I had lunch with an old friend over this vacation and we lamented the fact that keeping in touch with people feels so overwhelming. By the time you realize you haven’t called/emailed in a while there’s so much to catch up on that you need to schedule a three-hour phone conversation in order to do it right, but that seems like a lot to ask so you end up doing nothing at all. I also feel like that about my blog. I can’t possibly bring it up to speed with everything that’s happened since I gave it up in August, and most of my time has been taken up by work and work-related activities, which I don’t want to blog about, really.

I think this was a tough holiday season for me. It seems like every year there are fewer family members who I feel close to – more animosity between people means that I see less of everyone, which is really sad. This year, my brother and my nephew didn’t even come over while I was in town, which is unheard of.

Additionally, my parents are still having a lot of financial trouble. Besides the obvious, this means my mom feels a lot of guilt for not being able to have a big, excessive Christmas celebration with lots of gifts for everyone. I’m too old to get upset about the number of packages under the tree, but the fact that she is unhappy makes me feel guilty. I’m not sure why she thinks we’ll be disappointed in her and I don’t know how to make her feel better about it.

She was sick all week, so we didn’t get to do most of the fun things we’d planned. She napped, I knitted. This is fine but I feel like I would have been more productive and less lazy if I’d spent the week in Denver instead.

I’ve been reading a lot of financial planning blogs (sounds thrilling, I know) and trying to narrow down my second New Year’s Resolution which will have something to do with my budget, but what I’m learning is that resolving to “save money” is not as productive as setting an actual goal and making a plan. This probably seems obvious to people who actually understand how money works, but I am one of those people who has to log in to my account information online to find out how much money I have. Since I’m used to not having any, I get a sort of sick feeling in my stomach whenever I do this, so I don’t do it very often. Lately, I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find I have more money than I thought, which means I don’t worry about how much I spend and am pretty wasteful as a result.

I also feel like I have more important things on my mind that money – like my job and such – so I can’t be bothered to think about things like budgets. I tend to dislike people who are tight with money and when I am hanging out with them I spend more to showcase my supreme generosity. (As I mentioned, I am not one of those people who understands how money works.)

I still have a little more holiday shopping to take care of when I get home tomorrow, two days of work and then the rest of the week off to do New Year’s Eve in style. And to figure out how I can learn to manage money in 2009.

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