Hello all...I'll not offer up coffee nor tea at this hour, because I suspect we'd all like a good night's sleep, but I will offer up a quick visit. I've had my head just crammed full of thinking and I know I won't have time to chat at all over the weekend about to happen, so a neighborly visit now seems just the thing.
First, I'll start with our luncheon date today. Lovely. I mean really it was. I'll make up the money spent from another fund. We needed that bit of one on one time to chat about all sorts of things, which somehow we seem to do best when we're away from home. Tired or not, my dear husband can almost always talk and he chattered as much as I did, all the way to the restaurant, through the meal and all the way home again.
One of the things I talked to him about was a little personal. I expect some of you might understand.
Yesterday afternoon I was playing about in my closet, trying on outfits and accessories and I'd gone into the bathroom to comb my hair....and took one look at my unmade up face and decided that really a little makeup wouldn't hurt a thing. So I played about with makeup, too. And then I tried to take a picture. Grim, lol. Seriously finding the right angle these days is difficult at best. If I look over my glasses I double my chin and make my neck look all crepe-y. If I look up, the lights glare across my glasses and I look blinded. Now it's all vanity, I'll admit as much, it is. But I finally got just the right angle and a lovely picture. Not one I'd want to share with the public at large but one I was all too happy to send my husband and which he complimented me nicely upon this morning. No, nothing risqué, but it was...alluring, in a way.
"So why the picture?" he asked me this morning after complimenting me mightily upon it. "Well, I was feeling pretty rotten here of late. Not that you make me feel so, but I've been limping and I'd noted a white streak across the top of my head that's come up in the last month or so and I've been very much feeling 'Gramma' old, not at all young..."
The truth y'all: I'd been feeling my age. I mean like really feeling my age of late. And Katie sort of shook me awake a little when we were out the other day when she said something about how I'd done a certain thing. I mean it was so minor I can't even tell you what I'd done or why it bothered her at the moment but I'd popped off "Well I am 60!" and she'd looked at me and said quietly sincere, "I forget that you're that age, Mama..." And it brought tears to my eyes at the time, though I'd not let her see it, because it's Katie who is always reminding me more than any of the other children that I don't seem old. And here of late, 60 has been sort of like 120...I think, too, that admitting on Sunday that I should join with the seniors at church had sort of driven home the idea.
Well it all sounds a bit silly, now, but doing my hair and makeup and putting on a nice shirt and a load of jewelry in a way that I've been admiring muchly on Pinterest of late and then taking a really good photo of myself...Suddenly I felt younger. And pretty. And as though my age truly was something that wasn't such a big thing. I'm worth the little extra time to do my hair and makeup. I'm worth the time it takes to appear feminine and not asexual. Limp or no limp, good night's sleep or not.
It's not that I'm chasing youth. I've made it pretty plain that I think the most tiresome thing of all is the woman who is trying so doggone hard to appear she's 20, 30, 40 years younger than she is. I have NO desire to return to my youth. It was a miserable place to be and I don't have any desire to return hither. But I don't want to be one of those prematurely aged hags either.
I get that for some of you this is the least important thing in the world, but for me it's important. It mightily affects how I relate to myself, and while it's not always the most practical thing (like when I know I'm going out to work in the yard and about to sweat up a storm), it is something I could do to improve my mindset daily. And so I shall try to remember this, especially on those days when I am hurting like the dickens and can't walk without a gimp. If a little makeup and five minutes extra with my hair will make me feel I'm a more attractive woman, and above all make me feel womanly, I'll do myself the courtesy of taking that extra time.
I sat down yesterday morning and totted up figures for the paycheck ahead. I've been reading loads of things on both savings and finances, etc. and you know most all of it is so old and hackneyed that I can scan a page in about 3 seconds but I do come across some good thinking here and there. And some that is piss poor, to put it in as polite a way as I have of conveying what I thought of it.
So this one lady suggested that before each pay period you set down on paper what you mean to pay. I do that all the time. It was her next step that sort of floored me. "Alter to fit" when you get your actual paycheck. Call me the silliest goose ever, but it never occurred to me that if we had a lower than usual pay check or higher than usual expenses to do anything but stuff and cram and do without and watch the balance sink anyway. This pay period is going to be snug. We've some added expenses and we've got fewer hours to work with. But last night after reading that lady's post, I went back over things in my head and realized that I am not under any obligation to spend more than we make. I'm not. I just needed to shift some funds from one thing (sub accounts that are stocked already for 2020) this pay period to cover our immediate need in another area. Those future needs are already covered...I was trying to build up a balance to cover another year ahead (yes, 2021), but I needed money for the here and now. This morning I sat myself down at my desk and redid all my paperwork and checked my figures three times and we should have more than enough to meet all our current needs. Easy as that...but I needed this lady's post to open my eyes up to a fact that I'd completely failed to see. Spend less than you earn is a truism that I somehow failed to relate to BILLS and expenses of living.
Wanna hear some of the poorer advice? One blogger actually suggested that if the budget is tight, then you haven't the right mindset. She suggested if you just PLAN to go out to eat and PLAN to have your coffees well that can happen. (Actually that part of her advice is half sound. I do believe you should plan for those things and about what you will spend on them). Here's where she went off the wall...She said we shouldn't deny ourselves. It was making us FEEL poor. And all this business of cutting out coffees and cable and not going out to eat is keeping you poor. Phooey! Mind you this same woman sat down and figured out she could save over $20,000 a year with this changed thinking. Sorry, Charlie. If you can find a way to have your cake and save over $20,000 a year, too, then you've been handling your money mighty poorly and your advice isn't for those who are really struggling hard to cover necessities.
We can't save $20,000 a year unless we have a mighty big windfall. But we have a house that is paid for and we do have money to go into savings every month on what is a very modest salary because we learned first how to live on less than what we had. In other words, we didn't whine about being deprived and think we deserved a $5 coffee or a meal out until we really could afford to have those things and how often. We just kept right on doing what had to be done until we reached our first goal and our second and our third...And we kept right on learning new skills so we could do a bit more because we'd saved a bit more. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you're living a frugal lifestyle, you are working at it. You have to. But as with most things if you work hard long enough, you accomplish something.
Another thing I see just loads of these days: manifestation thinking. Think yourself rich. One went so far off the wall as to say, "Only hang out with those people who look well to do..." Oh go jump off a cliff. I'll wager that they wouldn't know a really rich man from a poser. One of the richest women I ever met was someone you'd not have looked at twice in a line up of two. And one of the biggest posers I've ever met was one of the most broke...The really wealthy will catch on soon enough that it's their money that makes you cozy up and not friendship and who wants to be liked only for their bank account?
Let me just add here that it was very helpful to hear from some of you that you typically have these sorts of months that are just tight and seem to come around annually. Ours just happens to be August for whatever reason.
One thing these easy goal months do for me is to fire up my creative frugal will all over again. Which is why yesterday morning, I mixed up my first batch of English Muffins. They weren't ready to make until this morning. I was less than impressed. I like English muffins and I do not expect foods to taste as they do out of a package (John, on the other hand often does...) but this was a messy mess though we did get an edible product from it. I plan to study recipes this weekend, if I have a chance, to try and determine exactly where this particular one let me down and then I will try again. I'm all about adding to my skill of breadmaking just now.
And it's also why I ended up playing in my closet and discovering that what I really needed wasn't an injection of money so I could add to my wardrobe but a good dose of confidence in myself once more...
There you have it dears. Short and sweet but a lovely visit, I hope. It's time to get set up for Shabat. Lovely restful Shabat. My weekend will be a little bit busier than usual but not strenuously so. Hope you all have a lovely summery sort of weekend planned. Talk to you later!