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Ground Zero

Today. Today is the deadline for my ex. I know the day will come and go, and nothing will happen. And I will have to take him back to court. Again.

Today I’m exhausted. I tired of fighting. But instead of feeling sorry for myself, I feel anxious. Anxious to do something about it. But I don’t know what.

So I thought I’d make a checklist. Of where i’m at in life. And figure out where to go from there. Like a scatter plot. Maybe there is a trend. Or a pattern. Or a rorschach test. Maybe i can see soemthing… myself maybe? My life? Maybe if i can see where i am…. i can see where i need to go.

Let’s see:

  • single – check
  • mom – check
  • mortgage – check check
  • work full time – check
  • volunteer – check
  • love life – crickets
  • supportive and loving friends – check, meh… some crickets
  • vindictive ex – check check check
  • stress – check check
  • happy son – check
  • roof – check
  • full bellies – check
  • car repair – needs attention
  • eye twitch – check (ughhhh)
  • positive pants – MIA
  • anxiety – check check
  • tenacity – check

Okay…. I think this is a good start.

Sooooo…. now what?

My ex owes me a lot of money. Like, a LOT of money. Money that would ensure my son and I live a comfortable life. My salary will provide for us. But it would be a very austere existence. And that’s okay. But i WANT my child to have a wonderful and memorable childhood. I want him to be able to experience life and go places.

So. Obviously, I will take my ex back to court. Again. And hopefully the judge will force his hand. Again.

But in the meantime…. i need a plan B. And C and D. And F and G3 and M4a. Cuz I’m a planner. And a do-er. And I know that life is not a fairy tale. A knight in shining armour is not going to adorn my doorstep and save the day. My fairy godmother is flat out of pixie dust. Nobody is coming to rescue me.

My happily ever after is up to me. And me only.

I just don’t know how the hell to move forward. How to write my next chapter. Perhaps I just need to work on this list for now. And evaluate where I am. My ground zero. And then start drafting a plan of what I need to do. To address what i NEED. What i WANT.

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Are we there yet?

This update is long overdue, but here goes…

Jan 2011 – July 2011

  • CC1:   14,350        13,250   
  • CC2:   6,325             5,800
  • CC3:   1,025                 950
  • CC4:   4,910             4,650
  • CC5:   390                          0
  • CC6:   485                          0
  • CC7:   515                          0
  • CC8:   520                       90
  • CC9:   5,225              5,225
  • CC10:   4,150           3,650
  • Total CC’s:   37,895          33,615
  • Family: 10,000                  7,000

So, drumroll please……….. we’ve paid off $7,280 since the beginning of the year! Get out of the way, HUGE snowball rolling downhill! LOVE seeing those ZERO balances!

Thanks to landing some nice contracts and a snowier than usual winter, we have been able to knock down a large chunk of debt. We are also CURRENT on all of our monthly bills, including the mortgage. A small emergency fund is in place for both personal bills and business bills. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…… What a wonderful feeling.

The physical aspects of unloading such a burden are positive as well. I’ve been able to shed 15 lbs since March. My periods (I know, TMI) are pretty regular now. I LAUGH again. I have friends again. I have a good time whenever we go out with friends/family.

Work has improved for me as well. I’m back up to 40 hrs/week plus a $1.25/hr raise. That really helps get caught up. I’ve been throwing extra money each month at the vehicle payments trying to pay them off sooner.

Did I mention we took a VACATION in march? It was hubby’s idea. Surprise of all surprises. Of course, i wanted to pay off as much debt as possible, and maybe stash some aside for the inevitable unexpected expenses. Hubby convinced me that we NEEDED a vacation. It had been more than 5 yrs since we spent any money on ourselves, and we needed to enjoy the fruits of our labor and not be miserly. It took several days to sink in, but he was right. As long as we didn’t accrue any additional debt, and were still able to keep on pace with paying down our debts we needed to spend our money in a positive way and see money as a good thing, and not as evil incarnate. Besides, our 10th anniversary was coming up and he thought we should do something more special than spend a weekend a few hours from home in a so-so hotel in some lame town, arguing about what to do.

So we went on a cruise. Neither one of us had ever been on one before. He found a great deal through his parent’s travel agent. We spent 5 days in the caribbean. It was awesome. We had a BLAST. In fact, we had so much fun, that we decided to work extra hard and save money and do it again next spring. Who would have ever thought? That $1500 splurge allowed us to really RELAX and re-align our senses. It was good for our marriage. Honestly, i didn’t know what to expect. I worried that it could go the other way. It was a good deal, but still a lot of money in what -i felt- was still a fragile personal economy and we hadn’t spent that much time alone together since we’d been married. It paid off ten-fold. He’s still telling everyone what a great time he had and recommending them to go.

So, are we there yet? Have we made enough progress to call it a victory? I mean, everybody has bills, right? Just 6 months ago, my only financial goal was to be able to pay the bills on time every month. We’ve accomplished that. And it feels great. But, it only seems natural to set the bar a little higher.

Discretionary income. It’s one thing to be able to pay your bills, it’s another to MAKE CHOICES on how you spend the money left over when the bills are paid. That concept terrifies me. What if something happens and I need that money later? Was a trip to the movies this weekend really worth it if the electric is in danger of getting shut off again in 6 months? What if an appliance suddenly dies and my small e-fund is wiped out? And then another appliance dies, or the car needs to be repaired? I never thought about these things before because i just couldn’t. I was strictly in survival mode. Food, shelter, clothing. Now that those needs have been met, there’s a whole new set of things to worry about.

So, are we there yet? Or when are we really “there”?

 

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In Between

So the good news is this should, potentially, be a good winter for making money.

The bad news is: It hasn’t snowed yet.

And we’re out of money.

My cell phone has been “restricted” until I pay the bill. Luckily, this week I get my paycheck early due to the holiday and can pay the bill. Unfortunately, I was hoping to using my entire check for groceries and Christmas shopping on Black Friday.

Not gonna have much money for shopping this year.

To add to the stress, I’ve recently been promoted to the Assistant EMS Coordinator position at the Fire Dept. Cool, right? The EMS Coordinator called me this morning and needs to move up her maternity leave – to now. So, until she comes back after having the baby, I’m in charge. yikes.

And i’m still on-call 24-40 hours a week. I’m at home though, so that doesn’t stress me out.

And i’m half-way through my EMT class. 2 nights a week/4 hours a night. Homework due and quiz every class.

And work has picked up a ton of work, so i’m working super full time.

My cup runneth over and is empty all at once. Life is good~!

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Member of Gen Y? You’re f’d…

I came across an artice on MSNBC.com the other day. “Under 30? Looking for a job? You’re not alone” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28663645/) Although it didn’t help my insecurity any, it really helped put things in perspective. Apparently, my generation has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

The article starts off by describing how, in a deep recession, employers are more apt to hire older “seasoned” employees with more experience. Who can argue with that? As an employer, if i had my choice of 300+ applicants, I’m going to pick the best deal for my money.

However, the article takes a sharp turn and starts to describe how Gen Y’ers don’t work hard enough, are impatient, and should climb the long corporate ladder like their ancestors did.

Ummmmmm…………..

Wait a minute. Most of our ancestors weren’t nearly as educated as our generation, furthermore, most of them don’t have a college degree. They had no choice but to learn along the way. Now, i’m not saying that everyone with a college degree is brilliant and deserving of a CEO position. What I am saying is this article makes my generation sound like a bunch of spoiled brats who had the world handed to them on a silver platter.

Not so much.

I’ve had a job since i was 15. I paid for my own college education. I have never “job-hopped”. Yes, i do have a dream job (in mind). Shouldn’t we all? Apparently the author has a miserable job and thinks everyone should suffer 9-5 with her.

If there’s one thing i’ve learned in my short, unexperienced, unappreciative life is that life is too short to not enjoy. There is no point in being a corporate slave to a company that just continues to take and take until you have nothing left to give. And? At the end of your 40-50 years of servitude, sorry, we had to cut out the pensions to increase our executive salaries and bonuses. Enjoy social security, since we didn’t pay you enough to contribute to your own retirement plan. F  THAT!

I’m sorry, I WANT MORE. Call me what you want, but my ancestors did not risk life and limb to come to the land of opportunity to end up being a work horse for someone else’s gain. I believe that the baby-boomers recognized that and raised their children to believe that they can be anything, do anything. And you know what? They can. And they will.

Just watch.

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What now?

Ever have one of those days when you think it couldn’t possibly get any worse? Let me tell you about my weekend.

On Friday, the owners announced that we would be shutting the doors – indefinately. Effective today. So, yeah. They called us about 1:30 Friday afternoon. The plant manager and i had to break the news to everyone. That was fun. I’m at work today, but only to assist in transferring the tooling and inventory to the new supplier and button up accounting issues.

Friday afternoon i grab the mail when i get home and i see that the dresses i ordered came in. Yay! I ordered these dresses last week anticipating an upcoming funeral and i don’t have any clothes appropriate to wear to the funeral of a close family member. So, i open the bag and see 2 lovely black dresses and 1 light sand colored dress. Are you kidding me? So, i called the store and 45 minutes later they agreed to overnight express a replacement. Thanks, how kind of you to fix your mistake. They weren’t going to, but i explained it was for a funeral and i think i guilted her into being nice.

Funeral? No, one has not been planned yet. Well, it has, sort of. Grandpa is still with us, albeit not doing very well. It was a grueling weekend caring for him and watching him deteriorate. This morning we had a scare, but he’s still here. Grandma has been mentioning plans that she would like when the time comes. It will be a lovely service.

Saturday i showered and was getting dressed when i decided that the new earrings hubby gave me for my birthday would make me feel better. Did i mention that my birthday was last week? Anyway, i had already worn them a few times with no trouble but today when i tried to put them in, one of them broke.

Sunday i felt like crap and really took my time finishing laundry. Later that afternoon when i started my period i knew why i felt like crap, and then felt even worse. Getting my period meant i wasn’t pregnant. And although we’ve been really trying and i really thought this month was it – it wasn’t. In light of everything else going on, maybe this was a good thing. Pregnant with no insurance and looking for a job is not a good place to be.

*Heavy Sigh*

Lord please give me strength.

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much ado about nothing

Wow. So much has happened in the past few weeks, i hardly know where to begin.

With the good stuff, of course. Hubby and i went to a family wedding in Tennessee last weekend. At the last minute, okay two days before, hubby decided to make a vacation out of it. Seriously?! Hooray! I desperately needed a vacation, but didn’t really want to pony up the cash. Don’t worry about it, he says. We NEVER go on vacation. We’ll figure it out. So off we went.

We went to Myrtle Beach for 2 days before heading to Tennessee. We did some internet homework late Wednesday night and found some great deals on hotels and left late late Friday night. Myrtle Beach was awesome – but HOT. We went parasailing! Something i’ve never done before but always thought looked like a blast. And it was!

Tennessee was still hot, but a beautiful wedding. I really really love the south. The people are so friendly and the landscape is just so beautiful. Everything seems just a little bit slower, more relaxed. I would move there in a heartbeat – if i could move my house and family with me. And set up the same way. Hubby’s parents across the street and grandparents next door. My parents and brothers would all need to be there too.

The church was beautiful. Huge. The people there – awesome. Wish we had a church like that back home. The ceremony was the most beautiful and touching i’ve ever seen.

Then, we came home and i went back to work. Not. Fun. Apparently, shit hit the fan while i was gone. Everything went crazy. Suppliers shut us off, customer rejected parts (like 5,000 of them) due to quality issues that, crazy, go back to February. Suppliers raised their prices on petroleum based products (ie: vinyl, plastic) which is pretty much everything we buy. Oy. Why didn’t i just stay in the mountains and live in a cave?

Oh, and my goals? Not so much. Pretty much back at square one. No ovulation this month. No lottery winfall. No raise. No bonus. No new and exciting (and profitable) opportunity knocking at my door. No budge on the scale. No good.

Back to the drawing board…