Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Excuses, Reasons, & Changes....
So, yesterday I was hit with a literal $h!tstorm of comments regarding my post the other day about Guppy2 having friends here right afterschool and staying through dinner time.
First off, as you can see if you have tried to post a comment over the past twenty four or so hours, I have changed to a moderated comment section. I did this not because of people like Nathalie, Sandie, Laura, Jess or Cheryl who give their advice (though sometimes stinging) in the spirit of helping/friendship. I did it because of the commenters who decided to troll and say nasty things just because they could since everyone is anonymous over the internet.
Another change I have made is I am discontinuing my "Yearly Totals" series and have deleted the previous posts concerning it. I never really discuss my blog with Papa, however, yesterday we talked about it a bit. He wasn't all that comfortable with me posting numbers in that much detail. After thinking about it, I am in agreement. Probably not my best idea there. I WILL finish figuring this out though. It is important for us moving forward. I just won't be posting my findings. (The only exception to this will be my grocery expenditures. I plan on keeping up with this on here.)
There are a lot of reasons why I started blogging. First and foremost, I wanted to just get back into the habit of writing everyday. Second, I hoped to join a community of people who are trying to achieve similar goals, although on different paths to reach them. Third, I wanted (maybe too naively) to write a "real" blog, full of the flaws of real people and real life. (NOT that anyone of you aren't doing the same! Please don't take offense in that statement.) I guess maybe I don't mean "real" exactly....It's more than I am still new to the frugality part of the game. (Truthfully, I feel like there are times when I am still learning how to "adult".) My life is not all perfect and wrapped with some great big red Karmatic bow. Life is messy and hard and full of choices.
Funny thing is I also realize that, in wanting to be transparent with my flawed self and life, I made a greater mistake. Readers don't see the entire picture. Readers only get the snippets or, at best, a snapshot. The only way to know the whole story is to have lived the whole story. That goes for all of us, whether we connect in the blog-o-sphere or on the street, don't you think?
There are places we can tap into (if needed )monetarily to stay afloat while Papa continues his job search. Not many places, but a few. Also, he now is finally getting unemployment which helps cover some of the expenses. We are probably getting back a rather substantial amount from taxes (not sure how much as these aren't completely finalized) which will help as well. We aren't going to lose the house. We are nowhere near that sort of thing and it just isn't going to happen because we won't let it happen.
Do I make excuses? As hard as it is to admit it, yes I do. I should take the few extra minutes to double check coupons before heading out to the grocery store. I should make time to find/clip/print/organize coupons to reap the benefits. I should have back up plans in place and meals stashed in the freezer ready to go. I should make the time to get ahead of the game where I can. I can go on and on with the list of "I should"'s. They need to be addressed. There are some days (a lot recently) where I am too tired emotionally or physically to "deal" so I revert to bad habits. That's on me absolutely!
And, I do need to use the word "No" a LOT more often than I do.
I admit I have a hard time with changing how things are when the Guppies have friends over. While hard for me, I am trying to now limit what is available in the way of snacks/drinks/food. Especially since Monday went fairly well. No one went home hungry/had a bad time because my kitchen didn't look like the grocery store junk food aisle. And no one found my secret stash of stuff I hid so they couldn't eat it. Haha! Between limiting what's available and making casseroles when kids are here, I should be okay from this point forward. I will stand by what I said though - if the kids are here at dinnertime I won't send them home without feeding them. What I need to do is work harder at having things readily available that are cheap and easy to make.
I know I spend a lot of money on snacks/drinks/food. And, I know it isn't completely because it's more expensive here in Connecticut. Part of the reason I have certain food in the house that most people would immediately cut out is Guppy 1. A few years ago, (end of sixth through eighth grade), we watched her waste away to nothing. She was depressed and developed an eating disorder. She was on the brink of being admitted into an inpatient facility but through the help of her team of doctors, (and hopefully us), G1 found the strength to turn things around. (I'm not telling you this as a sob story. I promise. I am telling you this so you have extra insight/information.) She is doing great for the most part now but her eating has become a bit picky - she eats a variety of food, a lot of which is made up of quality whole foods, BUT needs certain brands/things in the house too. As her mom, I will continue to do the best I can to keep her from slipping back and will include the specific items she likes to eat as snacks/breakfasts/ etc. She will be an adult soon and will be off on her own at some point in the near future. Until then, we will do what we can. And now you have more of the full picture as to why I always get things like croissants, apple strudel, certain Snapple, and such. Maybe it still seems like an excuse to you guys but, in my world it's a pretty great reason to make these purchases. Is it all G1's fault the grocery bill is so high? Of course not! Not even close! There are many places I could still cut corners and even with the things I feel I have to buy, I can do better with price matching/coupons/etc.
People have commented on the music lessons (again some comments I chose not to publish). My girls "live" in the creative world - as in they write, draw, sing, play instruments. While G2 does exceedingly well in school, it's not the place where G1 thrives. G1 especially needs music, not only as an outlet, but as a potential career choice. She doesn't know whether that means in front on stage or behind the scenes. Does she want to be the next "big star"? No, that's not her focus. But, music will be entrenched for her entire life one way or another. I will (and have been) going without in certain areas for myself in order to keep these lessons on the books until G1 says she's done. We plan on having a talk with G2 just to determine whether she wants to continue drum lessons. My guess is she will. And while not as passionate about it as G1, we will continue her lessons for as long as we are able. But, we invest in our kids when it comes to the arts. For Papa and me, it's as important as their public school educations.
We are all on our own paths with our own set of unique experiences mixed in. I think that's part of the reason why I enjoy reading blogs so often. I like to see different points of view. I like to see the snippets of others' lives. And I DO like to hear different points of view, suggestions, etc on my own blog. So, keep them coming! Unless you are trolling...If you are trolling, forget it! You aren't getting a rise from me any more!
Okay...stepping off my soap box now. Have a great day everyone!
Just one more thing....a big THANK YOU to "Ms. Sandie". Seriously thanks for the talk yesterday regarding all this! And thank you for being honest as well! It helped more than you can imagine.....