As time goes on, you begin to adopt new priorities. The phases you went through before, start to become different versions of yourself, not quite individual characters, but more like varying shades of you. I’ve been thinking about the past a lot, and how much I’ve changed in just a couple of years. I’m sure that past-me would be really confused if allowed just a brief glimpse of what present-me has been up to.
The New Me
Someone left a pretty big dent (white paint) on my (black) car door. I wasn’t happy about it, but it didn’t really upset me that much. It reminded me of when I got my new-to-me car back in 2010. It got keyed in the work parking lot one day – as in all the way down the length of one side of my car. Old me actually cried about the dent. And, we paid our $500 deductible in order to get it fixed. I can’t even imagine doing that now.
In other news, we have been working hard on preparing the garden. We tilled in all of our compost so the soil is full of nutrients for our vegetables. I’m sure past me would wonder why I’m working so hard to grow something that is readily available in the supermarket.
Writing And Plagiarism
I had my second post featured on Scary Mommy (especially awesome because they pay $100 per post). It was just a silly discussion about my desire to tell my toddlers to calm the f*ck down (read to the end, it’s not as harsh as it sounds). Scary Mommy shared the post on Facebook and then, all of a sudden, there were a bunch of mean comments about me stealing the post from some blogger who wrote a book about his CTFD parenting technique. I was pretty upset.
I have started to think of myself as a writer. I’m pretty proud of this accomplishment, especially with my lack of any advanced education in English. To suggest that I was dishonest was reprehensible and shattering. Fortunately, Scary Mommy chimed in and defended me, pointing out, “Not sure any parent alive HASN’T wished their toddler would calm the f*ck down!” Many others came to my defense too, saying that (1) they had never heard of this book either and (2) the book and my post are definitely different uses of the phrase.
I think advising everyone to calm down a little has some pretty general application. Our society is so caught up with minor drama of day-to-day life that we often forget to be thankful for what we have. When I see people losing their mind over trivialities, I wonder whether they ever take time to consider about the big picture. Are you healthy, have people who care for you, food to eat, and a roof over your head? Then, you’re really doing pretty well. Sorry, went off on a tangent there. And, the mean commenters eventually deleted what they said and left the post alone.
Other Finance News
We received the numbers on health insurance for next year (our enrollment period starts in June). I am not happy. We went with a high deductible plan that is no longer available. The plans that are available are going to cost us another $200 per month! Mr. Smith keeps saying that we would have gone with a different plan anyways, because of our intention to have another baby in 2017. I am really having a hard time processing that number. It just seems like every time we make progress, there is something else chipping away at our income. Oh well, carry on I guess . . . there isn’t really any other choice. At least it will decrease our taxable income.
I’ve done really well with selling things on eBay this past month. I’m up to $40 in profit right now!
My sister’s wedding is coming up this month. As maid of honor, there are a lot of expenses, but I’m doing my best to find as many frugal options as possible. I posted before about finding my dress on eBay (so lucky!). We found a new tie for Mr. Smith at Goodwill for $1 (thankfully, he’s not in the wedding party). I found dress shoes for Goofball at Goodwill too, for only $3. Tornado’s flower girl dress was $23 on eBay. I picked up a tuxedo for Goofball on eBay for $20 and a little tuxedo/romper outfit for Trey on eBay for $17. My sister wants her bridesmaids to wear gold shoes. I don’t know why it took me so long to ask the bride to borrow some – she has a lot of shoes and won’t be wearing gold, of course. So, my shoes are on loan for free. The next expenses are really tricky to keep low. I’m doing my best with the bachelorette party, but hair appointments? That’s one non-frugal expenditure I’m just going to have to live with.
Work has been somewhat busy and stressful lately. I appreciate the reasonably flexible schedule, but there are times when work has to come first. It’s hard to remember the days you left work early when you’re sitting in another room on the laptop, listening to your children playing a board game without you. I tend to get pretty angry with work stealing my time, especially because I really don’t enjoy any aspect of it anymore. Patience is key. I will have freedom eventually, and long before many of my peers.
We went to a birthday party the other weekend. It was for the two boys of a friend from high school. It was a little awkward with my dear-old clique – we didn’t have a lot to talk about. I decided to venture out of my comfort zone a bit and mention something about writing a lot recently, and having a blog. They asked “what do you write about? I responded by saying something general like “all sorts of stuff,” and the conversation was over. It was almost a let down. Here I was, hinting about my top-secret identity as a blogger, expecting that they would be begging me for the web address, and I was going to tell them that I wasn’t ready to share, but would let them know as soon as I felt comfortable with it. And they could really have cared less. Maybe that’s has something to do with why I only hang out with them a few times per year.
Although work has been pretty busy (and the side hustling), I have been trying to maintain some sense of balance. I took the time to snuggle with my oldest two children during the past week. I’m usually rushing off to be productive as possible as soon as all three of them are asleep, but they have been asking for me to lay in bed with them. I allowed myself to drift off for a little while with each of them on a different night, curled up together, and it was pretty heavenly.
Also, I found some time to spend with my sister. She moved out to California about two years ago, but was in town getting things ready for the weekend. She ended up spending the night. We drank wine and just talked (without interruption from children). That was pretty nice too.
What have you been up to? How are your finances – saving or spending? Are you feeling frazzled or balanced?