Monthly Archives: April 2014

My C+ Plan for the Day

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Some days, I can only strive for a C+ grade on my day. It just feels too overwhelming to be an A student in the Game of Life every damn day. So, I do the minimum work to get a passing grade as Mom/Woman/Parent/Homeowner and I call it good enough (emphasis important there). We are the only ones who grade ourselves, so what would it feel like for you to give yourself a break from the Wonder Woman/Superman cape for a day, and have a minimum day? Or let’s even call it a Good Enough Day…

  1. Run one block, or do one push up/sit-up/exercise thing
  2. Put one dish in the dishwasher
  3. Fold one shirt
  4. Floss one tooth
  5. Pay only one bill
  6. Kiss and hug as often as you can
  7. Make one phone call that is needed (not the whole list)
  8. Do one chore on your list

We cannot get out of being responsible at work where they pay us to be A people.  But some days, we wake up and the prospect of the double duty day feels like glue on our backsides. The pillows won’t release us to get out and get going… It feels like the list got too long- she needs a Dr. appointment, dishes are everywhere (who leaves them by the couch?!?), no clean underwear, Mom needs a phone call, he needs a tux rental, the bread is gone, and the office is still an 8-hour day… and then ZOOM- we are transported to Overwhelmville; a quaint little town where we feel sorry for ourselves, and get really grouchy (Don’t ask me to be light and loving in that place.  There is no room for that in Overwhelmville).

BUT- if we promise ourselves when we wake up that we can be a C+ person today, and THAT IS GOOD ENOUGH, the pillows untangle a bit from our head, we can take a deep breath, one tooth gets brushed, one load gets washed, we have space to hug and kiss and hear the story about lunch yesterday.  Most of all, we can imagine that all will be ok. We have enough to give our relationships, to give ourselves, and the world won’t stop spinning if I only wash one dish today*.

Progress, not perfection…

*You know, the sneaky thing is, if we take the pressure off of ourselves, suddenly it is ok to clean the entire kitchen, because that is “extra”, above and beyond the C+ Plan for the day, and we are CHOOSING to do it.  So don’t worry, the house won’t fall down around you if you let up on your expectations of yourself.

Big Feet for a Cinderella Budget

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I have spent 3 years (or is it 5?) working on getting my spending to fit a budget. Truly. I am a slow learner.  It is like trying to fit a size 9 foot in a size 7 shoe. I need to cut off toes and shave my heels, not just trim my toenails.  My spending can be an ugly stepsister some months… really emotional, jealous, with an over-the-top-hairdo.
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I don’t like to be told “no”, not even from myself. I admit, I am spoiled. Argh, that sounds awful!  But- this month, I discovered that I really like paying for vacations before they happen even more than I like having new boots every winter. I was able to relax, laugh, and enjoy the moments without counting up the debt I was racking up. I even let my kids have a beverage other than water at our meals-a very special treat! And I drank a margarita. We were heathens.

Finances are hard for single people. No one gets upset when I buy clothes instead of groceries. No one but me sees my credit card bill. No one argues with me about my priorities. I have to be my own police.

So I do my best to abide by Dave Ramsey’s philosophies: don’t use credit cards (even for free miles); have an emergency fund; kill debt with intensity; and if I can’t afford it, don’t buy it, aka don’t buy things other than homes on time (and believe me, this is KILLING me, because I need and want new running shoes, but they aren’t in the budget this month). You can read all about his ideas on http://www.daveramsey.com. He has been broke, raised kids while broke, and is still married. So I figure he figured a few things out.
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My neurosis about budgeting is a lot like dieting. If someone tells me I can never eat chocolate agin, then I beeline for the brownie aisle. But we are old enough now:
-We can floss daily
-We can eat healthy daily
– We can live on a budget (daily!)

Progress, not perfection. You can do it… You are worth it, and you deserve to live without debt!

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