Saturday, June 30, 2012

Things That Don't Fit Anywhere Else (aka 5 partial blog posts in one)

1) My ability to self-flagellate astounds me.

I mean, while I do take a perverse sense of pride in just how well I beat myself to a bloody pulp and am confident if it were an Olympic sport I would, at the very least, take a place on the podium, it's a rather disturbing skill to have honed. One I could do without. But, just like it's kind of comforting in an ouchy way to pick a scab until it bleeds, it's also strangely soothing to poke and poke and poke at my emotional guts until I throw up (figuratively speaking).

So that's how I've spent this fine Saturday. How about you?

2) Yesterday, I did something very exciting. I paid off the balance due on my second to last credit card leaving one last card to shovel out from under and then I'm debt free. Of course, I saved the largest for last and boy is it a whopper! But I'm proud to say more than $10,000 in debt is gone. Forever. I think I probably ought to feel much more accomplished than I do. Certainly it feels good to have gotten this far and the heavy weight of carrying around the crushing amount I started with has lifted but I don't seem to feel much of anything at all. Perhaps it's that there is no tangible proof that it's gone except seeing the $0 balance due when I log in to my account. Otherwise, the money I was putting toward all the rest of my debt up until now will be funneled into huge chunks on this remaining piece. I don't feel like I've achieved anything when I still feel broke.

Which leads me to...

3) It occurred to me recently - now that I'm entirely out of my funky cold depression - that a significant portion of why I felt so craptastic all of last year is because I have been a long-term patient of retail therapists for years and, starting at the beginning of 2011, I couldn't indulge in my favorite brand of therapy. Now, I don't spend money in the usual way of buying material things for myself like shoes, books, and cat shirts but I've always been overly generous when it comes to spending money on friends - drinks, meals out, presents - and donating to causes that strike an emotional or intellectual chord. Once I stopped allowing for that kind of behavior so as to get out of debt, I took away a major coping that also had strong ties to who I am as a social, kind, and generous being.

Once I had this epiphany, I went a little crazy with the spending. I made several donations, spent quite a bit treating friends to oysters on the half shell and sushi, taking non-husbands to lunch, and sporting a bar tab or two. It felt terrific!

But now I have to rein myself back in and put my nose to the grind again. Because I really do want to be debt free. And once I have no more debt, just think of all the fun things I'll get to do! all my friends cat shirts! Like this one:

Spux in the best cat shirt of all time

That shirt seriously has never failed to cheer me up. I mean, look at it!

*sigh* Fine. I'll stop overspending on the pleasures. But I am giving myself a raise in the Mad Money column. It'll take me awhile longer to pay off the rest of my debt but, I think, in the long run, I'll be happier. It's not a race. It's a journey. A slow, plodding, methodical journey.

4) Do you ever look at your own Facebook profile, specifically at the little section that shows the profile pictures of eight of your friends selected randomly and think to yourself, "I have the most gorgeous, fabulous, crazy cool friends on the planet?" I do. It makes me happy.

5) Have you ever had a conversation with someone and, in hindsight, realize the two of you were not actually having the same conversation which, subsequently led to a weird, hot mess of a misunderstanding? Yeah. About that. I'd like a couple of do overs, if you please.



Anonymous said...

I do love 'ya, but please don't ever send me a cat shirt. I'm begging you. Well, better a shirt than an actual cat, but really, neither would be best.

Oh, and please don't beat yourself up. You deserve lots and lots of things, but an ass-kicking is not on the list.

See you in August. Until then, be nice to yourself because you really are awesome (and infinitely wise). ♥

Gaelyn said...

Puking out life's baggage could be healthy, just not in a balemic way. Spent Saturday driving, and 7 hours is hell on my butt.

I am impressed with your dedication to paying off the debt(s). Not easy. We all deserve an occasional treat but not at the expense of our dreams. The raise is a worthy reward. The rest, merely stuff.

Love the T-shirt.

Life is a journey. Fun to share with friends.

Anonymous said...

I have many family members and friends who love spending money on clothes. I do not share their enthusiasm for doing thing like going to the mall, or shopping online. If I shop for, it's because I absolutely need to.

NGS said...

Oh, man, is there nothing worse than two people holding two different conversations at one time?! Sometimes I wonder how the human race is still around with our inability (at times) to communicate!

Lucy said...

Oh, boy, I know what it is like to beat yourself up, I'm pretty good at that little sport too.

I think it is great you are digging yourself out of debt, it isn't the most fun thing on earth but in the end, so so worth it!

Margi said...

Self-flagellation. Yes. Stopit. (me too)

Debt - the reason we justified leaving our beloved Denver for Hell, I mean Phoenix, was because it came with a raise substantial enough to eliminate our credit card debt. Now, we still have mortgage, student loans, and a car payment to think about. But that credit card monster? No more. It's an amazing feeling. It was even better when we finally paid off my '98 Corolla I'd leased, then bought, then refinanced. Sigh. I paid well over "sticker price" for that car.

I have three cats. I used to have 4. I love my cats; they're like my babies. Actual cats, yes. Cat-decorated clothing? Good lord, no. I've been given cat shirts, cat purses, stuffed cats (nothing creeps me out quicker), cat pins, cat greeting cards (okay, those are fun), cat magnets (those are fun too - they're cat butts and really ridiculous) ... ay.

Yes, my friends are awesome. A little "touched," I think, since they're friends with me, but I'm a lucky girl indeed.

And the 2 conversations thing? That stinks. It's hard to recover from that, though it certainly is possible. I was just talking to someone the other day about how amazing it is that human beings get anything done together at all sometimes.