Denali Northern Expenditure

Month: February 2018

Mosaic Thoughts After a School Shooting

“Mosaic thoughts” means these thoughts are all over the place and the only connector is the most recent school shooting:

Life is Heavy Sometimes

The weight of this school shooting really hit me the next day after I dropped Lui off at preschool. I returned home to an empty house and instead of getting anything done at all, I just wept. For a really long time. I cried again later that day when I heard Pink’s song on the radio: “What about us? What about all the times you said you had the answers?” – We’re failing our children. And it hurts.

The weight really made me ask myself a few questions this week:

  • If any of my family members died today, would they die knowing I love them? What was the last thing I said to them and how did I say it?
  • If I knew any of my children had just one year left to live, what would I change about this next year?
  • With so much darkness in the world, how can I bring light?

Light up YOUR world

I can’t solve the world’s problems. I can’t change the hate that gets thrown around on a daily basis. But I CAN brighten my world. I focused more on that this week. I spent time in my son’s preschool class. I collected clothes for twin baby boys that were born in Anchorage from the bush so they could go home equipped. I brought dinner to another new mom. I snuggled with my kids.

Each day I need to focus on lighting up some part of my world. And if you do the same, eventually, the world will be a better place. I truly believe that.

Fighting is Better than Hiding

Our school district recently moved over from lock down drills to ALICE training. The big difference is that the kids used to hide behind coats and be really quiet and basically wait to die. Now, they actively barricade, run, zig zag, throw things, etc. I MUCH prefer this for two main reasons:

  1. Empowerment – The demeanor of my kids explaining ALICE drills is TOTALLY different than how they used to explain lock down drills. After hiding in coats and trying not to breathe, they were so scared. Now, they have an active plan. They’re excited they get to take control. They no longer have to wait to see if they’ll be the one to die. They’ll ACT. When we have a plan for things, we don’t feel as scared about them. Instead, we’ll be prepared to jump into action because…
  2. Statistics – The chance my kids will be involved in a school shooting is still statistically very low. I absolutely think they should prepare kids for that event even if the chances are slim, but the trauma of pretending to wait to die is so much worse than giving them tools to fight back and succeed. The drills are hard no matter what. You’re telling kids that a bad guy may enter your safe space and kill you. That’s never easy. But it’s the truth. And if we have the truth AND tools, we can move past the fear of that event happening.

Some Things are More Important

Six weeks into each year, I realize I’ve set my goals too big. I take too much on. This year is no different. And this event happened at the exact same time. It really shook me out of thinking: “You’re failing at everything you set out to do” and instead got me thinking: “You’re failing those things because you’ve been focusing on what’s important.” It’s hard to remember that playing with your kids instead of writing a blog post is the right choice. When you’re constantly reading about personal finance and entrepreneurship, it’s hard to remember that spending time watching the olympics with your family instead of throwing yourself neck-deep into work is the right choice. But those are the choices I’ve been choosing.

So I’m not failing at all.

January 2018 Plan Update

January 2018 Plan Update

January was a crazy month for the Banks family. The kids started swim after school twice a week which has been quite an adjustment for all of us. On top of that, we’ve had some big responsibilities at Church. We’ve also been trying to get our Merch shirts organized so it’s easier to relist them if they don’t sell and Amazon takes them down. So lots of awesome, productive things going on, but really busy.

The Numbers:

Want to know how easy it is for us to write these every month? I literally just log into my Personal Capital and revel in all the numbers being in one place. Do you like checking numbers? Do you like graphics? Do you like playing with calculators like retirement calculators and how much your fees are costing you? Then, you should obviously use my affiliate link to Sign up here to help yours truly speed toward financial independence! (Also feel free to read my more in-depth review of Personal Capital.)

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Following the Money: In Practice

Following the Money: In Practice

One of the big entrepreneurial concepts is following the money. If you haven’t figured out how to get paid or you’re not chasing the pipeline that is actually paying you, you’re doing it all wrong.

Following the Money

As you know, our current most lucrative side hustle is selling shirts. When we realized the potential of selling shirts, we had to hit it hard (getting 1500 listings on Amazon takes real work!).

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