Thursday Things

1. I really liked what strength training did for me during marathon season this past summer, so I decided to keep it up after the marathon. I took a few weeks off, then started back at the beginning of the strength training plan Erin generously put together for throughout marathon season.

I intended to keep up with strength training for the various benefits I reaped from it over the summer (increased strength, increased endurance, increased desire to brag about how good my legs look), but I’ll admit that I haven’t been nearly as strict about getting in three sessions per week since after the race. I’m not actively chasing any big goals (training for my sub-2:00 half marathon attempt doesn’t start for another month), so everything right now is more maintenance than anything. That makes it a lot easier for me to slack off.

But BOY is that a bad idea! I feel like I’m right back at the start of marathon season when I was sore all. the. time. for weeks on end. It wasn’t until the middle of marathon season or so that I stopped dreading getting out of bed in the morning for fear of discovering which muscles would scream at me that day. Since I stopped being so consistent, I’m back to being consistently sore, and I’m super over it. I just keep reminding myself that getting all of this out of the way now will make things a lot easier come January, when I hopefully won’t be hobbling around every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday thanks to the previous day’s workout.

2. I’m curious: what’s your stance on giving cash (or the equivalent of cash: a Visa gift card, or a check, for example, but not a store or service-specific gift card) as a gift? I ask because this has come up a couple times over the past year in my family, and it’s surprised me how adamant a few adults in my family are about not giving cash, even if it’s been earmarked for a certain purpose, even if it was specifically requested by the recipient.

It surprises me because I 1) would have absolutely no problem receiving cash as a gift–I’d prefer it in most cases, honestly–and 2) have absolutely no problem giving cash as a gift. But clearly everyone doesn’t feel that way!

3. I’ve been dreading this upcoming weekend for awhile, and my dread isn’t lessening at all the closer we get. I have a birthday party Friday, an all-afternoon/evening Christmas party on Saturday, and another all-evening Christmas party on Sunday. *screaming emoji* Don’t ask me when I’m going to get my grocery shopping done (or do: the answer is, “I’m not,”), never mind find time to, you know, breathe. I already spent an entire blog post complaining about how busy this time of year is, so I’ll try to refrain doing it again. I do wish it were more generally acceptable to celebrate Christmas during non-Christmas times, though. Like why can’t we have one “Christmas” party per month? Or per quarter? That would make December so much more tolerable!

Cash for gifts: yay or nay?

10 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. I have no problem with cash as a gift. However, there are not many instances in my particular circumstance where giving it as a gift feels appropriate. We are probably the least well-off among our families and friends groups (hooray non-profit life!), and it just seems weird and pointless to give a cash gift to a friend or family member who has a lot more of it than us. That’s why in most instances, particularly weddings, I actually prefer gifting tangible items. It’s just weird to be like “here’s a gift of $50 cash! Even though you just gave us a gift of $200 cash last month!” Even though getting them a thing they want that cost $50 is the same money spent either way, it doesn’t draw attention to the inequity in the situation, if that makes sense. You’re getting something you want and can use and don’t have to go out and buy it yourself.

    That’s just me, though, and maybe your adult family members’ hang-ups about cash gifts are different. I think cash as a gift just feels a little too impersonal to some people. Especially older generations who have more affinity for physical things than our generation does, and all the “but gift-giving is my love langauge!!” people.

    • Thanks for your perspective! I totally get where you’re coming from that a $50 gift could feel different than a gift of $50 in cash – and especially with something like a wedding, when you likely have a clear list of items to pick from, that makes a lot of sense!

      I know some of my family members definitely feel like cash is too impersonal, and I do think generational differences play into it. When a family friend got married earlier this year, one of my family members commented that they didn’t want to contribute to the honeymoon fund on the couple’s registry because they felt like they had to get the couple someTHING – whereas for me, as someone the couple’s age, I’d much prefer to have someone contribute to honeymoon expenses than get plates or whatever. But I’d also much prefer a nice trip to nice plates, which I think is a generational thing, too.

  2. Isn’t it crazy how fast you feel the effects of taking a strength break? I do it 2-3x a week and totally feel it when I only do it 1! But you are right, doing it now will be SO worth it. Keep it up!

    I am totally fine with gift cards and cash. Especially if the gift card is to a place I don’t go often and save as a treat!

    Good luck this weekend! 😦 Can you do grocery delivery? That kind of busy-ness is why we split our families in Dec and Jan (and why I am missing my youngest nephew’s second birthday party this weekend). It’s too much!

    • It’s nuts! I took three weeks off after the marathon and it was like I had never strength trained before, haha. Though I do have to say that dreading soreness has been good at motivating me to go even when I don’t want to!

      Thanks – I probably could do delivery! I hadn’t considered that. Though since all of this busyness is going to continue into next week (because of course it is), I actually only need to make dinner one night, so maybe I’ll just skip grocery shopping entirely! Ha. <- laughing to keep from crying 😛

  3. So … I guess I have an opinion on the cash as a gift thing (didn’t know I did!) … basically my feeling is that gifting money to family and friends can come across as very impersonal. I would much rather get a gift from my family and close friends because in most cases I would have struggled to buy those things for myself if I’m give the money instead (I am a tad stingy with money). Now on the other hand if I participate in a secret santa at work I much prefer to gift to my gift recipient, gift cards and or food related gifts so that I know that they are getting what they want/could use. But those are just my 2 cents! 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective! I’m actually the exact opposite, even though I definitely tend to be stingy when it comes to money, too. I like to get cash as a gift because that goes into my “gifts received” fund. I can spend that money however I want, so I don’t stress about it even half as much as I stress about spending “my” money (i.e.: money from my paycheck). But by your reasoning, you still get the stuff you want just like I do, but without the work of having to buy it yourself! You’re smart!

  4. Cash for gifts… hmmmm…. I think I’m at the point now that I only give someone a gift if I find something that I think they’d truly enjoy, and I don’t aim to spend a certain amount per person (like I have in the past). I personally don’t like receiving gift cards because I always forget to use them! (I don’t know how! I still have gift cards from when Clara was born 4.5 years ago!) That all being said, I feel like a gift card to Starbucks is always appreciated, or places that I go all of the time so it doesn’t feel like I have to spend more money than I would like at a specific store. I guess if I got a Visa gift card or check it’d still be used and appreciated, but honestly we’d probably put it in a bank account and not spend it on anything fun that would make us think about the giver, if that makes sense!

    • Ooh yeah, I definitely agree about the Starbucks (or similar) gift card. My parents always give my siblings and I an iTunes gift card, and I really like that – I’m going to spend money on iTunes anyway, so it’s nice to have some to spend that’s not out of my pocket.

  5. I like receiving cash and at the same time I prefer giving non-cash. In general, I’ve opted out of Obligation Presents, which means that if I’m giving a gift it’s because I was inspired by something specific for a specific person who I believe will enjoy receiving it.

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