So we've had a slight seismic shift of tiny cataclysmic proportions in Amyville. I can't go into too many details (I've been asked not to) (also, we'd be here aaalll day as this would be a 100 page entry), but in addition to fighting colon cancer, C was laid off way back in April. I find businesses--of any size--often like to make these lay off decisions at the most kind-hearted of moments, like when someone is pregnant, or just had a baby, or during Christmas, or right as they start chemotherapy treatment for colon cancer. I mean, I'm not implying America has lost its moral center or anything. And I'm also not implying we're slowly turning this place into a Charles Dickens'-esque classic. I mean, our priorities are totally straight. Particularly with Jesus' (the peace and love guy who healed the sick and tended the poor lepers, free of charge) birthday right around the corner.
Fortunately, we (emphasis on the C in "we") were/are good at anticipating and preparing for disasters such as this: we lived well within our means before this Life Blip, we don't carry any debt other than mortgage and car payments, and we had savings to cover ourselves. What was also really helpful to us (besides the fact I have a job and benefits and was able to get C placed on my health insurance under an emergency situation) was the unemployment insurance checks we were getting. We drastically altered our lifestyle when the layoff happened, yet still found we needed the UE insurance. Turns out, teacher salaries keep a family of 3 with a roof over their head and the basic necessities (food, water, heat, you know...the basics). But transportation? Child care? Whole, unprocessed foods? Those luxuries are for rock stars and billionaire computer geeks.
I'm sorry. I know I sound deeply bitter and overly dramatic and like a politico shock jock. Please know: I am deeply aware we're far more fortunate than many, many other people in our situation.
Which is why I've started this blog entry like a billion times and have deleted each one, because at this point in the diatribe I think I begin to sound like Kelsey Grammar's annoying, entitled ex-wife. And I really, really don't want to sound like anybody on any of those Real Housewives shows (okay, fine. Maybe NeNe on the Atlanta version. I really wish I had more NeNe in me, some days.) Here is where I start to list all the new drastic lifestyle changes we've had to make to our existing drastic lifestyle changes, the ones that have been particularly making me moody and weepy for the last week since Congress decided to not extend the extensions. But then I become annoyed and frustrated with myself because really: isn't one car per household enough? And a GOOD thing for the planet? And single mothers everywhere who can't afford even bare bones daycare somehow manage to have their children looked after while they work their 2 day jobs + one night shift job; what kind of elitist dipwad am I, worried Melissa will lose all her social skills by sitting at home having daddy/daughter time? And who the hell am I to get sad about giving up a gym membership I never even really used regularly, particularly when Mother Nature has provided me with all the natural treadmills I'll ever need even if She does occasionally make the outdoors colder than a witch's...
See? I'm just this material goods-addicted, spoiled American chick.
Basically, my point is (and I do have one): I was going to shop a little at Whole Foods and then at my regular Kroger this week and write about the two, comparing the experience and food quality. But I've shopped at Whole Foods before, and so I know: this store is way out of my price league for the moment. Plus, the overly dressed women in high heels and expensive perfume haunting the imported cheese aisle would just make me want to drop kick a Buckhead Betty right now.
And this goes for many of my other lofty COFFEE project goals.
I still want to eat healthy...I HAVE to eat healthier. People who are recovering from cancer cannot NOT eat healthy. So healthy eating is still a big top COFFEE goal for me. Taking a cooking class will have to go though; I may have to just stick to Barefoot Contessa and Paula Deen's tv tutorials.
And I still want to run (slow jog? walk?) a 5K this spring...hopefully our financial situation will be drastically different then, but I'm sure if not I can beg for coins at a MARTA station and scrape up enough for an entry fee (I'm being facetious; I'll guilt trip my mom into helping a poor mini-marathon runner-wannabe into realizing her Big Dreams) (what? what? she guilt trips me. ALL the time. And she's really outrageous about it. NO shame).
And I have 2 new goals now, goals that will mostly help my mental health if nothing else:
1-Stop reading news sites. Really, everybody, I'm not joking: I just need to avoid the news, ALL the time. This is a major problem. Especially the news blogs. The stories are depressing enough, but when I scroll down to see what Joe and Jane Smith of smalltown America has to say about it all, that's where me and my moody moods begin to glower darkly. If I agree with what they have to say, I'm all YEAH! and RAAAAHHH! and not in a good way. That's YEAH! and RAAAAAHHHH! in a really self-righteous, indignant kind of way. And if I disagree with what they think, I start deeply wishing there was a way for me to find them so I could pour some kind of acid complex all over their computer. If I'm reading what these people have to say late at night on my own computer, sometimes I actually respond and tell them I would like to do this. And that's SO unproductive, and deeply unfriendly.
Either way, I'm contributing to the negative vibes being foisted upon the planet, a planet already choking in negative vibes.
2-Write. I always go back to it whenever I find myself in major life upheaval of any kind. When life is plodding along mostly okay I usually forget it exists--I mean, I think about it, but in a very casual, I'll-get-back-to-that-when-I-get-more-time kind of way. But when the world throws up on me, suddenly I'm all: Writing! Friend! Where have YOU been?? Can you help me? PLEASE?? I really really NEED you! (I'm like this with God and spirituality, too, by the way.)
C says that he'll take on more household stuff to take some stress off me (like I'M the only one who's stressed--here, again, I feel like such self-centered jerk) and after we get through the holidays, we'll make Sundays my special day...I can treat myself to a coffee shop visit and have a couple of hours of computer time with no interruption. I plan to write. I'm not sure what, but I plan on it.
************************************Needless to say (if you got through all of that without wanting to throw yourself off a cliff), my relationship with Jackie Warner and her program is currently on the skids:
*I didn't work out over Thanksgiving at the hotel at all.
*I ate a bunch of poopy crap.
*But I kind of suspected this of myself, and got right back on a treadmill on last Monday after work.
*And then the bottom fell out, and I've eaten poopy crap and not exercised since.
Like, every day? I've packed an apple--a hopeful, hopeful apple--in my lunch bag. And every day, it gets brought back home and placed back with its apple friends in the fruit basket each evening. I'm looking at them right now, as a matter of fact, and they're all glaring at me. They know one of them is going into my bag tomorrow, and no big adventure awaits them. Just a few hours out and about, and then straight back to the fruit basket.
So for the next 10 days, I think I'm just going to take baby steps. Little bitty baby steps. An apple a day. One bottle of water (fine, Jackie W. A bottle of water...WITH lemon juice). A walk up and down the stairs at work. That kind of thing. Just stuff I know I can handle at the moment, while I wean myself off these depressing lunchtime news sites and reconfigure my lifestyle...again.
Also, my fists need a break. I've been shaking my fists at everyone...EVERYone...even prominent people I normally love to death. And my fists are swollen and tired.