We've been pretty fast bloggie friends for, oh, I don't even know how long, so I was really excited with TRS agreed to answer my questions. Need a new and interesting perspective to read? Check out Single Solitary Things!
TRS asked: I’m so impressed with your vow to buy no new clothes all summer (until your birthday money arrived!) That goal is certainly in keeping with your other budgeting skills. Are these mad budgeting skills learned from your parents or has that developed as a part of your marriage? I think it’s a fair assumption that you and the ED created your budget together and agreed to the same goals, any conflicts in spending/saving habits? Related to that question – what is your favorite indulgence? (I’m guessing it has to do with the kitchen.)
Katie answered: My parents never formally taught my sister and I any strict budgeting skills. That being said, there are two financial lessons that my parents instilled in us. The first, we tithe. We donate 10% of all our income to our church...which is how our church builds so many temples, prints so many books of Mormon, response to so many worldwide natural disasters and feeds the homeless/poor. Second...my parents do not use credit cards. I remember when I was about 7 my mom chopped up all their cards and let us put them together like puzzle pieces.
Since getting married the ear doctor and I got serious about item by item, line by line budgeting. We read Dave Ramsey and it established our financial planning/budgeting mindset. I will forever be grateful to the person who gave us his book as a wedding gift. It aligned our thoughts about money before it had a chance to become a wedge between us. Seriously, I think every newlywed should read the book and have an open discussion about money. It's so important to get on the same track with that.
My most frequent indulgence? Probably going out to lunch or buying expensive ingredients at the market (cheese, glorious cheese).
My most desired indulgence? Clothes. Sweet glory I get a slightly unhealthy joy from buying new clothes.
TRS asked: Your career is enviable! From reading you all these years, I sense you are an engineer through and through, down to the activities you enjoyed as a kid. As a person who writes for a living (when someone feels like paying me) I am also envious of your creativity and writing skills. How do you account for being so talented on both sides of your brain?
Katie answered: Well, thanks for the compliment! That's so nice of you!
I think I'd have to credit my parents for that one for getting me in violin lessons. Learning classical music is probably one of the best ways to breed creativity and discipline.
And, well, personally, I don't think that engineering is far at all from any of the other creative activities I enjoy. Without creativity and engineer is reduced to a breathing calculator. Not very handy for making anything new.
TRS asked: You and the ED seem to be so very well matched. Every marriage should be so blessed. So which of the ED’s many wonderful qualities do you love most? Or that you think complements you best/is most unique to your marriage?
Katie answered: You nailed it here. The ear doctor and I are a really great match. When I first met him I was a little blown away by how much we had in common. However, I think it is our differences that really play off each other. He is calm, rational, and deliberate. I can be emotional and kind of random. He is much better at communicating how he feels. I would rather just move on and get over something than talk it out. He is kind of loose with his money and I know where every single penny is.
It's the combination between our strengths and weaknesses that makes it really work.
Katie asked: If you could try any other profession in the world for a month, what would you choose?
TRS answered: Wow… that’s such a timely question – as I find myself facing yet another layoff!
Since it’s so hard to find and keep work in my field (Broadcasting/Journalism) I’ve been pondering that quite a bit lately – I really should think about a new career!
If I could afford another college degree, and if I didn’t hate school so much, I’ve thought about going back for Physical Therapy, or Massage Therapy. Those seem like practical choices with which I could help people and feel fulfilled. Considering how much I LOVE my chiropractor – I’ve entertained thoughts of studying that myself. Staying in the creative field, I’d like to start my own photography business. And these days I’m really intrigued by graphics design all the way down to the beautiful art of letterpress.
Your question however suggests a realm of fantasy – maybe something that isn’t as practical, not so attainable. In my younger years I wanted very badly to be a performer of some sort – but I have no musical talent and the fact that I’m not drop-dead gorgeous cut my acting career short. (I scored the comic relief roles in our High School plays – wise cracking maid, that sort of thing.) I’ve always secretly wanted to be an actress… not for fame, but because it seems like such a great way to try on many hats. One acting job might allow me to be a doctor, another – the owner of some darling shop in Seattle or San Francisco – or an FBI agent, a toll booth operator. What a great way to try a little bit of everything!! But I’d have to do it for more than a month I think!
Katie asked: Being a religious person yourself, do you find yourself attracted (not romantically) to other people more when you find out that they are themselves a practicing participant in another faith?
TRS answered: I do find faith intriguing so I am interested in other religions’ view on things. Some people might view it otherwise, but I think I’m pretty open-minded and accepting of everyone. I have two friends who are Atheist and Jewish, respectively. We quickly realized that we are the real-life version of that standard vaudeville joke… “An Atheist, a Catholic and a Jew walk into a bar…” So we call our outings together ‘joke night’. What’s interesting is, every time we get together to catch up, our conversations always land on faith at some point in the evening. We tease one another, we challenge each other and we enlighten one another as well. We are always respectful of the other’s beliefs while expressing our own. We have much more in common than not.
I try to treat everyone that same way – respecting what they believe by learning more about it.
You are right, I am more interested in people of faith than in those who view faith as superstition, who think God is a scapegoat and that the bible is a fairy tale. Not that I dismiss those people, but typically, I just don’t find as much in common with them. My faith defines everything that I know is right and true and meaningful in this world. So it stands to reason that I wouldn’t be able to relate to someone who dismisses faith altogether – or them to me. I recognize that I could do better to work on my evangelism, but I just don’t find that to be my style.
Alternatively, my Atheist friend is intrigued by faith, and has actually studied more about ALL religions than the most schooled Christian. With him, I can have intelligent conversations about faith and discuss the areas where we conflict in opinion. We both learn something, and that’s a beautiful thing.
I feel so sorry for people who weren’t brought up in the faith of God. I think they are really missing out. I’m annoyed most by people who think they are enlightened because they DON’T believe. Dated some of those – and now I only date Catholics!
Katie asked: Do you have anything you've kept from your own childhood that you intend to give to your own children one day? What is it? Why did you keep it?
TRS asked: Ooh, that’s almost a sore spot, because I saved everything – and still no kids at age 39! My sister used to call me a pack rat. I intended to save clothes – special outfits, (my Winnie the Pooh dress printed with the map of Hundred Acre Woods) all my Fisher Price Little People (we had the castle, the parking garage, and the house boat), my Barbies, my Tree Tots Family Tree House! I really think the toys and accessories that I had growing up were the best. High quality… well-made and unique. Those dippy-looking new Fisher Price Little People bug me. I don’t know of anyone who choked on the old ones!
I don’t recalling having any one toy that was extra special to me. I was a sort of utilitarian kid – I’ve always appreciated usefulness. The one thing I always hoped to hand down to my children one day, was my double-sided chalk board easel. It really was wonderful. Height adjustable… two big blue chalkboards (when you’re little that much free space seemed HUGE!), sturdy wood construction sporting two shelves spanning the base of the easel to hold paper, paints, chalk, and all my other art and creative supplies! It came with huge metal clips to attach paper for painting. I loved it! I’m sure my mom would tell you I spent hours and hours before my chalkboards – drawing, painting, and pretending.
Even when I was nine or ten years old, I formulated a plan to pass it down to my kids. (as I always expected to have some) When I outgrew it, my parents put it into storage in one of the outbuildings on our farm. That building has since been torn down – and my older brother (who now runs the farm) is ruthless about getting rid of ‘junk’ - I’ve never dared ask what happened to it.