Funk 2011

Fog Walk..

“Fog Walk” by Plssnraju

I think I’m getting closer to figuring out just what the heck’s got me so funky about 2011. This is a trudging year. There is no real huge breakthrough set to happen this year, just working and chipping away walking through fog. Last year, I was determined to change jobs. Done. It was great and I’m really happy with the new job. It felt good to be respected and valued. So that was my huge breakthrough for 2010. I got other things done, sure, but that was the super huge one. It was a big positive change, felt good to work towards, and felt great to achieve.

But, I don’t have anything like that for this year. My focus is on two solid things: Divorce and Debt. I am determined to get the divorce done this year. There’s no reason it’s taken so long except for sheer laziness. We have a custody arrangement that works. He pays relatively timely. He’s been dating someone for a year. I’m ready to be officially dating. It’s time. It’s just such a silly and tedious process I tend to avoid thinking about it. But that’s enough. I need this officially done. The thing is, that’s not exactly a huge positive awesome life goal. I mean, it’s necessary, sure. And I really want it and am pretty sure it will bring some measure of relief to me one way or another. But, as far as I’m concerned, the yucky part’s been over a while already. So, there’s nothing huge and motivating to look forward to except some paper that says I got my maiden name back ( because I’m legally Single.

The other big one is Debt. I want out of that as bad as I want out of my marriage. But, I won’t be breaking free of that this year. Not entirely at least. Mostly, yes. But the big giant “I’m Debt-Free!” whooping and hollering can’t really happen until next year. Next year is the one I’m truly excited about. It’s hard to pat yourself on the back about how good a job you’re doing with your money when you’ve still got the giant debt monkey hanging on there. I want to get excited and formulate a plan where I get out of debt even earlier but honestly, I’m sending as much to my debt payments as my rent. Those two amounts combined figure for more than half my income. Yes, I keep brainstorming ways to cut spending like recently eliminating my cable and internet as well as cancelling my Zune Pass service (this is the one that hurts me the most). I accidentally kept Netflix an extra month, but I’m so bad about sending in the damned movies I don’t think it’ll be worth it to me to keep it. These days you can easily get movies (way) under $10. I’ve become a total electricity guardian too, shutting lights off like a nutcase, leaving the a/c off as much as I can tolerate, and I’m thinking of moving on to unplugging a bunch of stuff around the house. I even borrowed The Complete Tightwad Gazette from the local library and now that I inhaled The Girl Who Played with Fire (Vintage), I’ll be cracking open that giant tome for some more ideas. So, I’m trying to trim as much as I possibly can and will be sending any extra money to my debt. I even have a big golden piggy bank that needs emptying out. Maybe I will achieve debt freedom this year, most likely not but I’ll get really close.

I think I sort of mentioned it yesterday but I’m throwing in the kitchen towel. I start a dinner delivery service today. I actually changed to a two person, four day dinner plan for $68 a week. This is cheaper than my allotment of $100 a week on food for my family and leaves room for me to buy enough food for the other meals and things. Once I get a good idea of the portion sizes, I’ll also be able to determine whether or not my little picky children even need the second portion or if we can make do with the one person size. I just don’t see the point in stressing the dinner situation anymore. I get home right around 6:30 in the evening. My kids should really be in bed by 8:30. If I have to cook dinner, they don’t see much of me. And I don’t see much of them which they interpret as the perfect reason to act like complete bullies to each other.  With food cooking precariously on the stove, this usually means I have to do a lot of yelling (in English and Spanish), muttering, eye-rolling, and general unpleasant activities. By the time dinner is actually ready to be consumed, I don’t have an ounce of appetite in me. Not only that, but I’m so fed up with their bickering, tattling, and bossing around that I don’t even want to sit at the table with them. So, the Finances of Food Challenge is completely over and I don’t even regret it a moment. It was the sort of challenge I picked up in the hopes it’d awaken some magical dormant domestic diva in me like the amazing Maytina. Not happening. Delivery it is, and maybe I’ll actually enjoy it when I do get myself in the kitchen.

There is no travel in the cards for this year. Like I said, I want freedom from debt more than anything else I can conceive of. Yes, I really want to take the kids to Disney but not more than I want to end the ridiculously high-interest credit lines that have my name attached to them. I am dying to go to a spa for a delicious massage. I want so much to go see my amazing hair stylist and get my hair done before the six month mark (February) for once in my life. But, these things seem so damn small and trivial compared to the stress I feel when I look at my bank account. Sure, it might be healthy right now at this specific moment, but it won’t be long before it dwindles. I know that. I’m already anxious about it. And I guess that’s why there’s the funk.

There is no real certainty in me for this year, no conviction. I want to turn that around and get an attitude adjustment of the highest order. It seems that all I’m focused on this year is what I’ll be missing out on, what I’m preparing to deprive myself of. There is no sense of adventure in me or anticipation. Getting a new job is a fun process. At least, I think it is– especially when you don’t need the change but are actively pursuing it on your terms. I’m missing the excitement and fun for the year and am in survival mode instead. It’s been like this for a few months too. I wrote about the wandering aimless feeling back in September. The difference is back then, I was motivated to turn that right around and yet…

I set out 17 SMART goals back then. Looking at the list, all I see is a bunch of stuff I gave up on, some I’m still working on, and a couple I actually accomplished. It appears I have commitment issues. I keep thinking about Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project. She did things a little differently. She organized each month around a theme and spent the month working on that theme’s particular goals. In December she attempted to swing them all at the same time. Is that something that could work for me? I’m thinking about it and what shape it would take if I were to embark on that sort of thing. Sorry for the recent bouts of pensiveness and indecision. It’s just where I am right now and I’m tired of being there. I don’t want to depend on big changes to keep me motivated in life. I want to embrace the smaller, less dramatic victories too. I just want to feel less restless and overall more content, I guess.

“(There’s Gotta Be) More to Life” – Stacie Orrico

I’ve got it all, but I feel so deprived
I go up, I come down and I’m emptier inside
Tell me what is this thing that I feel like I’m missing
And why can’t I let it go

There’s gotta be more to life…
Than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me
Cause the more that I’m…
Tripping out thinking there must be more to life
Well it’s life, but I’m sure… there’s gotta be more
Than wanting more

I’ve got the time and I’m wasting it slowly
Here in this moment I’m half way out the door
Onto the next thing, I’m searching for something that’s missing

[repeat chorus]

I’m wanting more
I’m always waiting on something other than this
Why am I feelin’ like there’s something I missed…..

[repeat chorus x2]


7 thoughts on “Funk 2011

  1. Great job with throwing in the kitchen towel. The two or so hours, like you mentioned, really is a SMALL window to get in quality time, along with balancing anything else that might be going on. Sounds like you really have the right idea, in that conquering the little things, just builds MOMEMTUM (snowball effect). Keep it up

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  3. Hey!

    As Robert Schuller says “Tough times never last, Tough people do”, I hope this new year will give you great courage to accomplish your goals.. Thanks for the credit.

  4. Sorry 2011 is feeling funky–you have a lot on your plate no doubt. Congratulations though on having made it so far so well. You need to give yourself a little slack I think!
    The Happiness Book and some other books of that nature I have been reading simultaneously first mention reducing clutter and getting organized–I think that’s going to take more than a month–I think that in, and of itself, could easily take a year! I’m talking about me–not you—but then again, I saw your closets earlier. LOL
    Organize, reduce, clarify….then you got a handle on it and on to step 2.

    • I’ve been working at clutter reducing and organization on and off since Ex moved out almost two years ago. It definitely takes time and effort. I am trying to arrange for at least one donations pick-up at my house a month. Today was my second in January. It’s just hard to stay focused and motivated. But, one room at a time seems to be working. My kitchen is STILL clean so, so far so good on that front. I’m trying to master keeping it that way a few weeks. But yeah, that closet is next month’s project for sure.


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