Daily Archives: June 10, 2015

Figuring out the Summer with Kepler


Kepler is currently scheduled to attend a total of 12 half-days of “Extended School Year,” which is a service provided by the school system to keep him in the routine of school, as well as to provide extra academic support for him over the summer. Three of the days will be transition days to the new school (moving up from Primary to Elementary) in August. Those three days will be quite good for him to have.

As for the rest of the days, I’m so torn. I deeply appreciate the services we receive through the school system, but honestly and truly, I want to have this summer with him. We have been working together on his academics and this may be the first time I have ever been so completely enjoying the process with him. I have found a few online resources that he particularly enjoys and I know we can gain momentum by working together every day. If I send him to the ESY classes, we will not be able to get much done on two of the three days each week.

I suppose part of my situation is fear. Somehow I have the idea that if you don’t take advantage of services, they tend to go away. Ultimately, I know there are federal guidelines and probably state and board of education guidelines as well that dictate how services are administered, but I can’t imagine how I would go about finding how which ones of those guidelines affect us. If you read my post yesterday about the bank, maybe you can appreciate that if I find online banking to be tricky to keep up with, understanding the implications and applications of a federal bill might be rather intimidating.

Ever since I heard Alison Armstrong speak about the Queen’s Code, I’ve had a completely different outlook about my life; my responsibilities, my relationships, my possibilities. I find this new outlook to be energizing where I previously experienced these same things as enervating.

James Altucher wrote a recent post called “I Give myself Permission.” James has been a go-to read for me for a couple of years now. After reading that post, and talking through the possibilities with my sister, I have decided that I’m giving myself permission to trust myself in my choice to work with Kepler at home this summer, and have fun going to so many of the fun places in our city. Places where we can walk in nature, swim, see animals, create, and enjoy each day together.

I’m giving myself permission to trust that the resources I need will be there, as they always have been, and permission to say no when I want to, and to say yes when I want to. I am giving myself permission to try this without any guarantees that it is going to turn out any particular way.

I’m giving myself permission to say yes to this little boy throwing his arms around my neck just because. Kisses on my cheek from him throughout the day. Singing songs to him and exploring with him. Giving him my undivided attention as we learn by doing. Yep, my dear school system, you can have him back in two months, but these two months? They’re mine and Kepler’s.   Have a nice summer.

When You’re Eatin’ that Humble Pie

Stephen Covey first (?) wrote about a Circle of Concern and a Circle of Influence. My Circle of Influence is those things that I am aware of that I can have some impact on (my choices, how i use my time). My Circle of Concern is things that I pay attention to that I most likely cannot influence (the news, the weather.). However, I have been using Circle of Concern for everything that I need to think about, confusing “concern” with “responsibility.”

As I’ve always enjoyed math, and closure, and solving puzzles, I have been the natural numbers person on our team. I suppose it is somewhat true that I have an aptitude for numbers. But. I made a big mistake. And I didn’t realize it until yesterday.

We opened a business credit card account in January, whereupon I expected the account to appear on my online banking. Having dealt with online banking for many years, and having done away with paper statements years ago, I rely solely on my computer for the visual reminders. The new account did not appear online, nor did I receive a electronic statement. Finally, the new account came to my awareness, and I immediately went into the bank to inquire. By now, the payment was a few days past due. I paid the bill and asked that the late fee be reversed. It was. The account was added to my online banking.

The next month, I noticed that the interest rate had increased from 0% to 29.99%, which just seems like highway robbery. These conditions were no doubt explained in the account paperwork, but I wouldn’t have cared even if I knew. I pay on time.

Since the bank never notified me of the payment due date, the excessive interest rate seemed even more outrageous and unfair. Yesterday, I met with two of the bank managers and explained my situation. Like Demi Moore in A Few Good Men, strenuously object[ed]. Normally very calm, I allowed some emotion and intensity into my voice as we spoke. The managers agreed to escalate the situation and see what could be done.

Later, one of the bank managers called to tell me that the all statements for the credit card account had been mailed to our  P.O. box. I don’t remember receiving it, but that doesn’t mean anything. I rely completely on the visual reminder of the online banking to keep me on task.

Today, I realized I was mistaken in blaming the bank. It was I who was depending on a method of communication that didn’t happen and ignoring a less preferred means of communication that did happen.

Well, I figured if I could justify ranting and raving about “their” mistake, I could certainly justify taking time to apologize. Which I did. Besides apologizing and owning my mistake. I also said they didn’t have to escalate it, but they said they were still going to see what could be done.

Do you remember when banking was simple? One had to drive to the bank and talk to a human for each transaction. One kept a written account of one’s transactions, and reconciled them monthly, sometimes spending a good amount of time trying to find the elusive $6.23. Sure, online banking does simplify some aspects, but if that’s the case, how ironic that my experience with my bank is so darn complicated. There are lots of federal policies about banking that seem to make a whole lot of money for the banking industry, which feels a bit like the rich devising lots of ways to take from the little people. (Maybe another [mis]perception I might explore.)

Be that as it may, and as much as I really don’t like to learn expensive lessons, I suppose, as Robert Frost wrote in A Servant to Servants, the best way out of this is through.

Sigh. Good thing I like pie.