Write what you know, right? Thus my most recent post at Get Rich Slowly was called “Prepare to get sick.”
In it I explained how I stay relatively ready year-round for illness or injury, from having basic foods and OTC meds on hand to figuring out a way to telecommute in case of a longish period of immobility. Specifically, I noted that one reason I could have surgery on really short notice was that I already had most of my ducks in a row.
I also got to work in a reference to the exchanging of body fluids. This pained one reader, who left a comment asking if this were truly necessary. My reply: “Yes.” After all, it was Valentine’s Day when I got sick.
The 161 comments dissolve at one point into a furious back-and-forth about universal health care. But they’re worth a quick read-through anyway, since some of the others are helpful. It’s a smart bunch over there at GRS.
Speaking of illness…
Quick aside: I had my follow-up visit to the surgeon today. He looked at the four incisisions, poked and prodded my abdomen, and said that I am “healing beautifully.”
When I asked why four incisions were made, he drew a little sketch of a gall bladder and the things they did to it with several different implements. Eeewww. Did I really need to know that they take hold of the organ and shake it back and forth?
Or that the laparascope went in through my navel? Eeewww. But I did enjoy his explanation of the view from inside.
“You know in ‘Pinocchio’ when the little puppet and his father are inside the whale’s belly? You have this space, and you can see the ribs and everything? That’s what it looks like through the laparascope,” he said.
“Only without the boat,” I pointed out.
Oh, and the pathologist reports that the gall bladder was full of stones, not cancer. No sign of a boat, either.
Just let it go
I turned out a piece for the Savings.com blog recently, too. It’s aimed squarely at people who came to frugality late in the game and spend way too much lamenting their formerly spendthrifty ways.
Yes, it’s true you probably shouldn’t have spent $20k on designer shoes or baseball cards. Yes, it would be great if you’d invested that money or if you could get it back.
But you did, you didn’t and you can’t. Far better to leave the past in the past and spend your time and energy sharpening your new, frugal focus.
Or, as I sensitively suggest, “Stop beating yourself up and move on.”
Meanwhile, at my day job…
Having lots of fun over at Frugal Cool, the daily MSN Money frugality blog. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
“Stupid frugality tricks” – Some ideas save money (maybe) but waste your time and might even decrease your quality of life. Pick your battles.
“How to get free life insurance” – The MassMutual insurance company has a special policy for the working poor, i.e., parents or guardians ages 19 to 42 who earn between $10k and $40k and are in good health. If something happens to the insured, his or her kids get $50,000 for school. Do pass along this link to anyone you know who might meet the criteria.
“Marked-down meat is a frugal treat” – Let’s hear it for the “used meat” bin.
“Ubercheap eye exams and glasses” – There’s no need to overpay for eye care. Or, maybe, to pay at all.
“Be good to the future you” – A new study indicates that people shown elderly visages (including their own, thanks to age-progression software) choose to put more in long-term savings. I include a link so that you can try this yourself, at home. Let me know if it changes your thought patterns at all.
“Does your kid need the new iPad?” – I bet you can guess what my answer was, and why.
Six degrees of separation?
Finally, I was interviewed by Erin Huffstetler of About.com Frugal Living for her continuing series of money-themed Q&As. Previous interviewees include Stephanie Nelson (aka “The Coupon Mom”), Chicago Tribune business writer Greg Karp, and Money Crashers Personal Finance contributor David Bakke.
If you’d like to read what she asked and how I answered, check out “An interview with Donna Freedman.” Note: I did the interview the day after the surgery, so if I sound goofier than usual just chalk it up to the pain meds.
Incidentally, the PF blogosphere is a very small world. I’ve interviewed Stephanie Nelson several times and hung out with her at a conference; I’ve had cocktail hour with Greg Karp and the two founders of Money Crashers at the same conference; and last fall I shared a hotel room with Erin Huffstetler at yet another conference.
I supposed you could consider that six degrees of separation. But being frugalists, we’d probably try to get it down to four and a half.