Falling Off The Gratitude Wagon

Yesterday was not a good day. Against my own rules, I did a HPT (home pregnancy test) and it came up BFN (big fat negative). Against my own rules because AF (aunt flow=period) wasn’t even late yet. I usually forbid myself from testing until there’s a legit reason to test. Legit reasons include, but are not limited to, puking, nausea, sore boobs, late AF. I convinced myself it was our month and tested anyway.  That resulted in this blog post.

Then I had to go to work. Need I say more about that one?

Late in the afternoon, I decided that Facebook had taken over my life, and it was time I took it back! As part of this Simplify Your Life challenge, I was starting to take a look at what made me happy, what took up my time, what was stopping me from being the best me I can be. Facebook played way too big a part in my life, and it wasn’t because it was something that made me happy. If anything, it was often making me miserable.

I deactivated my account. When someone asked why, I said Facebook is like Tim Tams for me. I can’t buy a packet of Tim Tams and have them sitting in the fridge and not eat the whole packet in one day. It is physically impossible. So, if I don’t buy them, I don’t eat them. Do you see the analogy? Deactivation was the only way to reduce the amount of my life wasted on FB. There is no “moderation” for an addict.

After Nick went to bed I sat down to do a budget and found out about the balance on our credit card. I hate credit cards, they are the devil.  We have been caught in the credit card trap before, and may or may not have outstanding debts in another country. Just saying. The amount itself, this time, is actually not *that* high, but we are about to double it by buying a part for hubby’s ute (that has been out of action for a whole week now, yet another minor irritation).

I’ve been working at least 30 hours a week for a few weeks now, and yet we are still not ahead. We’re not even EVEN. We have a car payment, a computer payment, a couch payment, credit card payments, all these PAYMENTS. I just want to chuck it all in and live in a van! I want to go on a real holiday! I want to be able to replace the damn ute sooner rather than later. I won’t drive the ute. We need a second car that is reliable, safe, that I will  be able to drive also.

So last night I spat the dummy and went to bed. At 8:30. But I was so angry I couldn’t even sleep. I thought about my gratitude journal, and won’t repeat the words that came to my mind. You can imagine, though. I was off the wagon. I didn’t want to give thanks for anything and I was standing my ground!

While I was holding on to this anger, I kept thinking, in the back of my mind, Thank God I have my job. We may not be getting ahead, but imagine how far behind we’d be without it? Stupid gratitude, can’t even let me be pissed off for more than an hour. So I sat and wrote letters to our nieces in the US for their Absolutely Incredible Kid day. Hubby brought in a revised copy of the budget.

We CAN get there. We are in a position to get there. But not if we keep having impulsive trips to ikea or buying clothes (and other stuff!) online.

Facebook, spending money/shopping, both big problems of mine. One has been eliminated. Time to work on the other one.

Can’t I Just Text Them?

I didn’t really need evidence that we existed. This generation who are socially inept unless there’s a computer screen and/or text-capable phone in front of us. We can email, text, instant message, Facebook message, find any way to communicate with someone, but ask us to pick up the phone and call someone…and we go silly. “What do you mean call them? Why would I do that? Can’t I just text them?”

Someone will ask me if I’ve heard from So-and-So yet, and I say no, I haven’t. And I’m happier to not hear from them than to have to pick up my phone and call. After all, if they wanted to get back to me, they’d have responded to my email, text or message on facebook. No, I don’t want to call them, I might be annoying them or interrupting them.

So when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to make some extra money by making a few (83 to be exact) phone calls to chase up some registration numbers for his business, I was hesitant. But, extra cash always comes in handy at Christmas time, and I wouldn’t have to try and sell anything, or ask for money. So how hard could it really be? I know, famous last words right?

I felt good about my decision to agree to help. I was ensuring my son would get a great Christmas, instead of the tighter-than-usual Christmas we were looking at.

No one REALLY likes, or is good at, cold calling strangers no matter what the situation is. But it didn’t really hit me until I sat down to make the first phone call. I stared at that piece of paper for easily a half an hour, thinking there was no way I could do it. I thought, “They’re probably at work and won’t answer. I should call at 5:30.” I texted my husband my theory. He said, “They might have stay at home wives who will answer.” Oh, right. Good point. And 5:30 might be dinner time.

(continued 24 hours later…)

I sat down and finally pulled the trigger. I’ve made about 26 calls and only have 9 numbers. I really need to get about 10 numbers a day to have this done by the end of next week. It is so much harder than I thought. I find I get on a run and can do about 4-5 in a row. If I get a rego number it is easier to make the next call. But having no answer, leaving a message, it is discouraging. And people on their mobiles have no idea what the rego is and are nowhere near their vehicle.

I thought this would be the easiest money made, turns out it might be the hardest. Will buy a nice bottle of wine to celebrate, it will be extra motivation to get those calls made.

Maybe when I’m done I’ll do a study on why people have such a fear of the telephone.

It’s Ugly: Bridesmaid Sporting Post-Nuptial Depression

We’ve all heard of postpartum depression, but we may not have all heard of post-nuptial depression. The name really speaks for itself, and is exactly what you might imagine. A bride (or in some cases, groom) who, after her wedding falls into a slump, or depression, because The Big Day is over.

Postnuptial depression may not be a clinical diagnosis, but it has entered the lexicon of marriage in the past few years, and newly hitched couples will tell you it’s real. The blues typically hit early in married life, psychiatrists say, as newlyweds begin recognizing that expectations of how their partner or relationship will change postwedding are unrealistic. Worse, once the Big Day has come and gone, couples are forced to step out of their much-cherished and often long-lived “bride and groom” spotlight and just get on with real life.”
Time Magazine

Those of you who are married know what it takes to plan a wedding – even an elopement is not without months of careful planning. I personally planned my wedding from 12 months out. We took trips to Florida, 5 hours away, to scout locations, caterers, cakes, florists, etc. I looked at pictures upon pictures upon pictures for inspiration (seriously, where was Pinterest back in 2005!?!?). I searched high and low for dresses and ended up with 3*!

So when The Big Day gets here, and in the blink of an eye it is over, it’s probably somewhat common for brides to think, “What now?” You’ve been the center of attention for the better part of a weekend (or longer), you’ve had this extracurricular activity of searching for The Perfect Everything for your day for maybe 12 months or so, and now you have nothing to do, and no one to pander to your every want. Depressing. And if The Perfect Day hasn’t gone to plan? All those months of planning and stressing are out the window in one foul swoop! On top of all that, now life is back to the daily grind that it was pre-wedding day.

All this to say I know I suffered post-nuptial depression after my wedding. Almost everything went wrong. And now, after my sister’s wedding, I think I am suffering it again. Bridesmaids could have post-nuptial depression too, couldn’t they?

I think I’m depressed because my sister looked gooooooooooorgeous (I kept telling everyone, “Well, yes, but I got the brains you see”), she and her husband looked so happy (I don’t remember the last time I would have looked so happy?), they were surrounded by family and friends (I feel like since having kids our good times with friends have become far few and way too far in between)…so lots of reasons to be feeling a bit depressed this post-nuptial week. Also, my sister does not care for photos. She didn’t hire a wedding photographer – there were enough guests who have DSLRs and consider themselves somewhat confident with a camera – and she has so many amazing pictures! I think I have 2 pics I like from my wedding, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling them amazing.

Time and circumstance have beaten me down, I’m afraid. I’m a bit fed up with life this week. I’m fed up with our circumstances. I’m pissed off. Pissed off that dad isn’t here, that my son has, essentially only one grandparent (and another but on the other side of the world), that my husband’s police application has been delayed, that I can’t get the exact hours I want at work because I’m only casual, that we are constantly having financial struggles, that it feels like Groundhog Day every damn day and time is going way too fast! How can I enjoy life when I’m going to be 70 and old before I know it?

Is this the beginning of a mid-life crisis? My God it could be. I hope it comes with a Ferrari?

*I bought the first dress I tried on because it was “good enough” and reduced to $300. I bought another dress – a more casual thing online, for about $110 to change in to for the reception because dress 1 was quite formal. Then my mum and sister, who were on the other side of the world when both were purchased, hated them, and my sister and I bought dress #3 for about $600. I sold that for $300 so still spent less than $750 on 3 dresses, only wore 1, gave the first 2 away.