From the view of a 20-something dream chaser.

The Jar of Life

Friday, October 26, 2012

I wish I could take credit for this, but I cannot. I stole it. But I thought you'd enjoy it.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class ...
began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full..

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car..

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put
The sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.


Monday, October 8, 2012

I was invited to be the honored guest at the Matoaca Fall Festival this weekend.
That's right, little old me, an honored guest.

Right now, I'm curled up on a northbound Amtrak train, new book courtesy of Simon & Schuster in hand. I am homebound (New York home, that is) after a weekend in Virginia filled with time for community service, family and friends. It has dawned on me that I am now an adult. Sigh. Gone are the days when a trip to Forever 21 or H&M didn't require much thought before proceeding. I turn off lights as soon as I realize I no longer need their source. And I don't send my clothes to the cleaners nearly as often as I used to. In essence, I've learned (or am learning) to conserve.

My princess, Abigail, and me with some local heroes

Flowers with Style so graciously gave each of us a bouquet

You would be right to assume my parents have taken care of me the past 22+ years. Sure, I spent my undergraduate years two whole hours away from home and worked part-time jobs and had to do my own laundry; but I was still largely dependent on my parents for financial support throughout those years. I didn't have a want or need for a budget then. Boy, do I now!

I am now at least seven hours away from their tender loving care and having a ball, while they worry night and day. Yes, my father actually said that this weekend. Since I moved to New York about a month ago, I paid my own rent, cable and electric bill, and sent my laundry out. (Ok, maybe I'm a little bougie for sending my laundry out, but it's so convenient and it really didn't set me back much at all.) I've even managed to excel in all my classes thus far and I'm beginning to find myself in this city I now call home. So I am happy. And I am blessed. Very.

I have become very practical and sensible in the past few weeks. I guess it comes with the territory. Having a Zara practically next door to my campus and a J. Crew around the corner from my internship doesn't help much, but I've learned that if I don't walk in the door, I won't spend a single cent. I just have to ensure I don't walk in those revolving doors. You wouldn't believe how hard a thing that is not to do. I like to spend just as much as the next girl, but I've realized I just cannot spend freely or there will be severe consequences.

What I would so desperately like to spend my money on freely:
  • Dresses (long-sleeved, peplum, LBD, you name it);
  • Pumps (actually on the lookout for a nice, black patent leather pair at the moment);
  • Wine (future connoisseur);
  • Broadway shows (I'm in NEW YORK CITY!);
  • Dominican blowouts (I whip my hair back and forth);
  • Fancy events (what kind? you may ask. I'm not sure, but ones you must dress up to attend)
  • Manicures & pedicures (even full-body massages); and
  • Groupons (for the aforementioned items, of course...and getaways)
What I am instead forced to spend money on:
  • Food (a very odd thing, but my body requires I consume it every day)
  • Rent (a killer, especially here in NYC)
  • Cable (a necessary evil if I am to keep up with what's going on in the world; oh, and watch movies)
  • Electric bill (Fridge, among other things, wouldn't work without it)
  • Subway pass (and I'm actually saving money by purchasing an unlimited monthly pass for $100)
Needless to say, there exists a very real need to conserve, to save money any and every way possible. I read this article, which talks about the importance of having a budget and sticking to it in order to reach your goals, and I have since strived to have as many $0 Days as possible. Believe you me, it's no easy task. And you can't dwell on achieving it. But when you do, boy is it thrilling!

Keeping track of your daily spending enables you to have a record of exactly where your money is going. I feel empowered knowing there is a plan for what little money I have. Sticking to it will only enable me further, because I can save up for my first big purchase. I have yet to decide what that is, but something tells me it will be something very practical--like paying off my student loans--and not something fierce, like buying my first Mercedes. But someday I will, and that's what dreams are made of.

And this.

Life is Deleesh. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.