I’m Mr. Groovy and I have a fabulous life. Did you know that I’ve been on Radical Personal Finance and Stacking Benjamins? Did you know that I’ve been featured on Rockstar Finance so many times I’ve lost count? [Mrs. Groovy: I haven’t. Ten times between the two of us.] Oh, and did I forget to mention that Freedom Is Groovy had over 50K visitors last month?
Yes, things are wonderful in Groovyland—at least superficially, anyway. After all, Mrs. Groovy and I have been blogging for almost two years now and this website has generated a grand total of $0.00 for all of our efforts.
The digital era has made us all very adept at promoting what’s right in our lives. And that’s perfectly understandable. What earthly good would come of going on Facebook to announce that you lost the mortgage payment at the race track, your son blew the SAT, and your spouse got a DWI?
And, yet, portraying a non-stop sanitized version of yourself in the digital world doesn’t seem right either. We’re all human, after all. We do screw up.
One of the things I admire most about personal finance bloggers is that they do broadcast their setbacks and failures. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops. Savings goals are missed. Credit card bills aren’t paid in full every month. And work gets in the way of exercise and home-cooked meals.
Well, in keeping with this fine PF blogging tradition, I’ve decided to get real. It’s time to remind myself and my readers that I’m not all that, that I don’t have everything figured out. Yes, I’m just as screwed up as everyone else is, perhaps even more so.
Okay, groovy freedomists, let the self-flagellation begin.
The Not So Groovy Mr. Groovy
I have a weird body. My upper body responds very well to bodyweight exercises (push ups, pull ups, muscle ups, etc.). My lower body, however, doesn’t. No matter how many air squats or split squats I do, I still have no ass and bird legs. Unless I start doing dead lifts with some serious weight, I will forever resemble Muscle Duck from Looney Tunes fame. [Mrs. Groovy: As long as you’re bigger than me, you’re good.]
I don’t photograph well. That’s partly why you only know me as a purple-colored cat. I have a misshapen head and I’m balding. I have nice blue eyes, though. [Mrs Groovy: That’s dreamy baby blue eyes.]
I haven’t been a good friend lately. A friend from my former job called me three weeks ago and I haven’t returned his phone call. [Mrs. Groovy: But you texted him.] I also haven’t spoken to my four really good childhood buddies in months. And I don’t know why. I keep telling myself that I’ll make those phone calls “tomorrow,” but I never do. [Mrs. Groovy: They don’t call you either. But you can do better.]
I also haven’t been a good nephew as well. My great aunt is in her mid-90s and is starting to wind down. She was my grandmother’s best friend and she always made me these fantastic lemon meringue pies. A truly wonderful person. But for some reason I haven’t spoken to her in nearly a year. And I feel like utter crap about that. [Mrs. Groovy: We’ll change that this weekend and call her. Don’t forget about that ten-pound Italian cheese cake she baked for us to take home last time we saw her.]
My driving skills have seriously deteriorated. The glare at night is hard to bear and I’m becoming a menace in parking lots. Mrs. Groovy has saved me from countless accidents. [Mrs. Groovy: Being that I don’t drive, the least I can do is be an excellent co-pilot.]
I still snap at Mrs. Groovy when I’m not feeling well or I’m frustrated. I’m much better at controlling my emotions than I was earlier in my marriage. But I still need to work on this. Mrs. Groovy is the best thing that ever happened to me and she deserves better. [Mrs. Groovy: At least you don’t shout and curse like I do. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me too, baby.]
I gave up TV but now I watch way too much YouTube. And to make matters worse, I’m watching some really weird stuff. Take a look at the shirtless fellow below. He’s probably my favorite YouTube personality right now and it’s freaking Mrs. Groovy out. [Mrs. Groovy: I’m speechless.]
I have at least a half dozen home-improvement projects that I have failed to make any progress on during the last six months. Perhaps this weekend I’ll finally fix that leaky faucet in my bathroom. Or perhaps I’ll just do what I’ve been doing every weekend for months; I’ll just empty that little Tupperware bowl I placed under the leak. [Mrs. Groovy: Maybe you can start with something simpler like removing all the bird crap from our mailbox?]
Starting January 1st, I promised myself I would write at least 200 words a day on an ebook I want to publish, The Groovy Guide to Personal Finance. Well to date, I have about 10 pages of incoherent scribblings. Consider this 2017 goal an epic fail. [Mrs. Groovy: If you cut back on that YouTube sh*t you’ll get a lot more writing done.]
And, finally, I have another epic fail to share. Last month I boldly announced on Stacking Benjamins that I would be introducing a weekly vlog on our website of me picking up litter and sharing my warped thoughts on personal finance. It’s a great idea and should be a lot of fun—especially if I can get a guest blogger every now and then to join me on my litter-picking excursions (hello Claudia, Garrett, Fritz, and Ms Montana). But after my first attempt to record my litter-picking ended in utter failure (damn, my lame smartphone), I haven’t bothered to make a second attempt. And for the life of me, I don’t know why. Pathetic. [Mrs. Groovy: Cut yourself some slack. You’ve had a rotten cold for almost three weeks and before that it rained for ten days.]
Thomas Jefferson once remarked that “the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” That’s a great quote, and a great reminder of the tenuous nature of freedom. It’s also a great template for expressing the tenuous nature of virtue. Here’s my attempt.
“The price of being a good person is eternal willingness to recognize your flaws and do your best to fix them.”
Okay, groovy freedomists, that’s all I got. What say you? Is it important in our hyper-connected world to keep it real every now and then and broadcast our shortcomings? Will doing so make us more grounded? Will doing so help our audience? Or is any exercise in humility a colossal exercise in futility? Let me know what you think when you get a chance. Grease for peace.