It is worth this many years of birthday and Christmas presents!

There’s a sickness going around and it’s been crazy. I’ve been under the weather…not quite sick but close to it. The past week when H was sick, he didn’t want to leave the house. The one and only time he went out when he was sick was when I drove him to Urgent Care. He felt really car sick during the short drive.

If we were having coffee, we’d be talking about the overheated housing market. According to Goldman Sachs, the cities that will likely experience a 2008-style housing crash would be San Jose, Austin, San Diego, and Phoenix. My friends and I like to talk about real estate speculations for fun — nerdy I know. I am not too familiar with San Jose but aren’t people fleeing San Jose (and San Diego) to cheaper places like Austin and Phoenix? I use to live in San Diego, and I always felt real estate there was ridiculously high and overvalued. The wages for the same job duties in San Diego were lower compared to Orange County or Los Angeles wages. You would think lower wages in a city would mean cheaper rent but nope! That rule does not apply if you live in a place with good weather and beaches.

Lana wins another raffle

Today when I was about to leave work, I received a phone call from Lana’s dental clinic that she won the raffle for a bicycle. When I picked up the phone someone said, “is this the parent of Lana?” and I said “yes. Does she need need to schedule a dentist appointment already?” The staff member said, “no but she won the raffle for a bike.” In the background were cheers from the rest of the dental clinic and the sound of party horn toots.

I guess this dental clinic throw raffles every six months according to their Facebook page and this raffle prize was a bike. Initially I declined. I said, “what? She’s two! I don’t think she’ll fit in your bike!” They clarified that if we come by the dental clinic tomorrow afternoon, she can try out a bike that fits her.

It looks like this weekend’s plans include teaching Lana how to ride a bike.

My personal finance tip is to sign up for raffles for prizes (of course lol). Lana won an iPad from the library and now she won a bike from the dentist. I feel relieved. I would never buy an iPad or a tablet for my kid but because she won an iPad at the library, I instead tell her, “that’s worth many years of birthdays and Christmas presents.” Winning a bike adds a little more.

Exploring my Word of the Year: First

Thank you all so much for your support for my word of the year. The moment I shared it and shared some of my reasons, it became real. I was worried about making it my word of the year because it sounded so selfish. It also comes off as contradicting because I am a mom and all my jobs have been in the business of serving others…But I am also aware that I have been really bad at taking care of myself. A few months ago, I found myself at a breaking point. I thought about Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree and now seeing it with adult eyes, I realized it was about a tree that gave, gave, and gave until it had nothing left because the boy took, took, and took. I’m not sure what I thought of it as a kid, perhaps I may have thought of it as a story of unconditional love because the tree offered everything the boy needed throughout his life, without question. Even if you offered me rose-colored lenses and frame it as a story of familial love, I don’t want to be reduced to a stump.

“First” could mean drawing up boundaries to take care of myself so I don’t end up like the Giving Tree. It could also mean pursuing my creative and intellectual interests first. After all I am not in school anymore and I need to continue to make learning and creativity a priority even if it’s during my lunch break or late at night my kid is sleeping. And of course, “first” could mean trying out things for the first time….Or at work or in a group, when asked to do something or say something, I should be the first hand up to participate. I am sure there are more interpretations of “First” — let’s see where it takes me.

Tag: Weekend Coffee Share

4 thoughts on “It is worth this many years of birthday and Christmas presents!”

  1. I think BECAUSE you are a mom and so many of your jobs require serving others that first is a very important and fitting word of the year. You have to put yourself first sometimes– you can’t pour from an empty cup.


  2. Hi Julie,
    And don’t forget that the first thing they teach us in almost any first-aid type class is to FIRST keep yourself safe and avoid becoming another person who needs first aid.

    And I think that cities are somewhat buffered by population losses. They often have a strong percentage of people who want to live close to where they work so all those folks who can’t find a home there need to go away before any prices are driven down.

    I’ve lived and worked in Silicon Valley (Cupertino, Santa Clara, San Jose, etc) and worked in San Francisco. All that after trying to avoid big cities. I won’t be going back to one and am trying slowly to get out of Calif. because I do think this market has to crash before many others would.

    Have a great weekend


  3. Awesome raffle wins for your little one. I like your word first & what it means to you. As I age, I find myself enjoying getting to have adventures & doing things for the 1st time & pointing them out as being a 1st for me. This year is the 1st time I’ve participated in the #Weekendcoffeeshare & I hope I can continue it throughout the year. It’s fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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