Saturday, January 31, 2015

Minor Gaming Addiction...

Christmas was a downer due to commentary I made regarding a couple going through a divorce.  The husband's new girlfriend posted under the husband's account regarding that the husband was not going to be home for Christmas (he was in jail) and the whole hate filled garbage about the wife.  Nutshell, I was tired of reading that stupid drama and posted my opinion.

Funny - you think you have the right to post your opinion and people attack you or make rude comments.  I lost a friend out of it, but upon reflection, maybe that was coming after all.  That person was not really trying to be a "friend" any longer.  Friends - you generally get together, but after two years, we had not seen one another.  I would say it was coming to an end.  Hate for that to happen, but as they say, some things come to an end for a reason and I was not going to chase it down.  It put my holiday in a rather gloomy damper.  I will say this much - the friendship helped me through a tough period in my life before and after my mother passed away and I will always appreciate that.  I have nothing bad to say - they are good people.

So, I decided to stay off FB as much as I could.  I even logged off of my account on all devices.  I did not want to deal with the pain or the hurt.  I did not want to get involved in that drama, but when people keep posting that crap, you get sick of it.  I will never get why people feel that need, but there it is.

While I dropped off FB, I got involved with playing SimCity BuildIt on my iPhone.  Oh My God!  It is so funny I am addicted to building up a city and such.  I like being able to check on where my production is and getting cargo ships loaded.  I have been trading those items I do not use for more money and expanding the landscape.  

During the past couple of weeks, I have found friends that are just as addicted to it.  It makes me laugh.  I feel much better about myself because I am not worried about other people's opinion on whatever I have to say. 

I do post on Twitter and Google+, but I do not mind people not responding.  I almost prefer that than someone degrading me due to my opinion.  Who needs that?

As I sit here, I am going to go back to updating my gaming systems.  I have decided that with my spending fast, I have a ton of games I need to pop open and play.  Time to get my gaming back up to par and practice.  Perhaps, that will help with my problem solving skills.  I usually get frustrated, but time to use this time to stop and just be patient.

Sometimes, You Have to Learn to Care for Yourself...

It is true.  In this life, you cannot depend on everyone taking care of you and whatever issues you have.  It is a hard, slap in the face lesson you have to learn, but sometimes, you just have to pull up the big boy/girl pants and do it yourself.

I faced this issue when I found out I had type II diabetes.  I appreciate the friends who actually care about that and want to help.  However, bottom line, it is not their responsibility to figure out what I can and cannot eat.  It is a daily battle I have to manage.  

Another person I know was complaining that people really do not get how to prepare food for diabetics.  Apparently, a neighbor had invited her over for dinner and prepared a dish with pasta.  All she could do was focus on the fact that they cared nothing for her having diabetes.  

All I could do was just look at her.  The entire time I wanted to scream "It was a free dinner!!!!  Show some appreciation and do your best not to over do it.  MANAGING YOUR DISEASE IS YOUR PROBLEM - NOT THEIRS!"  

It is a tough lesson to learn.  However, there is so much truth in it.  Having to manage this "little friend" I carry with me is pretty exhausting and frustrating.  It is a struggle, but expecting people to understand as well as cater to you - yeah, that is not going to happen.  You have to manage this yourself.  

Proper diet and exercise are the keys to success when managing diabetes.  Sure, you take your meds and such, but do not expect people to make food choices for you.  That is your battle to take.  Honestly, I do not want someone nagging me about what I am eating.

You know, I have gotten angry over having to eat dinner at someone's house where I got food I could not eat.  Bottom line, they do not have to deal with diabetes, so why should they alter their meal to adhere to what I can eat?  Furthermore, you can end up eating a really rotten meal out of that because they really do not know how to prepare that sort of thing.  So, I learned to just allow that to be a special occasion and get back on with it.

Now, because of my diabetes, I am more considerate of others with special eating needs.  Someone is a vegan, I will make an effort to check a restaurant for suitable options before picking it.  If the place is vegan, perfect.  Otherwise, I will keep checking for proper options.  I have been down that road myself.  If the only choice is salad, then that is not good enough.  I like salads just like anyone else, but come on.

I will say that there is a cultural issue with the work place.  For those whose religions prevent them for eating meats, the work place will work with them more than those of us who have other specific needs.  Any work group "happy hour" or such that we have put together, I have to be very careful to make sure that there are plenty of vegetarian dishes.  Of course, I never have a problem with someone bringing something that fits their needs.  

I read an article the other day about a woman who sent her child to a birthday party.  Her daughter cannot handle refined sugar and needs a gluten-free diet.  The mother had brought with her a gluten-free cupcake for the daughter to eat while the other kids had cake and such.  Her complaint was that all of the other parents made noise about that and how it was not fair to the daughter.  

You know, I do not believe that would have bothered me.  She has special needs and the mother sent something so that the girl would not have been out of place.  Think about it.  I do not know how many times I went without lunch because the manager ordered pizza and something was said about my not eating the crust.  Not like this manager was not told about my having diabetes, but the point - it is my problem to manage.  Probably would have been better to have brought my lunch and ate it.  I still would have had to face scrutiny, but you know what, I am dealing with my issues and it is not their problem.  At the end of the day, I will feel better about what I did and how I handled it.

Feeling Blessed...

For several days, I felt so very overwhelmed.  I felt that everyone wanted a piece of me and I did not really understand why.  Part of it was being upset with my finances and feeling lost on what to do about my 401K and pension.  

Back in November, when I started looking for ways to cut down on what I was spending, I saw I was spending an enormous amount on the mobile phones.  I had two accounts - one account was the company plan and the other was a regular plan.  With the various changes regarding employee discounts on plans and such, there was no reason to continue.  I was paying over $200 each month for all plans.  Ridiculous.

So, there was a pretty awesome deal where the plan was based on data.  Nutshell, I asked to get the 15 Gb plan and the company doubled it to 30 Gb.  The plan had unlimited talk and text, so that was even better.  During that time, I dropped a phone that was not being used and moved everything on the regular account over to the employee discounted account.  That way, I was able to drop the regular account.  

In December, I got a large bill, but also got a fairly decent refund on the now discarded regular account.  In January, I received my next bill and it was still over $200.  Now, that frustrated me.  I figured it should be at least $150, so I called customer service.

In the end, I found out I had to go to an internal website and check off that the additional lines were part of the employee discount and the plan would get the proper discount.  This month, my bill is just over $100.  That is a HUGE savings!  I felt truly blessed in that regard.

Next, I filed my taxes a couple of weekends ago.  For the past couple of years, I would be a bit lazy about it, but this year, I needed the money to help with Chloe's medical bills.  Usually, I had used that money as a gift to myself, getting season tickets to the hockey games.  Not this year.  That money as well as the bonus money would be put together as a fund for Chloe's medical bills.  That way, I avoid charging vet bills on my credit cards.

After I filed, a couple of days later, Turbo Tax sent an email stating that my return had been accepted by the IRS.  I downloaded an update to the Turbo Tax "Where's My Refund" app to my phone and checked.  I was told not to expect anything until 2/20/2015.  Bummer.  I also needed to get Chloe into the vet's office this month and that was weighing heavily on my mind.  She needs a recheck for her Cushing's and a lump to be removed from her hind leg.  I already know that will be quite a cost and the refund would help.

Yesterday, when I going through my morning routine with the dogs, I decided to check on my bank account.  Boom!  There was my refund money sitting in my account!  I cried I was so happy.  Yesterday, I made an appointment with the vet's office to take Chloe to get her check up and such. 

Also, I found out how much of a bonus percentage everyone got for this year.  While I will say I was disappointed, I am thankful that it is *something* and not *nothing.*  That money will go into a separate account for Chloe's needs and I will work to add more money to it each month.  That way, there is some money there for both dogs and that is their fund.  Perhaps, I can come up with some creative ways to keep socking away money for everything.

So, as I got up this morning and was walking the dogs, I was feeling much calmer and very much thankful and blessed.  The extra money I got from the changes I made to my mobile bill will help with paying down credit card debit.  Getting the refund early will help Chloe and that means a lot.  Knowing when and approximately how much bonus money I get will help me know what I will have for the upcoming year for both dogs.  

I will get through this and feel much better about my situation.  

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Future Plans...

One of the things I am trying to accomplish as I declutter my apartment is an "office" area in my second bedroom.  Right now, the best description for that room is the "junk room."  Yep - there is tons of junk in there right now.  

I saw an article on a cute room that was organized for scrap booking.  Unfortunately, I never got into scrap booking.  I tried scrap booking a few times.  My biggest problem was that I would sit next to these very creative people and I was sitting there going "Ummmmm..."

However, I do have a plan for this "office" space area:
  • Set up a "server" that all of the other computers can connect
  • Desk available for studying
  • Leave air mattress up for the dogs to lie on while I am working
  • Possibly move my bedroom TV into the "office" and hook up the Roku to watch streaming video
  • Save my money for a newer TV for the bedroom
  • Put up the various hockey/concert/band objects I have received over the years
Those are just a few ideas I have rolling around in my head.  Also, make sure that I have everything in place, so I can easily reach them.

I was sitting at my dining room table and clearing junk away and remembered I had several free taco coupons from Taco Bueno.  I totally forgot about those.  While I am on the spending fast, I can put these to good use.

Luckily, I am finding some silver linings as I declutter and go through this spending fast.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

With a Little Luck...

Since taking a hard look at my finances last week, I have tried working on a spending fast.  I have my downfalls, but similar to my losing weight, I do not spend the day beating myself up over it.  I just dust myself off and get on with it.

I had forgotten I had scheduled a hair cut in advance.  Well, it was for this past Sunday.  I was dreading it because I had not anticipated it.  It actually turned out okay.  I got my hair cut and the stylist gave me $25 off as a late Christmas gift.  I was flattered and thankful.

Next, I wanted to get some make up at the MAC counter.  Luckily, I had a $40 Nordstorm note, so that cut my bill down considerably.  

Last night, I headed over to Watter's Creek Sephora to get an eye shadow palette that I was trying to get right after Christmas.  I had picked up something and when I found out that the store did not have what I wanted, I put back everything.  No point.

Generally speaking, I am trying to remain focused on the apartment by staying home and doing what needs to be done.  As someone pointed out, I can still enjoy the hockey games as those are already paid.  That also goes for the concerts I paid for before Christmas.  So, I am not without entertainment.

As for eating out, I have a $25 off card for Estilio Gaucho.  Next pay period, I will definitely go there for dinner.  I need to use it before 2/13/2015, which stinks, but I will get some money off for that dinner.  I will have to curb most of my eating out and cook more.  I should be able to lose more weight that way as well.  I will know what is in the meals I am preparing and have more money in my pocket.  I realized when I did cook more often, I had kept most of the money I took out from the ATM machine for that pay period.

I went to see the endo for my three month check up.  Good news:  My A1C is down to 7.5.  Not so great news:  My weight was at 300.  I told my trainer and she said I was on the edge of 2's and we will make it so that I never see 3 again.  I will need to do my part to make that happen.  Still, it hurts that all of that work went into the toilet, but maybe this time, I work on eating healthier and quit obsessing.

Another high school friend asked me the other day, if I would be going to see "Ticketstock" this year.  He has plans to go.  I have not been since 2011 and I got called out due to pre-version release issues.  However, I cannot say that the same thing won't happen this year.  Again, both the event and the company release is set for 2/21.  I really would like to go - the show is free and the radio hosts come up with great bits for entertaining the crowd.  That Saturday night, the Old 97s will perform a show for free as well.  I should go.  It will be fun.

Sort of funny - since I do not spend a lot of time on Facebook, I am finding more interesting articles on Twitter.  There was even an article about locating free music events in the Dallas area.  I will need to check these out.  There was also an article regarding the high price for apartment rent.  I have to admit, while the article stated that there was no houses being built in Dallas, there houses being built elsewhere.  What I do agree about is that there is a rampant building for really expensive apartments.  

I moved into my current apartment shortly after it cleared inspection.  Upon reflection, that may have been a bad decision.  I like the apartment a lot, but over the past 10 years, the problem with the leaking vent during the summers is a huge issue.  The maintenance guys never want to fix it - just blame me for being a poor house cleaner - not getting the filters changed.  I have proven time and time again it is not about my house keeping skils or the filters, which I do change every 3 - 4 months.  You can change the filter and nothing changes during the summer - drip, drip, drip.

Next, there are the smoke alarms.  Hugest pain in my ass since the first full month of being in the apartment.  Now, I cannot get anyone to come in and change the batteries in a timely manner because the complex does not see the chirping as an emergency.  Try telling that to Bo and Chloe.  Neither dog is happy about having to deal with that and I end up spending $150-$200 for one night's stay at a hotel.  More if I have to board the dogs the next day.

So, with a little luck, I am going to try this year to set things straight.  I have lived here for 10 years.  My rent has gone up from $949/month to $1103/month.  What am I really getting for that money?  

My next move, God willing, will be to living in a house.  I hope to research some first-time buyers information in the upcoming months.  Find a nice home with a decent backyard for Bo and Chloe.  I feel that if I can get my finances in order, then getting a house will be the next major thing for me to do.  At least, house debt is not considered bad debt.

I am thankful to have a job and very thankful for some of the breaks I have received over the past few days.  I have to keep plowing through everything, but my hope is to be able to get to that point where I feel comfortable.  That is what matters.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Concerns Regarding Retirement...

Just this week, I had lunch with a group of friends to celebrate one's birthday.  During the course of discussion, the birthday friend brought up the topic of retirement.  Back in October, this friend finally got tired and decided to retire.  I tell him that he never retired - he just quit one other piece of business he had on his to do list.  He has so many other activities going on outside of the normal work that I figure he is never idle for very long.  That is probably a good thing.

He made mention about how his mother did not know what to do with her retirement money when she was working and then retired.  Oddly enough, neither do I!  I look at the information and I am totally overwhelmed.  What does this all mean and what investments should I make to increase the amount generated by my 401K?

I have always thought of investing a lot like gambling.  Back in high school, we spent half of the year trying to figure out which stocks would make the most money and being interested in how that worked.  Unfortunately, I really never made much money - I broke even.  

As I said, it really promoted no interest because it was risky.  You might gain money one day, but lose it all the next.  I figure those who are good at playing the stock market are really good at gambling.

Still, there are other more stable forms of earning money.  I need to understand that more as well.  

With all of that in mind, I am going to try to find some community college course that explains this.  At least, give some information about the risks and things like that.

Let's face it.  This is MY money.  I need for it to help me be able to retire comfortably.  It would be a pipe dream for me to find that man on a white horse to take care of me.  At least, it is pretty much a very long shot.  This is something I need to work on as well as my health.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Experimentation and Getting Back on Track...

Ah, Sunday.  It is the day that ends the week for most as well as creates dread at night.  That pounding dread of "Gosh, I have to go to work tomorrow," "I have only so many hours to get this/that project done before tomorrow," or "I got so little done this weekend - I wish I had more time."  We have all that going through our heads.

This week, I am going to begin "again."  That cheat meal has lasted over two months and now, it is time to eat healthier.  I thought through everything that was going right last year about this time and began to realize some of my faults.  More or less, the weight came off pretty quickly and I began the expectation that should be normal.  Reality is for weight to come off that quickly is not healthy and furthermore, it just adds to the already damaging "yo-yo-ing" I have been doing most of my life.

I am already preparing myself for the weight conversation with my doctor.  I accept responsibility for what I ate and did not do in order to counter-balance.  However, the point being is that I need to be consistent and that has been difficult for me to do.  I was viewing my trainer's diet and it always amazed me.  She never really "ate" much for her meals, but she had more heavier things to eat for snacks.  Now, most of that stuff was either powdered proteins and the like.  However, it was constantly eating grilled chicken and steamed broccoli - either for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  All of the time.  

Sure there was a little bit of a mix up, but not much.  Do most people eat the same things every day?  I mean, the same thing for breakfast each and every day or is there any variety?  Growing up, we always had some sort of variety with dinner.  Breakfast would be pretty much the same during the week - something quick like oatmeal or cinnamon toast with hot chocolate when I was much younger.

What makes better sense for me is to plan my meals.  Take the headache out of determining what to eat each day.  It is never easy for those of us constantly struggling with weight issues.  Even worse, having to deal with doctors who give the disapproving eye or want to try quick and easy fixes.  Life is difficult enough - no one needs the added pressure - we already know what is there.  It is the choices we make.

Financially, I won't sugar coat it - it will be a hard year, but I will manage it.  It is going to sting a bit keeping the trainer, but honestly, it is the one thing that keeps me going.  I look forward to the workouts, but wish I could figure out why I cannot follow through on my own.  That is definitely another aspect I need to rectify.

Other experiments in the works:

  • Drink 1-2 gallons of water a day.  I hear it make a huge difference with your skin and it will definitely help with keeping the blood sugar at bay
  • Moisturizer and wrinkle creams.  I plan on starting that regime on Monday.  I want to see a difference with my forehead and around my lips.  Sort of goes with the weight loss program - the wrinkles did not happen overnight, so do not think they will go away overnight
  • Trying teeth whitener.  Let's see how well Crest really does
  • Measure and log everything I eat and drink - I do it to a certain extent, but I need to crack down and be more strict
 Monday will be a new "start" for many things.  I just need to make sure I stay the course and not get discouraged.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Full Week Back - What a LONG Week...

Wow!  The first full week back to the normal schedule and what a long, stressful week!

Initially, the week started off being the normal schedule - just a tad on the boring side as I really had nothing on my plate to do at work.  The upside to that is when I was working from home, rather than just sitting at the computer, I would get up and get some clutter or other house work done.  Downside, while I was at the office, I would lean towards doing some "boredom eating."  I need to be more conscious of when that happens.  

By Wednesday evening, I had planned on coming home to clear off clutter I had placed on the sofa.  Basically, throw out junk or move it elsewhere for a more time to go through what needs to be kept or thrown away.  I had run the dogs outside for their potty walk and after I got the groceries in the refrigerator, to my horror - the smoke alarms started going off.  

Again, the same smoke alarm, the one in the living room on the vaulted ceiling next to my bedroom needed the battery changed.  I know full well that the apartment complex does nto consider this an emergency and Rent-A-Man works from 7 AM to 7 PM.  I was stuck with two very upset dogs.  Solution - get a room at Aloft for the night, so that I could get some sleep.

Let me say, Aloft is a great pet-friendly hotel.  It is a bit more expensive than say Fairfield Inn and what have you, but I really enjoy staying there.  Just a darn shame I cannot enjoy it more for every time I have had to go there.  Basically, I am more hacked off about the fact that nothing gets done about the smoke alarms as it should.  Part of that is my fault for not pressuring the apartment complex management as I should.  The other part is that this has been going on for 4 or more years now.  It is ridiculous that I cannot get the battery changed out of these devices in a timely manner.  I have dogs that cannot handle the noise and after staying here for several hours the next day, it was driving me batty.

On Thursday, I boarded the dogs and called Rent-A=Man to come fix the battery issue.  Here I am trying to do a spending fast and I have these unexpected expenses.  It was a bit deflating, but I just went with it.  Not much I could do.

Friday morning, I got in to my car to go to work and the car would not start.  Ugh!  Another unexpected expense - new a battery from AAA.  Luckily, that was all the car needed was a new battery, so I am very thankful for that.  I paid for this expense out of my bank account, so I was fine with that.

At the end of the day on Friday, I was exhausted from all of the garbage that occurred.  In the end, I did thank God for my health and keeping me safe.  Others incur a lot worse in life, so I should be thankful that I got these challenges.

Job news - my boss officially announced my promotion to Design and Development Manager for the Wireline systems.  I am excited and yet, a little scared.  However, I am going to try my best to do a good job.  I forwarded the announcement to the boss I had before my last boss.  He was excited for me and said it was about time.  Oddly enough, the next day, I realized what a mountain of expectation I now had.

Health - at some point, I just quit getting on the scale.  I had to.  I was tired, frustrated, and the holidays did not make life easier.  Kevin Smith had it right - Holidays are hell for a fat man on a diet.  In this case, fat woman.  

I overate, but I think I did more on the savory side than on the sweet side.  Sure, I had my sweets.  I made a ring of coconut cake, but over half of that cake got thrown in the trash.  I make fudge, but gave away a good bit.  I wanted the sweet, but did not want to be overwhelmed with it.  The sad part is I do not want store bought goodies.  I want homemade - they taste better and are fresher.  For example, I make chocolate chip cookies with pecans.  I would rather have the ones I make than even the refrigerated version.  

I do want to experiment with my own cookies.  I had soup and salad from Paradise bakery one day and I got a chocolate chip and pecan cookie.  The cookie is placed in a separate brown paper bag.  By the time I got it home, the cookie bag had a huge oil stain.  Well, that is not good.  More or less - ICK!  I ended up not eating the cookie and throwing it in the trash.  I want to see if the cookies I bake do the same thing.

Back to health, I gained about 2 to 3 lbs, but I am not too unhappy with that.  At least, I am still under 300 lbs.  I know my endo is not going to be happy with me, but I am just going to have try harder to eat better and get more exercise into my daily routine.  I also need to drink more water.  I think that will make a huge difference.  I have been seriously lax about that aspect.

Sinking away from the FB "drama" - Well, I have gone from being on FB all of the time to looking at it maybe 3 to 4 times a day for about 5 minutes.  I just do not invest myself into it.  I think what also helps is that I am hung up on SimCity BuildIt game on my iPhone.  Something about building something, then rearranging it, trying to solve the problems that occur and raising money gets me drawn into the game.  It is somewhat like FarmVille and games like that, but I do not have to go asking for game requests.  I am good with that.  At least, I can get frustrated with trying to raise money and keeping my SIMS happy.  It is something I can control and the problems are fixable.  I cannot fix other people's issues.  I can only focus on what I can do.

Going to spend the rest of the day working on doing laundry and clearing clutter.  Even though I may need to move things into another room for another day, I am starting to feel a bit of accomplishment.  Again, with moving things into another room, that is for more analysis of papers that I need to keep or toss.  Sometime this month, I will go to a public shredder company and pay to shred a lot of this.  At that point, any further paper that comes into the apartment will be heavily examined - Is it a bill that can be delivered electronically/Get rid of magazine subscriptions or move them to electronic delivery on the Kindle/Toss ads and other garbage/Contact American Express to stop sending me credit card applications - I am so tired of those.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Life's Ups and Downs...

Last night, I had the great pleasure of going to the Bishop Arts area of Dallas with Random Cathy.  This was a new adventure for me because I had never been down there and both of us were going to experience a new restaurant.  I loved every moment of it!

When I dropped off Cathy from our wonderful trip, I went to tug on my left earlobe and discovered my earring was not there.  I had been wearing the diamond earrings that my mother gave me money to buy that summer before she passed away.

At the time, it was a funny conversation.  She had noticed I had some smaller diamond studs that I would wear.  She asked about why I was wearing them.  I explained that as much as I loved jewelry, I would often be too rushed to change earrings.  So, if I took earrings out of my ears, then I may not wear any for six months or more.  Well, I found that the pierced holes would close up and it made it more difficult to get an earring back in those holes.  So, to prevent that from happening, I purchased diamond studs that had a screw on back.  I said my goal was to get a 1 CT set of diamond studs.  She wanted me to have a pair before she passed away, so she gave me some money to purchase a pair.  So, these earrings have a lot of special meaning for me.

I admit, I called Cathy to check on if she had noticed I was missing an earring.  I could not possibly figure out where it had come out, but was pretty sure it had been when I was at home.  From this point forward, as I wear earrings, I will start making sure I am still wearing them.

Anyway, I was pretty upset and was driving home.  I called my friend, Vicki, to see how she was doing and if she had made it out of the hospital.  That was where the news became bleak.  She told me that the doctors told her she had cancer in her spine, lungs, and liver.  I was speechless.  I just did not know what to say - what do could I say.  Here I was upset over the earring and her news was so much worse.

I mentioned the earring to my friend and her words were "If you are meant to have it, God will help you find it.  You have to give it up to him.  That is what I am doing about this cancer.  I will fight as much as I can, but I have to give it to God because if I am meant to be here, he will keep me here."

I finally got home and had to run to the bathroom.  I turned to look at the bathtub and there was the diamond earring.  No back, but the diamond part was there.  I quickly grabbed it out of the tub and took off the other earring.  I cleaned the earrings and put them in a small snack bag, so I could take them to Zales.

As I do when I am sad, not sure why, I cried for my friend as I walked the dogs.  She is such a strong person and she was right.  If God wanted me to have that earring, he showed me where it was.  Still I was so incredibly sad for my friend.  She has been through so much the past several years, now, this. 

I gave thanks to God for helping me find the earring, but most importantly, I asked for his help to give comfort to my dear friend during this trying time.  Help her fight this battle and give her strength to win.  I was also thankful for Cathy.  She helped me get out and experience something different.  I felt very blessed for that.

Today, I took the earrings and another set to be fixed to Zales.  I got a new back and the other set were fixed with no charge.  While at Best Buy, a gentleman asked me how I was and if the new year had been good to me.  I said that it had been so far.  He told me that it would be a great year and I needed to believe that and it would be so.  

All of what has transpired has humbled me greatly.  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015 - Time to Declutter...

Happy New Year!  I sincerely hope that this new year brings brighter, happier times for everyone!

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to really achieve this coming year.  It all boiled down to one topic:  declutter.

Not just declutter physical items that we can see or touch.  Declutter my mind, heart, and soul.  Realize that it is okay to let go or know when you just cannot do more.

Every article I read regarding clutter indicates how much happier people are with less.  I feel my own life has taken a downward spiral.  I admit, I was never much of a neat freak and my own mother would say I was a terrible housekeeper.  As I look upon that, I feel that my problems stem from too much OCD.  I would spend too much time in one area and neglect others.

So, what do I need to "declutter?"  So many things!  It is not just the physical clutter that needs to be cleared, but also the mental and emotional clutter.  Relationship clutter - letting go of those relationships that are toxic or simply are no longer "relationships."  Mental clutter - ridding myself of negative self-talk and believing the worst in myself.

There is also financial clutter.  Spend time sorting out the necessary needs and work on improving saving efforts.  Work harder at not using credit cards to avoid additional financial burdens.

One of my other goals is to use Facebook to my learning advantage for decluttering.  For example, I started following a page called "Finding Your Time."  This month is January Declutter and already, the page has suggested one thing to do today to help declutter your physical space.  Clear out the food pantry.

Last night, someone paid me a compliment about looking forward to my positive postings on FB.  While I do not figure myself for being a really positive person, that made me cry because I do try.  Through all of the FB garbage I have been through this past two weeks, someone actually noticed I was trying to be positive.  It made me cry because I wish others would see that as well, rather than thinking quite the opposite.

I  have a few other goals for this year that I would like to accomplish.  One for my mom - read Moby Dick by Herman Melville.  She was so disappointed that I never read that book when I was in high school or college.  I have it on my Kindle, so part of my free entertainment will be to read more often.  

Another part of the reading goal is to get an updated list of the 100 books that everyone should read in their lives.  I may not make it through all of the books this year, but it is a fabulous reading list. 

As with every year, work to lose weight and keep it off.  Also, learn to eat healthier and be more active.  Along with that, be happy with myself.  Every person on this earth is different.  Strive not to allow myself to be sucked into thinking all "pretty" people are better than me.  Everyone is the same, but each person has something special about them.  Beauty is skin deep, but the heart can be very ugly.

Last goal - spend more time with the dogs.  This past year, part of my decision not to renew my Stars season tickets really revolved around the dogs.  Chloe is 14 years old and while pomeranians do have a tendency to live to be about 16, I do not have much time with her.  I would rather think I spent my time with her wisely and relish those moments that she is huddled next to me.  

Bo is probably only about 8.5 or 9 years old.  Still, I want to make sure he feels just as loved as Chloe.  I take special care with Chloe because she was my mom's dog and I do love her dearly.  As with children, I want to make sure Bo is not left out in the cold.  I try to spend time with him as well.  I know he is a bit of an attention hound, but he is my special little guy that stole my heart about 8 years ago.

So, this year is devoted to decluttering.  Not just the physical, but the emotional, mental, and financial as well.  Let's all have a great 2015!



That Little Wake-Up Call...

Last night, I simply could not sleep and was terribly miserable.  Physical aches and pains, emotional aches and pains.  Even total quiet could not turn off what all was rattling around in my mind.  When I would finally drop off, something would happen such as the smoke alarm briefly going off for no reason (that I know of a this time).

This morning, I lingered in bed trying to figure out the source of my pain and how to prevent it or, at least, lessen it.  Then, I got a phone call.

A friend I have known for about 20 years called.  She is in the hospital due to having had a possible heart attack.  She has had so many burdens in her life the past several years.  Seems that all of that stress finally built up and her heart could not take it anymore.  She is in good spirit, but I can hear how broken she is over the phone.

She and I have a common problem - chaos.  While listening to her describe all that was building up around her, I realized where my pain was coming and it was from the same place - chaos.  

People have written so many books about living and embracing chaos, but is it really healthy for you to have too much?  No, it is not.  After awhile, you are just looking for an escape.  While I see a little chaos as being a norm, a lot of chaos can probably kill you.

I feel for my dear friend and hope that her plans to whittle down the chaos around her will help.  Nothing is worth risking your life.