What is Your Stress Response?

What do you do when you are worried about money? My guess is that most of us haven’t given this question a lot of thought or ever paid attention to how our behavior changes, if at all.  I happen to think about it a lot.  Between a career spent on finance, down time spent on mindfulness and yoga and many years spent on introspection in the name or personal growth, this question sits at the epicenter of my interests.  In other words, I’ve gotten pretty good (neurotic) at noticing how I feel about money and… [read more]
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Rolling with the Changes

Every year our Jones family tree comes together over the 4th of July holiday week to share hugs and conversation, and erase the physical and emotional distance that comes from living hundreds of miles apart from one another.  We look forward to this trip each year, and as we ‘kids’ have reached our late 40’s to early 60’s, and our children and grandchildren have grown up too, we’ve been great examples of the truism that life is what happens to you while you’re making plans. One sister and her husband are close to retirement age,… [read more]
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Wikipedia, Investing & Fake News

Last week I attended the Morningstar Investment Conference, a gathering of financial advisors, economists, fund managers and others from the world of financial services in Chicago, IL.  The two and a half days are full of breakout sessions around investing, practice management, etc.  I won’t bore you with those details which, while very exciting to us, can be a little dry to most. The keynote speakers, on the other hand, carried broader appeal.  We heard from Michael Lewis, best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, Flash Boys, The Big Short and his most… [read more]
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How Thin is Your Ice?

When something goes wrong, how do you respond? Last Thursday morning I read that opening line in Seth Godin’s blog, and I had to laugh. A few minutes earlier I’d received an email from the associate pastor of my church, letting me know the food and preparations we’d made to serve the congregation between services on Easter Sunday had to be cancelled due to flood damage.  Calls had to be made, food orders cancelled, and apologies delivered to the folks who had already prepared food and rearranged their schedules to help. It was by no… [read more]
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Will it Matter?

A constant stream of breaking news on TV.  Our smartphones pinging us about that news alert, social media mention or new “friend.”  Weather alerts where we live and just about everywhere else on the globe.  Another reason to fret, worry or panic caused by real media reports, fake media reports, Presidential and not-so-presidential tweets. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the headlines, pings, dings and other constant demands for our attention.  At best, we wind up carrying around a low-grade stress headache every day.  At worst, it can cause much larger problems… [read more]
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Kick the Buckets

Commercials are the worst.  I avoid live television altogether except for things like watching Xavier in the Elite Eight, but even then, I still avoid the commercials.  I will literally pause the TV when it goes to a commercial break and sit there until I think enough time has passed that I can fast forward through them. The other day, though, I must have been off my game.  I was watching some show and without realizing it, I got pulled in to the commercials.  One came on for the new, the amazing, the super powerful…Dyson… [read more]
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The Best Gift

My mother turned 80 last week, and we’d planned a weekend birthday party for her in Cincinnati, with family members coming in from out of state to surprise her.  But Thursday night those plans were cancelled when Mom called to say she couldn’t leave Portsmouth, because Lodi was dying and she didn’t want to leave her. Lodi’s parents died when she was five, scattering 8 brothers and sisters among an assortment of relatives who took them in at the beginning of the Great Depression.  Clara and Nell, two of her aunts who never married, raised… [read more]
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To Keep or not to Keep – That is the Question

They say opposites attract.  Well, they were right when it comes to my husband and me.  I am a neat freak and he is a pack rat.  I love clean surfaces and being able to see everything when I look in a closet or cabinet.  He loves saying yes when anyone offers to give us anything.  Old sink – yes, we want it.  A third set of used speakers – send them our way.  Twenty place settings of holiday dishes when I do 90% of my cooking in the microwave – of course!  His collecting… [read more]
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You Can’t Afford Not To

I was recently cleaning my grandmother’s house and I came across her passport.  I flipped through the pages to find the only stamp in the book.  It was from a trip to Ireland she took about five years ago.  It made me smile. I flashed back to us sitting at her dining room table one day eating lunch talking about whether she should take the trip.  Being of Irish descent, she’d wanted to go to Ireland her entire life.  I can’t tell you how many times I heard her mention it over the years.  Yet… [read more]
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Learn From My Mistakes

I was in the women’s locker room at my gym, getting ready for work, when the woman from the front desk rushed in.  “Are you Jeannette Jones?” she asked breathlessly, “There’s a police officer out front to see you.”  I grabbed my gym bag and rushed out after her.  My first thought was our son had been seriously hurt in an accident. As I turned the corner to the lobby, I saw my husband talking to the officer, but he looked disappointed, not frantic, so I relaxed a little.  “Both our cars were broken into. … [read more]
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