Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The roller coaster of life

Of all the metaphors for life, I think the I like the roller coaster best: full of ups and downs, moves slowly sometimes but mostly goes by pretty quickly, seems scary at times but it often turns out the scary bits are the most fun.  You know, that sort of thing.

As with most roller coasters, there's a big hill that you go up and then you go down...and then, for a brief moment, you are in the valley, the low point, the bottom of the hill. 

I'm there right now.

I was there yesterday too and it's odd for me to feel low two days in a row, but here I remain.  Blargh.  Sure, life will keep moving forward and I'll have no choice but to start chugging up the next hill and to keep rolling through the ups and downs of the coming days (and weeks and months and years).  But even knowing that, I can't seem to shake this funk. 

Maybe I need to ride a real roller coaster.  Sigh.

Friday, July 23, 2010

If the skirt fits...

It's a simple and sensical saying: When shopping, buy what fits.  So why do I have so much trouble with this?

I've had my fair share of body issues (sigh) and I can trace it back to when I was 10 years old and in grade four and someone called me "fat" for the first time.  Prior to this, I wasn't aware of how my body looked compared to other kids on the playground.  I was a bit of a tomboy and I ran and played and was all kinds of carefree.  I was still that way as a 10-year-old; it's not like I stopped all physical activity after age nine and packed on eleventy billion pounds.  But someone (and I wish I knew who, but honestly can't remember) decided I was fat and felt they should share this information with me.

Now, most people would just laugh this off and not care.  But even at 10 I internalized everything and suddenly, I was extremely conscious of my size.  AT 10 YEARS OLD.  Sure, I wasn't exactly tiny at that age, but I rode my bike everywhere, I figure skated and skied in the winter, I swam and jumped rope in the summer; I was a pretty active kid.  And now I was also fat.

20 years later, I'm still working on my body image issues and I'm pretty sure this is something I will work on for the rest of my life.  But back to this whole shopping thing: because of my body image issues, I also have size tag issues.  In my mind, there is a certain size I am comfortable being (and I'm not brave enough to share this with you) and if I have to go above this size, I'm more likely to walk away than try it on.  This has led to me purchasing too many things that didn't quite fit, leading to untold uncomfort during the day and many items of clothes that I just didn't wear.

Hooking up with my beau should have helped with some of these issues and I guess it kind of is.  I mean, now I'm with someone who lurves me the way I am and who tells me I look good and is okay if we leave the lights on and all that.  We even went shopping together for me back in the spring and I told him my size so he could help me look for clothes.  There aren't many people in this world with whom I've shared my clothing size.  The best part?  It didn't matter to him what size I wore; he was more concerned with finding items that fit and looked good on me.  (Note to self: adopt this attitude.) 

There was one thing when we were shopping: I tried on a skirt that was a little snug across my hips and the store had the next size up, only I was loath to actually try it on because I just didn't want to be that size.  I sucked it up though (but didn't suck it in) and tried on the skirt and it fit and I bought it and now I wear it all the time.  But when I got home, I promptly cut out the size tag, just in case the beau ever does my laundry.  I really don't want him to know what size that skirt is.

How does that other saying go?  Two steps forward, one step back, right?  Sigh.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


...wow, it's been a long time...

I've been thinking about budgets a lot lately.  One advantage to co-habitation is the reduction in expenses and subsequent increase in extra cash.  The catch with me is that the extra cash needs to be applied to my various debts.

Blargh, debts. 

When I shacked up with the beau back in March, I had a credit card and line of credit to pay down, as well as student loans still looming over me.  After diligently budgeting and making lump sum payments, last month I was finally able to join that previously-elusive group of people: Those who pay their credit card balance in full every month.

It was a little bit exciting. 

Next I'm tackling my line of credit.  I'm not quite brave enough to disclose the full amounts I owe, but it's enough that it will take me until next February to pay off in full - that is, if I stick to my budget.  And I'm not going to lie to you - that is trickier for me than it really should be, although I'm not really sure why because I'm very much a homebody who likes to read and do crossword puzzles and pet the kitty.

Before cohabitation (heh, B.C.), I was diligent about bringing my lunch to work; every Sunday night I would make enough of something to pack my lunch for the week.  Since I'm also pretty lazy in the morning, I would also make breakfast for the week, something that I could easily bring to work.  Now that I live with the beau, I'm pretty terrible about bringing lunch or breakfast and this is definitely taking a chunk out of my disposable income.  I'm not going to stop buying coffee every morning but I can certainly bring bagels and cream cheese to work for breakfast (even though they will never taste as good as the ones I get at Tim Horton's).

I really just need to work on getting back into my old habits and the only thing that's stopping me from doing that is laziness (let's be honest, here).  Of course, the advantage of doing that would be more money in my pocket which means more money to put towards my debt which means debt paid off sooner.  And I really like the thought of that.