Friday, August 3, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I have been itching for more projects lately but just haven't had the time to focus on any particular thing. I was able to carve out a few tiny moments in order to make some of these personalized Easter favor bags and actually sold a few on Etsy. Gave one to Mom and my sis-in-law too. It has given me a new energy and I want to sew and make some more goodies. What are you doing for creativity these days?
Sunday, February 12, 2012
I can't even believe that it's been since September but, well. I have no excuse except for the 100 excuses I tried to think of but none of them seemed good enough. We have done more home renos, including the guest bath leading up to Christmas so my mom and her friend Dennis would have somewhere to shower, peacefully. It turned out marvelous if I do say so myself. I'll post some pics when I get around to it.
So on to more visionary, purposeful things. Oh 2012, how quickly you rush in and knock me over the head leaving me feeling already behind in my task/chore/to-do lists. Sheesh it's already half-way through February and I can already hear Spring beckoning to come for a visit.
I don't recall making many New Year's resolutions but I was asked, several times, if I had a word for the year. I guess that's the "thing" now? All I could think of was adventure or exploration. Sounds pretty good. After that, turning over new leaves occured to me in the form of weight loss, waking up earlier in the morning and trying to avoid french fries. I haven't done all that well in most of those areas. 'Cept I did manage to crawl out of my cozy warm bed around 8 am this morning. A true miracle for a Sunday. So what's my point...I'm getting there.
I've thought about money for most of my adult life. How to spend it, how to make more, how to give more. It's been a rather tumuluous journey for me. Credit card debt, tax errors resulting in large amounts owed to the IRS, should I go on? I have been budget impaired and uninspired by frugality and simplicity for most of my 34 years. Until now. I am finally seeing the light. Here's how and why.
Many years ago, a young blonde girl ventured to Atlanta, hoping for the success and experiences that any college grad does. Living in an overpriced apartment with two of my close friends, I tried to mingle in a world where I did not belong. People had money here, and I mean serious money. They weren't old either. Guys drove BMWs and Mercedes in their early 20's and I had just upgraded to my little green Jetta. Women wore Bebe and BCBG and so did their teenage daughters. I had been transplated to the land of excess. Buckhead. For the next 4 years I dabbled in what some would call a spending frenzy. Ya see, I had obtained these shiny plastic cards that guaranteed me satisfaction through spending. Enter the credit card. Ah yes, something I had been forbidden to have in college was now mine. All mine. So why settle for one when you can have two or three? Debt started to amass and I didn't blink at a $700 spree through the lovely marble floors of Lenox Square. Phipps Plaza was still too sheeshee for me so I could always window shop. Was I happy? Yes? Was I a bit delusional about this happiness? Yes.
So as I breezed through this mess of debt, I never stopped spending. I even got my chance...a way to pay off my debt using my grandmother's inheritance and it still kept going. I took a brief sebatacle after I was debt free because the g. Yet in true addict style, I just kept going. Then came the guilt of having to spend my grandmother's money on debt when my brother was putting a down payment on a home. I felt icky. Eventually though, I was right back where I'd started. The amount of stuff I had was scary. I was able to eventually move to Florida and outfit an entire condo with stuff. And I mean stuff. I hadn't invested in some great pieces of furniture. No. It was more like all the stuff that you bring into your home because it was buy one get one 50% off at Target. Or from a coupon I got from Pottery Barn for 10% off bedding that was $150- that's not a great deal. However I was a sucker for a sale, discount or BOGO. I get that from my mom.
Ok so back to debt and stuff. Eventually after moving around every year for nearly 10 years, I had enough for a family of 4. But it was still just me. When people helped me move it was inevitable that they would comment, "Wow. You have a lot of stuff!" Yes, yes I do. I was proud of it. In July of 2008 I met Larry and we moved in together in early 2009. It occured to me that I was trying to fit my entire condo into his house. The watermelon and the cantelope analogy comes to mind. It was scary.
Needless to say, it's taken a complete change in spending and stashing behavior to reform me. The economy tanked and so did my credit card use. I refused to put another grocery run or shopping trip on that blasted Visa. I started to clear out massive amounts of stuff from our garage. Donations to the Humane Society gave me a high feeling because I knew that someone was gonna love that ultrasuede couch from World Market for a song. I wasn't even bothered that I wouldn't make a penny out of the deal. Purge. Purge. Purge. It felt wonderful. Still does.
So my goal is to spend less this year. Only spend when necessary and when I want to indulge.....I...have....to............wait. Let those items sit in the online cart for a few days. Let the sale come and go. If it's still vital, then go back. Most times, I can't even recall what was so important.
Above: inspiration for what I'd love my closet to look like. Some day.
Hopefully you're doing something good for your sanity too.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I’m a lover of words. Always have been. So when I see some quote or a saying that it new to me, I usually get excited because it’s one more thing to add to my arsenal. When I saw this, it made me think of the work I do with my clients. Many times, people think they have the biggest obstacle or hurdle in the world facing them. It takes perspective and reflection to realize that often times, we are making mountains out of molehills. So I came across this on a blog the other day. Unfortunately I did not save the source. When I googled it just now, it’s been around for years and I can’t figure out the original source. I’m going to remember this one. Here’s to an inspiring rest of the week.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
For the last four weeks, I've been in a daily battle. With my spine. I've never dealt with back pain before and used to believe that much of people's issues with their backs, well pain in general, was more about medicating themselves than real pain. I need to apologize. Much of my belief system stemmed from a brainwashing of sorts because when you work with addicts, sometimes, the goal laid out for you, by others, is to get addicts off their bums and admit that they had a drug problem...not a pain problem. That's for an entirely different post on another day.
I have pain. I am suffering. It hurts and it is hard to deal with most days, most hours and minutes. There. I said it. Pain is one of those symptoms that manifests itself in 1,000 different ways. For me, it looked like irritability, loneliness, depression, hysteria (only one), hyperactivity (from steroids), jealously and an overall crappy disposition. I mostly took it out on myself. I hope. So why do I write about it?
Last week, I just learned that a friend, we'll call him G., has terminal cancer- pancreatic cancer. He's on his third go round and has decided he doesn't want any more of what modern medicine has to offer. His wishes include making it to and through the holidays of 2011. When I found this out, I was speechless. I was also in pain myself that day that we discussed this via email chat. I know, not the best way to communicate something like that. He's an old, old friend from another life and it would have been too messy to pick up the phone. Weird huh? Anyway, I felt like I could relate to his sentiment. After a while, doctors poke and prod at you and you've had enough.
So talking to G. helped put things in perspective. Pain is well, a huge pain. It's invisible to everyone but me. Nobody else can touch my back and feel the hot iron-like sensation that rushes down my leg with a pang so deep it could knock me to the ground. A stranger can't tell that if I don't smile back at them that day, I just had a dizzy moment from the steroids I have to take, for the second time this month. My boss can't hear the desperation in my voice at night when I pray for this pain to be taken away so that I may wake up in the morning with the full use of my legs. It's mind-numbing. But now I get it. I see why someone might want to start crunching on an opiate because they can't move themselves off the couch long enough to pee. Or why it might become an option to lay in bed for 2, no maybe 3 days, because the walls are closing in and the sun has yet to knock on my window pane this week.
My savior has been Larry and the kids, our animals. I am so grateful. He has transported me hundreds of miles, back and forth to another city for doctors, PAs and spine specialists to give me more drugs and shots in the ass. Who else would do this for me and still kiss me at night when I'm shaking with cold sweats from having a heating pad attached to me 24/7? Oh and I just swallowed another round of pain pills? Bless you guys.
The good news? Today a spine specialist (who I found quite charming) fixed me up with an injection at the site of my pain, the SI joint (also known as the sacroiliac - SI). He asked me to lay on the table with my back facing the sky. He returned with two large needles and some numbing spray? fluid. A prompt for, "this will be cold" rang in my ears and immediately I felt the freezing cold liquid on my spine and back. He added more to the site and said, "just in case". Just in case what? I wanted to ask, "Will it hurt?" and "how much?" but I had tolerated the injection in my ass the week before with flying colors. Why would this be any different. He told me, "I'm going to put.....". Wha? Huh? That's all I heard but I know he said more than that. The long prickly needle went at first stingily along through all layers of skin, fat, tissue, and muscle. Then deep. Deeper. "Wait", Doc said. "I need to get it in just the right spot. Doc left the room, I later realized for more numbing stuff. He said, "Don't move, you've got a needle sticking out of your back. Don't roll over ok?" Huh? Is he talking to me? Silence. I could hear my breath. I could hear...the ocean. I could hear my heart beating in my ears. Pounding, irregularly and strong. I might die here.
Doc came back in, sprayed more cold stuff on me and went to town with the needle. Oh my. Oh my God. It ground into my pain, pulverized it like a fist shattering a mirror on the wall. It hurt so deep down that my toes began to tingle, my head went numb and my entire body shook with a shuddering jolt. Hello, fight or flight response. I put my head down on my arms, now drenched with sweat and started to grind my teeth without any awareness to what had just happened. I wept for a brief moment. Wait, wait. I felt like weeping but didn't have the physical strength to cry.
Larry came up to the front of the table to rub my head and ease my pain. "You ok baby?", he questioned. Doc kept talking as if we were having lunch at the yacht club together, something about stretching and muscles. I couldn't hear or see anything. I was on the edge of a black out. I'd been here before and ended up at the infirmary at Florida State University with a needle in my arm. Doc said, "You aren't going to faint on me, are you? No, no. No no no. I wouldn't do that to YOU. Doc later told me it was my sympathetic nervous system keeping me going. Where's the sympathy in that? My fight or flight is still intact. Whew.
All in all, it was one crazy experience. When Doc went to help me off the table, I could stand. I could walk. I wanted to run down the hall and tell everyone that it would be okay. I would heal. They would heal. We would all recover. No surgery needed. No MRI needed. No more missed time from work. No more nights in pain while watching Jeff Lewis on Flipping Out and feeling like I wanted him to be my friend (and decorate my house). But I digress.
Thank you God. Tonight is the first night I can rate my pain as a 4 and feel okay about it.
We can only go up from here, baby.