1) It is REALLY expensive to send a fax from Kinkos. It is like a buck a page, on top of the $1.50 charge just to send their cover page. The public library is a much better option.
2) People still send faxes. I know! It was shocking to me too! I couldn’t believe the unemployment office wouldn’t allow me to send a pdf of the documents they requested, doesn’t that seem easier and more secure? Apparently not.
3) You don’t have to wear a suit and tie to be productive. I was probably the first and last person to actually wear a suit and tie in Portland. I have been 10 times more productive since the extinction of my past breed; New York, take note.
4) Your expenses don’t care if your paycheck disappears. Yep, part of me hoped that once my paychecks dissolved, all of the bills and life’s responsibilities would just disappear with it. No such luck. But if any of you have found a way to make this happen, please send an email.
5) People will surprise you in ways you never expected. Whether it was thoughtful cards, job possibilities, or even buying me an ice cold beer, the kindness of friends and strangers (or new friends rather) has been astonishing. I only hope I can be as good to others, as they have been to me over the past month.
6) People view you as being on vacation, even if you’re not. Regardless of the fact that I’m waking up earlier than I did before I started working for myself, increasing my productivity 10 fold, and finally being passionate about the projects I am working on, a lot of people still just view it as a glorified vacation. Until I have the money to backup my efforts, to most what I am doing is pretty meaningless.
7) I want to take a vacation. Keeping yourself on task day in and day out is a very hard thing. Especially when it is just as easy to flip on the tv and play Super Mario 3 all day in my sweats, it takes some extra motivation to ensure that doesn’t happen. Hopefully Mario has never been to Thailand.
8) Motivating myself to go to the gym hasn’t gotten any easier. I thought for sure that having 7 full days in a week would make it easier to hit the weights most days. Ha! What was I thinking?
9) Everyone has their own story. There is no correct way to do anything. Everyone has done something different to get where they are, and if you want to get where you are going, you will have to take your own path. The more creative you are and the more fun you have doing it, the better.
10) Joey Harrington lives in my neighborhood and takes his baby for a walk every morning at 8am. Today was the third day in a row our paths have crossed.
11) The health care system in the United States really is as screwed up as they are saying it is.
12) Cars are WAY more expensive than you think they are. Be VERY careful before purchasing one.
13) Time management skills are essential. I am still working on this one. Who would have thought that having too much time could be detrimental to productivity?
14) Powell’s Books is big. REALLY BIG. If you are visiting Portland, check it out.
15) I miss happy hour. I used to go to happy hour a lot. Probably a lot more often than I should have. And now that I’m being thrifty, I’m not gonna lie, I miss it! Sure I still go from time to time, but just because there are a lot benefits to being cheap, doesn’t mean it isn’t without its drawbacks (see #19).
16) Travel immunizations are EXPENSIVE! 500 bucks for Japanese Encephalitis?? Seriously does anyone even know what that is?
17) Opportunities come when you least expect it. Point in case: I’m Moving to Thailand.
18) Using coupons actually is cool. Between Five Dollar Dinners and the weekly coupons at Safeway, not only have I become a much better chef, but I have saved a lot of money too!
19) Girlfriends hate it when you are cheap and eat nothing but Five Dollar Dinners.
20) You can live on a lot less than you think. Many of those expenses that used to be “essential” definitely now fall into the “excess” category.