Monday, October 8, 2012

Focusing on the positive

I've started, deleted and restarted posts several times today, mostly with the theme of "woe is me because...." I've had a stressful day, coming off a stressful weekend and tomorrow and the next day have some big hurdles in store. But in the spirit of keeping things in perspective, here are my reasons that the crappy stuff in my way right now is actually good.

1. My van is in the shop overnight and the exact words of the guy at the dealership were, "It certainly isn't going to be cheap, but...." HOWEVER, unless this amounts to more than my van is actually worth, we have the money to handle this and it won't be going on a credit card. This is HUGE for us.

2. Still on the topic of the van, we've had it for 5 years and we've never really put any serious money into it. We're pushing 100,000 miles and it has been a great vehicle. So even if it does put us back quite a bit, it isn't really that bad, all things considered.

3. And at least I have a reliable vehicle to use. And so does my husband.

4. My husband just finished up a Lego convention over the weekend. My stress over it is how much money he wound up spending on gas and food and everything else. Ouch. HOWEVER, he had a really great time and it was a nice break for him. He appreciated me being supportive of him going and it was a well-deserved bit of frivolity for a guy who works his butt off for his family.

5. Plus, his castle overlooking a medieval village creation that he built won Best Castle and came in second for Best in Show. Sa-weet!
Yes, he built this. Out of Legos. And yes, he is a grown up. Technically.
6. Despite having to be gone half the day to take my van to the dealer, we managed to get in a full day worth of schoolwork and both boys cooperated quite well. All things considered, that part of the day went rather smoothly.

7. Tomorrow I have to somehow finagle my schedule, my kids, carseats, and a shuttle ride to get my van back since my husband has to commute to his office (60 miles away). HOWEVER, my bestie (who also lives right next door) has my back and between the two of us, we're going to make it work.

8. My oldest son has get-cavities-filled-take-2 on Wednesday morning. We attempted to get them filled last month and he freaked out so badly, we left without even getting his mouth numb. It was horrible. Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad dentist appointment. And we have to attempt it again Wednesday morning. HOWEVER, my wonderful, wonderful husband is taking the morning off work to take him so I don't have to. And he's better than I am at getting through to our son when he's in freak-out mode, so I'm hopeful that they'll come home sans holes in teeth.

9. This Friday is our trip to the pumpkin patch with our homeschool group. No "howevers" there - I'm just looking forward to it.

10. Money wise, this month is going to be really tight - between the Lego convention and the van and my son's cavities, not to mention dealing with the bills for my other son's recent ER visit (OMGosh, how could it cost THAT much?!?!). HOWEVER, I think this is giving us a HUGE opportunity to face our bad financial habits and deal with them. It is going to mean making some changes in our spending, keeping careful track of what we've spent, and actually using that information to change our behavior. We're bad at all that. But we've managed to claw ourselves out of credit card debt, we have enough of a cushion to weather a couple of blows (the van, for example) and I am DETERMINED to ride out this month and actually stick to our plan. We made the plan together, so we're both on board - we just need to face that for things to change, we have to actually change. It is giving me a chance to look at what I spend money on and think about what is really important. Do I really need that? Can I manage without? Can I just cook dinner instead of grabbing take out? Can we make do with less? We need to, for spiritual reasons as much as financial ones. I'm hopeful that even though this month is going to be tough, it will be tough in a good way and we'll come out the other side feeling good about having managed it well.

Phew. That post was much better to write than the whiny ones I kept starting.

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