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Archive for December, 2008

Yesterday, something monumental happened.  I scheduled my very last credit card payment.  It took me 5 years and 2 months to pay off 3.6 million dollars…at least it FELT like 3.6 million…but as I sat here and arranged the date, it made me think over the past five years and change.

Christmas 2003…probably wasn’t too bad, since I had kept my Capital One and Old Navy cards out of “the program” so I could have them if I needed them for one more Christmas…or two.  I justified this by telling myself that the other three were off the table.  I am a rally good justifier.

Christmas 2004…if I remember correctly, and let’s face it, I may not, things at ol’ Proscript were winding down for me and my wallet was thin.  I made do with a little bit of help from Capital One (for the last time).  I had just changed jobs and knew that the coming months were going to be hard, as transitions in my business are hard, with getting to know all knew dictators (medical transcription lingo for talkers, not like Hitler and Castro).

Christmas 2005…ah, that one was dismal.  My friends at Capital One had decided that my spending priviledges were over, as had my friends at Old Navy.  This one was my first cash Christmas.  I remember thinking man, cash Christmases with 5 kids really suck…or something along those lines.  There were a LOT of CDs and DVDs that year.  The kids had been well prepared and were super about it, but I still felt like a complete piece of loser shit.

Christmas 2006…I was in the all-cash groove by then, even though I wasn’t making that much money at InHealth and knew that the inevitable job change (why I always seem to make the job change decision around new year time is beyond me) was coming, which would mean the inevitable months of transition time getting used to knew doctors all over again.  There was the inevitable robbing peter (TXU Electric) to pay paul (Christmas) but it was one step above the all CD/DVD Christmas the year before. 

Christmas 2007…my one new year’s resolution that year was finding a new and better job, which I did on January 2.  It was not new or better, so started a new, new job soon after with the company I’d been trying to get on with forEVER.  As it turned out, my production sucked and it wasn’t turning out to be so great for me, even though I loved the company and the people.  I knew, though, that yet another job transition would not be a good thing for me in any way, shape, or form, so I hung in there by my teeth…and then…something miraculous happened.  An editing job opened up and when no one as good as me fit the hiring criteria, they relaxed the amount of time you have been with the company requirement and I applied and GO TTHEJOB.  FINALLY…HOURLY PAY, NOT PRODUCTION.  FINALLY…GETTING PAID TO CORRECT OTHER PEOPLE’S MISTAKES.   I was over the moon.  I want to say I got the position November-ish because by Christmas shopping time Mama’s wallet was decidedly PACKED FULL OF MONEY.  Yes, that Christmas was truly wonderous for me…not that the others weren’t…

well, wait.  The others weren’t so much.  Yes, I knew we were blessed with our health and our home and food to eat, but when you have kids it’s hard to wrap health and our home and our food to eat. 

Anyway, 2007 was wonderous in many ways, thanks to the editing gig.  I had to pinch myself occasionally because I found it hard to believe that I was actually getting paid money to wield my virtual red pen and make snarky comments to myself about Betty’s lack of grammar skills and ineptitude at using Spellcheck. 

Which brings me to…

Christmas 2008…which is going to be a wonderous close to what has been a wonderous year.  This Christmas, I think, will be known as the “Quality Christmas,” meaning there might not be 20 zillion presents wrapped prettily beneath our quickly shedding Christmas tree, but what will be there is going to make the recipients go SNAP WOW.

At least they better 🙂

Now back to the retrospective…

2008, I think, will really be forever known as the year that mama got pretty much whatever mama wanted pretty much whenever mama wanted.  If the kids needed something, they got it….and sometimes they got stuff when they didn’t need it.  Which was a big, big, HUGE change for me.  Thanks to the editing gig, I got a lot of cool stuff for me and the Casa in 2008…and not just stuff like furs and jewelry and cars…

No, this was stuff that we really needed.  Stuff like a dishwasher and a lawnmower and couches with no rips and a dryer and a garbage disposal…and boy, am I glad I got all that cool stuff because…

In the last few months, well…several months, my job has changed…and not for the better.  Let’s just say that the corporation has taken my dream job and just sucked every single bit of joy out of it.  So much so that I am not too sure whether or not I’m going to continue editing.  In fact, last week I tried to quit (editing, not the whole job!) but allowed myself to be talked off theledge by my boss. 

However, as I said at the beginning, come January 2, 2009, my very last very big bill is going to be paid off, which will mean, I think, that if I did decide to go back to production, I would still be okay. 

At any rate, I will make that decision after the new year and after that first month of not having that payment. 

As this year comes to a close, and somewhat dramatically, what with the Mr’s health scare and the big changes that brought, make no mistake…I am a truly and completely thankful soul.  I can honestly say I have taken none of this for granted. 

As I look back, I can see now that the lean years, the ACC years (after credit cards) took that idiot who didn’t have a lick of sense when it came to finances and molded her into who I am today, the person who not only walks the all-cash/no credit walk but talks to talk HARD to the kids…if you don’t have the money to get it, you don’t get it.

Period.

So yeah.  With that, my Christmas retrospective comes to a close and I must go ready myself for my next to the last Christmas shopping expedition, which is the next to the last one because the Boy will be accompanying me and there are items that cannot be acquired while he is in my company, if you get my drift…which means *sigh* that I will be rubbing elbows with the Walmart crowd Christmas eve, acquiring various and sundry items for Christmas stockings and what not…which means that our stockings will be full of pink and red M&Ms and candy hearts with ‘Be Mine’ on them because by Christmas Eve that is all that is going to be available at Walmart  because, well, you know, it will be almost Valentine’s Day by then.

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DING DONG…Reality Calling.

The last few weeks have brought some huge changes around our house…not the least of which is that we have had to rethink home security and do stuff like lock the doors in the daytime and lock the cars in the daytime AND the nighttime to assure that ne’erdowells stay the hell out of our stuff.

Wait. Did I tell y’all about the rash of daytime robberies at gunpoint or about the thieves ransacking vehicles in our neighborhood?

Yeah. I guess I should have started with that. Anyway, that said…

Dammit it all, it has been a hard transition to make, but one I’ve made gladly, of course, to assure my safety and the safety of my family, and the safety of all my righteous shit, like…

the 14 VCRs we have that no longer work and
the old 15″ TVs and
the 3 old video game systems that are missing cords and

well, you get the picture.

I grew up in Glen Rose, Texas, and no one locked their doors or their cars and 9 times out of 10, you left the keys in the car, too.

And, while I don’t and never have left the keys in the car, I haven’t really changed my open door, open window policy…

until now.

And I don’t really like it much. It feels absolutely foreign to me to have to unlike the door to go outside, only to unlock the van door to get IN…I hate having to ask the kids ‘did you lock the door?’

I mean, it’s bad enough that we live in a time where I can’t say (without worrying) ‘okay son, go ride your bike, be home by 5,’ but now we have to lock ourselves inside the house just in case one of these assholes decides our stuff might be worth thieving.

And I don’t want my kid growing up afraid. A kid shouldn’t grow up afraid in Cleburne, Texas, for petesake. This isn’t New York City or the Bronx or the south side of Chicago or Dade County.

And while I will do what is prudent to protect us, I refuse to live like it is.

Merry Christmas, guard your stuff!

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And the Blog Returns

In these last few weeks of radio silence, I have been dealing with some pretyy heavy shit here at the Casa. In fact, I have been so busy dealing with it that I couldn’t even wrap my head around how to address it here, or if I should at all.

And this is what I’ve finally decided.

I am, but I’m just going to be very vague and obtuse and perhaps a little crypticic and then I’m just going to get on about business as usual.

Very soon after Thanksgiving, life here at the Casa was rocked and I found myself staring a few things I’d been afraid of for a good little bit right in the eyes.

Blah blah blah.

I win.

Take THAT ‘a few things.’

What were these little demons I faced down?

Well, the reason I’m being so on the down low is this..

I was addicted to porn and gambling.

I know.

Shameful, huh?

I jest, of course.

In a nutshell, this morning when I updated my myspace information, I put no after the words ‘smoker’ and ‘drinker.’

I can’t remember the last thing that felt that good.

Onward and upward, as they say.

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