Rain, Rain, Stay Away! And Coming Clean

There’s like an 80 percent chance of rain today, which is terrible for photo-class tonight!  We’re supposed to have an outside shoot this evening.

So, here I am, at the local friendly coffee shop in Carrollton, trying to decide if I’m going to do what I set out to do on my list or if I’m going to ditch it in favor of doing something more fun.  I need to be out taking pictures just for the practice, but I’m leery of asking the owners here if I can take some shots and I don’t want to go outside as it was actually sprinkling when I came inside the shop.

Sorry for the lack of pictures to go with this post.  I haven’t been taking pictures of randomness that fits this post.  In fact, I think the entire weekend passed without me taking a single shot.

As I said, I’m at the coffee shop.  I hate running into people I know vaguely but know they won’t want to speak.  It’s so awkward to pretend like you don’t even know each other.  That happened when I got here; there was a guy I worked with once upon a time in line ahead of me and we completely acted like we were strangers to one another.  I hate being like that.

At least I got the people who I knew were like that off Facebook.  About a month and a half ago, I purged my personal Facebook (not the blog page) of everybody who I knew I wouldn’t feel comfortable speaking to in public should I run into them.  That was my criteria for whether they had to go or not.  If you found yourself being one of those people, I’m sorry.  Please don’t take it personally; it likely has nothing to do with whether I actually like you, believe it or not!

I’ve actually been toying with the idea of getting off Facebook altogether.  There’s a lot of drama that goes on there and it’s painful to watch.  I rarely post status updates anymore.  But, I know I’d miss some things and I like seeing what’s going on in my friends’ lives, so…I’m still there.

I’m feeling restless with the blog design as well, but that’s a daily battle.  I tinkered with it when I had a hard time sleeping last night, but no major changes.  Mostly, I just did away with the thumbnails from the teasers and I moved the social links to the footer.  Maybe I’ll leave it this way for a couple of days.

Okay, I’ll admit it:  I’m feeling a little manic-ish.  Not psychotic, just bubbly-overly-friendly-losing-sleep-jumped-up-on-coffee-manic-ish.  The coffee doesn’t help.  I needed the first cup I had at home to wake up, but this second cup was completely unnecessary.  It was only a purchase so I could get wifi and hang out here.

I continued cleaning out my art supplies last week and I got my desk in order yesterday, finally.  I may have said that during yesterday’s post, though.  The guest room still needs some work, but its getting there.  Mostly, I have no idea what to do with all the papers that have gotten stacked in there when we needed the dining room table cleaned off in a hurry.  I don’t deal with our household business stuff at all right now, though I did tell Jared a few days ago that I could probably take on a little of it soon.  I just need a few more days of stability (or at least not in-the-bed-depression) and my sleep needs to get back on order.

A Rainbow Tulip business is nearly wrapped up, I think.  I couldn’t face it for so very long…the very thought of looking at any of that business stuff just sent me to bed with anxiety.  If I ever go back into business for myself such that I actually want a license, I will have a business plan set out first.  It was an experiment that failed miserably for me.  All that money spent unnecessarily on supplies, and lost due to not making profits…it makes my stomach turn.

And even the fact that I spent a lot on lampworking earlier this year gets to me now because I never, ever use the equipment.  I’m leery of setting up a studio in the garage for a couple of reasons I won’t go into here.  Jared says not to worry about it, that it’s good to have a couple of different hobbies and that the equipment will still be there when I’m ready for it.  But at this point, I will need to go back to my vendor for some practice sessions.  It’s the kind of stuff that holds it’s value very well, though, and if I had somebody interested, I would consider selling the lot of it.

That’s why the cleaning out of my art supplies has been really good for me:  it’s been a good lesson (and unfortunately, only one instance) on how much money I’ve spent on things I never use, that I’ll never use.  Money that we didn’t have.  I know I’m belly-aching, but there was a time when I actually managed our household finances fairly well and very responsibly, especially when we were a one-income household in Grinnell.  Back then, we even managed to pay off Jared’s original student loan a couple of years ahead of time because I was making extra payments.  I also used to make extra payments on our mortgage, even on one income.  Somehow, it’s like my illness and lack of work sent me into “I don’t care” mode.  But I’m starting to care again.  I’m starting to want to find a way out of it instead of just turning my head away and letting Jared deal with the consequences, letting him be the one who lost sleep at night over it.

We know now that a symptom of my mania is to go on spending sprees.  But it gives me a headache to think that I cycle that quickly between mania and depression; that one day I can be in the bed depressed, fully aware of our financial situation, and the next day I can be on top of the world, with a new plan and a hundred reasons to justify to myself why I’m spending the money.

Then, there’s the fact that I often spent the most money without consulting with Jared first because I knew he’d tell me no.  Most dangerously, I purposefully spent money we didn’t have as a family, or money that should have been better spent on things for the boys, without telling Jared at all.  That’s how I know things have been really bad.  Over the past year, that behavior spiraled out of control and was worst probably this past January.  Even last month, I had a minor episode of it.  This month I’ve made a renewed commitment to be upfront and discuss all purchases first with Jared.  I’ve mentally given myself a modest allowance and I won’t exceed that amount (it’s actually already spent, 6 days into the month, unfortunately).

So, there you have it.  I’m the reason our family is close to being in the poorhouse, and I know it.  Again, I know I’m complaining, and I’m probably being way over-dramatic.  We’re not in the dire straits I saw at work a few years ago.  After all, we’re not even close to being behind in our mortgage and we’re never in danger of not having food or gas for the car.  It’s just the stupid credit cards that have me all tied up in knots.  The only thing that actually gives me comfort is the fact that mine won’t work anymore, for whatever reason.  And the credit cards were my weakness.  I don’t have access to Jared’s, thankfully, and even in my weakest moments, I’ve never, ever considered using the debit card for silly purchases.  Even when I’m having a weak moment, I recognize that that money is for the mortgage and bills.

I haven’t been good at holding myself accountable in my spending over the past couple of years, so I’m coming clean here in an effort to start holding myself extremely accountable.  I’ve learned a lesson both about myself and about finances the hard way.  Here’s to hoping this accountability works.

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