Posts Tagged ‘spending plan’

It’s Been A Day

July 4, 2018

It really has.

It was preceded by a night with little sleep.

I had a really hard time falling asleep and I couldn’t stay asleep when I finally did.

I rarely have insomnia, but last night there was a kiss of it.

So much to think about.

And my wild thoughts got me up so early.

Really too early.

But.

I have to say I am surprised that I didn’t feel tired today.

I also had a bit more to do than I thought I was going to.

In between my therapy session and dropping off paperwork to a former supervisor in Hayes Valley, I got a text from my boss asking for a huge favor and could I go help out at the house for a few hours.

I said sure, I went, I let in the cleaners, I hung out and listened to French House music, I did some spending plan for July and I added up my expenses for June.

I got a bit walloped yesterday.

Truth be told.

Unexpected conflict.

Lots of fear.

High amounts of anxiety.

And lots of having faith and leaning in.

I spent most of yesterday outside the house, I didn’t feel safe here and I didn’t want to have more conflict escalate.

Fortunately nothing further happened.

You want details you contact me directly I am being circumspect about what goes on my blog for a little while.

When the dust settles I may elaborate more, but tonight as I write, suffice to say it’s been unpleasant and I have been taking actions around my housing situation to the best of my abilities.

I also have to say thank God for my external support and for the people who I could call and talk to and get suggestions from.

So much lovely help.

I needed every bit.

And so, it was of no surprise, not really, when I got home after a long stressful day yesterday and found a bill from my health insurance for $867.23.

Fuck.

Really?

I knew it.

I had a feeling I was going to get a sucker punch from the endoscopy.

I looked over the bill and though yes, I was a touch upset, in the end my insurance did cover $3200 of the procedure.

Grateful for that.

I sat down and wrote out a check.

Then I balanced my checkbook.

Then.

Well.

I have therapy and need groceries.

I am sitting with money in my account, but it’s earmarked toward rent, my rent check has not been cashed yet.

I double checked my addition and subtraction and I thought about a few things I wanted to do today.

Car wash.

And decided to pull money from my savings account.

Did I have to?

No.

I would have been ok until payday.

I mean.

I would have bought nada.

But I would have been ok.

Then I thought, why feel pinched when I have money there that can be used?

I transferred the money that I had earmarked for Paris into my account and decided to make sure I looked over my budget and spending for the month.

It’s a big month for travel.

I have no regrets about what I spent in New York.

I am very happy for the trip, the memories, the mementos.

Absolutely no thoughts that I should have done it any different.

It was a wonderful trip.

Paris will be too.

I may not have the $867 that had to go to the hospital bill, but I have enough.

I’m o.k.

That became sort of the theme today.

I am o.k.

I am going to be o.k.

Everything is o.k.

Yes.

Things are hard.

Things are challenging.

Life is showing up and doing what life does, giving me opportunities to learn and grow and expand my capacity for love.

Yes.

There were tears today too.

Therapy.

I talked for the first half about my living situation and what happened yesterday.

My therapist really applauded how I handled the situation.

I was not expecting that, to be told that what I did under pressure was admirable.

That felt good to have reflected back to me.

I still had few moments of feeling overwhelmed when I talked about what had happened, but hey I didn’t die and though it was intense and unpleasant, I got through it.

I had lunch with a friend today after therapy and he reflected some of the same things back to me.

It was super fun to see him.

He works in a cool tech company and they have lunch delivered and so yay, free lunch and an hour with a good friend.

He also helped me figure out my bottom line around my situation and gave me some brilliant language should I need, when I suspect, it’s not going to be a should, it will be a when, to stand up to the situation and what is happening.

It was calming and I appreciated hearing it and that he also acknowledged I do have a lot of power in the situation.

Ultimately.

Faith.

Faith.

And more faith.

It shall prevail.

The rest of the day was nice, like I mentioned, helping out the family, getting to do the work on my spending plan, taking time to eat a nice dinner, just a salad and sparkling water, but it felt good to nourish myself on the earlier side of dinner as I had a client cancel and I wanted to do the deal tonight at 8p.m.  I was able to leave after my first client and get across town right on time.

Where again I got to be aware of fear and faith and that they are similar, belief in something that cannot be proven.

So I chose faith.

I will continue to choose faith.

Knowing that I am loved and carried and I just have to show up and take the next actions in front of me.

It will all work out.

It really will.

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Taking Care of Business

September 26, 2017

I just responded to my advisor and the head of my Masters program at my school.

I was expecting to get a financial aid disbursement from my school on September 19th.

I didn’t get a thing.

In fact.

When I checked in to see what was going on I discovered that not only was there no money to disburse to my account, well, fuck me, I owed money!

How the hell was that possible?

I mean.

I was counting on getting some money.

I certainly got the heads up from my student loan processor that I was getting the money, and they will be happy when I’m finally out of school and start repaying them, but here you go kid, take on some more debt, it’s good for the economy.

So.

I start to scour the tuition bill and there it is, a charge for $1087.

For a retreat (remember those insanely not relaxing weeks I did at the beginning of my first and second year.  Nothing says retreat like being in class for 8 days in a row from 9a.m. to 9p.m.) I did not attend.

Third years don’t get to go to a retreat, we are in practicum so there’s no room in our schedule for it, and really, there’s no point, we’re three-quarters of the way through.

I wouldn’t have minded it, actually, the place is pretty, at Ions Institute outside of Petaluma, and the weather is great and it’s nice, but I didn’t go.

And as such.

Don’t freaking bill me!

I’ve made phone calls.

Left messages.

Gone to the office in person.

I was told to send an e-mail.

Did that.

Then I cc’d my advisor and I got great support from him, but the business office hasn’t refunded the charge yet and of course, my scholarship monies got released and they, the system, kept the $1087.

I haven’t had the rest of the scholarship money land in my bank account yet, but I will and I hope it doesn’t take to long to get the rest of the money.

I have things to buy.

Like a car!

I really have decided to do it.

I have had a lot of talks about it, done research, done more talking, prayed, ran my numbers and I think I can swing it.

Yes.

I will be buying the car with some of my financial aid money.

But I will be using it for school, certainly to get to and from my internship and work of course.

This will be the first time in my life that I have bought a brand new car.

I have owned a couple of cars, but never a new one.

Here’s the one I’m looking at.

I can swing the $150 a month payment.

Plus I’ll have to have car insurance, which I figure will be another $100 a month and then gas.

Gas is going to be a lot more than the $1.50 I put in my scooter to fill up the tank today.

I still will use my scooter, but when the weather is bad, or super foggy, rainy, cold, or nasty, well, I will drive my car.

I like saying that, “I will drive my car.”

I have owned cars before, but it’s been a long while.

I ran into my person today very serendipitously, at the Whole Foods salad bar on Market and Dolores.

I had gotten out of my internship an hour early, client cancelled, and I decided to do a little grocery shopping.

I was going to SafeWay and then I felt like, no, I’m going to Whole Foods.

Glad I trusted my gut!

I got my groceries and then we joined a mutual friend and chatted and talked and got caught up.

He’s very behind me getting a car and I’ve been ruminating on my money for weeks now.

I have six thousand in savings.

I have a credit card with a limit of $5,000.

I could, technically, buy the car outright.

I don’t know that I want to do that, I would rather have a buffer for myself.

I don’t want to touch my prudent reserve at all, I’ll be keeping back $2,000 in my savings to make sure I’m ok if something happens and I’m suddenly without income.

But I could put $4,000 if my own money down right away, and maybe run $3,000 on my credit card.

I don’t want to max that out either.

Then I can pay off the rest of the car when I get my scholarship money in spring.

I’ll do the $150/month payment and come spring, I’ll pay it off.

That’s the idea.

I think it’s pretty sound.

I’m going to take a few more weeks, but I feel pretty ready to make a move on it.

Plus, I don’t want to get caught in the rain.

“Doll, I know you’re independent, but let me state the obvious, you’re a woman, go to the dealership with a man, don’t go on your own,” my person said before I left to come home.

And I agree with him.

I will need a side kick to help me out, some one to hold my hand.

I’m pretty confident I won’t be bamboozled, but having never bought a car before I want assistance, I don’t want to do it alone, and I’m pretty sure I can find someone to go over to Berkeley with me and do that part.

I think that’s about the only thing.

That and getting my refund back from the overcharge on my tuition bill.

I feel pretty awesome about the whole thing though, I didn’t react to the tuition bill, I responded, and I have been combing my finances and seeing where I can nip and tuck and get the car.

And I really do feel like I can do it.

Fun.

A car.

It’s only been fifteen years!

I think it’s time.

 

A Few More Days

August 2, 2017

Of lazy.

A few more days of being able to do yoga in the morning during the week.

I have signed up for a class tomorrow morning.

I went to one this morning.

My ass has been thoroughly kicked with the yoga.

But.

I feel good too, especially afterward.

Especially when I run into friends in the neighborhood who tell me how good I look and how much weight I have lost.

“You look amazing!  I mean, really beautiful, and you’ve lost so much weight, I mean, you look great!” She exclaimed as she stopped in front of the garage where I was sweeping this morning.

I had just gotten back from yoga class and wanted to do my good deed for the day and so I pulled in the garbage cans, the recycling, the compost bins and I decided to sweep out the front of the house.

It’s not something I have ever been asked to do, but sometimes it’s just nice to do something to care for the house, it’s not mine, but I do live here and I like to pull up on my scooter to a tidy spot.

I was still in my yoga gear, had sweat like a maniac, had my hair up in a big messy bun, and was sweeping garbage into the gutter.

And I look amazing?

You are sweet.

But.

I could also tell that how I was feeling was reflected in how I look.

I am happy.

And it shows.

I think that’s what the “weight loss” is, that I am happy.

It’s a nice thing to say and maybe it is true, but it doesn’t matter, I feel about the same in my body as always, albeit a bit sore from the work out today.

I also had no problem accepting the compliment.

It’s nice to hear.

My neighbor and her dog went to the park, I kept sweeping and it just lead from one thing to the other.

Hot shower.

Clean sheets on the bed.

Hot breakfast, latte, writing.

Trip to the laundry mat.

Run to the grocery store.

Cook a little.

Write a lot.

Chat on the phone.

Return e-mails for my internship.

Coordinate my schedule for the month.

I have a bunch of consults this week and a probably new client, although I haven’t set anything up yet.  I have been waiting for the assistant director to make the client official.

Although my director did say I could reach out to the client, I feel better waiting for the official look of the e-mail from the assistant director.

I did some research.

I looked over my syllabi for school and I poked around to see if the classes that weren’t posted yet had any of their syllabi in innocuous spots.

Sometimes that happens, a teacher will use a different platform than the one that the school wants everyone to use and a syllabus will get posted somewhere other than the spot I am used to checking.

Anyway.

There was nothing new with school.

I did some personal accounting, adding up my expenditures for the month of July and making a Spending Plan for the month of August.

Which is typically a month where I have an additional financial category.

Burning Man.

I decided this morning to stop being a baby about it and suck it up and be happy that I have enough resources to rent a car and.

Yes.

I applied for a credit card.

I realize I don’t want to tie up a bunch of money on my debit card.

I can and have rented cars before on my debit card, but they typically demand an enormous deposit and the reimbursement of said deposit is almost always a month.

I don’t want to tie up my finances that way.

Especially heading into the fall semester.

Plus.

Well.

I like to travel and I have been lots of places in the last few years, Paris twice, New York twice, New Orleans, Atlanta, and I should be accruing miles for that travel.

But I never have.

I have always found a cheap ticket online and just bought it with my debit card.

Which is fine.

It’s worked well, but I have been thinking it would be nice to be acquiring some miles.

Especially since my dear friend has moved back to France and we’ve discussed probable trips there, and I want to go to Barcelona and I’ll be flying back from LA next June when I do the ALC (Aids Life Cycle Ride.  Hey!  That’s right, I’m riding, you want to donate to the cause?  I need to raise $3,000 it would be great if you donated.  My rider number is: 2713 you can donate here), so I want to start getting travel rewards.

Yup.

That’s right.

I applied for a credit card today.

First credit card I have applied to in 12 years.

I haven’t had one since I got sober.

Cut those bad boys up and threw them in the trash.

I had a lot of debt.

I was very generous when I was drinking and using and I had no problem throwing my plastic around.

That plus.

My first year of sobriety I had no money, like none, I had a bad accident at my first job and was out of work for six, seven months, it took me a long time to get back on my feet and I went over a year and a half without making any payments on those cards I had.

What had been about $12,500 in debt became.

Wait for it.

$112,000.

Yes.

Part of that was back taxes owed the IRS.

But hey, they audited me and took that money right away.

That sucked so hard.

Then there was the pair of panties, the bra and the pair of jeans I had bought using a Victoria Secrets credit card that I never paid on.

It was a sale of $84 that became a debt of $1350.

I cleared it all.

All but my student loan debt.

I had many, many, many conversations with collectors and debt departments and all manner of people who wanted whatever money I had.

I got harassed a lot.

I was mortified.

It was horrendous and I was assured I would drink again if I didn’t take care of it.

So.

After some time.

I made the calls.

I used a script that someone helped me write.

I eventually went and saw a lawyer who took one look at my records, what I was doing and said, “what you are doing is commendable, and at the rate you are going you’re never getting out of it, you need to file for bankruptcy.”

Ugh.

He gave me his services for cheap.

Cheap.

Fuck, it cost me $2500 to file it and for his services.

But.

It went through.

And yes.

I still have debt, but it is just my student loans.

Just.

Bwaahahahahahhaaha.

Excuse me.

Anyway.

I’m worth the investment so I don’t care about the student loans, they will get paid off too when the time is right.

So, to circle back, for eight years I couldn’t have a credit card.

And for the rest of the time I just said, I don’t need one.

I technically don’t.

But.

I would like to not have to deal with the hassle of the car rental and I can rent the damn thing, be done with it, collect some miles on a card, and immediately pay the bill off with my debit card.

That’s what I figure I’ll do.

I’ll rent the car with the card, pay it off right away and then not have to have anything tied up.

That’s the logic anyway.

I don’t know if I can get a card, but I researched and I applied and I’ll just say, I took the action, I’ll let go of the results.

I’ll get to Burning Man one way or the other.

And in the mean time.

I have a few more days of lazy.

Not that I’ve been terribly lazy, just mellow.

Work will start back up for me on Friday.

And of course I have my clients and consults and internship to deal with.

Life is full.

Life is good.

I am happy.

And apparently I have “lost” some weight.

Heh.

 

Hello Monday

February 28, 2017

Let’s be friends.

Today was not a bad day to start the week.

It was sunny.

Hello.

No rain.

So grateful to ride my scooter to and from work, such a gift.

I heard someone complaining, “yeah, it’s sunny, but it’s freezing.”

Shut the fuck up bitch.

It’s NOT raining.

I will take sunny and cold over rain any damn day.

Grateful the drought is finally over, but I think we are amply replenished and the weather can just give it a rest for a minute.

Plus.

I had a really nice leisurely morning with no homework.

I got it done this past weekend, the reading, so my normal go to reading time I spent on doing some extra personal writing and yes, I cleaned the house before I left for work, clean bathroom, clean kitchen, swept the floors.

It was super nice to come home to.

I came home to some nice roast chicken dinner too.

Very glad I had done the food prep this weekend, it was super easy to come home, peel a couple of carrots to nosh on and heat up my turmeric and garlic brown rice and a roast chicken breast and have a hot, homemade dinner.

I love self-care.

I’ve gotten better and better at it.

From going to the dentist and paying for it all up front.

To paying my rent and utilities early for March.

To going to yoga.

To having extra boxes of my favorite tea in the house.

To lighting up the candles when I get home.

It really helps me to be able to navigate the world with kindness and love when I have first taken care of myself.

And I needed that good self-care today.

Both my charges were home.

I had expected that they would be in school, ski week vacation is over and school is back in.

But.

It was grandma’s last day before flying back home so both of the older kids stayed home to see her off.

We had a very sweet day.

Built a Lego model, colored, watched a Cat in The Hat video, and read a lot of books.

I also cooked lunch and dinner for them.

I love cooking.

It is such a nice thing that it is part of my job.

Tonight for dinner I made sautéed ground chicken with onions and garlic in a rosemary infused bechamel sauce and served it over penne pasta.   I made a side of regular mac and cheese, albeit the fancy kind for the kids, as well as maple and soy glazed Julienne carrots and zucchini.

“Carmen!  You are the best cooker ever!” My little lady charge told me, “it is so yummy!”

She likes to sit with me when I have my lunch and nibble whatever I’m having as well as her own meals.

It’s rather endearing.

“More of the corn,” she told me today with these big saucer blue eyes full of merriment and mischievousness.

I was eating a bowl of homemade chicken soup with brown rice and vegetables.

“I’ll have a carrot now,” she said next, pointing to the one in the bowl she wanted.

I just laughed and spooned it into her mouth.

When I got home tonight after work and doing the deal over at 7th and Irving, I had a very kind text message from the dad too, saying basically how grateful he was to come home from a hard day at work to a really nice dinner.

That too makes my day.

I don’t need to be validated, but damn, it is nice to get it, especially from new employers.

I really am quite happy to be with them and so grateful to be in an environment where I feel like I’m totally being of service and also that I am really appreciated for my skills and the job I do.

Usefulness makes for happiness.

I am happy.

I am happy too that I spent some time before work crunching my numbers and saw quite clearly that despite the unexpected out go of the money for the dental stuff, I will be quite fine this upcoming month.

My costs will be covered and I shouldn’t have any problems with making ends meet.

It helps that I have some cash in savings, so I don’t feel stressed out.

I put 3/4s of my tax return straight into savings.

So even though it feels like I don’t have any money, I in fact, do.

I just don’t want to touch it.

I have one savings account that is for travel and I have one that is the meager beginnings of a prudent reserve.

Plus.

The month of March, five weeks.

So I’ll get a little extra there and although I’m not big on working extra hours past 40, I will one week in March as the dad will be on a business trip and I’m going to help out the family more that week.

I’m not quite sure what that looks like, but I said I would help and I am happy to do so.

A lot of that comes from feeling on top of my school work and my next action steps around my practicum placement and my internship.

I have a workshop that I will be attending the next weekend of school to acquire all the paperwork and take the next steps and then that following week I’ll be going to my supervisor with the paperwork and starting the next phase of the practicum.

So exciting.

There are lots of things happening.

But I don’t feel overwhelmed and I’m not trying to figure anything out.

I just keep showing up day-to-day.

Taking whatever next action is in front of me and letting go of the results.

Because the results are not mine anyway.

They never have been.

I can’t control the outcome of anything.

I can just take some simple actions and love myself for trying.

That’s it.

Pretty damn simple.

It is.

Seriously.

 

It’s December

December 2, 2016

How the fuck did that happen?

I mean, seriously?

The days so full they just float on past.

I got a lot done today and at the same time had many moments of not having enough time to do it all.

NOT ENOUGH TIME.

Papers to write.

Practicum to figure out.

Doing the deal every damn day.

Not that I hate on that, it’s just one of the things in my schedule, a constant and a source of pleasure, but additional time that I always have to account for.

Even though I was not in contact with any of the usual suspects today, I couldn’t have used my phone to save my life, there was always something happening.

The day just whipped past, as so many of them do, unless they don’t and that’s always an interesting experience, but not one that I have often.

I got up early and did some writing and made breakfast.

But.

I did not eat it.

No, I just prepared it and packed up my lunch for work and did my Spending Plan for the month of December and balanced my numbers from November.

It’s the first of the month, got to represent.

I drank a small, for me, cup of coffee.

And went to yoga.

Because yoga.

And I’m getting back into a groove and routine with it and I like that.

Even though it feels like less time, it’s important, imperative really, to exercise and move and I haven’t had enough of that recently, so back in it with a vengeance.

Which is why I prepared breakfast, but did not eat it.

I do not like doing yoga with food in my tummy, it feels awful.

I had a great class and felt really strong in my body and then came home, threw laundry in the wash, myself in the shower, got dressed, did my hair, makeup, made more coffee, and ate my breakfast.

Then.

Hopped on the scooter and zoomed off to work.

And there was no down time.

It was all on, full tilt boogie.

Extra cooking.

Extra laundry.

Extra big feels from the boys.

Which I’m getting used to.

But it doesn’t change the tenor of my job and it certainly does not make it easier.

Today I was greeted by one little monkey who said, “Carmen!  I missed you!”

I got great big hugs and snuggles.

The older boy ignored me and then said, out of the blue, “you know, Carmen, you’re sort of chubby.”

Wow.

Um, thanks kid.

HA.

But who needs to be right when they can be happy?

Happy was my principle today and for the most part I was able to have that.

Not all day long, not all the time, but for a good part of the day I was really happy.

Just happy to be alive, in my skin, with a job, a scooter, a home to come home to, a Christmas tree with blue lights, sunflowers in a Mason jar on my kitchen table, a laptop, an Iphone, all the stuff, all the things.

“You’re right ___________ I am chubby,” I said without skipping a beat.

His mother, however, was aghast and took him aside and told him some stuff and I got an apology, but he was actually quite confused and later when we were out at the park having our own little play date (his brother had a doctor’s appointment) I told him what I thought and how I felt about what he had said.

“You know, honey, you’re were right, I am chubby, and I’m ok with that, and it’s astute of you to notice and you used a new word, which is cool, but you know, your mom was right too, some people might have their feelings hurt if you said that to them,” I explained as the light faded from the sky and the early winter evening sank over the Mission.

“I didn’t mean anything by it,” he said, his eyes open really wide, which he does when he’s trying to express his sincerest sincere self.

“I know pudding, it’s ok, I am chubby, full, happy, replete, and that just means there’s more of me to love on you,” and I gave him a hug.

What’s the fucking point getting upset with a child?

I am soft.

I am curvy.

I am also strong as fuck, and there is a six-pack underneath the extra skin on my tummy, you just can’t see it.

I also come from big, strong, strapping people.

I am not, nor will I ever be a waif.

I could starve myself all day long.

And I have restricted during a period of my early abstinence when I went a little over board, but I was always thinking about food and that drove me just as bats as the bit of extra weight.

I like who I am.

I like how I look.

I am beautiful.

I am happy.

I am vivacious.

I am succulent.

I am divine.

I have absolutely no humility either, but that’s a character attribute I will probably be striving for all my life.

I am a voluptuous woman.

And I am alright with that.

I got a message from an old lover.

He didn’t seem to mind my chubbiness.

Not at all.

Not one fucking bit.

Nope.

Anyway.

I don’t care about it enough to make a fuss about it and I didn’t want my charge to be shamed because he was observant.

It is what it is.

Although, I do have to say I have had the idea pop into my head a bunch of times though in regards to trying cool sculpting or liposuction.

Or a surgery to remove some of the excess skin from my weight loss off my arms and tummy.

But then I think.

Whatever.

This is my perfect body, imperfectly perfect, and God-given and if it was supposed to be different.

Well.

It’d be different.

Maybe if I had the money to spare.

But for now.

The spending plan for December does not include cosmetic procedures.

Ha.

It was fun to do, though, I like putting in my Christmas categories and getting a few things squared away for the holiday and my traveling.

I’m happy.

It was a good day.

Busy yes.

But so good.

So good to be alive.

And hey!

Fingers crossed.

Completely louse free.

I have my last appointment tomorrow at 11 a.m.

I am ready to be done with it.

Seriously.

And it’s Friday.

Yippee!

Bring it on.

I’m ready for a little fun.

I really am.

 

The Empresses New Clothes

November 4, 2016

I got some hand me downs today.

Let me say it’s been a hot second since that has happened.

I used to get them in elementary and middle school.

High school once in a while too.

Hated hand me downs.

Tossed away, given away, old grumpy clothes that weren’t pretty or bright, that were already tattered.

By the time I was in high school though, I was buying my own clothes.

Mom’s rules.

She paid for school supplies.

And as soon as I started working I paid for my school clothes.

I think I got the raw end of the deal in hindsight, but you know, whatever.

I was frivolous with my first real paycheck.

I bought a brand new leather jacket with a removable rabbit fur collar.

God damn I loved that jacket.

Loved it to tattered bits.

It was my own version of the Velveteen Rabbit.

I spent my entire summer earnings on that jacket and I did not give any of the fucks.

It was mine.

And it was fucking glorious.

Top Gun had come out the that year and it reminded me of the leather bomber that Kelly Mcgillis wore in the movie.

That was probably the last time I wore a hand me down.

At least for a while.

Now.

Well, fuck, we just call it a clothing swap and throw all our stuff in a pile and go hog wild and wow, this will work great at Burning Man!

I have gotten some sweet pieces from clothing swaps.

And.

Today I got a bunch of clothes from my boss.

It’s funny, I don’t always have a real good feel of my size, I think I’m bigger than I am and then I obsess about how I look and who the hell wants that?

I try to stay off the scale.

And I have felt that I put on a little weight over the last few months.

And I did.

Like two pounds.

OH NO!

I laughed my ass off when I weighed myself, not something I do very often, it’s not necessary for me, I can get all wrapped up in the stupid number and then be wrapped up in the idea that I’m not enough, and well, that shit is shit.

I’m a beautiful woman.

I’m not stupid.

But.

Often times I just don’t see it.

Oh, I see it, but I don’t act it.

I remember an ex boyfriend years ago looking at me from across the kitchen table at his house.

“What?” I asked him, “what are you staring at?”

“You really have no idea how beautiful you are do you?” He asked.

I blushed.

He got up from the table, straddled my lap and smashed me with his mouth.

God.

He was a good kisser.

We could make out for hours.

I miss make out.

It’s been a while since I have been properly kissed.

Anyway.

I digress.

I was two sizes larger than I am now.

But I was perfect and beautiful and he couldn’t keep his hands off me.

Note to self.

You are exactly the way you are supposed to be, the body is exactly how God wants it, relax.

So.

My boss has money.

Obviously.

And nice clothes.

And good taste.

Granted.

Not my taste.

And we’re not the same size, but we’re not that far off either.

She’s maybe two sizes smaller.

So.

Her jeans.

Not a fit.

But I took them anyway.

“Take them, try them on, give them away, sell them, they’re yours,” she said and dumped a huge pile of clothes on the table.

Fuck yes.

And she was totally correct.

A lot of them are not my style.

The jeans are so not a go.

She’s shorter than me too.

But.

They’re Vince Camuto.

I can sell that shit.

I also scored a sweater that surprised me, I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I was thinking, hey lady, you’re going to Wisconsin for Christmas time, a sweater might be a nice thing to have.

I mean I have two.

But I’m there a week and it gets cold and I’m going to want more than a couple.

So I tried it on, also a Vince Camuto.

And it fits!

And it’s cute on me.

Score.

I also scored three super cute long skirts that I thought, yes, these too, I will wear them in Wisconsin.

Skirts in winter?

Fuck yes.

Layered over wool tights or fleece lined tights, which I do in fact own quite a few pair of, paired with my black engineer boots and some layered thermals and a sweater.

Perfect.

Super stoked for the new clothes.

“New.”

Heh.

I’m not so picky anymore, nor so tied to it being new.

I have plenty of re-sale shop clothes, clothing swap clothes, vintage clothes.

I’m happy to accept the gift.

And I may not get much for the clothes, Crossroads doesn’t always take what I bring in, but they usually take a few things, and I’ll get a free lunch from it or a manicure.

I’m down with a free manicure.

Any old day of the week.

I might do some clothes shopping this month, I thought to myself this morning as I was sitting and sipping some delicious coffee.

I was sent a package of Stumptown Holler Mountain from a friend who commiserated with my grad school and full-time work hours.

Thank you my friend.

So good.

I “splurged” on the second cup and heated up unsweetened vanilla almond milk and made a cafe au lait and sprinkled it with raw cocoa and cinnamon and nutmeg.

Swoon.

I was happy.

Just a little.

Then I did my numbers for the month of October and tallied my expenses.

After that I did my spending plan for November.

Not bad.

Not too bad at all.

I may even have a few ducats to actually buy some new clothes.

Not much.

I don’t need much, especially after the windfall today.

But I could use a new pair of jeans.

Perhaps this weekend I’ll do that.

I was invited to go dancing tomorrow night and that’s a possibility.

And I have a coffee date and MOMA visit on Saturday.

Which makes me laugh.

I think folks have finally figured out that I have a membership.

In exchange for a coffee in the Sight Glass Cafe that’s inside the MOMA I will happily escort you into the museum for a free companion ticket.

I can take up to two people in with me at a time.

I can always handle doing another stroll through the 7 floors of galleries.

Always.

And perhaps I will get dressed up too.

I have some options.

And tomorrow.

Yes.

Is Friday.

Yay!

Making it through the week.

One

Little.

Baby.

Step.

At.

A.

Time.

 

And Then Some

October 2, 2016

Today was exactly how I thought it would be and also.

Easier.

Lighter.

Less fraught with anxiety than some Saturdays can be as I recognized early the need to make all the things happen.

RIGHT NOW!

I text a friend.

First day off in two weeks and must make it all happen.

This is my best thinking.

And I know, deeply, that it is skewed thinking.

Flawed thinking.

Thinking with nothing more to it than make miserable happen when there is no need to be miserable.

I slept in.

Not long.

But just a little.

Just enough.

I skipped yoga.

Yeah that.

I also got honest with my person about skipping yoga in a phone call check in this afternoon.

I won’t be skipping tomorrow, especially now that I have made myself accountable to someone else, someone who sees me with a much greater kind of perspective than I see myself.

I made myself a nice breakfast.

Thank you Jesus for persimmons, my sweet little fall indulgence, how I do love thee.

Homemade oatmeal with apple and persimmon, sea salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, unsweetened vanilla almond milk; a hard boiled organic egg with salt and pepper, two big mugs of coffee–Four Barrel pour over.

And.

I am ready for the day.

Plus a little quiet time.

A lot of writing.

I wrote five pages this morning with out batting an eye.

I didn’t realize I had all that much to say, but there it was, it just came tumbling out.

All the words.

The words that spell out anxiety and I’m not enough and there is definitely not enough time.

But.

There is.

There was time to go grocery shopping.

I was shocked actually at how not busy the SafeWay by Ocean Beach was.

I had suspected it would be a mob scene with Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

But it was not.

I got in and out and I have to say, I felt really happy with myself when I was standing in line and putting the food on the conveyor belt.

Man.

I take damn good care of myself, my food looks awesome.

I continued that trend by coming home and trussing a chicken and then doing a salt and pepper rub and roasting it in the oven while I did a run up to Other Avenues.

My preferred place to shop, but quite pricey so mostly the little organic things I can’t get at Safeway and the bulk food stuff and some hippy candles I really like.

Then back to the house, brown rice in a pot, groceries put away and onto the spending plan tally for September and doing my plan for October.

October is going to be a chill month.

No buying tickets to Paris.

No more scooter issues please.

I spent two grand more than I normally do this past month.

I don’t have a whole hell of a lot in savings.

Upside.

I do have something in savings.

And I have employment and I’m ok.

Just nothing extravagant for October.

Meeting my basics and sticking some cash in savings.

By two p.m. I was sitting on my back porch eating salt and pepper roast chicken with tarragon butter and brown rice with a brussels sprouts, white corn, and brown mushroom hash.

The sun was warm.

The breeze was cool.

Banjo rifts and guitar licks drifted to me from the park and I relaxed enough to know I had done pretty much everything that I needed to do and now it was time to do the deal and sit down and get square with my text books.

I did hours of reading.

I’m not done.

There are hours and hours to go.

“You are going to get through this,” my friend who I hadn’t seen in months said to me last night outside Our Lady of Safeway as the recovery house boys smoked their cigarettes and crumpled their court cards into their pockets.

I leaned into his warm hug.

“And you are going to be good, and you are going to help so many people, you will get through this, it is not for always, one foot in front of the other kiddo,” he finished, gave me a warm hug and shambled off with one of his guys toward the Lower Haight.

Sometimes the dread of the day lays heavy on me.

The responsibility to get it all done and be good and be on the up and up and get it done and go, go, go, well, it can be tremendous.

Overwhelming.

And.

Self-defeating.

I stopped making judgements around 45 minutes into my reading.

I started to feel good for picking up the books and just making the effort to read.

I don’t have to comprehend it all right now.

But I do have to start somewhere.

And.

I need to get caught up on all my reading.

Not necessarily to fulfill paper requirements or to please anyone, but because this is what I’m doing, I’m getting my Masters in Psychology and this is part of the work.

I have to do it to get the degree and I need the degree to facilitate moving into the next phase of my development.

Development that takes time, slow time, golden time, drowsy with afternoon light and the hours that breach between two and four p.m. when the promise of the day begins to wane towards dusk.

I read.

I read a lot.

Is it enough?

No, my head whispers.

Yes.

My heart confirms.

Today you did enough.

You are enough.

It was enough.

And tomorrow.

Well.

That’s not here yet.

Let’s just stay here.

You and I.

Or.

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky

As long as it is with your hand in mine and the colors that bleed are not bleeding from my heart, but from the underpinnings of love that color the clouds and light my way forward.

This moment.

This now.

This everlasting love.

Yes.

That.

Always that.

Love.

Let us go there.

Together.

Side Bar

July 11, 2016

Do your spending plan, Martines!

Aha.

I realized today that while I was worrying, needlessly, there is no need to worry, because it all works out in the end and I have the ticket, I’ll be buying it this week and I have the time off from work, that I don’t also need to worry about money.

It’s stupid.

When I think about how I went to Burning Man my first time, well, yeesh, I have so much more for me than I did then.

First, I’m employed.

I was on disability at the time.

Nothing says good times like getting diagnosed with PTSD, clinical anxiety and clinical depression and then being told I was classic ACA and here’s some meds and whew boy howdy, you should be in therapy, and yeah, we think, maybe take some time off from work and like practice not wanting to kill yourself.

That was a shock.

I mean.

I was so overwhelmed at that point in my recovery, I had no idea that I had so much going on, but once I had been sober about a year and a half, or there about, it all sort of floated up to the surface.

I’m forever grateful it did.

I have done so much work.

So much.

And I have no regrets, not about my past or my present or my future for that matter.

So to worry now seems like a waste of my time.

As I told a woman I’m working with, hey if you got to obsess, obsess about Burning Man.

I mean.

I got over the anxiety really quick when I realized that it always comes together, it always falls into place, I never quite know how, I just keep taking some actions and things happen.

I also bought a parasol today.

So at least that’s out of the way.

Ha.

I also spent a lot of time looking at tents on line and thinking, you know, maybe this is the year I actually dial in a good tent for myself.

I have borrowed tents, I have stayed in trailers for work, I have had crappy used tents that I bought at side walk sale on Valencia street before it was the Valencia Street it is now.

What would it be like if I got something decent?

And buy my own air mattress.

Actually, I had an air mattress but loaned it to a friend one of the years I was working and staying in a trailer and she killed it out on the playa.

That’s what the playa does.

It destroys your stuff.

Which is why I also am loathe to ask for a loaner tent from friends.

I have plenty of friends who camp, but there is just no way to get the dust off your stuff once the dust has hit.

It doesn’t come off.

I looked at bell tents.

I looked at teepees.

I glanced briefly at a yurt.

Briefly.

No yurt for me.

So.

After too much time and nattering around I realized that what I really needed to do was look at what I had in terms of cash money coming in and going out.

I won’t get paid time off for the week and I won’t get paid to be there.

I am buying the ticket.

I am going to have to help out someone with gas.

I have to do all my food and water.

These are typical things that most folks need to get.

I just haven’t done it in a while.

I sat down, after a fairly lovely day, truly, yoga in the morning, coffee with a friend, a nice breakfast, some writing, getting to see another friend, being gifted some lovely over bought produce.

You got to love a friend who over buys at the farmer’s market then tells you to come over because he got you plums.

Hello.

Yes please.

I paid a visit and left laden with much loveliness.

I made the best little salad for lunch: fresh baby mozzarella, the tiniest sweetest plum tomatoes, fresh basil, and a warm soft boiled egg, some sea salt, olive oil, splash apple cider vinegar, ooh, it was good.

Then plums and strawberries for desert.

Such a spoiled princess.

I told that to my friend’s husband last night at the party, that as much as San Francisco has changed and as much as I grieve the loss of art and creativity and edginess, I do so love the food here.

Fresh, organic, local, every kind of fruit and vegetable you can imagine.

I am so wildly grateful for that, it’s such a good place to live for food.

I also did food prep for the week, a little run up to Other Avenues, the co-op I’m a member at in my neighborhood, picked up brown rice, eggs, oatmeal, an onion and some other odds and ends, ooh, yes, a parasol.

I saw it, knew it was the one and bought it.

Came home and whipped up an Italian stew with brown rice–sauteed an onion with some ground turkey, added lots of fresh basil, a large zucchini chopped up with some brown mushrooms, a bit of white corn and sun dried tomato and then some more crushed tomato and garlic on top of that.

Delicious.

And then I went back to online stalking of tents.

Then, finally did my spending plan.

Which I had put off doing until the last minute because I also wanted a distraction from my date that I had for dinner tonight.

Said date going quite well, thank you very much.

Wink.

Wink.

Nudge.

Nudge.

So it was good to have a distraction and also to see that I could probably spend the money to get a decent tent set up and maybe not hound my friends for gear.

Maybe.

I’m going to see what happens with the ticket, my expenses and such and if I can offset the cost of the ticket I think I shall.

But it’s late, and tomorrow’s Monday.

And yeah.

Like that.

Bye bye weekend.

It was fun.

See you soon.

 

Today’s Password Is

October 16, 2015

Love.

Yesterday’s was “tool.”

But that was yesterday.

“Password!  Password!” My little guy shouted from the steps.

I was laden down with grocery bags and diaper bags and my own bag, his younger brother, and it was time to get inside for dinner.

“Tool!” I shouted.

“That was yesterday’s!” He replied and grinned.

“Big guy, I need your help, I have too much stuff, you have to give me a hint today,” I said juggling all the things on the steps and reaching for my keys while balancing his three year old brother and his brothers hat and stuffed cat on his head, that is the cat was on his head, not his hat, which was falling into the bushes and the dog was inside snuffling with joy to come out and greet us and it was 5:15p.m. and I had to pee.

“Guess!”

Oh my God kid you’re killing me.

“Spaghetti, apple, banana, milk, market, JP, Dave Hale (the two favorite vendors at the Farmer’s Market that we go to on Thursdays, ie tomorrow, note to self get out the market bags), pumpkin patch!”

“No, no, no, no, no, no…”

“Kiddo, I…..

I was getting angry and took a deep breath.

“Love,” he said soft, sweet, his big brown eyes luminous in his face, my little angel, my sweet boy pie, then he kissed my hand and swung open the gate.

I do live in a fairy tale.

Love.

FYI.

Was my spiritual principle to practice today.

I have no idea where the kid came up with it, just that it was all around me.

Has been all day.

All night.

I just got back from a kick assery shopping extravagance at SafeWay.

My friend gave me a ride over after doing the deal.

Grocery shopping.

Not that much of a big deal.

But.

A.

HUGE deal.

I am a bike rider.

I don’t have a car.

I have to grocery shop all the time to keep a pace with the fact that I make almost 95% of my food.

I rarely eat out, unless treated, and my restaurant budget for the month is typically $50.

Lunch out once a week is my MO.

My grocery shopping spending plan, though, is close to $500 or for this month $550, since it has an extra week in it.

That may feel like a lot for a single lady.

But.

I am a single lady in the city and when you compare that to eating out, even one meal a day, I save a lot of money on cooking my own food.

Plus.

I am a person who abstains from sugar and flour.

Aside.

You should have seen my friend and I shopping.

Hilarious.

He eats like a growing high school boy.

I couldn’t tell you what exactly was all in the cart but the highlights were an uncountable number of 2 liters of soda, Chili Cheese Fritos, raw cookie dough, and um, other stuff.

My stuff was fruit and organic veggies, edamame, organic free range chicken breasts, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, turkey bacon (my secret ingredient in my brown “fried” rice that I make big batches of and have for dinners and lunches all throughout the week), apples, persimmons, organic avocados.

I think my friend got some Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal too.

I can’t be sure though.

It may have been buried under a pile of 2 Liter sodas.

Not to say I am better than.

Just different.

If I could eat like he does and get a way with it.

Well fuck yes, hello, I so would.

SERIOUSLY.

I can’t however and that’s cool.

I love that I have such a kind and generous friend.

I am lucky.

Blessed.

Graced.

If you will.

By the amazing people in my life.

Love indeed.

I was feeling the love this morning as I put on my safety orange cord pants.

What?

You don’t have any?

You so need a pair.

I matched them up with, yes, this actually worked, a pink tank top, layered with a grey tank top that I got from Lightening in a Bottle two years ago with a white rabbit on it with colored swirls of pink, turquoise and safety orange.

I also wore a big glittery flower concoction in my hair and glitter on my eyelids.

And.

Yes.

A sparkly blue heart glitter necklace.

It sounds fucking atrocious.

Like a raver candy tripping on molly and LSD with a side of cocaine to take make it all some how disco sexy.

But.

If you do it right, and I did, I promise, it can be pulled off.

“That’s right, Wednesday, get your sparkle on,” I laughed as I looked in the mirror.

Sometimes I forget that one of the ways I have fun is to let myself dress up.

Speaking of.

I’m trying to figure out what to wear for tomorrow nights show.

I will be going straight from work.

But I am getting a ride into work, so I could wear a cute dress, something that I don’t wear too often.

Certainly not for work.

But.

Why not?

It may be time to break out a crinoline.

I dare say my principle tomorrow will be “happy” if I wear a crinoline.

I mean.

How could it not?

Life is good and full of love.

You know what else is lovely.

Aside from the idea of getting my dancing shoes on.

Poetry.

Oh that’s right.

I finished the sonnets!

I am over the moon.

I haven’t written the artist with whom I am collaborating on yet as I have not yet gotten them cleaned up and into my computer, but they are done.

I have the rough drafts of ten sonnets.

Ten.

In fact, I actually have thirteen, but I fucked up the rhyme scheme badly in one and had to toss the whole thing when I realized I had done the embedded poem wrong for that specific piece, and the other two pieces were written before I had the inspiration that led to the ten that I have written.

I used my poem “While You Were Sleeping” as a frame work to work the all the sonnets around.

I also embedded a principle, this time one of the Ten Principles, from Burning Man, into each poem.

Love is not one of them.

Decommodification is though.

Let me just say, I am going to give myself some props here, the fact that I worked decommodification into a sonnet should be noted as some sort of literary achievement, I mean, not like the Pen Faulkner award, or anything, but maybe the Nemerov, the Howard Nemerov Sonnet prize (which I have secretly coveted for over two decades).

Just sayin’.

Anywho.

I will let him know that I have the roughs and I figure I will have them all typed up in my computer by Saturday or Sunday.

Then e-mail them out and I’m way ahead of schedule and if he doesn’t like them.

Well.

He still has time to collaborate with another artist for his project.

And.

I don’t care.

I love them.

I love that I am a writer, a poet, a blogger.

A.

As a darling friend likes to tease me.

“A woman of the world.”

Indeed.

A very loved.

Woman of the world.


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