Monday, February 28, 2011

Winter Lovin'

So love month has come to an end....FINALLY!
I'm not going to lie, this month was stressful, but freeing.

I went on a few dates, met some cute boys and so recently as my birthday party this past weekend a cute boy asked for my number. Things are going well. Since letting go of some old grudges and being more open and friendly (and new found sobriety is amazing too! So much clarity---for the record I wasn't an alcoholic, but haven't had ANY drinks at all for 27 days) I have really discovered the amazing conversations you can have with people, and more importantly this month, boys.

I found that with this new found "c'est la vie" attitude, I haven't been AS disappointed when things didn't work out the way I had hoped. There was a guy, we'll call him Marky Mark, that I was hoping would come to my birthday party and not only did he not show, he didn't even wish me a Happy Birthday! Normally I would have been pretty bummed out but I was like "Oh well!" Also, my ex boyfriend Ryan, also didn't acknowledge my birthday, after I was very nice to him on his just 2 short weeks ago. Again, it's disappointing that someone who used to be such an important part of your life can't even take the time to wish you a happy next year of your life. But there were a lot of reasons Ryan and I ended. His inability to be there for others was a big one. This comes as no surprise and I'm not that upset because I was surrounded by the most amazing people on my birthday. 13 of my closest friends that are like family, all celebrating me. I was spoiled, and I am very blessed.

Now we return to E, the boy I like that lives in Regina, SK. Soo....Kirby told me that if I was going to continue to talk with E in the hopes that something would happen between us, I had to grow a pair and be more honest with E. So I did! I brought up the possibility of him coming here for the summer, instead of traveling or staying in Regina, as was two of his original plans. He was very receptive and seemed interested in the idea. However, E is a.....flight risk. This isn't the first time we've made plans like this. I don't know if he bails because he's nervous, or worried about what MAY happen...or if he's just not that into me? I've given E several opportunities to let things just fizzle away between us, but he always seems to come back and re-kindle the so called flame. I am really in to him but will need to see some sort of commitment before I call off my search for the perfect lova. :) Perhaps E is as "I wonder what she thinks?" as I am about him. So i'm going to try and be really open over the next few weeks and tell him how I feel.
Girl- We should be together!
Boy- I agree. mwah mwah mwah (kissing)

That's how it goes in my mind........

.....stay tuned!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Money - End of Month Summary

I counted my receipts today. It was interesting... My biggest surprise was my spending on things like Wal-Mart and Shoppers Drug Mart. I spent close to $300 dollars on those types of places.

I did really well on not eating out for supper, and didn’t do so once until this last week when I went out for lunch with the girl that was training my at work for her last day and last night for Melissa’s birthday. Happy Birthday today to Melissa! Those two events of eating out cost me around $100 dollars. It made me think about how it’s not unusual for me to eat out a couple times, at least, in a month. I don’t think it’s reasonable to cut it out of my life completely. There’s always going to be birthday dinners, or other events that call for dinner and drinks, and I enjoy it.

One thing I think I have to change is buying lunch and buying snacks. We have a convenience store on the ground floor of my apartment building and Flash and I make tons of trips down there in the evenings to grab snacks. I added up what several lunches of tons of trips to the convenience store cost me and it was $130 (and that was me trying to cut back on these types of purchases). The people I work with go out for lunch and for drinks after work quite often. I don’t want to rude and always refuse so I know once in a while I’ll have to.  I think I have to make a real commitment to making my lunches. It never feels like much at the time but those $7-10 lunches add up.

I finally figured out what my Internet and cable will be with the channels we've added and taken away and with three people contributing… I think. My cable bill goes mid-month to mid-month and they send us the bill for two months at a time. It’s the most confusing bill I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m glad Melissa deals with it.

My work pays monthly. I don’t know anyone who gets paid monthly; it’s a new concept for me. I will be paid on the last day of every month. I’m used to bi-monthly payments so this will require a shift in budgeting. I’ll have to be extra conscious of my spending again this month because I got paid for the past two weeks but I won’t get another paycheck until the 31st of March. Luckily Flash starts contributing to the rent this month so that helps a bit. I don’t think I’ll feel like I have a really solid footing with my budget until the end of March or April when my paychecks have been consistent for a while.

Overall money sucks. Next month is fun month so I’m going to have to be budget conscious because fun costs money.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I Bet Abraham Lincoln Liked Candy

I think the universe is trying to tell me something: Eat Me. That’s what the candy at work says to me anyway. Turns out the administrative head is a bit of a chocolate junkie and has bowls of candy sitting around. There was a glass jar of Smarties on my desk when I started. I told J. that I prefer candy to chocolate and she told me that my boss likes candy. My old boss liked candy too. He used to steal from my stash and leave me posts it notes saying he had done so and then after a couple more steals a new bag would be on my desk as re-payment. I think this validates my belief candy makes you successful. I bet Abraham Lincoln liked candy.

A guy I now work with but have barely spoken to, (I had to ask N. the girl who did my job before, is training me now, and is leaving this week what is name was) emailed me and N. and asked if we wanted to go for lunch with him, his treat, as a welcome and farewell kind of lunch; just the three of us. Um, that’s weird right? We declined and now I feel like he keeps his head down when I walk by. It’s tricky figuring out the dynamic of a new office. I keep thinking about the type of people I went to school with and comparing them to the people that work here now. If I had gone to school with some of these people, would I like them? Considering I liked about 10 of the 100 people in my year in design school leads me to think probably not. I’m sad N. is leaving right away; hopefully she’ll come back and do more temp work here. She’s my age… more or less, and I think it will be lonely without her here. Not that we spend much time together at the moment as I’m at the front and she’s in the back doing archive work… but we still walk to the train together after work and she’s someone I can chat with and ask questions to without feeling dumb.

A woman I work with sent out an email inviting all the women to come for drinks at her house on Friday. She lives kind of far from where I live and has a couple kids and I feel like, hmm, I think this is an ‘I don’t want to leave you out’ invite. Then I think, maybe not, maybe it’s legit and it would be rude not to go. These kinds of things I find confusing. Social skills are not my forté. I would like to have ‘friends’ at work. I’m not looking for a lot of outside work friend stuff though. One: because I’m lazy. Two: because I don’t like the idea of having my entire life revolve around the same set of people. I worked with a guy at my last job who I knew right away was a needy type of person. I find needy people really off-putting. I avoided all of his ‘friend’ attempts because I knew that he was the type of person that would want to hang out all the time. For clarification, he’s gay, has a boyfriend but not many other friends and a few months before I quit his boyfriend moved to England (temporarily) and he was coming on with full ‘friend’ charm hoping to hang out. It’s not that I had anything against him personally, but I don’t want that kind of relationship.

Surprisingly, there is not one person that I strongly dislike… yet. Some people I haven’t really spoken to, one guy is really hard to read. He is the epitome of an emotionless stone face. Mr. No Emotion makes jokes sometimes, jokes where you don’t realize a joke is being made and he stares at you with zero expression and then clarifies that yes, that was indeed a joke and it’s too late to laugh so you just give some awkward smile and nod. The worst part is that the jokes are usually pretty funny, but the delivery is so wrong that you never quite know what to think.

The way time passes at work now is very different. Time would drag on and on at my old job; the days felt soo long. Time does pass by faster now, yes, but it’s not as though the day is flying by. I would describe myself as being less aware of time in the sense that I’m not counting it down. I am still aware of it in the sense that I have things I need to get done, deadlines for things to be couriered by, time at which the mail has to be done, etc. I guess that’s how it is when you’re busier; the days don’t exactly feel short because you’re still putting the same amount of time in. Days always feel longer when you’re watching the clock, waiting is always feels like an eternity.

I feel like I have done two months in a row dedicated to work and that money month got a bit ignored. Next month I’ll be able to calculate everything and get a sense of what steps to take, and will be able to make more headway with money. The one thing I think I didn’t appreciate about all my ‘free’ time at my other job was that I could spend it learning new programs. It’s hard to spend hours and hours every day on it, but I could have committed to it earlier and made more of my time over the last year and a half. I haven’t even touched my tutorials since I started here. It’s going to be a challenge to find time to do them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cold Hard Cash

 There’s not a whole lot to be said about money month.  I’ve been trying to live almost completely on cash.  I have been keeping all my receipts and putting them aside.  I haven’t made many drastic changes to my spending habits, other than not going out for supper.  I want to get an accurate measure of where I’m spending and what I need to change.  

I do find living on cash has made me more conscious of my purchases.  There's something so intangible about electronic money, it's easy to feel like it doesn't exist.  It’s interesting to see all of the money you have to spend and then you make a purchase that you wouldn’t have thought have twice about on debit but with cash you’re like damn look how much of my money is gone.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Love Me? Love me Not?

Soooo LOVE.....4 letters. But one loaded little word.

I started off Love month totally kicking ass. I dropped my somewhat bad boy habits of getting all the attention I needed from the opposite sex from my super cool random guy friends (think coffee "dates" or dinner "dates"...but completely platonic) as well as my pseudo long distance 'boyfriend' -I use this term loosely as there's really no commitment on either of our parts but I don't doubt if we lived in the same city we would be together- E, who I also got my flirting and cute boy (skype) fix from. E was tough because we were used to speaking almost daily and was someone that I got excited to video chat with but after our several attempts to visit one another failed, I decided this was probably going nowhere and needed to move on.

Then came DATING. So I was semi-set up with a friend of a friend and we went on a date which was great. Nice evening of drinks which turned in to great conversation about life, goals, ambitions, past experiences, all in all, a GREAT first date. Then I found out that set person, after we had agreed to keeps things mums the word for the mean time due to conflict of interest and mutual friends, had gone and told people anyways. I don't think his intention was bad, but I was bothered that something I wanted to be private was now general knowledge. After that my guard flew up. I tried, and Kirby tried hard haha, to see past it and still view this as a potential for more dates but I just couldn't view this person the same anymore! A psychologist would probably say that trust was violated and because i've had issues with this in the past, I completely turned myself off and shut down. I just felt like things were moving too fast too soon and I wanted Love month to be more fun and friendly and flirty. The reality is, to me, dating is not fun, nor friendly, nor flirty! It often involved me getting anxious for a date, awkward on the date, and then dwelling on it afterward to see how I can now end this new relationship! Terrible, I know.
I think back to University when I had two long-term boyfriends, each with a 2 year tenure and I think about how we I was pursued, how we started dating. With Mike it was an instant attraction. I remember the day I was sitting in my friend Tyler's dorm room and this hottie with long hair, who was all tan came to his door to ask for, funny enough, papers, and it took all my strength not to drool on the floor. Who was this gorgeous boy?! Why have I not met him yet?! I immediately asked Tyler and Joel (our mutual friends) who he was and how I could make him mine! Joel put the bug in Mike's ear that I thought he was yummy....that night at the bar we chatted and maybe had some RBM action (random bar makeout) and we chatted all summer and started dating exclusively the moment September 1st hit and we were reunited!
With Ryan, I remember the day I saw him running towards my dorm room the day I was moving in one hot September morning. He had no shirt on, and he was glistening like some sort of Greek God. He asked me to hold the door for him (his girlfriend lived there....ew) and I was immediately in lust. With Ryan again there was movie nights, OC (remember that show??) nights, again more RBM nights at the Pub and BOOM, he was my boyfriend. Why aren't things like this anymore? I liked it better when I find a boy hot, and decided he would be mine haha.

I think this theory may be why I've been so into E for such a long time. It worked in a very similar fashion. I was at a party at a club, I saw him across the way and was instantly fixated on his face, so cute. Made it my mission to invite him and his friends over to where me and my friends were, and instantly connected. Phone numbers were exchanged and we've been, slowly, getting to know each other ever since. If this was University, we would have gone to get pizza, added each other to msn/facebook, had a movie date night and we would have been happily celebrating our 1 year anniversary this past November (granting no unforeseen circumstances).

Dating as an adult is daunting and hard. Where are all the men? Seriously? If you don't meet people through work or mutual friends where are they hiding? I'm lucky I'm really active and have had minor interests through my soccer and baseball teams but now those people have all slipped into the friend/brother relationship zone. CRAP.

I got scared about signing up for an online dating sight because most of my colleagues are on there and I didn't want anyone seeing me on there. I know that if they see ME on there, it obviously means THEY are on there. I guess just more so word of mouth "Guess who I saw on plenty of fish the other day....." and I don't want to seem desperate. I don't think people on dating sites are desperate, I envy their, for lack of better term, balls. I just feel like I'm 25 and should still be giving this a shot the good old fashion way. Correction, 26, I am 5 days.

Turning 26 is a whole other subject matter. My birthday is in 5 days. Work wise, friendship wise, life ambitions wise, I feel very good about "where I am" for being 26. Relationship wise, I'm not even that bothered that I'm single, I have a very full life. I do wish that I was with someone that I felt could be the "one" with no commitments of engagement or children. I guess after my breakup with Ryan I said I wasn't going through this again, and I wasn't going to become someone's "girl friend" unless I felt that deep down, I could actually really BE with this person.

All in all, I feel open to love, working on my commitment issues and hoping to feel the love soon. Kirby was right about one thing, when it rains it pours. Since going on my date last week, I have had boys coming out of the wood works and randomly messaging me which only secures Carrie Bradshaw's theory that all you need to get a date, is another date! Bring it!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Speed Networking

I think I struggle a lot with questions of identity.  Living up to my expectations of myself, expectations of society.  For me, my quarter-life crisis was brought about by the disconnect I felt with where I was at in my life and where I thought I should be.  I just read a blog post on working girl asking women if their job related to their degree.  I felt a sense of dissatisfaction as I read this because I am not using my degree.  I find this particularly annoying because my degree is specialized, and I worked really hard for it.  I am currently a glorified receptionist.  This was more or less what I was doing at my last job but I'm at a bigger company now and am busier and paid better.  Both this and my last job were at design firms, but I wasn't doing any designing myself.  I would tell myself it was better to be an admin person at a design firm than an admin person for a non-design company.

I hate in cheesy movies when the person's passion is painfully obvious and they're not pursuing it for whatever reason.  Like, a girl who knows she wants to be a dancer but is scared to leave the small town family business crap.  They always portray someone's life's purpose as extremely obvious, something so compelling that it drives all joy in their life.  I don't know exactly what I want to do and I'm not sure how to figure it out.  The girl that's training me at my job is a temp, she'll go on to do another job for a couple months and then another until she leaves to travel overseas in the fall.  She joked that doing a number of temp jobs was like speed dating, that she was speed networking.  I thought to myself, how great would it be to work for a couple months working in all different facets of the design world, getting a little taste of everything.  Why aren't work placements part of design school?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Good Morning Vietnam

Boo blogger I hate typing my blog posts on you!  Boooooooo!
I used to use an editor on my work computer but it's only for Windows and I have a Mac and boooooooooooo.

My new job is going well so far.  I felt a lot of nervous jitters on my first day but I feel much more comfortable now.  Mornings haven't been easy, but it helps to know that I have to be there.  The accountability that comes from knowing someone is going to notice and care if you're late makes a big difference.  At my old job, it really didn't matter what time you showed up.  You couldn't waltz in at noon or anything but it wasn't unusual for someone to come in 40 minutes late. There's a lot of differences between working for a small and big company.  For starters, I have someone that I report to, someone who makes sure I'm busy, is involved with what I'm doing throughout the day.  There's just more people, more interaction.  I feel more awake.  I'm definitely tired, it's been hard to adjust to the earlier start and longer day, but I feel more mentally stimulated which is helping to counteract it.

I was bored at my other job and I had a hard time filling my day, but now that I'm at a job where I have no time to do any personal stuff (and am not supposed to use my work computer for it) that I'm going to have to adjust how I spend my weekend and evening time.  I developed a long list of blogs I like to read, Perez, looking at clothes (but not buying money month don't look at me like that) Facebook, happiness project brainstorming, do my own blog posts, etc. to kill time during my day.  Now I get why Melissa was always like, "When do you find time to do all this shit?".

I got new clothes for my new job and I love them.  The funny thing about shopping is that it's addictive.  After spending hours and hours in malls you think you'd get sick of it and not want to step foot in one for a while but no, I want more and more and more.  Spring magazines are out and I'm like damn, that's cute.  Want.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Last Day of Work

Today is my last day of work at my job.  We were supposed to all go for lunch on Monday but it got postponed to tomorrow so I have to go meet my coworkers at noon tomorrow so today is my second last day of work related anything.  My boss’ contradictory behavior over the past couple weeks has made it easier for me to leave this job.  I will miss working here, but I know that it’s time for a change.  Even though it’s the lack of work that makes my days long and frustrating, I will miss the freedom of a relaxed workplace and workload.  Flash has two friends that are getting married this year out of province, one in the summer and one in the fall, both of which will require at least a 4 day weekend to attend.  At this job I wouldn’t have even thought twice about it, time off is never a problem.  Will I even be able to take that time off at my new job, who will I have to coordinate my time with? 

At my job now I’ll usually just eat at my desk to work only a 8 hour day instead of 8.5 or 9 hours (not that anyone is counting).  At my new job I’ll be working 9 hours with an hour for lunch.  Will I have to find someone to sit with at lunch?  Is it standoffish or anti-social to leave the office for an hour and do whatever.  All the first day of school nervousness is popping up.  I think I will probably be the youngest person at the office, which is fine.  In some ways that’s easier because you don’t feel like you have to ‘make friends’ with your coworkers. 

I’m going shopping tomorrow!  I’m really more excited about that than anything else.  I’m sure once Sunday rolls around I’ll start feeling a bit nervous.

Time Out

Cohabitating is proving more difficult that I had thought. Originally, I predicted that the biggest change would be the addition of Flash’s things, which has been a challenge. Since he’s here all the time anyway I really didn’t imagine day-to-day life being much different. It’s amazing how little things add up.

The addition of the stuff has created frustrations for me that I did see coming, but this foresight has not made it any less frustrating. As someone who does a lot of the cleaning in the apartment I am conscious to avoid making more of a mess than I have to. For example, when making dinner I try to use as few dishes as possible. I don’t mind a good cleaning, but I prefer a good Sunday afternoon house cleaning instead of a the constant daily tidying required to keep a small apartment from getting cluttered and messy. I start to resent cleaning when it becomes picking up after other people. With Melissa this isn’t a problem, but with Flash I feel like I’m constantly picking up after him. Whether it’s dishes, or clothes, or toiletries, or shoes, or coats it always seems to be something.

It also frustrates me that he doesn’t seem to appreciate how much work it was for me to fit all of his stuff in with ours. I think I did a pretty fantastic job of adding all his stuff into the apartment without it looking any more cluttered. I got rid of lots of MY clothes, re-arranged and edited out the storage room, gave him a dresser and half the closet, added storage bins to the closet for his things, found room for his golf clubs and his snowboard to name a few. This is a small standard two-bedroom apartment we’re talking about, I think I did really good!

hpness 002

A lot of the stuff issues weren’t a problem when he stayed here all the time but didn’t live here. The clothes weren’t a constant fixture, there were no toiletries in the bathroom, he would eat meals here, but he wasn’t fixing himself snacks because they were my groceries, not our groceries, so making a big plate of nachos or cooking a frozen pizza were things he would do at home but now he does them here.

Maybe I should just give up. Maybe the apartment can’t be as neat and tidy and clean as it used to be. Maybe I’m being a control freak. I’m being a huge nag and I know Flash finds it annoying. I do want him to feel at home and not like he’s walking on eggshells all the time but I’m not going to settle for living with bachelor habits.  Perhaps a re-instatement of the no nagging resolution is in order. Would Flash do a better job of picking up after himself if I gave him more of a chance to do it on his own or would he take full advantage of the lack of nagging and not bother?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Re-invent Your Wardrobe

A while ago I proposed a set of resolutions called look good feel good in which I planned on putting more effort into my appearance on a daily basis.  Picking outfits out the night before instead of shlubbing on whatever was most warm and comfortable looking in the morning, wearing makeup, using hair products and styling my hair, etc.  This was a short lived and unsuccessful resolution.  I think I got a massage and did a couple spa type things, maybe a pedicure but I didn’t do much in regard to my daily appearance.  This was largely influence by the time requirement in the morning to do hair and makeup properly.  Mornings, my eternal nemesis. 

The other influence, I think, was that I didn’t really care what I looked like.  Meaning, there was no benefit to looking cute.  I work in a small design office with 4 other people.  Seeing as I’m in a relationship I obviously have no interest in anyone I work with but just to clarify, two of them are married, one is gay and the other guy has a girlfriend.  Also, I don’t deal with the public at my job.  I’ll take some phone calls, but we’re a small office and I never have to see people other than my co workers.  It’s the kind of office where it’s not unusual for someone to wear jeans on Wednesday.

That’s all fine and good.  As I start thinking about starting my new job I can’t help but start thinking about a fresh start.  Go in there and be positive and make this a good change.  I can’t think of a better way to put a little spring in my step than new clothes!  As a congratulations my mother has offered to get me some new work clothes, yay! 

I have been allowing myself to do some online window shopping, something I try not to do because it makes me depressed.  Size wise, I’m actually quite similar to most mannequins.  Maybe not in muscle tone of plasticity but in general proportions.  So when I go into a store I take careful note of what the mannequins are wearing.  As Sandra Bullock would say, “Is this me?”  or as Kirby re-inventing her wardrobe would say, “Could this be me?”

I feel like February 14 is the January 1 of my new look good feel good fresh start.  I’m making bold statements in my head of putting more energy into cute outfits, giving my hair that extra 15 minutes, wearing more than mascara, using my accessories on a regular basis.  I’ll have to get up earlier for my job, so why not try and start this required morning change with good habits.  Establish for myself that the minimum time need from wake up to work is no longer 20 minutes.

It’s not going to be easy breezy, getting up and getting to work an hour earlier than I do currently will be extremely hard for me.  I’m a grouch in the morning and Flash and Melissa avoid me like the plague prior to 10am.  Meh, if I’m going to be tired and grumpy I might as well look good.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

All you need is love!!

So this is my "Love" month in the Happiness Project....the month I have been dreading since the start....hence it being in February, the shortest month of the year :) I may be lacking in the love department, but I make up for it in strategic planning, muhahaha.

So love month is all about opening myself up to the possibility of love. I don't expect to find my soul mate in 28 days, but I do hope to open myself to the possibility of finding someone to share my life with in the near future. My last serious relationship was, give or take, 3 years ago, and it wasn't the BEST of relationships. I was definitely beat down and left wondering if I could ever go through that again! For the longest time the answer was no, no no no NO I never want to go through a break up again. So I told myself I wouldn't get serious with anyone unless I had that feeling, the urge, that sense inside you when everything about your body is going "he will be mine." Alas, 3 years later, I am yet to experience that haha. I've dated, gone on dates and gotten semi-interested in someone. BUT in true Melissa fashion, pushed them away the second it was turning the corner into a relationship.
What I have managed to do over the past year is fall for someone who is completely unattainable. He lives miles and miles away, is younger than me, has a very different lifestyle and goals for the future (months of travel, etc. something i wouldn't consider doing at this stage in my life, somewhat cringes at the reality that all his friends are married and/or in serious relationships and settled down). So defense mechanism? Or terrible timing?? Have I strategically chosen someone that doesn't really match what I want moving forward with a male because it keeps me occupied, and he certainly is cute to look at, or do I actually really want to be with this person and unfortunately geographics have kept us from exploring what could be? I honestly don't know. And not that "don't know" where you know you're lying to yourself...I really don't.
So....since me and Mr.Miles-Away can't seem to get things together and actually take steps towards something that resembles togetherness, I have decided if I ever want to BE with someone, i'm going to have to get back on that damn horse, metaphorically speaking, for now Haha.

To be open to love I am going to do the following things:
1. I have stopped drinking for 30 days. Drunk at a bar is no way to make Mr.Right decisions.
2. I am creating a profile on an online dating site. This is not something i've ever really been in to, but honestly in this day and age, don't we somewhat creep/date people via Facebook anyways?? Also, this will at least just get me conversing with some men that I probably would never have before
3. Be open to new people. judgmental. I critique males to the max. I need to be open to someone that isn't necessarily my "type" right off the bat. They could totally win me over with their personality, as these days I am quite in to humour, compassion, intelligence and sports interest. I also appreciate people that have at least read the news headlines of the day. It really makes first time awkward convo easier. I don't read the NY Times either people, skim the headlines, know what's going on in the world, then skip to the Entertainment section, like I do :)
4. Go on a date. Plain and simple. Get asked, ask someone, let someone set you up....just take that step.

These goals may seem easy for some, but I can assure you, for someone that doesn't really like paying much attention to this stuff, this is going to be huge.

BUT....I love love....I love people in love. I have a lot of love to give. Melissa open, for love!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Self Improvement Enabler

Flash has decided to get in shape.  I am VERY excited that he has decided to commit to this.  It’s something he’s been talking about for a while and I couldn’t be happier that he is taking this step.

The thing about cohabitating is that when one of you is on a diet, both of you are on a diet.  The first month of my happiness project was about diet and exercise so I’m looking at this as an opportunity to get back on track with it.  I’ve always found eating healthier to be much easier when I wasn’t doing it alone.

I’m kind of an all or nothing person.  Flash has a goal he’d like to reach by his birthday, and his approach would be to gradually work toward it in the hopes of reaching it by the deadline.  My thoughts are that his goal is completely attainable and why not give it your all and challenge yourself to meet it ahead of time, or even surpass it.  I know Flash has a love hate relationship with my way of doing things, on the one had he likes it because it helps him stay on track and get things done, but other times I think he’d like to throw me off the balcony, and I get that.

I know that personality types that always strive to improve on things give off the impression that nothing is ever good enough can be hard to be around sometimes.  Okay, a lot of the time.  I’ve always been critical of myself AND of other people.  As much as the happiness project is about my own self reflection and improvement it inevitably become part of Flash’s as well.  We are trying to eat better and we have agreed that we should not eat out.  Flash suggested this himself, which is good because it was going to be instated as a rule for money month anyway so I’m glad he’s on board.  I think he and I are going to go for walks together, weather permitting.  I myself am not enamored with the gym and don’t plan on going but walks are something we can do together.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February - Money Money Money Money… Money!

Money month has begun.  To be honest I feel a little unprepared at the moment.  The first day of the month always seems to sneak up on me.

Okay.  Money.  I hate it.  It’s a big point of stress and unhappiness for me.  I don’t think money buys happiness, but I think it helps.  Anyone who lives on a tight budget knows that having your finances under control is an empowering feeling.  The peace of mind that knowing you can handle major repairs on your car, an expensive vet bill, emergency travel, etc. is priceless.  Eliminating worry and guilt is part of the happiness project and getting to a better place financially is going to help.

Money can buy some happiness.  I read somewhere that the best way to spend your money was on experiences since we become accustomed to stuff so quickly that the joy we get from things fades quickly.  Experiences create memories which last far longer than the excitement over a new kitchen table.  Sure you can make great free memories, but a lot of them cost money.

A goal this month is to create a budget for myself.  I’ve done this before but it was mostly to get a sense of my expenses, I didn’t use it on a regular basis.  I’ll need to factor in my new salary when the time comes and keep a closer watch on how I’m spending my money.  To do this I plan on keeping all my receipts from this point forward.  Everything from $6.00 at the convenience store to $150 on groceries.  I’ll throw them in a box or something and at the end of the month go through and see how I’m spending.  I’m sure I’ll be surprised at the end of the month to see how much I really spend on magazines or lunches.  I also need to familiarize myself with exactly how much things like cable and internet cost.  I have a rough idea, but how much is cable, how much is internet, I couldn’t tell you.

Another thing I’d like to try this month is living on cash.  I’m not sure how great this idea will be but I’m going to give it a try for a while.  I never have cash on me.  I don’t even feel guilt when homeless people ask for change because I don’t got none.  I find I spend cash quickly, it’s faster to pay with cash and I’m more likely to make small purchases with cash that I’d feel silly paying for debit with, like anything under five dollars for example.  My hope is that when I’m using cash as my sole means of paying for things I’ll regard it as precious and be more wary of doling it out.  I won’t carry my entire months budget on my at all times for fear of losing my purse or having some guy with a gun steal my wallet, manolos and bag-ette, but I am going to try to use cash only.

Save save save.  That’s my main objective.  I think having goals for saving will help.  In case of emergency goals and money to go on a trip are two that I’ve been thinking about a lot.  Flash will start paying rent next Month which will also free up some money.

Here goes…