No, I'm not gassy. I'm decompressing.

Phhhhhht. What? You've never heard a woman decompress before? Well there ya go. I'd stand back a couple feet if I were you.

So hello, September. Things are much different than they were just a week or so ago.

Oh no, don't get any ideas. I'm still single, still poor, still trucking along.

But school has started. The big ol' Freedom Bus has started making her rounds again. This year I have three kids in the upper grades (one high school, two jr. high) and one little boy left in elementary. So I'm back to my 5:30 a.m. wake up time, and believe it or not, it's good. I have come to the conclusion that the kids aren't the only ones in this house who thrive on structure and routine. For the past 4 days I've accomplished more by 9:00 a.m. than I did for entire weeks during the summer. Get this: I'm even making beds.

School starting means that I'm back at work, I'm Cesar Millan for the human puppies. I've said it before, but it bears repeating....you can be in the worst mood, ever, like manic/bad, but walking out onto a playground and hearing your name screamed out by a legion of kids while they race up to hug you will fix it. They are like walking, talking anti-depressants. And I'm not even remotely depressed this year, so you can imagine how wonderful it feels this time around. If I had my life to do over, I'd be a teacher.

I have hung things on my walls. Doesn't sound like much, does it? I'm a renter again, after years and years of owning a home. Up until very recently I've felt like a squatter, like an intruder in this house. But I have been slowly unpacking my art/wall stuff/pictures and started pounding nails. We've been in this house 6 months now. It's time I started making it "home".

I'm becoming increasingly frustrated by my financial situation. And yes, that means I'm going to bitch about Big Daddy here for a second, so if that makes you yawn this will be the perfect time to go back over to facebook and hire someone for your cafe or plow a field or whatever. I still love you.

Big Daddy owes me a lot of money. I'm not going into the dollars and cents here, but let's just say that if he paid me even half of what he owes, I'd be whistling a way different tune than the one I am now (which happens to be Godsmack's "I F-ing Hate You", by the way). Back to school expenses have completely wiped me out, and the next 10 days will be a comedy of sorts, watching me claw and juggle and transfer funds and pray that everything gets paid. I'm not looking for sympathy, not requesting a violin solo or anything...this is par for the course. It's just a little more angsty than usual this month. I mean, when a girl starts asking people for their Rainbow foods grocery coupon inserts, you know things are hairy.

But we'll live. We always do. I just fail to see how someone can eat out at restaurants, buy good cheese and wine and yet balk when asked to help pay for his kid's school lunches. You know what I mean? I know, I know...it's Secretary's money that is being spent on the frills and luxuries, but give me a freaking break. You mess yourself up with a man who has four kids, you can help take care of those kids. Open up the Coach wallet, sweetheart. Buy the kids some lunch, pay for a calculator. Call them early Christmas presents if you have to, whatever. Don't just play Mommy, act like one.

And my really big news? We're cuttin' the cord. Yes, the woe is me-sky is falling-"I'm poor!" mom has cable. I'll own up to that. It's our one little perk we have. We don't do theater movies, except on the rarest of occasions, so I justified it as our lowly entertainment expense. I bundled everything together (phone, cable, internet) when we moved, and thanks to Comcast messing something up (no way, right??) I was able to sweet talk myself into a very low monthly rate. Add another screw up on their part (shocking, I know!) and I got HBO and Showtime for mere pennies. I'd planned on canceling the two shiny extra channels as soon as my little kiss ass promo time expired, but now I've decided to pare it all down to just the basic necessities. Land line is going, internet is staying and we are going down to one solo cable box, no HD, no frills.

Yes, my heart starts racing a bit at the thought of no DVR. I expect the withdrawal to be brutal, but I have a stack of books (grown up books, like best-sellers!) on my bedside table to help me through it.

The cable cutting is being done for a reason. I have been trying to figure out ways to snip a bit of monthly expense here and there because we need to re-join our YMCA. A couple of my kids have inherited my metabolism and I am worried about their health, now and in the future. We have agreed, as a family, that if I am able to get our membership back up and running that we will all take advantage of it. I hope that the kids understand why I'm doing this, and that it makes a big difference in all of our lives. Or at least in our midsections.

Then, earlier this week, I got some news that gave me a swift kick in the ass.

A dear old friend of mine is sick. Really, bad sick. We haven't spoken since last spring, not due to any drama...our paths just haven't crossed in a while. My heart is breaking, thinking about what this friend is dealing with. I'm having trouble finding the meaning in this one...she is one of the kindest people I know. I think you could scour the earth for a hundred years and not come up with a single soul who could say one bad thing about her.

I am torn between wanting to reach out to her and wanting to give her the privacy she deserves. Trying to think about what I'd want in this situation. So far I am backing off, but praying for her as hard as a person such as myself can pray.

I think about this lovely woman, about her fabulous laugh and her beautiful smile, and I weep. I weep because life is so unfair. I weep because I do such a good job of feeling sorry for myself when in reality, the problems I have are the good kind. The easy kind.

And so I decompress. With guilt, with gratitude. With tears on my cheeks.


  1. Good news! I have cable, DVR, HBO, AND an old box tv with a built-in VCR! So round up a couple of vcr tapes, and I will dvr and tape anything you want! Please tell me you are at least waiting until the season 3 finale of True Blood airs until you turn it off!

  2. First of all....you aren't too old to still BE a teacher. Think about it.
    Second of all: I'm currently off to Let's Dish to throw together a few meals for a friend's mom who is recovering from surgery. Added 4 meals to the deal, because "why not?" I'd be more than willing to anonymously donate these to your sick friend if you think it would help...or to you, if it would help. Why? Because I can and because I'm a Christian who thinks you should and it makes me feel good. Let me know. I might not have picked meals that would've been picked by others, but maybe their great!

  3. Everyone needs time to decompress. I'm sorry about your money issues. Time can be tough & boy would it be easier if everyone who owed us money would actually get their sh*t together & pay us back lol.

    I tip my hat to you for getting rid of your DVR. I dont think I could ever do that, I'm addicted! I think I'd rather cancel my cell phone before my cable lol. Good luck & I hope everything works out with your friend.

  4. Thanks Lin! Money issues, shmoney issues. Things could be worse.

    And the DVR is still here! I think I'm going to wait until the season finale of True Blood before pulling the plug. I too am addicted.

  5. I don't know if your Y does this, but mine has a financial aid package for people who qualify. You might check into that.

    I don't have any cable. I don't even have a converter box to watch the network channels. It was weird at first but now I just watch stuff online when it's available and read. And hang out on Twitter. :D


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...