By Ken DeLaat
“People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.”- Marie Kondo
Being admittedly a bit of a pack rat (nicer name for hoarder despite the rodent reference) my area of the house known as the office (and the heartbeat of N3 World Headquarters) has collected a significant amount of memorabilia, a ton of papers, folders, books, and assorted flash drives cds with no identification, as well as things like telescopes (3), tool sets (4) with things like screwdrivers and wrenches all brand new and still in their cases (presents from people who either don’t know me or know me well and find humor in the gesture), some chaotically categorized vintage baseball cards, a flag, a mannequin and other items too numerous to list.
It’s not the well placed disarray like the office of Rich Wheater where one begins to feel a bit of a sense of order in the disorder. Like a Picasso that begins to make more sense the longer you look at it.
No, this one is an outright omnishambles. A level of disorganization so thorough that it could nearly be labeled an art form.
Do I love it? No. Not always. It works for me until confronted with the need to amp up organizational skills to a new level and lately this need has seemed to be in waxing mode.
Has anything been done to change it?
Oh, there’s been some weak chatter to LSC Lil about ‘getting to it soon’ but it falls on deaf ears since that phrase ranks with a parent’s ‘maybe’ in the realm of possible follow through.
Thus far? A half hearted peek through the occasional box of stuff with a tossaway or two. Nothing of significance.
Then Marie came into our lives.
Lil had long planned to go through the house soon after her retirement and once we returned from a bit of a celebratory vaca, she embarked on the task like the nurse she has always been, with perseverance, resilience and a steadfast sense of duty.
Then she heard about Marie and began watching the series ‘just to get some hints’.
If you’ve heard anything about Marie Kondo who has seemed to ignite a minimalist craze or maybe read the column by our Ms. Wirts a while back you know that one of her concepts is to make a decision to keep or pitch based on whether or not the item sparks joy, correct?
We apparently had a bit of joyless stuff lying about since a mountain of material has been purged or put aside for what could be our part of the mother of all garage sale seasons given the immense popularity of Ms. Kondo.
As far as the office?
I’ve agreed to incorporate some of the methodology of decluttering.
It seems there are a lot of things that bring me joy.
On the desk one finds old toys scattered about along with a baseball or two, a plastic flute, a couple of small board games, a hat and a can of pink salmon (gift from my sister- a long story), among a sea of other items. They each help to lighten my mood when sitting with a bad case of writer's block. I could likely get rid of the salmon but according to the date on the can it’s still good until 2020 and each baseball has a particular feel when being gripped and I like both. And the flute? Well, one should never be far from some semblance of music making capability. The games I discovered can be played alone if necessary, though some are more challenging than others, and ...well….
You see what I mean?
Also, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand books lying about down here. Though I will never, ever, ever, read most of them and know for a fact deep in my heart that I will not read them, I will endure significant personal dissension when attempting to expurgate them from my reach and will find myself leafing through a couple of pages as if that alone was justification for keeping it.
And so the task at hand over the next few weeks will be slim down the office enough to make it manageable (and possibly even find sitting room for the occasional guest).
And it’s all because of Marie.
As for Lil?
The Marie thing is working for her. She has whittled down kitchen supplies, redone the filing system, torn through cabinets finding long forgotten and heretofore unused items that will be moving on and has progressed toward the clothes laden closet we share.
I only hope that during those recent long stares she casts in my direction she concludes that I still spark some joy in her life.
Gerber Federal Credit Union Awards Annual Scholarships
FREMONT- Gerber Federal Credit Union awarded a total of $2,750 as a result of its Annual Essay Scholarship program. Entrants were asked to explain “What do you think is the largest risk to financial health for teens and young adults today? What steps should be taken to reduce this risk?” in 300-500 words. Entries were accepted from Gerber Federal Credit Union members currently attending their senior year of high school and planning to attend an accredited technical school, community college, trade school, four-year accredited college or university, or an apprentice program.
Brayden Mumper of Newaygo is the First Place winner and was awarded $1,750. His essay will be published at www.gerberfcu.com.
Aubrie Kibart from Fremont is the Second Place winner and was awarded $750 and Jade Murray from Grant, MI is the Third Place Winner and was awarded $250.
“Financial literacy is a key determinant of success in today’s society. Gerber FCU is committed to providing excellent resources and opportunities to learn for all of its members, no matter where they might be on their life’s journey,” said John Buckley, President/CEO of Gerber Federal Credit Union.
Essays were submitted by email and mail. Our panel of judges included 4 educators from various school districts and a member of management at a local hospital. Judges evaluated the essays on Topical Relevance and Quality of Writing after all identifying information was removed.
Here is the winning essay by Mr. Mumper:
Debt is something that many teens and young adults are facing. As young adults start to make the transition from high school to college, they think that they have to take out loans of more than they need to be able to pay for college, which is not the case. There are many different opportunities to help pay for college that you can start in high school.
Step One: Scholarships are the best way to pay for college. Scholarships are based on academic achievements one has accomplished while in high school. Many scholarships you will have to write an essay to apply for whichever scholarship you are applying for such as, Fremont Area Foundation, Local School, and GPA and SAT scholarships. There are many different scholarships one could apply for. If you receive a scholarship, you do not have to pay the amount given to you, as it is an award to you. I have applied for as many scholarships as I possibly can: local, private, state and national wide.
Step Two: Working is another way one could save up for money and avoid debt. You will learn many skills while working at a young age such as establishing a work ethic, being disciplined, responsible and reliable. While working, you will be able to make a savings account at a local bank to start saving for college. This is an amazing way someone could become close with members at Gerber as you may have questions and concerns about managing your money. At age thirteen, I started as a dishwasher at a hometown restaurant River Stop Cafe. After working at the cafe, I got a job at our local Newaygo Brewing Company as a cook. I then moved to Little Caesars and worked there as a crew member. Since June of 2018, I have worked at McDonald’s.
Step Three: Creating a financial plan is very important when exiting high school. With a financial plan you will figure out your goals, money situations, and how to building your security. Once you start working a budget is necessary to keep things organized. For example. I have made a plan on how much money goes into my savings for the future and I plan out the days I need to pay my bills.
My personal experience with my local Gerber Federal Credit Union has been absolutely amazing. I am one to always plan ahead, which makes this transition from high school to college an anxious time for me. I am one to get ahead of the game with my college applications, filling out my FAFSA and sitting down with a Gerber Federal member to manage my future loan’s with Gerber. After sitting down with the financial Service Representative Katie, I am more than confident about taking out loans in the future through Gerber. Katie listened to all of my questions. During our meeting she helped me by researching different opportunities that Gerber could offer to me. She provided me with paperwork to fill out with my parents to get a loan and a very helpful flyer about the benefits of credit cards. After my meeting with Katie I was even more confident about working with Gerber throughout my future.
With all of these steps, my drive, and planning skills, I hope to avoid the crushing debts that are plaguing the modern day of young adults.
By Sen. Jon Bumstead
Work began in the Legislature as soon as my new colleagues and I were sworn into office. The busiest times of the budget season remain ahead of us, and auto insurance rates are a top priority, along with countless other issues affecting the state.
Every year around this time, the Legislature breaks for an in-district work period. This is a time when legislators head back home and hold meetings with residents, business leaders and local government officials regarding recent business in Lansing.
The first in-district period has come and gone, and I had several opportunities to meet with folks back home and learn more about the 34th Senate District. I took time to meet with residents who wished to receive a legislative update, discuss their concerns about state government or share their suggestions about how we can make our state better.
My staff and I also had the opportunity to spend time touring facilities and meeting with community leaders. We had the chance to tour a wide range of places, including the Earnest Brooks Correctional Facility; the new Mercy Health Tower; Swanson Pickle Company; Lake View Lofts; Pigeon Hill Brewery; and Structural Concepts Corporation. These were all great opportunities, especially for my staff, to learn more about the people and the communities that we serve.
It was a pleasure meeting with folks and participating in the various tours. I am here to represent you and bring your perspective, concerns and ideas to Lansing. The most valuable information I receive is from people in the real world, who work hard every day.
If I missed you during this time, I am hosting office hours throughout the district that are scheduled from now through the month of June. Please visit my website for details. Click “Office Hours” under the “Resources” tab. If you are unable to make it to listed dates and times, please feel free to contact my office to set up an appointment. You can reach me at SenJBumstead@senate.michigan.gov or call 517-373-1635.
Now that the in-district period has ended, it’s time to get back to work in Lansing and focus on passing a responsible budget that funds our state’s most crucial programs and services. I will continue working with my colleagues to get another budget approved ahead of schedule.
Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, represents the 34th state Senate District, which includes Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana counties.
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