I’ve had this blog for nearly ten years.
Ten years of (mostly) sheer tomfoolery. From mustaches to missing thumbs to Made for TV specials, it might be easy to think I naturally see the humor in everything. That the universe winks upon my charmed world and I wink back.
But the truth is, THIS BLOG makes me see the humor in everything. It forces me to consider how I WANT to be and to turn that into reality.
I need that. We all do.
Aside from needing to force myself into seeing the lighter side of life, I also need to force myself OUT of being, well, a bit of a…tightwad. As part of my project manager nature, I like to track money. Think about money. BE IN CONTROL of money.
In order to combat this miserliness, I make myself donate money on a regular basis – to various causes that align with my values. Because despite my practicality, I believe money, just like everything, is simply energy. It flows if you let it flow. And if you believe something is scarce? You’ll experience scarceness.
In other words, the more worried I am about money, the more I make a habit of giving it away.
It…sucks. I feel stupid. Reckless. Pissed off.
And then, quickly, always, I feel…wonderful.
I hesitate to share the following story because it seems like a major #humblebrag, but, well, once you read it, you’ll (hopefully) see that I JUST HAD TO.
Before I fled the recent wildfires here in Oregon, I made a guilt-ridden, combat-Scrooge-Jules donation to the Red Cross, hoping to help some of those faceless heroes fighting fires and other altogether badass things.
My donation was for $1,111.
Because, you know. 11:11. It’s a lucky number full of all kinds of mysticism, and if you’re like me, you’ve always made a wish whenever you’ve caught the clock at that hour.
With that donation under my belt, I made the long drive from Oregon to New Jersey to stay with family for a couple of weeks. I worried during the entire 3,000 mile drive. Was I hand-sanitizing well enough? How would my home state feel after all of these months, especially during a pandemic? Were my friends in Bend doing okay with all of that smoke? Did I make a big mistake by not getting a t-shirt at the world’s largest truck stop?
When I arrived in New Jersey, a strange series of events ensued – all during three consecutive days.
First, my sister paid me back for a COVID-canceled trip: $150.
Next, my father wrote me a check for another family trip that I’d made a deposit for (but had mistakenly thought he’d already paid for): $933.
Then, I went out to (outdoor, masked) dinner with my two best New Jersey girlfriends, Mary and Jenn. Mary drove and after we parked, I stepped out of her car and looked down.
“Uh, Mary, there’s a bunch of money in your car…” I said, my voice muffled behind my mask.
I grabbed a wad of $5 and $1 bills that were wedged between the passenger door and seat. I hadn’t noticed them when I’d gotten in. Mary furrowed her brows.
“I haven’t even driven this car in months [because of the pandemic]. I have no idea where that came from.”
“I think it looks like more than it is because of all of the singles…”
I counted the bills. $28.
“Well, perfect, our tip is covered,” Mary smirked.
We joked about it until our dinner bill came. I quickly calculated a 20% tip.
“Holy shit you guys, a 20% tip comes out to exactly…$28!”
Mary and Jenn were already onboard Jules’s Woo-Woo Bandwagon, so we simply laughed about how cool and “typical” the whole thing was.
The next day, as I quietly sipped my coffee on my parents’ living room couch, I suddenly thought, “Huh. All of this money I’ve unexpectedly stumbled upon probably amounts to close to what I just donated to the Red Cross…”
I got out my phone and tallied the numbers.
Sure enough…the total was: