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2007 was CRAZY

December 30th, 2007 at 07:29 am

Yeah, that about sums it up.

Ah yes, another year-end post.

Was just thinking, because dh and I were talking about what a crazy year it has been.

The funny thing is that last Jan. 1 I told dh that we could not buy ANYTHING. We would not buy or do anything. This year would be low key.

Then we started getting extra money and decided to do a few things. & the our parents lavished us with all these last minute vacations. It was just WEIRD. But then we were lavished with cash and we actually enjoyed much more than imagined. But all in all was a strange year. I find it even funnier because I came here saying how work is not that important to me, and we are real low key. & then work was crazy and we had a jet set lifestyle.

Which honestly made it hard for me to enjoy this year. Work was really stressful. Not my thing. It hasn't been like this for years. But re-examining our financial situation, I think I finally decided to embrace it. We could use the money. I've pretty much been on vacation the last 5 years. & so it doesn't hurt to work hard once in a while, to show my commitment. It's just the curse/bane of the industry though. Not enough people to fill the jobs. I feel I have been very unique keeping the life balance that I have been able to full-time the past 6 years. (I can think my boss too). But we just lost one too many employees this last year and I really had to step it up.

So this year was really weird. Worked a lot harder but ended up playing harder too. Well, for the long run I look to de-stress and step it down a bit. For now, what can I do. I embrace it.

But here is the craziness of 2007:

1. Dh had his movie premiere (the first "big" movie he worked on). That was pretty sweet. They had a decent offer on the movie but turned it down. Holding out for more I guess. Who knows if it will ever get anywhere now. But it was exciting. He is working on some projects starting in '08 again. Just been so busy with the kids, but now that they are in preschool, he has more time.

2. I tried to make some money off writing. I know I have been down on it in my blog, but really comes down to, I always envisioned writing a book when I was much older. I have the money-making career now, and this should allow me to pursue more hobbies when I am older. & I just couldn't make the time. I neglected my family too much. Really what it comes down to. & work got more stressful. So it's on the back burner but something I will certainly do again once work is lighter or kids are older. Which is fine. I don't find this compromising at all. I love my job. I always figured writing would be better with more age and wisdom. I actually want to go back to get a writing degree some day. I would want to practice the art more too. Take classes. Certainly not a priority today. The kids are. But this year was an adventure! That someone would pay me to write. Strengthens my resolve to write more in the future. Now is just not the time for me. Though I also keep my eyes open for writing opportunities in my field, which probably makes more sense now, for my resume and such.

3. We welcomed a new niece to the world this year.

4. Traveled to Mexico, Japan, Florida (Disney) and Vegas.

5. Took the kids to many zoos and museums and the like.

6. Bought a BIG HDTV & PS3

7. Still managed to build up our e-fund and up our net worth a good $30k (& meet all our other goals).

Yup, that was our low-key, do nothing, buy nothing year.

What the heck??? LOL. But it just turned into that kind of year.

----------------------------------------

2008

We're starting over. Low-key. Buy nothing. Do nothing. Let's try this again. Big Grin

Well dh's mom, well she wants to retire this year so I think she is facing reality. She said she wanted to go on a family camping trip this year. Which is ironic since we were thinking of going on the same camping trip (ourselves) but it would be kind of fun with the grandparents. Sure, why not. Then again all of our trips this last year were rather last-minute. So we'll see. I won't be surprised if I get invited to China tomorrow. But it is hard to say no to trips to mexico and Japan and such. But we have discussed saying no to anything and everything. We want to keep it low key. Camping was more our speed.

We have been planning a trip to Disneyland though. In the spring. & then camping in the summer. Only low key things for summer. & a low key fall (at home). LOL.

Anyway, dh went to the dinosaur thing with my dad and I don't know. We took him to 2 museums with us last month and he did this with BM yesterday. I guess he is getting hooked. Maybe he really enjoyed Japan. He is turning into my MIL. He told dh that he wanted to do all these trips with us in the coming years. He mentioned Grand Canyon and Yosemite and the like. The funny thing is we have talked much of the same (maybe later than he is talking) so I wonder if he comes along if we might get a bit of a free ride. Hmmmmmmmm.

But I told dh we really needed to crack down (a week or 2 ago, before this) and that if Disneyland was our priority I just didn't know if we could justify the camping trip. Not that it was terribly expensive. But it was a good $500+. We don't even have sleeping bags... So I told him maybe we should save up for supplies this year and stuff, and go next year. Or likely his parents will pay anyway. But I didn't want to over commit. Even if it seemed simple, it would cost money.

& then he comes back telling me my dad wants to take us on all these trips. It's starting to come from both sides. When did this happen?

I told dh our kids are SO lucky. So so so lucky and spoiled rotten. I think with my parents, they just want to treat us to all the things they couldn't afford when we were young. Dh's family has been the same way for a LONG while. But my parent's are totally jumping on the bandwagon. Which is just a shock to me. I guess it is a grandparent thing. These are so not the parents who raised me! LOL.

Sometimes I give up on trying to shelter the kids from being too spoiled. I really want them to appreciate what they have and I make it a point to tell them that we didn't have these things when we were kids. Over and over and over. So they get it.

But my grandpa passed on this year and left $0.5 mil to his heirs. $0.5 mil. We were all TERRIBLY shocked. They never made more than minimum wage. They didn't even have a middle school education, much less high school. It was so mind boggling. & as my parents inherited 1/4 of this, they once again resolve to enjoy their money more than hoarde it (as they do every time a relative dies, stronger each time). I keep reminding them that grandpa was only 80 and longevity runs in the family. He wanted to be able to take care of himself, nursing home or not. By dad having grown up with him thought is was just terribly sad they never enjoyed any of that money. They lived a lifestyle deep in poverty. Their entire 80 years. So my parents have more resolve to enjoy and spoil us it seems. They insist he hoarded too much. Probably. But I am just in awe he would have been able to take care of himself well into 100 if need be (was likely. They died terribly young compared to siblings and such).

I keep wondering at this rate if the kids will have to work. I think of course I want them to be hard workers and learn to take care of themselves. I don't want them to be spoiled. But if grandpa can pass on $1/2 mil, what will our more well-off grandparents pass on? What will our parents with significant real estate pass on? What will we pass on? Will our kids ever worry about money in the ways we did? I know we don't worry about money in any sense our parents did at our age. just as they never worried about money as much as their parents did? (not with the freedom to get high school diplomas and college educations). & so it snowballs.

Ever since we had kids I have fought the tide of spoiling from the grandparents. But it just keeps getting bigger. Honestly, there is no fighting it. I am starting to realize. Is it so bad grandma took them to DisneyWorld when they were 2/4 & Hawaii when they were 0/2? That grandpa will take them to Japan before they hit 8/10? All I Can do is make sure they appreciate everything they have. It's a shame that we can never go back and see where my dad grew up and where my grandparents lived in a shack for most of their days. I think it's important for them to know where they came from. Those are our roots. Money just doesn't grow on trees and it took generations to come where we are. I think that's all I can do, is tell them that continuously. Just as my parents did when I was a child.

As such, 2008 will probably be crazy or crazier yet. Our parents will have many wild plans to give us what more of what they never could before.

But I feel very blessed in a big sense. Here is to the health and freedom to enjoy the craziness. Might as well embrace it.

& if it's a really slow, low-key year, I can't say I would mind a bit. I just hope someday my kids can say the same.

Maybe there is something to just enjoying the money while it is there. I guess you never know if you will be around to enjoy it tomorrow. Which is exactly what our parents are thinking. So might as well enjoy I guess.

Then again, I didn't exactly feel deprived before. I think we have always made it a point to live somewhat in the now. Just not so extravagantly. So it is just weird for me. Being a long range planner, just nothing I want to get used to either. I know our parents mean well. But I find it funny they found it so important for us to be independent and capable and NOT spoiled. But with the grandkids, eh. Seems to have gone out the window. Then they will blame us when they turn to spoiled brats. LOL. Would figure. Isn't that the way?

Or maybe I just overthink it all.

Most of my friends think I am crazy, but I a have a lot of friends back home who immigrated here from other countries. who came from true poverty and such. We all worry about our kids getting so far from their roots and not really understanding how GOOD they have it. That even their primary education is an incredible blessing.

Maybe once you've seen it you always have a fear you can end up back there some day. So I guess I am lucky in that regard I have other friends with the same worries.

Around here, if I wonder aloud if my kids have too much, people look at me like I have a 3rd eye. I figure a place like this forum, it is more understood, at least.

Anyway, here's to 2008. Whatever it brings!

7 Responses to “2007 was CRAZY”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    So, can I ask what kind of movie it is and how much the offer was? If not, that's OK too.

    Also, are you guys adopting? I wouldn't mind being one of those kids that don't have to work. Big Grin Seriously though, I don't think I'd ever stop working.

  2. englishteacher Says:

    Exciting times!

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Hmmm, I don't know how to describe the movie. The offer would have covered costs. (YEah I think they were morons to just not take it. LOL. The idea is to touch it up on their own and shop around but haven't heard anything in ages. Filmmakers aren't exactly time motivated it seems. Hehe. But I think they should have just sold it. So they could have the money for to get started on another project). I think it is very sellable if they ever try again. Frustrating.

    It was kind of Kevin Smith-esque.

    I don't think my dad or I would ever stop working either. We'll have to see what working genes the kids get. LOL.

    Man, I can't afford one more kid. LOL.

  4. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Here's the thing, sure maybe the kids will be a bit spoiled by having a bit more. But the thing is life is short. And it is giving your in-laws and parents pleasure to enjoy something they worked so hard for (money) and finally see it giving their own family lots of pleasure. I feel the same but at the same time, I know that it's what you make of it.

    I know I shouldn't say this, but I know when DH and I have kids, we will want for nothing. Truth is I could buy nothing, and my children would have enough clothes, toys, etc (probably college) paid for my both my parents and in-laws. They are going to go nuts. They are overly indulgent now with our dogs, I wonder what sort of nutsos they'll be with their first and potentially only grandchild(ren). I have a bad feeling, and I know limits will need to be set, but I'm not sure if I could actually impose it.

    So I guess relent a little. Your parents worked hard and are enjoying it. I'm going to put my head in the sand and ignore whatever my parents buy.

  5. baselle Says:

    I think you have a good point, monkeymama, regarding the kids - if grandpa and grandma spoil 'em rotten, poison them with a whole lot of stuff, and having them think that "money grows on trees" (oh god, I sound like the coots in my family), have they really done them any favors? I think there's a balance here.

    Is there any way that your relatives can spoil your kids by putting $ in a 529 plan or something?

  6. monkeymama Says:

    Oh they already do that too. Spoiled all around. (No I did not have money sitting for college so I think that spoils them too. Honestly. )

    Grandma is contributing about $19k each to their college (she gives $1k/year each). Maybe she'll contribute more or less later, but who knows.

    I guess I also embrace it a little more because at least they are old enough to enjoy these days (not before which was a terrible waste). This was the first Christmas they enjoyed being spoiled like crazy. Maybe this is why my dad jumps on the bandwagon now, and not before. Which blindsided me so!)

  7. zetta Says:

    My grandparents spoiled my brother and I with lots of toys every visit (we saw them about 3 times a year), and took me along on convention trips to Denver, Chicago, DC, and Albany. I have to say those trips are some of my best childhood memories. My parents paid 100% of my college expenses, bought me a used low-milage car upon graduation, gave me $20k toward the downpayment on my first house, and paid for my wedding. (I assume the same for my brother.) And yet we both took college very seriously, and both live within our means and invest for the future. I think what is more important than what you give (or don't give) your kids materially is the attitudes toward money that you teach them. We were taught to carefully compare prices at the grocery store, that we couldn't have every toy we wanted, that credit card debt was evil, and that saving was very important. Long story short, if you share with your kids the story of how your parents came to be able to give them all these nice things, the lesson will sink in.

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