I was supposed to hear from the car dealership on Friday about when I could expect my new car to be delivered. I heard nothing, so I figured I’d have to get up and be ready. I knew the local rental agency opened at 9:00 a.m., and I certainly hoped I wouldn’t be spending another day waiting around. Waiting around, especially the kind of waiting around that preempts everything and anything else one might want to do, is not the kind of thing I do well.
Ever notice how we human beings have ways of marking the passage of time? Sure, we have our calendars, our reminders, our clocks and gizmos. I’m talking about the not-so-obvious ways of marking time. The methods which mark time in subtle ways that leave you realizing after the fact how time has passed rather than noting it up front.
I am not a winter person. I like cool weather but I’m really a sunny, summer person. I mark my years mostly by noting the passage of the seasons. The months from January to the end of March are dreadful for me. In the region where I live winters are relatively mild, but temperatures can vary from a balmy 60 degrees one day to snowing and freezing levels the next. I find this pretty tough on my system. I’m always glad when Daylight Saving Time arrives. Even though I lose an hour, I can see that summer is on the way, and with it, some more consistent temperatures.
On Facebook, it is the monthly ritual, for a great number of my “friends” to complain about how quickly the money they worked for all month disappears when they pay the bills. I understand this. I empathize with this sentiment, but this is not how I feel about payday. Read the rest of this entry
Ever had one of those weeks when you were a day ahead of yourself? You thought it was, say, Thursday, but it was really only Wednesday. All day long, you’re excited as anything that tomorrow’s Friday, then somewhere, oh, around 4:00 pm, you realize that you were off by a day. Welcome to my world. I don’t know what I was thinking in my last post. Eleven days left till payday? Ha! I don’t even know how I arrived at that number, except that I must have been so exhausted when I wrote that post. It registered today, when someone mentioned that it was only 14 more days until Halloween. I then remembered my 11 day thinking and got myself all in a wad trying to figure out how I even came up with the whole 11 days until payday thing anyway. Early onset Alzheimer’s? Clearly, this was more than just a minor soon-to-be-senior moment. Even so, the disappointment was not nearly as great as it might have been, had I been a day ahead of myself. I’m in the same place I was when I wrote Countdown. Nothing much has changed, except, I’m adding another thing that I’m counting down to.
A few days ago, my daughter arrived home late from an activity. She was in tears. She’d just rear-ended someone. It seems that her little sister had texted her, the phone vibrated, startling my daughter. She glanced down to see where the noise was coming from (the car had been totally silent) and when she did, she hit the car in front of her, who apparently had either slowed or stopped. I don’t know many more details than this. The accident happened so recently. My daughter is 18, so she will be dealing with the insurance company, the DMV, and whatever entities she must in order to resolve this, as much as possible, on her own. Fortunately, she is fine. Our vehicle, however, is not. Welcome to another completely unexpected financial disaster. This time? The $500 deductible. The best part? This is the third time this vehicle has been in an accident like this, this calendar year. (Each incident involved a different driver.) In fact, I just had the same repair done on this car in January.
This year has been, for me, the absolute worst on record. The year my dad died, 1984, was pretty bad, but only that part of the year. The rest of the year had some pretty wonderful aspects to it. All of the years between 2000-2005, when I was married to The Evil Ex, were completely disastrous. This year, however, I just can’t catch a break. There has been one disaster after another each month, all year long. Just when I hope life might let up just a little and grant me a reprieve from the deluge of bad luck, another crisis occurs. I’m finally calling “Uncle.” I really can’t take another disaster. I’m going to be glad to be done with this year.
I’m counting down the days to January 1, 2013.
2 months and 13 days left.
Unless the world ends in December.
Eleven more days until payday and miraculously I have more money in the bank than I had at this time last week. It isn’t much more, I got a rebate check in the mail, which helped. Twelve days. Most of the month is behind me. This has been tough, but not nearly as tough as it would have been had I not had the money in the bank when those big bills hit. While, I hated, and will hate, for quite some time the fact that my work money from this summer evaporated in ways that were not of my choosing, I am glad I bit the bullet and paid them in full rather than opting to pay them over a few months. The payment plan deal would certainly have made my financial life easier this month, but would have made it more difficult down the road and for longer. At least, after these next twelve days, I can move on and don’t have extra bills to pay. This is certainly a good thing.
I’ve started another countdown this week. 135 days till I achieve my weight loss goal. I have started this countdown a million times over the last five years, but somehow, I never quite had the determination to carry it through. I’m not sure I have the determination even now.
Here’s what I do know. The Monday after the Full Pitcher Of Beer Day, I reluctantly stepped on the scale, fully expecting it to register an all-time non-pregnancy high. I was stunned to discover that since the Gone Boyfriend left, with no effort and plenty of drinking, I was actually down five pounds. Weird.
After finishing off the last ounce of gin in a very weak cocktail Monday evening, I have had nothing alcoholic to drink since. I started walking the track during my daughter’s volleyball practices, and while I haven’t significantly changed what I eat, I have changed how much of it I eat. I’ve recorded a loss every day. I’ve now lost a total of eleven pounds since mid-August. This put my total weight loss yet to achieve at under 40 pounds, which is psychologically motivating and completely doable.
In the past,I have tried to motivate myself by thinking I’d love to be wearing smaller sizes and wouldn’t it be great to look and feel sexy back in skinny jeans again? Somehow this motivation wasn’t strong enough to keep me at it. This might be because, even at 50 pounds overweight, I still get looks from the opposite sex. I still have people hitting on me in the grocery store and on the bus (leper colonies, but still), and, honestly, I was having too much fun hanging out sipping the calories, enjoying the atmosphere and copping a beer buzz on the sunny Saturday afternoons…and every other afternoon besides. This changes last Monday. For some reason, after that afternoon with the mammoth beer pitcher, something changed.
I haven’t sorted all of it out quite yet. A big part of it, to be sure, is that I have come to dislike myself once I’ve had too much to drink. I also, don’t like how uncomfortable I feel most of the time. Lately, though, I’ve been dealing with the eventual and current reality of aging. When I was in my twenties, the second half of my life seemed so far away. As I moved through my thirties and early forties, it was easy to ignore the fact that I was getting older. I didn’t look older, and other than a few aches and pains I didn’t feel older. Lately, the fact that, I hope to live until well into my 90’s has “weighed heavily” (ha.ha.) on me. Thinking about life then, forces me to consider what I want my life to be like next year, in five years in ten years, etc. watching aging people struggle to get on the bus, or battle with weight to the point that they are relegated to a wheelchair or scooter, is not a lifestyle that seems easy nor enjoyable.
Of course, we can never tell the future, but we can certainly do our best to put the odds in our favor. My body might develop another more serious case of cancer, I could have a stroke, I might have a heart attack, I could die in an automobile accident, my lung could collapse. (This last actually did happen recently to a friend of mine who is nearly a decade younger than I.) on the other hand, my medical history is good. I have been active and involved in some sport most of my life. My body tends to withstand illness and heal quickly. If I get myself back in the best physical condition I can be in for my age, eat right, get plenty of rest (the last one is going to be tough), there is no reason to believe that the last half of my life can’t be better than the first half. Packing the extra weight around, certainly lessens my odds of aging well. In addition, it’s bad enough that my extra weight slows me down when I’m out cycling. It will really be bad when my aging, weakened body has to struggle to cope with the extra weight. This is not the future I want for myself.
Weight loss for women becomes now difficult as we age, so the time is definitely now if I’m going to lose this weight I gained when I got pregnant with my youngest child. That child is now 11. My life is now stable. There’s not the chaos of an abusive, dysfunctional marriage or relationship. There’s financial challenge, and while worrisome and annoying at points, things are not declining and will improve. My kids are older and don’t need me to manage them every minute. Now is the time to focus on me. After all, old age is not for weaklings. I fully hope to make the second half of my life a marathon rather than a sprint to the finish. In order to do that I need to drop the weight and get in shape.
50 more years of quality, healthy, strong living…I hope.
Back in the day, when I was younger, squeaky clean, freshly stamped with that Bachelor’s Degree, and looking for work, I had to go through the arduous, intimidating, and emotionally exhausting process of interviewing. I hated it. I hated the way I was often scrutinized, picked apart, rejected. And that was if I even got the interview. Because I was able to present myself well on paper, and because I legitimately had some decent grades, a fair amount of extracurricular campus leadership involvement, and held down a 30-40 hour job, I usually got any interview I sought. The problem is, I’d crash and burn on the interviews. The only time I didn’t crash and burn on an interview was the interview for the job I have now. Of course, by the time I interviewed for this job, I was in my 30’s, had a bunch more education under my belt, and was far more confident in my abilities to do the job I was seeking. Looking back, I was so terribly frightened and unsure of myself in those wide-eyed, innocent days, that it is amazing that I got the jobs I did get, when I got them, that gave me the experience which ultimately landed me a position in a nationally recognized and cutting edge training program for the profession I am currently in.
I was young and unsure. I felt inadequate. I was afraid to fail. All of this showed through in those early interviews, I am sure. Like I said, I’m surprised I ever got a job to begin with. Read the rest of this entry
So, go figure. My finances suck. We’ve been over that. My love life is non-existent. I just had a guy I supported walk out on me after two years. He gave me three days’ notice and he was gone. Haven’t heard a word from him since. After my two epic fails at marriage, I don’t know which hurt worse, to have the marriages end, or him walk out after I invested so much financially and emotionally for two.fucking.years. It is now all water under the bridge, but at times, it still stings.
I’m at an age and in a demographic where there isn’t much dating action, and if there is, it isn’t serious, nor is it even remotely authentic. Face it, after 45, there are so many obstacles to overcome, so much history to wade through, so many people’s scrutiny you have to undergo before a relationship can even be viable, let alone long term. I’ve given up on that area of my life ever being a source of pleasure or happiness. People who really know me, will know what a big deal that is. Most people tend to understand that it is the nature of the beast these days. Dating after divorce is, at best, a difficult thing, and unlike wine, this does not improve with age. Oh, to be 35 again. Before the wrinkles. Before the mistakes. Before the calendar reveals the stigmatizing number of years you’ve been on this planet (because you cannot lie about that).
In spite of all that, the little surprise I’m experiencing is this: I’m actually having fun. I’m enjoying life more than I ever have. I’m happy, in spite of the fact that nothing (except my delightful children) is as I would have expected it and most of it reeks of pathetically miserable failure. I can’t keep a relationship. I can’t catch a break financially. I rent, on purpose, instead of owning. My car is ready to self destruct at any moment. I should sell the thing and try, if possible, to get some money out of it to put down on a more reliable car. But…how to do that? It’s crazy. I have more problems facing me than solutions. I have experienced more endings in the last year than beginnings. I have more reason than ever to despair, instead of hope. Read the rest of this entry
I’m up doing laundry at 2:00 a.m. Yep. This is a first for me. The truth is, I am not really up just because of the laundry. The crazy cats are tearing around the house like mad, keeping me up. Why, in all of the 1800+ square feet they have to roam here, they choose to cavort in my room and on my bed in the middle of the night, I do not know. I figured since I was up, I may as well do laundry. After all, I only have about three or four loads left. Then I can take my wet laundry down to the corner laundromat at 6:00 a.m. to dry it all.
That’s right, to dry it, because the latest greatest thing that happened is my dryer stopped drying. It still tumbles. No heat. I looked on YouTube to see if there was a DIY video for this repair. There was. It seemed pretty straightforward until I tried it. Problem Number One: my one and only flathead screwdriver must have left with The Gone Non-Boyfriend. Problem Number Two: I couldn’t go any further without the flathead screwdriver. I gave up. Read the rest of this entry
Life turns on a dime. One moment, you are sailing along enjoying everything, even though everything might not be perfect. You’re thinking to yourself that, even though things may have been rough, they are now looking up a bit. You worked a little extra, got a little money set aside for Christmas; something that hasn’t happened in years. Then one wonderful day, as you finally, just barely, allow yourself to begin to believe that there might be hope for a brighter financial future for you and your family, you get an email. Read the rest of this entry
One of the people I’m corresponding with from the sleazeball online dating sight has been pretty decent. I can tell right now, without ever meeting him that he’s not going to be someone I fall madly and passionately in love with. If there is chemistry of anything more than a platonic friendship nature, I will be astounded. The man’s really nice, intelligent, thoughtful, and maybe, if I weren’t so damaged from my history with men, I might be more interested in him as something more than “friends”. I don’t know.
Anyway, I asked him what he was doing on said sleazy dating site. He responded with a lengthy tale which included information about his divorce, financial situation, job history, etc. This just proves my theory that, “So, what is such a nice guy like you doing on a dating site like this,” is a perfect question to ask if you want to get some really intimate information from a person. They usually end up spilling everything about their past and present to you. I got a lot of information, all of which reinforced that this is truly a genuinely decent guy. None of which convinced me that he was my next Prince Charming. So, of course, when he asked the question in return, I threw the game. Read the rest of this entry