And thus begins the year in which I turn 40….

I am not really a big resolution at January 1 kind of person.  I never have been.  I would make beginning of school year resolutions in September every year, which always seemed more appropriate, but January, to me, has always seemed like mid year.  Mid season, midway, you get the drift.

But for some reason I am having a harder time than normal with the turn of the calendar this year.  I turn 40 in a few months, and yet I feel like I was further ahead in my life when I was 26 or so than I am now.  I made more money, I was in a serious relationship, I had a job that was going places . . . now I have 60% of the salary I had at that age, not adjusting for inflation, I haven’t been on a date in heaven knows how long because it’s just easier that way, and after two years of unemployment I finally have a job I like, only my brain is keeping me from liking it very much lately.  So here are some random thoughts on 2013 and what I think may or may not be able to be done about each of the issues I am currently struggling with in my head.

Depression runs in my family.  I know this.  I have fought against this my entire life.  I think that when I was unemployed I was put on drugs because the doctor thought “hey, she’s unemployed, she must be depressed.”  They only lasted for about a year, and I never felt that they did any good.  To be honest, I think that I was actually happier when I was unemployed.  Sure, there was the stress financially, there was the uncertainty of being able to pay my mortgage, but at the same time my house was clean.  My family didn’t feel slighted by the time I was able to spend with them.  My gym membership was used–daily even.  And yet the last few weeks I have been attributing the doldrums that I have felt to the pitch black darkness that I had to wake up and face instead of sunlight.  Getting off work in the dark, rainy weather (for three flipping weeks!).  Etc.  I will be the first one to tell you that the weather is a big indicator of my mood.  Not by choice, but I need the sun.  I can’t spend time in it or my fragile skin fries to a crisp, but I do know that I do much better in the summer, waking up with the sun and being able to get moving.  I just worry that this . . . this . . . this feeling I have is not one that I’m going to be able to snap out of easily, and one that I have got to just deal with.  I am not motivated.  I am exhausted, but I can’t sleep.  When I do, it’s not restful.  I have no desire to be with people or participate.  Yet I make myself do these things every day.  I realize that exercise may be something that makes me feel better, but without sleep I’m not going to get up and go to the gym.  I have a gym membership, and haven’t been in a few months.  I love having the option, just need less hours that are obligated during the day to enable me to go.  So I think I’m going to cancel the membership.  I don’t want to, but there you go.

So facing 2013 with this hanging on my shoulders is not how I want to start the year.  I know that a large part of the reason that I feel this way is also attributed to money (isn’t it always) and my lack thereof.  I know money doesn’t buy happiness.  I firmly believe that statement.  But lack of money can also prevent happiness from being found.  When I realized that I made more at the age of 26 than I do now I was completely bummed.  I have never measured up in my father’s eyes financially, I don’t think.  I feel that a large portion of how he evaluates people is based on their earning potential.  I worked in non profit, I worked in the corporate office of a retail corporation, I now work for a guy that is just starting his own business among others.  I haven’t grabbed the paycheck gravy train so to speak.  I have not been able to become debt free.  Years and years of watching my mother struggle with money is difficult enough, but I also know that I am not good with money.  I have it, but don’t always spend it in the best way.  So to take after Craig Wilson, USAToday columnist and someone who sees like an all-around nice guy, I would like to propose the following:  2013 will be the year when I buy no new.  I mean, come on, basic stuff like food and all don’t count.  Gifts for others when needed, sure.  But for the most part I need to buy and use what I already have.  The cumulative amount of my debt is staggering to me, and I do not like it.  So at the bottom of this post you’ll find a tally of various bills and what is owed.  I’m not talking phone or power or whatever, but the running credit that I have accumulated in various ways.  It’s a noose around my neck, and I want accountability to get it paid down.  I realize that the general public does not read this blog.  Shoot, my family doesn’t read this because to the best of my knowledge they don’t know it exists.  I average eight readers a week and I think those come from typing “Big Bang Theory” in a search engine.  Which is fine, the point of this blog was never to find readers it was just an outlet.  But I am making myself accountable to the big faceless “out there” that is.  Just so someone knows.

In that vein of spend no money, pay off debts, I am not allowed to buy food unless I either a) have eaten everything in the house.  Literally.  or b) have to.  You know, like milk and sugar and stuff.  Things like that, to replace something I am out of.  I have to eat the food I have, icky or no.  Which means I am going to eat a lot of chicken sausages and mac and cheese in the new year until I can justify buying more.  Eating out no more than twice a week (including lunch).  I have way too much food.  I have not yet decided if I am going to continue with the Dominion Harvest (local food producers co op) in February.  It feels a bit expensive, but then again it’s such a great deal for lots of fresh veggies….

No more pizza delivery.  Seriously.  I ordered last night because I had a coupon for it to be like $2 for a large pizza.  Of course the next six hours I was sick to my stomach.  So no more pizza delivery.  I just need to cook more!

Okay, well, that’s it for now.  It’s almost 11 and I’m brain dead, so I want to try again in the morning.  I hope you all had a fabulous new year, and have better luck with your resolutions than I have with mine!

Credit Cards before: $11,184.46
Credit Cards after: 10,846.65

Paid off the Best Buy card today, yay!

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