Grateful for these ‘Fockers’

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OMG! It’s the holidays and that means the ‘Fockers’ are coming to town. Yup! The relatives who you love, hate, detest, cherish, enjoy and a bunch of in between. 

‘Uncle Fred’ the drunk who drinks himself into a stupor and hits on every pretty face in the house, including relatives. The wayward cousin’ who sees this as a perfect opportunity to come and ask for a handout because they have ‘fell behind’ in their finances. The wannabee brother’ who is supposed to be living a great life but actually is rooming with his best friend while posting on social media about how great life is with a hashtag #YOLO. Then there is sweet ‘Aunt Del,’ who no matter what is happening in the family, she shows up and show out, bringing the JOY of the holiday spirit with her. Then there is Dad’oh Dad…you worry too much. Yes, it’s costing us a pretty penny to host everyone and yes, they’re all sleeping here and no you can’t ask them to chip in for the cost of food and shelter. (side-eye) …. moving right along to our dear Mama,’ the well-wisher, logical thinker, compassionate soul with the ‘need to know’ what’s going on in everyone’s life including their marital status. Last but not least ‘Nana’…the matriarch of the family, with the wisdom of King Solomon and the heart of Ruth. She sees, knows, understands and tells you exactly how ‘it’ should be. “There’s always something to be grateful for” she’d say. “And it’s best to start with family.” She’s right! We don’t get to choose our family members, but they’re all we’ve got and we have to learn to love them and/or bless and release them. Even when some of them become unfamiliar (pun intended) to us, the holidays are a great opportunity to reconnect and get familiar. (another pun intended).  Sounds familiar?
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What do you think about when you think about money?

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This is one of those “duh” questions that’s so obvious we don’t even consider asking it. But recognizing what you fixate on when your thoughts turn to money will go a long way in revealing why you do what you do.

For me, stories bubble up from the distant past, reminding me that I once spent the equivalent of one month’s rent on the right set of dishware to get in the good graces of my ex-husband’s family. In my 20s, I dreaded negotiating project budgets so much that I would just take whatever was offered and hope to make back the loss in referrals. And then there was the time I found myself in the awkward and expensive position of buying lunch every day at the office so that I could also pick up a sandwich for my boss’s boss who would drop off his order via Post-it note by 11:00 am—because after offering once, he thought I’d be going out anyway. What the heck was that all about?

These unwritten, unquestioned, counterproductive instincts can hold us back financially for as long as we let them. Instead of being our own advocates (and blurting out, “Get your own damn lunch!”), we often run endlessly around the same hardwired habit, wondering why things aren’t getting better.

Where does this come from? The answer can be found in our money stories.

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