When Giving Makes You Feel Rich Vs. Poor

On Thursday, I bought my best friend sushi, a treat she only rarely allows herself. On Friday, I took two of my aunts to see Boyhood, the Richard Linklater movie filmed over 12 years, which is a revelation. Better and truer than Tree of Life, and it actually made me want to spend time in Texas. On Saturday, I sent my little brother and his girlfriend to see a show at the Kennedy Center as a happy birthday! / farewell to DC, since Judah is off, with his new car, to start a job in Las Vegas. And on Sunday, I bought dinner for my husband’s godmother and her daughter, who were visiting from North Carolina.

I feel great. Better than great: I feel rich.

Sometimes being generous doesn’t work that way for me. I can buy a friend a book, or dinner, or a present, just because, or make a donation to a worthy cause, and feel sort of bereft afterwards — or at least stressed out about how much discretionary spending I should allow myself. Not regretful, just tense and sad, and then usually guilty for feeling tense and sad.

Other times, tinkling bells play lightly in the distance, meaning magic has happened. Maybe my weekend of giving worked in part because I recently had a birthday in honor of which so many people were generous to me, and it felt good to pay that generosity forward? In any event, I spent more than I anticipated — #MyLastHundredBucks, easy — although I haven’t counted up exactly how much, and I don’t care; it made me actively happy to do it. I do wish I understood the alchemy a little better, because getting to act from a place of abundance rather than scarcity, getting to feel rich by giving money away, especially to people you love, is kind of the best feeling ever.

Throwing Parties, Going to Parties, Spending Money on Parties

Logan: I feel like we talk about weddings all of the time always, but ha, I would like to talk about them some more.

Friday Estimation

What are your estimations?

Monday Check-in: Blind Spending

It was a blind spending weekend.

How Thirty-Somethings Do Money (And Life)

For my birthday last year, I was in Vilnius, Lithuania, studying both Fiction and Non-Fiction, and recovering from the shock of quitting my job to take a year off to write full-time. Turning 31 kind of got lost in the shuffle.

Turning 30 was a bigger deal, I guess, but my brother got married across the country right around then and also I was third-trimester pregnant and distracted by the octopus inside of me thrashing around looking for the door. There was some kind of party, maybe? I definitely remember writing “XXX” on the invitation, because that’s too good an opportunity to pass up. Don’t remember much else.

What I’m saying is, I haven’t had time to think about birthdays in a while, to really reflect about what being in my 30s means. I’m here without a plan! What should I have done by now? What should I do next? Help! 

My Last Hundred Bucks: Happy Birthday Little Sister

$10 for a birthday present for my newly 19-year-old sister: a sleeveless shirt with a lovely crocheted skull.

Friday Estimate

Folks, it's been quite a week, and it's time to estimate our weekends.

My Mom Knows Me (Well)

Logan's mom asks her an impossible question.

Happy Birthday From Our Corporation!

The first to wish me a happy birthday was my Optometrist. Love the clipart from the ’90s.


And then the insurance company where I get my renters insurance. The next day they asked me if I wanted life insurance, which, come on.

Monday Check-In

Good morning! Let's check in and see how we did this weekend.

The State of Things: 100 Martinis and Vermont

Mike: Let's talk about our weekend spending. I've already started throwing down some cash today for lunch with a friend who's in town. Tonight I'm going to a birthday party at a martini bar. Apparently they have more than 100 different martini drinks you can get.

Logan: Whhhhhaattttt? How will you choose!?!!?

What to Get a Baby for His Birthday

Do babies deserve birthday presents?