A new year. We’re two days into “regular life” and so far, none of us is nodding off at the wrong time. The kids are deep into planning their class schedules for next year and I am remembering how to do my job. It’s all come back to me startlingly quickly.
The cold weather has returned with a vengeance and the only good thing about it that I can see is that I can buy refrigerated food (individual hummus cups were required for their lunches!) at lunch time and leave it in the car the rest of the afternoon. No need to bring stuff in and put it in the office fridge when the outside is significantly colder than the average refrigerator. That, my friends, is just all kinds of wrong. I do not understand people complaining about being back on normal time when it might as well be dark at 5pm since it’s too damn cold to be outside anyway. What the hell is there to do out there when it’s 30 degrees? Zilch.
It is nice, though, to have an entire month with no after school activities. Everyone can have a regular schedule. Kids ride the bus home, do their homework, play Mario Kart, until I arrive and make dinner. The cats are in, fed, and happy. The mail is waiting for me on the kitchen counter. I can work a normal office day. It’s nice. Really nice. You have no idea. Well, maybe you do.
But. There are a couple of things that will be happening soon. One is that I caved and joined Weight Watchers at work. Since the cost comes out of my paycheck over 3 months, it’s kind of affordable. Short term. Since I’m no longer shelling out gobs of money on afterschool care. But these are fairly desperate times all the same. Both financially and…..well….mama ain’t getting any thinner sitting on her spreading ass typing up shit all day. So, I’ll give it 3 months. See where I end up. Menopause has done a number on me and I have no time or money for exercise classes of any kind. Ain’t happening. Too cold this week to walk. I gotta do something. So I’m doing this. By the end of the 12 weeks, it’ll be warm enough to get some free exercise. I hope.
The other thing is that I need to find a side hustle. Need to make some extra money to afford any kind of vacation this year and any kind of anything. These kids get more expensive the older they get. The house keeps breaking. I realized I’d spent two years – two difficult, kind of insane years – keeping afloat on credit and now I need to knuckle down and pay it off. Live only on what I actually take in. Which isn’t much. But like I told a friend recently, I’m living cheaper than if I rented. Rent – have you seen what places are renting for? Insane. My 1,900 sf house payment in way cheaper than some fancy studio loft in the city. So, I’ll keep the house for another 10 years until the kids are gone and then I’m outta here. Don’t know where I’ll end up but it’ll be mortgage-free. I know how to subsist on very little. I’ve done it many times and I can do it again.
Harder to accomplish with children who are smart and deserve a little fun. Children who need to experience the world. That’s my job. That’s what I’m here for: to provide my children with as much of the world of experience as I can. And it might not be Disney or Italy, but it could be New York. DC. A concert or two. I want them to feel less out of the loop than I did. Not that we need to keep up with the Joneses because that’s not us even if I cared what the Joneses were up to. But I don’t want them to miss an opportunity if I can help it.
So, I’ll be looking out for a second job that’ll fit my schedule (basically weekends) and keep saving my dimes. Perhaps in three months I’ll be 10 lbs lighter with a bit more dough set aside. I want 2016 to have a bit less anxiety than 2015 had.