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Principled Money Posts #25: ‘being fifty and mad celebrations’ edition

It has been a week since I hit fifty; how is it? Great! It is the time of life when we are suspected of having mid-life crisis and, this applies more to us women, menopausal. As I say, it is the same as being in puberty but so much better because we are experienced enough to take advantage of it rather than be embarrassed by it. Anything beyond the ordinary and ‘normal’ is excused because ‘you know, she is menopausal’. Exciting and extraordinary times ahead, I say!

On this note, today I did my last longish run before running Lausanne marathon next Sunday; from now on it will be eat pasta and do little runnettes of 5-7 k; every day.  Do you remember my quest (mid-life crisis, I know) to ‘run like a cheetah and look like Venus’?

It was all going splendidly. I started training in July and managed to run wherever I went; I run near the Eifel Tower, I run in heat and on treadmills in Sofia, I ran on the beaches of the Black Sea cost. And I swam; and about six weeks after starting my training I looked down and saw my legs – these were my legs, the ones that long distance runners share. These legs looked lean, muscled and bronzed.

You know how everyone has their own Golgotha? This is a picture of mine – a hill in a park in Sofia that takes about four minutes to run up. Not much you think? In August, in temperatures of 36C I run up and down it 12-16 times. Talking Kenyan hills

My Golgotha

Then we arrived back and in the last part of September I caught the flu; and it kept coming back so that I have not been able to run much since then. Am I going to give up?

Now this will be the sensible thing to do; but I am not supposed to be sensible, remember? It is mid-life crisis, baby! So I am running it. Today I ran for about 90 min., practiced my ‘one finger blow’ (key for long distance runners), reminded myself how to sneak in the bushes, and …oh yeah, run as well.

I also have this lovely running shoes. I know, they simply scream ‘mid-life’ crisis. But apart from that you are looking at £145 of ASICS running loveliness, comfort and technology. They hug my feet like a tender lover.

High tech beauties

I am going for it; if I don’t manage to run all of it I’ll walk it; thinking about it, I am celebrating my fiftieth birthday – if need be I’ll crawl some of it! The only concession I am prepared to make to the virus is that if I feel that it is really too much I’ll give up- I have never done that so something new to experience.

Now, let’s move to the post in the blogosphere that caught my attention over the last couple of weeks.

It is not often that we read an article by a personal finance blogger that goes far beyond the ‘spend less than you earn’ mantra. Krantcents is one of the bloggers who, from time to time, obliges and last week he did it by setting out the ways in which playing chess prepares you for life. I couldn’t agree more – and this from a chess ‘hustler’ who played for money all through her university years. Yeah, you heard right; and many times chess put food on my table and kept me out of trouble (all kinds of it). It also has given me all the competencies that Krant mentions – so go read the post and get playing.

I have long now believed that writing, including personal finance, is about making us think, not about giving us easy prescriptions. Here are two very short pieces that did make me think. Average Joe asked if money was no object what would you like to be. This reminded me that I would like to live with the gypsies in Granada (Spain), learning to dance flamenco and writing novels. Didn’t even need to think that hard! Similarly, Len Penzo published 100 words on saving your lame excuses for somebody who cares. Succinct and to the point! Made me think though, what are my excuses – after all we all have them; even Penzo!

I am a personal finance blogger but I still believe that we do focus rather a lot on money. Our whole Western civilisation has got this obsession with money – it is our end and our means. Wonder where this leaves Machiavelli (a hero of mine) but…It seems to me that it is time to shift the focus and think about different kind of investments. As great mind have it, Daisy did exactly that by discussing a number of  non-financial investments each of us ought to make. Read this piece and use it as a check list – not investing in those is likely to cost you and your family dearly.

One of my favourite bloggers – Roshawn from Watson Inc – hit bull’s-eye with me again by discussing buying and happiness. Trust a researcher to do his research! Did you know that buying things, particularly big, important things, makes you stressed? Buying experiences and happenings, on the other hand, can bring a lot of satisfaction and happiness. It was also good to know that I have been getting it right – I dislike buying things but experiences…well, this is entirely different altogether. More importantly, this article made me thing about two things: a) that going for gross generalisations never works; like ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ – yes it can but it depends on where you are shopping and what you are looking for; and b) that in the US the ‘pursuit of happiness’ is a key right; in Europe we just try to be a bit less miserable.

Last but not least, I would mention an article on Budgets are Sexy that catches attention simply with its title asking:  why most PF blogs are B.S.? And we all know what B.S. stands for, right? I did a lot of thinking and decided that although I would have never had the guts to put it like that, I do tend to agree with most of what Adrian J. Cartwood says. In fact, I was so intrigued by him that I have already put his blog 7million7years on my reading list and have just bought his book Share Your Number with one click (yep, I shouldn’t do this but…).

Now it is time for a little update on how The Money Principle is doing. Here we have some big news:

Currently The Money Principle ranks 7th amongst the UK personal finance blogs – immediately after the ‘big guys’.

Our articles have also been included in the following carnivals

Y and T’s Weekend Ramblings at Young and Thrifty
Wealth Artisan’s FinCarn at Wealth Artisan
Yakezie Carnival at CultOfMoney
Carnival of MoneyPros at Making Sense of Cents
Carn. of Financial Camaraderie at Master the Art of Saving

6 thoughts on “Principled Money Posts #25: ‘being fifty and mad celebrations’ edition”

  1. Happy happy happy post-birthday week! You’re gonna do great on your marathon….just don’t get behind on your water and nutrition. You’ll feel those most at mile 23 and beyond. 

    I ran my last big long run before our marathon last week (23 miles). Now it’s three weeks to go and I’ll be finishing right behind you!

    By the way, your comments made me laugh. A woman who runs with us, Shannon, says “The world is your toilet until the sun comes up.” It’s scary how funny this is for distance runners…… 


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