Think and grow rich in 2023

Merry Christmas friends! I hope you had a wonderful 2022. I started the year reading “Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People.” I’d be more effective by now if I hadn’t misplaced it in June.

I probably should have been reading “Think and Grow Rich” instead anyway. It was an expensive year for my husband and me. Please send money. Kidding! Sort of.

For one thing, we practically got a new basement. We’d ordered paint and carpet when we decided, “Heck, let’s replace the furnace and water heater, too”. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

We had to move everything out of the basement before the carpet layers came and we decided it would be the perfect time to downsize. We didn’t, but we still think it would have been the perfect time to do it.

I dusted everything though, some of it for the first time since we moved in. I’ll probably dust more if we replace our carpet more often. And maybe we can afford to if I read “Think and Grow Rich” and don’t lose the book before I finish it.

As it is we won’t be able to afford anything for a long time because of what happened next. A few nights after the carpet was installed, I woke up freezing. Our furnace was out cold and it was January. Why do these things always happen during the coldest time of the year? Maybe because we don’t use our furnace during the warmest time of the year.

A better question is why do they always happen on a weekend when the service charge is higher? I couldn’t wait until Monday for repairs. I’m cold even when the furnace is working. As I type this, it’s 70 degrees in my house and I’m wearing three layers and gloves with the tips of the fingers cut off. I look like Bob Cratchit before Scrooge changed his ways.

A service person interrupted his weekend plans to patch up our furnace but he warned us there was a new one in our future. We didn’t realize the future would arrive so soon. We spent Valentine’s Day with two furnace installers at my version of a housewarming party.

Unfortunately while removing the old furnace, they discovered our water heater was leaking. When it comes to Valentine’s gifts, nothing beats a furnace, except maybe a water heater.

If that weren’t bad enough, my laptop and cellphone both died this year, maybe because the gods of commerce noticed we still had a few dollars left. Or maybe because I’ve had them both since the dawn of time. My phone wasn’t a flip phone, but there’ve been seven versions since I got it. And my laptop weighed about 80 pounds. They don’t make them like that anymore. Thank goodness.

I keep electronics until death do us part because I’m fiscally responsible and environmentally conscious. Also, because the thought of transferring data from an old device to a new one scares me even more than transferring funds to an HVAC company.

I was especially nervous about it because, out of frustration, I’d recently used a swearword for a password. Don’t judge me. I have more than a hundred passwords already and I’m running out of ideas. But when the computer technician asked me for it, my password almost got me and my new computer tossed out of the store.

Well, friends, that’s all I have to report. When you get a new laptop, a new cellphone and practically a new basement you can’t expect to go on a lot of expensive vacations. 

On the bright side I eventually found and finished reading “Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People.” I’m hoping it takes effect soon. And I’m planning on reading “Think and Grow Rich” soon so my Christmas letter should be more interesting next year.

Dorothy Rosby is the author of ’Tis the Season to Feel Inadequate; Holidays, Special Occasions and Other Times Our Celebrations Get Out of Hand.