By Lisa Regala
I missed a deadline over here, and yeesh, is that hard for me to reconcile. I pride myself on being as organized as possible, and on top of as much as I can be. I have to if there’s going to be any possibility of getting everything done that I need and want to in a given day. I’m OK with that, and it’s how I prefer to work like this, and usually it works. But everybody’s human, and sometimes I screw up. It’s spring and there’s more to do with the garden, lawn, house, work, and sports than I had anticipated this year. My husband on the other hand, is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, piles instead of files, disorganized ball of spontaneity. And yeah, this occasionally makes things difficult in our marriage, but it also helps us complement each other pretty darn well.
Lately, we’ve been a great complement to each other as it seems like things outside of our house go crazy. External demands on our time at the last minute, other people forgetting about deadlines and needing help, the fun type of thing that goes along with being a part of a group of people larger than your household. The nice thing is that we’ve both been learning and growing in the process, and improving our respective weak points. One place where this is very true is budgeting. There’s plenty of talk of budgeting in the news right now, and much of it effects people we know and love. The sequester, cuts to funding, possibly more cuts coming, and all that jazz really is weighing on friends who work on projects funded by federal money, from research to education to public service.
What seems to keep popping up through much of this talk is that 1) writing and following a budget, along with plain old financial literacy, is not as common sense as I had thought, and 2) unintended consequences, indirect effects, and “the butterfly effect” are all too often overlooked. I don’t know what the answers to any of the fiscal issues are, and I don’t know how to solve any of the world’s problems, but I have faith that in a relationship- including our relationships with each other, with society, and with our government- if we work together, talk together, and respect each other, we can find a solution and grow as a nation from this challenge. It’s what people do, face difficulties and grow in the process.