Hump Day Happenings

Syringe.

“Syringe” by VioletInk on Flickr

It’s Wednesday already. The days, weeks, months they’re just soaring past. March is right here, I just can’t believe it. I thought I would have a WIP Wednesday to show you but I left my crochet in the car and wouldn’t have had much to show you anyways. I started up an experimental pair of baby booties but I might rip them back and work on some requested baby mittens instead. I shipped another item I sold on Amazon yesterday and I bought a book for the birthday party, but went with a less expensive book that is more in line with the child’s interests and when it comes to books finding things in line with a kid’s interests is the absolute most important thing to consider, price be damned.

I have $15 left for the month’s challnge budget. I still have enough gas, food, and diapers which tend to be my biggest budget components. I am going to stock up on the detergent product which should cost me about $7.65 with taxes. But, it looks like I may make it after all. For me, the last days of the month are the hardest—not because your money’s low or whatever but because the temptation is actually higher. It’s way too easy to think, “Well the month is practically over. I almost went the WHOLE month without busting my budget and look at all of this money I’ve managed to save. It won’t be THAT bad if I bust the budget just a little.” Previous experience has taught me otherwise. Last time I did this, I went over big time (40%!) and wrote it off as no big deal because look what a good job I did regardless (i.e. it was still way less than my typical month, I still saved a lot of money, etc.). Gave myself an inch for “necessities” on the fourth to last day of the month and took a mile by the time July was said and done.

I think I know what I’m going to do about the closet. I really don’t feel right working so hard all month long to then go ahead and ruin everything by blowing my budget. I know finishing the closet is important and by not buying the tracks and installing them this weekend, I’m screwing with my de-cluttering schedule but that’s not as important as financial discipline and learning to really get all of this to work. Besides, with the birthday party on Saturday, and my dad generally busy on Sundays, I don’t even think it would be plausible to do the project this weekend and it might be much wiser to just wait until next weekend, when the kids will be with their father, to do it. I can work the cost of the project into my March budget and also include a budget for the March project space and learn to work with budgets once and for all. There just always seems to be an excuse to blow a budget and it’s not right, not if what I want requires discipline. And let’s face it, succeeding at anything requires discipline. If I buy the closet stuff and spend $65, I’ll blow by budget by 13%. Far less than the ridiculous 40% the first time I went at this but it’s still blowing the budget. I can cover it up and make it look nice with all sorts of excuses and justifications but broken is broken. I don’t think I’m punishing myself, by the way. I think I’m just making a practical and carefully considered decision. Maybe if the percentage wasn’t in the double digits, I’d be ok doing it but 13% is too high for me to be comfortable with. To compensate for the jumble in schedule I’ve decided since the closet will likely run five days into March, I will give myself permission to include the Playroom into my decluttering schedule the last five days of February. I can totally live with that.

I finished the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series last night which is good because my son is already about halfway through The Lost Hero (book one of the second Olympians series) and the library just emailed me this morning that The Red Pyramid (book one of the Egyptian series) is waiting for me. Our library holds books for two weeks so I’m going to let Eldest get closer to finishing The Lost Hero before picking up Red Pyramid. Besides, I started The Passage last night and am intrigued. I also had the completely delightful surprise of finding a friend of mine bought me Soulless and Outlander and they arrived at my house Monday. I also finished Diary of a Wimpy Kid (cute) and V for Vendetta (not cute, but totally awesome) so I think that brings me to 12 books which means my goal of 11 this year was way low. If I keep up this insane pace, I could have more than 70 books read this year!! I doubt I’ll actually keep it up, but I am curious how much I can do. And since I’m tracking my books here, I came up with the brilliant idea of creating an “I’ve Read…” notebook for Eldest. I figured I’d write all of the books he’s read this year so far and then he can maintain it as he goes, writing the names and the dates he finishes them. Can you imagine if you’d kept one of these since you were 7? I sure wish I did.

I’m in an admittedly strange mood today—sad but calm too. About a week or so ago I realized I was behaving very similarly to a person I dislike and I was shaken. Couple this with the fact I’ve been reading a story about mythology which in itself deals with archetypes and life lessons and I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting. It may sound silly that a middle school book gets a 30 year old pensive but inspiration often comes from the most unexpected sources. There was a little concept that sort of burrowed into my brain and there was a moral that rang around in my skull.

The concept was of the fatal flaw—a characteristic of a character that may lead to its downfall. In my case, as in so many others, I’m pretty sure it’s my pride. I’ve always felt it gets in the way of so much. And it ties with the moral of letting one find their own path. In other words, I think I’m a bit of a control freak because of my pride. When you hear the term “letting go” you probably hear it as associated with the release of a grudge, pain, or other negative emotion. But in my case, I need to let myself go. I think I entrench myself too deeply in the lives of others, “helping” and “suggesting” and “opining” a bit too much. Everyone needs to forge their own way (the moral) and it’s scary to let the ones you love do just that. What I need to accept is my being in control of a situation does not guarantee a success and in many cases, it doesn’t even guarantee I’ll actually be in control—it’s just a perception. I need to quit that and learn to step back more. I need to learn to keep my mouth shut until asked. Unsolicited advice is the worst kind and it’s not made any more pleasant wrapped up and disguised as “not advice”.

Hey, how about I change the subject and share a creepy encounter of the actual kind?

Alright then, today was my medical screening at work. They do things like take your blood pressure (117/35, I’m practically dead), measure your height (I grew an inch! Or maybe it was the sneakers), have you step on a scale (heavier than I’d like but still in the healthy range), wrap a tape measure around your middle (under the “normal” guideline but I’m over my height’s ideal waist size by more than a couple of inches), and take your blood (the really fun part). At some point, I get the results back, enter them online and get some sort of health insurance credit thing. So, I went and did the whole thing.

When I got to the lady that draws blood I joked, “So do we get cookies and juice for this one too?” And she very seriously explained no, we don’t. Her company simply provides a service to our company and several other companies but things like cookies and juice are not what they provide. She further went on explaining our company could provide those things and probably should but it was not their responsibility. She went on some more explaining blood banks do those things because you’re often left woozy thanks to the large amounts of blood they draw but they don’t take nearly so much. She was extremely serious. She wasn’t smiling. She was monotonous and made me feel like I was the dumbest girl she’s ever come across in all of her years of providing this invaluable service.

Eventually she stuck me, filled one tube, and switched it with another. That’s when I just barely heard this… slight… noise. She noticed I noticed because she perked up and said, “Did you hear that sound? That sound of the blood going into the tube?” I nodded. She sighed and smiled, “I love that sound– the sound of the blood going into the tube. I absolutely love it.” And that was that. She was done, bandaged me, took my form, and sent me on my way.

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8 thoughts on “Hump Day Happenings

  1. That is definitely creepy.

    But that’s GREAT on the budget for the month and a very mature decision on the decluttering. Fixing the closet next week does sound like the better plan and it keeps you on track on the more important thing. And it’s great that you’ve got that self-realization about the danger of the end of the month. GO YOU.

    I bet once all this divorce hassle gets cleared up you are going to totally be on track and back on the path of financial security. You’ve got that spark that seems to determine between people who climb out of problems and those who let life happen to them instead.

    Reply
  2. You’re doing awesome with your budget this month!! I met my savings goal then totally blew it.. *blush* Blah! 😦

    So whatcha gonna up your reading goal to? I need to get a move on mine… i’m still on book #2! Eek! lol!

    Reply
  3. I found your blog through a comment you left on mine. It is always so nice to discover a new blog to add to my daily reading list! That is a really creepy story about getting your blood drawn.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Another weekend of links: And challenge updates « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured

  5. Isn’t it wonderful how much you can save by just being mindful of your spending. I went through something similar in 2009 (after second baby and an almost layoff).

    In general, even if we have stuff that’s ratty and in need of sprucing up (like clothes or housewares), most of the time it is still functional.

    Good Luck. Only 2 days to go in the month.

    Reply
    • It really does make a huge difference and not just in the account but in the brain. It’s been a total boost of confidence for me. Functional is a key word for sure. We have so much, we can definitely scale back and just live on what we have for a good amount of time. Thanks for your comment, I find your blog to be very inspirational and relatable!

      Reply

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