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ListAugust 31, 2006

Well, here we go. I've been angsty lately, haven't I? I'm sitting here at work, and it's quiet, but my brain is not, so I've decided to lay it all on you. All my random thoughts and worries and junk. Seriously, better here on the screen than rattling in my brain. I'm going to list things, since my brain is jumpy anyway.

1. Janine told me the best advice in a comment the other day: Do not have conversations with people who are not in the room. That has saved my brain a few times recently. On Monday, she and Becca and I went out to coffee, and she told me another zen-like statement. I shoulda written it down, but it was SO good I thought I'd remember. I celebrated the wrong birthday this year, so we know my memory's bad. Janine, what was that?

    1b. What a random way to start a list. With something I don't remember.

2. Money worries. Niggling worries, made stronger by the fact that Miss Idaho's surgery today (mammary tumor, think good thoughts, please -- she's home and recovering) set us back the price of my plane ticket to Europe. Of course, that doesn't really mean anything, since we've already bought our tickets, so it's just money charged, and money charged on pets is always okay by me (ask my three grand cat Digit), but I ask you this: How does ANYONE save money? Do you? And if you do, I don't want to hear about it. Unless you have a genius-like idea on turning couch cash into gold bars.

    2b. I remember what Janine said! She said, "If you have a problem that can be solved with money, you don't have a very interesting problem." How much do you LOVE that?

We heart Janine:

Janineyay

and we heart Becca:

Beccayay

I love meeting with these ladies for knitting and coffee and sammiches. I love it a lot.

Wait. I was listing.

3. Writing: I'm thinking about it a lot. And I'm not doing it. I could be writing tonight, but I'm not. I'm stalled at a point where I need to block off some time to sit and read and sort what I've done over the last six months, and put it in some order, make notes, and decide where to go from there. Instead of doing that, I write one or two pages while I'm at work, and I pretend the body of work doesn't exist on my weekend -- preferring instead to veg out on the couch. I need to schedule the time, and STICK TO IT.

4. Speaking of being on the couch, I've ordered the first season of Project Runway from Netflix, because you all love it so much.

5. Knitting: Fast and furious. New object to show you by next week at the latest if all goes well. And at my new dog park, it's clean enough that I can knit on the perpetual Sock in Progress. Don't get me wrong, I don't require cleanliness to work on a sock. They're going on feet, after all. But the beach, oh, I couldn't do it at the beach. I leave the beach coated in sticky damp sand, sand in my ears and in my pockets, sand down my shirt. The SIP lives in the car, so it's usually full of sand anyway, but at least it's not wet, sticky sand. There's a difference, you know.

6. It is suddenly busy here at work. However, I'm only on phones tonight, and I'm sitting in what we call the mush-pot, which is far away from the other three people working. I'm hidden behind a half-cubicle wall, and I don't have to participate in all the chatter if I don't want to. I love that. I still do all the same work, I just don't have to be as highly social. I love the mush-pot.

7. There was so much more rattling in my head. But now I feel better, thanks. Also, oh, yeah, I feel better. I slept all day, for possibly more than seven hours, if I'm doing the math right, and it's all due to Lala. She got up early and took the poor wee dog to the vet, and then she worked from home and kept the other two dogs quiet all day. Lovely sleep. I plan on getting some more sleep today, too. I like sleep, as often as I can squeeze it into my busy schedule.

8. I need to exercise! I need to run! I have no time until Monday (literally, NO time, not even 15 minutes is unscheduled right now) but then I will run. And write. And budget.

    8b. Excuse me? There is too much to do. Just thought you should know. Again, HOW DO MOTHERS DO IT? Because I think y'all might just be crazy. That might explain it.

9. The End.

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Comments

Oh it's easy! You just. Um. Accomplish nothing. Yeah, that.

Love,
A Mom

A pastor friend told me recently that the average length of time between "events" that throw our lives off balance is two weeks -- TWO WEEKS. Of course, what turns those events into crises is the way we react to them. The rest is just blog fodder.

i hope you've scheduled enough time to watch the entire season of PR back-to-back-to-back. It should come with a "warning, highly addictive" label!

Love that quote about your problems being solved by money are that interesting. Ummm...making money. Kevin works on commission...those checks sure do help. Can you get the dept. to change your pay out? More calls, more $$.

Oh, and gentle hugs to Miss Idaho.

Best wishes and prayers for little Miss Idaho... and about saving, the old saying "pay yourself first" is the best way I've found. Just take a chunk out of your paycheck as soon as you get it, and put it away. The use the rest to pay everything else. The hard part is figuring out how much to take out, especially if your budget is tight. If the money's already saved and gone, and the bank balance is low, then Starbucks doesn't look as tempting...

This is going to sound boring, but it's what I say when I explain how we manage to break even, live pretty well and sometimes save a little on 1.3 incomes: we keep track of what we spend, we plan ahead for what we know is coming (vet bills and vacations too), and we rarely eat out or buy on impulse (but we still eat well, because we love to cook). See? Boring; it's like those people who say dieting is easy as long as you eat less, write down what you eat and exercise more. Seriously, it helps if either you or LaLa is willing to be "the person that keeps track," because while I think it's great to make decisions together about how you spend your money, it makes life easier if only one of you is writing stuff down in the checkbook. We used this "system" to pay off *thousands* of dollars in debt, and we've done a pretty good job of not racking up thousands more - if we have it, we know exactly what we bought and why. XOXOXXO to Miss Idaho, and you and LaLa.

Saving money. Yes, I've heard about that. Gosh it sounds like a good idea, doesn't it?

And on the mother thing? Rabbitch summed it up fairly accurately.

Thinking good thoughts for Miss Idaho today.

Saving money: I find that if I don't see it, I can save it. So, I have some automatically put into a savings account every month that is NOT linked to my checking account (transfers are all too tempting).

I contribute automatically to a Roth IRA and 401k. Again, these are taken out automatically from my paycheck. I know I ought to be able to save on my own, but, quite honestly, seeing money in my account makes me think I can spend.

What Rabbitch said.

My husband actually asked me this morning, from under his pillow cocoon and defensive sleeping-arms stance, "how in hell do you just get up insanely early every morning and make sure we are all clean and don't go hungry, without whining about it? I could never do that."

Um, fear of debt, jail, and social services just about covers it, dude. Because I am SO not a morning person, but it's illegal not to send kid to school and immoral not to clothe or feed or wash her and where he's concerned, well...he makes more money than me and he'd get fired if he didn't arrive on time.

Heh. He was expecting a romantic "oh, darling, it's my pleasure to wake up with the sun and start your day off right..."

There is no coffee pot big enough for such an answer.

We actually kind of do turn couch cash into gold. Every day when we come home, we throw all the pocket change into a big jar. When it's full, it usually means several hundred dollars, which we use for crazy home-improvement projects that we could never justify taking out of the main budget (like giant silk canopies for the bedroom).

I am also on the pay myself first bandwagon. Of course, I haven't managed to save up very much, but I also haven't had to use my credit card in about six months. And I paid off a student loan yesterday. Paying off long term debt is saving.

I also don't have TV, just Netflix. I sew, I cook, I clean, I knit, I spin, I read. But I'm crazy mad hyperactive.

It's all about how you perceive time and effort. I try to spend fifteen minutes on housework a night. I don't get everything spic and span, but it keeps everything in check. After that I feel so awesome and productive that I can just about do anything.

Best thoughts for the wee pup and her mammaries!!!

Oh, good wishes for Miss Idaho. I hope she heals quickly.

I am with you there, there is NEVER near enough time to do everything. Like, not even 1/10th the time for all I want and need to do. Glad you finally got a bunch of lovely, lovely sleep.

Savings.....? here is my savings plan..., my Vetrinarian has my savings, every penny and sometimes in the minus... in exchange, I get 4 healthy cats and 5 healthy dogs. Life is a trade off... unfortunately, I found out yesterday that the 1947 original wiring in my home needs a redo.....I am gonna call my Vet, wish me luck....
Hugs to Miss Idaho...mammaries can be sooo bothersome....

How about that credit card that they round things up and the overage goes into a savings account (Bank of America I think) but make it a savings account you won't use so it does add up.

The only other way I ever did it was doing envelopes -- I had an envelope for food, mtg, car, gas, fun, saving, vacation, car payments, dog etc. and others that I can't remember right now == hey I'm older than dirt it was awhile ago. And I would put a set amount in each envelope every week and I went to the bank with the savings one weekly so I wouldn't be tempted to take money out. OH and another way that doesn't pay much but you do get a check at the end of the year and if you put it right into savings it does work (that is if there is such a thing anymore at banks) is a Christmas account - where you put so much in each week (I think it was $5, or $10, or $20 that was set up for the banks)

I was good at playing games with my mind to save - must have worked - we are retired (early but now we are old enough to have retired) house paid off, boat paid off, cars paid off, no balance on credit cards.

I actually did have different savings accounts 4 total - that I put the money in and it was only to be used for those things...so if we didn't use all the fun money it the extra went into that account, or the food account etc.

It did take some getting used to in the beginning and learning to think that if that envelope was empty you didn't have any money for that and not to use another envelope.

Ok, I know it I am weird - but it worked for me. :D

We don't have direct deposit or other easy way to have the savings come out before we see the rest of the check, so several years ago I added a "set-aside" to my Quicken accounts - and I transfer "out" money from my checking account balance. When it doesn't show in the checking account balance it's a lot easier to not spend it, and to tell hubby "no, we don't have the money for that right now". That was a lifesaver for us last winter when he was laid off a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving...and did independent consulting for several months to help make ends meet...

Yeah, I'm a mother, and I often find myself wondering how mothers do it. I think it often only gets half-done. The secret might just lie in being okay with that. Not sure, though. Maybe it just takes lots and lots of practice I haven't built up yet.

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