A little update on how my life, financial and otherwise, has been going. All names have been changed to protect the innocent.
I start the morning off with food that I prepped the previous night: sautéed oyster mushrooms, tossed greens salads, salmon, zucchini with onion and parmesan, and marinara sauce. (Note: you can assume that most of my meals came from my prep session unless otherwise stated.)
As the first nice weather day in weeks, I decide to go to the park, lay under a towering tree, and read the Henry James novella Daisy Miller.
I then go on a nice long meandering walk downtown. I intend to use up my $50 Amex Platinum credit for Saks, but realize that’d only cover about half the cost of a tee shirt. I instead head to Eataly, where I grab a late lunch of roasted chicken, zucchini drowning in olive oil, and the most buttery polenta I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat. After, I grab a small cup of banana sorbet atop a bed of my favorite olive-oil based chocolate sauce. Nom! $19.94
After lunch, I head back home to the opposite side of the river. On the way I stop by Supercuts to get my hair trimmed. It looks somewhat cleaner, but the change is almost imperceptible. I am excited for our wedding to be over, so I can just cut my hair short. $28.95
In the evening I try again to spend my Saks credit by browsing their website offerings. I learn that $50 is just enough to buy one bottle of Aesop shampoo. (Note: After actually trying the shampoo, I don’t really understand the appeal of Aesop. It’s fine enough shampoo, I guess, but definitely too expensive for what it is.)
I head to the gym for some morning exercise, running a couple miles and climbing a few bouldering routes. In spite of climbing on and off for six years, I continue to be really bad at it. I consistently fail at doing V2’s and can only sometimes barely do V1’s. For reference, V0 is the easiest level. Maybe if I practiced more often I would get better? As it is, I only climb once every week or so and it always makes me feel super achy in my neck and shoulders the next day. I could also stand to be more strategic about my climbing, too.
In the afternoon, I practice Pimsleur Mandarin, which I borrowed from the library. I have been really interested in improving my Chinese after seeing Crazy Rich Asians (particularly been mired in the you’re not Chinese enough feels). I like that Pimsleur is a completely aural program. I always had a lot harder time with speaking than writing when my parents put me into Chinese school as a kid. I have no ear for tones.
Going through the full Pimsleur series would be pretty expensive in the $400-500 range. I decide if I want to proceed with it, what I’ll do is get a month-long free Audible trial to get through Unit 1, then borrow Units 2-3 from my library (which has a lot less demand than the Unit 1 sections). I might then go back and pay for Audible to complete Units 4-5, or by that point switch to another learning method if I feel comfortable with overall feel of pronunciation.
Feeling exhausted from my weekend of ambling and physical exertion, I go to bed super early at 8:30. Goodbye weekend.
I start the day by filling out paperwork to finish off the 401k rollover for my old employer’s plan, specifically to get my post-tax traditional 401k contributions rolled into my Roth IRA (Mega Backdoor Roth for the win!). Luckily my new employer has their own Roth 401k, so I should be able to throw in lots of after-tax money in this year.
Time for work. Mondays are always a rush. I have back to back meetings until 2 PM, at which point I grab a container full of Indian buffet take-out for lunch. It’s pricey, but some of the best Indian food in the area, and it’s enough to leave me feeling full for the rest of the day. $14.00
I decide to walk home at the end of the day in order to take advantage of the nice weather before the next 90+ degree heat wave hits. I live fairly close to my office, just a two-mile walk, but I take the long route which adds an extra mile. It gives me time to digest.
In the evening I chill out by watching the season and possibly series finale for Trial and Error which is probably the best comedy on television that nobody’s heard of after Steven Universe. So good. After that I start Henry James’ The American, which I read on my Kobo from my library’s e-book stash.
More Indian buffet take-out for lunch. $15.00
The rest of my afternoon at work is consumed by one client I’m working with. As soon as I took on the account, colleagues started walking up to me with a pitying look that said, “Yeah, they’re very demanding. Sucks for you.” The client is very disorganized and there are a lot of internal politics going on that spills over into their requests for our team. It’s messy and I always feel on edge trying to meet their overwhelming demands. Bah.
After work I head to the gym for a one-hour core class, my Tuesday evening ritual. I really enjoy the trainer’s music and exercise selection, doing a full hour of ab work every week has done wonders for sculpting that six pack I’ve been going for (I need to do a major cut to make it show, though) and also for improving my posture.
In the evening I’m still feeling a bit on edge from work and do some window shopping on Poshmark and Garmentory. I buy a Vince color block shirt on Poshmark, which is $10 off with an Amex credit. $22.49
My fiancé Alex and I have regular board game nights with his friends Mitt, Tara, and Ingrid. Usually we take turns paying for takeout and this week it’s Mitt’s turn to tank. We end up playing Codenames and a funny Mafia-style game Alex found on the internet called Elon Musk’s iPod Submarine. From it I learn that apparently I think like a tech bro, sigh.
A couple weeks back, I lost Alex’s adaptor that he uses to charge his iPad in the car. After his friends leave, Alex tells me that the replacement adaptor I had gotten for him was Thunderbolt to USB-C instead of to regular USB like he needed. Whoops. I order him a new one and, for some reason, Apple refunds the overnight shipping costs. Sweet. $20.75
One of my good friends Matthew is being hospitalized for a month. I have been taking care of his plants but notice that his apartment could also use a thorough cleaning. I mention this to my friend Anna; after work, she and her husband Simon join me in a multi-hour cleaning frenzy. Much vacuum, very Lysol.
After we’re satisfied with the state of things, we head over to a nearby Szechuan place where we share tea smoked duck, basil eggplant, and gobs of rice. $21.50
In the evening, I head to Anna’s house where we make lemon bars and rainbow cookies for our weekend trip to visit Matthew. And by “we” I mostly mean Anna and Simon who are amazing cooks, though I do help with a decent amount of the prep work. They order in Thai food, which they share with me.
While baking, I get to let off some steam about my job. Anna and Simon are both in tech, so it’s nice bouncing thoughts off them. They also have introduced me to various folks they know who I also consult as mentors when I’m hitting a brick wall.
I don’t like to think of my friends as “valuable resources”, but they really are. It feels nice to feel understood and that we care for each other. I like having them in my life. ❤