Monday, December 8, 2008

Snowy Winter Weather

I had two nice additions to my income this month. This weekend I received the paycheck from part-time temp job #1. This is actually for work that I did in November for a job that will be running through the 20th of this month. The company was kind enough to cut us a check for work done from November through December 1, and will cut another check after the 20th. That isn't usually the way they do things - usually the checks are cut after the job is completed, but they made an exception because of the holiday. The other income boost was from a business checking account I closed. A friend of mine and I occasionally did some business together and we had an account at a local bank. I had been really unhappy with the customer service from the bank and since we had a very small amount in the account, we decided to pull it, split the proceeds, and close it for now. If business picks up, we will look at other options then.

Here where I live, we got quite a bit of snow this weekend. Some came down on Friday, but Saturday was the big day. If any of you reading this know me in person, you know that I am unhappy driving on winter roads. Friday wasn't too bad - I got out of work and drove over to Part-Time Temp Job #1. I found that the outlaying roads were kind of rotten, but the closer I got to the business district, the better they were. So, I took it easy and went slow and didn't really have any problems. I did decide, however, not to go meet friends who were gathering at a bar for a friend's birthday. I would have loved to have gone, but I knew that I would have been constantly thinking about the roads and just not having fun at all.

On Saturday the weather was a lot worse. There was all the snow from the previous night and more and more was piling up on top of it. I went out and shoveled a couple of times - as a landlord I really feel it is important to keep the walks as reasonably clean as I can. I was supposed to do some Mystery Shopping on the other end of town, but I ended up canceling and rescheduling for next weekend. It just was not worth it to me to drive all over town. In fact, a friend of mine came over and picked me up so we could go to a little artist's holiday market that I love to hit each year, and his car was sliding all over the roads - and this was just maybe a mile from my home.

See, here's why I hate driving on bad roads - I hate feeling out of control. I hate that greasy feeling when your tires slip on the ice, or when your car goes slightly off to the side, even though you are holding the steering wheel straight. I have always been that way. Even if I am feeling pretty good and in control, I worry about the guy next to me and behind me - what about them? Will they end up sliding into my car? Perhaps it's because I was in a severe car accident when I was 15 and my cousin's car slid off the road, but for whatever reason, I hate driving in bad weather.

By the time Saturday night rolled around, the weather wasn't any worse and I had to make a decision - I was due down at the part time job at 6:00.

Unlike the Mystery Shopping, this wasn't something I could just cancel. I suppose if it were a true emergency I could, but it would have to be just that - a real emergency. In what I do, if you say you are going to do something, you have to do it. So, my question wasn't whether I should go or not - that was a given - the question was whether I should drive or walk.

I ended up walking. It didn't take long, just under a half hour. The snow at this point was coming in horizontally at me so I was completely whitewashed, but I had a hat, scarf and gloves on, good warm boots and warm winter coat. There was one point where I looked up and thought, "Am I really doing the right thing?" The snow was up to my ankles and the walking was a bit treacherous because not many people had shoveled their walks. Then I realized that I could barely see the traffic next to me, and even the stoplight in front of me was difficult to see with all the blowing snow. Then I realized that even though I was a touch chilly, I felt completely safe. Had I been driving, I might I have been warm, but been white knuckled the entire way.

At the job a couple of exceptionally sweet (and brave) people offered me rides home, but I refused. It turned out that by the time I got out, the snow had settled down and walking back wasn't bad at all. In fact, it was rather peaceful and I got to look at all the pretty Christmas lights on the way back. It got me thinking about how we are all so different in our risk tolerances. I'm a pretty aggressive investor, but a fearful winter driver. Others are just the opposite, and there are many variations in between. What works well for one person, wouldn't work for another. Many people wouldn't do what I am doing financially, but then again, I wouldn't do what they do. I think it comes down to two things - knowing what you want and knowing what you can do. Once you know that, the rest will fall into place.

Photo by: Etolene


Dawn's Financial Evolution said...

Oooh! I hate snow.
I'm thankful it's not snowing where I live. What did you decide?

Dawn said...

Hi Dawn - I ended up walking. Thanks for commenting - you are lucky about the snow.