What I’m Grateful For: Fog
Last night as I was driving home (long trip back from the city) I had to travel over two mountain passes in wintery conditions here in Washington state. While the roads were not too bad – mainly slush and a lot of standing water – at several times during my six-hour drive, the fog rolled in.
It’s interesting how unexpected and shocking a foggy road at night is. You really can’t see it coming, in the dark – your first clue might be oncoming headlights that you can barely see until they are nearly on top of you. Then you are suddenly in a thick bank of fog, your bright headlights obscuring what’s in front of you, nothing but white opacity in front.
The only thing you can do is dim your lights, slow down, and focus on what’s right in front of you. Trying to see any further just disorients you, confusing and distracting you from the only thing that matters – the road, the shoulders, the yellow line, and anything right in front of your car.
Life can be like fog sometimes – unexpected events, tragedies, illness or injury – they can force us to slow down, stop trying to see far into the future, and just pay careful, intense attention to what’s right in front of us, and not pay attention to anything else. Fog reminds me both of how great it is when there IS no fog, and seeing your way is effortless and expansive – but also it reminds me of how important it is to pay single-minded attention to what is immediately at hand, right in front of us, and to eliminate outside distractions and just look at what is, immediate and close, the next right step.
What I’m Reading: Napkin Finance by Tina Hay. This is a GREAT book to give as a gift to a young person, or someone who wants to learn about the basics of finance but feels daunted by the prospect. It covers an amazing amount of ground with ease and simplicity, and a lot of fun. Each short chapter starts off with an infographic on a “napkin” – hence the title. There’s 65 “napkins” in this book, and you’ll learn about everything from compound interest, to the stock market, to student loans and hedge funds. Probably my go-to gift for graduation from now on!
Web Tip: Not really a tip, but a fun fact about emails! Think about how many emails you send everyday. According to Michael Stevens and Vsauce, a 50kb email message uses about 8 BILLION electrons! This number sounds enormous, but if you break it down into weight, one email weights less than a quadrillionth of an ounce. Take that to your next dinner party and wow your friends with your geeky knowledge!
Quote I’m Pondering: “Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” – Benjamin Franklin