Today’s prompt, from the district office in El Paso, Illinois: What is a superpower you’d love to have?
Time travel. What more needs to be said? I’d like to go back and change things, which I know is a no-no, but I’d do it anyway, and screw the universe. Then I’d stand there like Steve Urkel and say "Did I Do That?"
Today’s prompt, from the service department in Placerville, California: What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?
In the just over ten years (my first official post was January 9, 2012, ten years and one week ago) that I have run this blog, I have gone out of my way to keep the blog as free as possible from causes I’m "passionate about." I’m not about to screw that up now, not for Bloganuary or anything else.
Today’s prompt, from the district sales office in Montpelier, Idaho: What is a life lesson you feel everyone can benefit from learning?
Learn how to earn, save, and spend money.
This is a huge issue for a lot of people. I understand, there are things far more important than money – love, empathy, compassion, etc. – but love won’t buy milk, empathy won’t pay the rent, and compassion won’t get you to work. You must be able to handle money. A lot of people are poor or in serious financial difficulty because they never learned how to handle money.
After my father died, my mother fought her union to be allowed to put the same amount into her pension as a man did, knowing that one day she’d retire and have to support herself. As a teacher, she’d go the summer without a paycheck, so she put money aside every month to guarantee that we were able to eat, pay the rent and utilities, and have a little left over for fun. She got a mortgage at a time women "couldn’t get mortgages." Thinking back on it, she was a genius.
My father-in-law took every penny he didn’t need right away and put in the bank, or should I say banks: there was a bank and two savings and loans in the neighborhood, and he had money in all of them. He would arbitrage his money when one of the banks would offer a higher interest rate savings account or CD, calculating how much he could take out of which account to move to the new CD. He was able to pay Mary’s grammar school, high school, and college tuition without loans. I don’t think the man ever made more than $6 an hour and went through stretches of unemployment that could be fairly lengthy, but he had saved for all those eventualities. When it came time to spend money for a car or new appliance, he did his homework and got the best he could for the least amount of money. When things like bath soap, aluminum foil, or toilet paper went on sale, he bought the most he could and stored it in the basement.
I worked with a guy who put $1 into the company credit union for every day he worked. It wasn’t a lot of money, but with compound interest, he had a nice little pile of dollar bills when he retired. He had other savings, too, but this was a case of discipline: he made himself a promise to save a dollar for every day he worked, and he kept it.
Thy knew how to handle money. Obviously, times are much different than they were in the ’50’s and ’60’s, but the principles are the same. There are good books on earning, saving and investing money, and more people ought to avail themselves of them.
Today’s prompt, from the sales office in Peoria, Arizona: Write about a challenge you faced and overcame.
The biggest challenge that I faced was my stroke in 2007. I woke up after several days of induced sleep and couldn’t move anything on the right side of my body. I didn’t know if I’d ever walk again or ever regain the functioning of my right arm. I’m still weak on my right side and have lost the fine motor skills in my right hand, but I can walk with a cane or walker and have learned to cope with the things I can’t do. Most important to that discussion: I learned to type with one hand, which is why this is The Sound of One Hand Typing.