Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entries from April 1, 2009 - May 1, 2009

Entries from April 1, 2009 - May 1, 2009


Aging With Grace: The Meltdown

I had previously documented my experience with hormonal induced rage. One of the great joys of perimenopause is it gives one a variety of hormonal induced psychotic experiences. The opposite of rage is The Meltdown

With rage all your emotions are directed outward. Everyone else is the problem. With The Meltdown, all your emotions are directed inward. Life, your life stinks and it is all your own fault. Would’ a, could’ a. should’ a, the sum total of your life decisions has you crying yourself to sleep in hormonal despair.

While rage is hard for others to endure, The Meltdown is hard on the melter. With rage the treatment is simple. Massive amounts of carbs, preferably pasta followed by chocolate.

The Meltdown is also treated with massive amounts of carbs. Actually anything good or bad in my life is subject to carbs is some form and gargantuan amounts. But The Meltdown because it is a stew of complex out of control emotions usually involves a crying jag followed by retail therapy and then communal (solo is okay but not optimal) visual cathartic release interfaces (chick flick marathon).

Fortunately for our finances there were great sales at the grocery store during The Meltdown. Some women would have purchased clothes or jewelry. Not me, suffice it to say we will not be purchasing frozen vegetables or toilet tissue for a while. It is a very good thing the nearest yarn shop is 45 minutes away….sigh.

The Meltdown was a blessing in that I discovered Red Box. Those ubiquitous video rental boxes in the grocery stores that rent movies for a $1.10 per movie, per day. Perfect for the frugal Meltdowner. Twilight, Ironman and Hancock, not exactly all chick flicks but perfect for my fragile hormonal state. Hancock, by the way was surprisingly crude. Watch at your own risk.

I am again clothed and in my right mind. Now, if I could just convince my husband it is again safe for him to come out of his den….


Aging With Oddness: While Walking The Dog.

I have continued with my dog walking duties. When we set out, besides using the no-jerk leash and my special "walk the dog athletic shoes" (any shoes that cost that much can’t be called sneakers. I would never pay that much for sneakers!), I always were my sunglasses.

I am convinced that no one can see me if I wear sunglasses.

Weird huh?


Parenting Teens: What Is It Like To Be Poor?

A friend of hers asked Tech Princess how she liked being poor. This question came as a surprise to Tech Princess because she didn’t know she was poor. While it is true our spending power over the last ten years has dropped from upper middle class to middle middle class (having an at home mom in a two income society will do that to a family)we are not poor.

It is interesting to me that some of my child’s peers perceive her to be so. It is true, because we save and give, on average, at a higher rate than our peers, we have less descressionary income. We also have no car payments, credit card debt and we plan, Lord willing (that is a serious Lord willing, not a tossed in phrase) to pay for our children’s college education out of savings so neither the children or my husband and I will have loans once college is completed. We also planned to finance our own retirement but the economic picture is shifting rapidly our so retirement plans are up in the air.

Except for the insanity that was travel hockey, we are a frugal couple both by inclination and economic reality. Our kids often wish we were freer with our money but the thought of credit card debt gives both my husband and me the willies. We don’t equate buying things with happiness, so we don’t tend to buy the newest technology, latest styles, etc. Our kids occasionally wish we though stuff=happiness, but we don’t.

That is not to say we will not drop some serious cash on technology or experiences we think have long term benefit for our kids. Hence the insanity that was travel hockey or the very cool laptop for the 12 year old movie maker, paying $40,000 to $50,000 for a college education to become a teacher (a noble highly under paid profession). The one on one age 7, 9, 11 and 15 year trips each child got to go on with just one parent. My kids have traveled the east coast on church mission trips. There are assorted video game systems and other small electronics floating around the house. To my knowledge our family has yet to have to miss a meal, lack gas money to accomplish a task, go unclothed, lack needed medical care. The boys have gone unshod but that was due to choice not hardship.

It has been hard sometimes on our kids. Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth in our house so while there are presents and feasting and decorating, the present receiving is not on par with other friends and family members’ booty. When we visit family we just can’t do everything they plan for us to do. We have to say no sometimes to our kids comsumer wants and that is hard on the kids. They don’t see that no in the present means we will be paying for your car insurance and Lord willing your college tuitation later. On the other hand we have said yes to trapeze school and Broadway shows, owning a dog and having a third car.

We do live in a prosperous area and there are families that do provide more consumer goods for their kids than we quite frankly can provide for ours. The reality is even if we could, we wouldn’t. It is our conviction that early training that stuff equals happiness in not good for the long term contentment of our children.

I asked Tech Princess I she thought she was poor.

“No”, she said, then with that calculating gleam teens get in their eyes when they suspect a parent is feeling a tad unsure,

she added ” But I could use some more money for clothes.”

Do some of your kids' friends think you are poor?


Tales from the Hormone Front or In The Heat Of The Night

If one must have hot flashes at least they should be interesting ones. One night in March I awoke feeling the heat emanating from my body. It enwrapped me like a super hero’s force field. I tossed off my covers in a failed attempt to cool off.

As I lay in bed with my eyes firmly shut (hormone inducted heat fluctuations may have disturbed my sleep but I was not going to let my heat crazed body disturb my rest) I could sense the cold air seeking a way through my super hero like heat shield. It was a pretty cool experience (pun not intended). The cold air was moving around my body seeking a way to chill me before I could dive back under the covers. The heat emanated off my skin holding back the cold.

Then without warning the heat shield was gone and I was chilled. Back under the covers

….. and miracle of miracles, back to sleep.


Aging with Adventure: The End of the World As We Know It

I have some family members and friends (if you are family or friends and you have to wonder if I am referencing to you, I’m not) who are convinced our government is creating a debt bubble by spending more and printing more unbacked money. When it pops we will face a situation similar to the Great Depression. They anticipate very high unemployment, food and medical shortages, hardship for the general population.

As with any highly opinionated group, there are differing opinions about what will happen in the financial markets: Some are of hyper inflation, some are of hyper deflation.

They are using a combination of various means to cushion the blow when the debt bubble bursts. Some are buying gold, paying down debt and getting out of the stock market. Others are raising chickens and starting gardens. Some plan to can food and brew their own beer. Others are purchasing year’s worth of food storage. They are stock piling clothes, ammo (this is the only preparation that freaks me out) and medicine.

What do you think? If you think hard times are coming, how are you preparing for them?

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