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February Wrap up

March 20, 2022

Money & Net worth

Money is not currently very interesting to me. We have not reached FI, but I still feel like we’ve “won” or mastered this area of life, at least to a certain point. The smaller decisions we make each day don’t seem to have much impact on the overall picture. Some of the bigger picture decisions we make do, but I feel like we are making good enough decisions. (Then again, we don’t know what we don’t know…)

We’ve been using Bentocart to supplement meal planning. I find the variety and flavors and value superior to the “prepared food box” we survived on for much of the pandemic, but still not as much variety and value as home cooking. We have full-time childcare and flexible (but busy) jobs, so this is a luxury that we’ll phase out soon here. Still, it really helped when my mental health was struggling during the last surge.

COVID-19

We made it through the big spike of Omicron still without being infected. I am sort of surprised – but we actually were able to mostly isolate during the holidays when it was ramping up the most. Sounds like a second wave might get us yet.

The case numbers are finally below my threshold for not having anxiety (this is ~10 per 100k). Still, we haven’t changed much. I’ve gone into work more, including meetings with ~10+ people (all masked in high quality masks). Now, mask mandates are dropped at work. It is stressful to try to assess changing risk. For me, it is easiest to just keep masking indoors, rather than to do the risk analysis.

I want to avoid (or at least delay as long as possible) becoming infected with COVID. Also, the quarantines and childcare impacts are still significant, even if we are lucky to get minor illnesses without long covid symptoms. I’d really like to be offered the <5 vaccine before we increase our risk levels. Though LO is low risk, knowing that she has the maximum protection would be a big comfort. Admittedly, I’m starting to bend on this point a bit, mentally preparing myself for the possibility that kids vaccines are further away than I’m hoping they are. I’m considering whether we could take her on a flight later this year – but it is really hard to commit. If I knew case levels would be low, I could commit. She is now old enough to wear high quality masks, but still.

I took some time this month to reflect on the past 2 years, spurred by some March 2020 versus March 2022 photos of kids shared. LO was still a baby/toddler with just a few words in March 20202, and now she is a full blown kid. She is the clearest representation of time during the pandemic, when the linearity of time has gotten very confused more generally. As difficult as the decision was at the time, I feel so grateful that LO was able to resume daycare in summer 2020. (This is also easy to say in retrospect, with the knowledge that the choice didn’t lead to COVID infections in our family.) COVID has impacted her life, but not so significantly. She’s had that stability and that social experience. She had both of her parents, and even some visits with family. The fact that she hasn’t been to Target or a grocery store or indoor dining since she was a baby really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Work

We are in a busy season, and I am back to normal levels of productivity and focus and ability. December and January were terrible, and I’m dealing with the aftermath now by trying to play catch up.

The issue of a raise and promotion has been a thorn in my side for about 6 months now (or 2+ years, really). I broached this with my manager last year, and the response was “Yes! In fact we should consider moving you two levels up.” But my management has been stalled by bureaucracy, and it just seems like no headway is being made, despite their efforts. I see it with a few coworkers too, so it isn’t personal – but it is really frustrating. I started browsing other jobs out there to see if it would be worth job shopping over. In the end, probably not. My commute, autonomy, benefits, and (most importantly) how much I enjoy this job, would be extremely hard to give up. No matter the salary differential. On the other hand, I’m going to keep my eyes open here, while also waiting for progress. Getting an outside offer might cut through some bureaucracy, but there is no reason or way to pursue this I’m not willing to take it.

Family

We are hanging in there. LO is doing really well. When she switched classrooms last fall, she went through an adjustment period. She now seems much more confident in herself, unafraid of new situations, and she really likes school. T has been teaching in person again and is doing OK. We have a weekend getaway planned soon. My parents are on their RV trip, and are heading our way in a few weeks. As case rates in Europe ramp up, I’m a bit worried about us spreading COVID to them, but I think we can figure out how to balance risk with benefits.

I’m going to post this now since March is almost over, and this has been in drafts for a couple of weeks. Maybe next month I will have time to do a better wrap up!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    March 23, 2022 5:56 am

    I think it is worth re-opening the raise point in writing with a live follow up along the line of “seems like a lot of job opportunities out there with higher comp”. It is well know that you need to be a squeaky wheel on these things and women are more likely to not push. You dont have to look that seriously but I have financial regrets about not looking more when my kids were young and having complacency impact my long term comp and overall earnings. Nothing to lose right?

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