Financial Intimacy

During the recent Christmas break I took the week off and couldn’t get myself to write a December blog because I slowing down.  The Sandy Hook massacre merited reference, but I felt stunned into silence. Kathleen Parker, a syndicated columnist, spoke my heart and mind in the column “Silence only Appropriate Response”

We spent the week doing what many people do at this time of year – getting together with family and friends and going to movies. We’re blessed to have our sons and their families here in Chicago and Naperville so we had our Chanukah and two birthdays in the space of a month.

At home I silently also worked on my cartoon collection gleaned from the newspapers.  That collection of cartoons on individual and couples counseling, patients, male-female relationships, men and our foibles, marriage, food and weight, stress, anger and spirituality took hours of my time given that I had 3 years worth of cartoons to catalogue.  It’s my thing, an outgrowth of something I’ve been doing since I was a kid.  I do appreciate the humor of absurdity and caricature which for me has its own spiritual perspective on life. The silence of doing this is good for my heart.

When I wasn’t in silent tenseness about the depressing news or enjoying family and friends over the holidays, I was my “busy beaver” self, paying attention to our year-end finances.  The same attention I pay to cartoons I pay to our finances (although luckily our financial picture is not as absurd as the cartoons that I collect).  This all leads to discussions with Raye about where we’ve been and where we are going in our finances and life goals.  Do you pay attention to where you’ve been and where you are going financially in some regularized manner and, if coupled, with your partner?  If not, perhaps you should consider how to increase financial security and intimacy with your partner.  Yes, “financial intimacy.”  Raye and I find it draws us closer, even when we have some tough discussions about what we want for ourselves in the coming years.

We manage a lot in our lives as you surely do.  We manage our finances, our home, our health, our relationships and psyches, our storage of “stuff “and information, and our time. We strive to simplify our lives and pay attention to what is important.  It pays to take time to find the humor in our private human comedy. God gave us this gift to do so, so open it up regularly in 2013.

In the spirit of lightness in this human world of self-importance and tragedy here are two quotes that stood out for me during my recent time away from practice. One is from that famous philosopher “Anon” which I’m currently keeping on my desk to deflate my ego:

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

The other is from the comedian, Lilly Tomlin, who said:

I try to be cynical, but it’s hard to keep up.