Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Grist for the mill

Well, I got a jumpstart on the Ebay auctions to start bankrolling some moolah for the house renovations.

Went to GW Outlet (my pet name for Goodwill), and cherrypicked a few items that I hope to turn a tidy profit on:

Brand new pair of Dansko leather clogs - still had the little sticky tag inside. Paid $4.90 for them, and I have them listed with an opening bid of $49.00. They retail for $120ish, so we'll see what comes around.

The hoarder in me wanted to keep these precious, teeny tiny Disney Store Cinderella slippers, but I hope that I make some tiny princess deliriously happy (and add to my house fund!) These were $1.90, I believe, and retail for $36.00. Again, fingers crossed!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post-Christmas, Pre-New Years Resolution

Well, we made it.

I think the kids had 4 Christmases. Maybe 5. There were metric tons of wrapping paper, gift cards, boxes, cookies, ribbons, and tissue paper.

I'm ready to pack every last bit of it away right this minute, but I think you are supposed to wait until after New Years. Something about bad luck if you pack it early, beats me.

ANYWAY . . .

I have big plans that will kick off with the packing of the Christmas Crap. Once the Christmas Crap is boxed, it is going up into the attic with the Thanksgiving Crap and the Halloween Crap that has all been camped out in my garage.

Once the Holiday Crap is up and away, Job 1 of the New Year is going to be to clear out the garage, so that nothing remains outside of cars, bikes and tools. Period.

Building on that, the garage will become a staging ground, of sorts, for my furniture as I begin to revitalize the house. I have big plans this year for Chez Rita. I am going to paint the interior of my house. Myself. Both floors, all rooms. I'm also going to rid myself of some old furniture, and acquire some new furniture. I'd also like to fence the backyard this year, and hire someone to build some additional walls in the finished basement to create 2 additional bedrooms.

Because I'm not made of money (unfortunately), I've also decided to challenge myself to finance all or most of the home sprucing with EBay sales of the crap - I mean TREASURE - that has collected in my house over the years. I got a good start over the holidays, selling some collectibles that I thought I couldn't live without (turns out, I can), and was inspired by the windfall that my daughter gleefully accepted from the sale of her American Girl doll clothes and accessories (better than $250).

So, yep. That's the plan. Ditch some of the old stuff, get some new stuff, paint the scuffed stuff, organize and declutter the remaining stuff with money from the stuff I ditch via Ebay (or maybe a well-timed yardsale.)

Wish me luck!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays

It's been awful quiet around here the past few months.

Not life. God, no - life has been like a tornado.

I mean this blog. It's been like a ghost town.

I've contemplated shutting her down altogether, but I keep thinking that I'll come back here when things settle down a bit and write like I used to.

I think that about a lot of things, actually.

Truth is, I don't do much of anything like I used to. I don't feel, or think or act like I used to, and in turn, nothing around me feels or acts like it used to. Job. Kids. Family. Life.

The only constant is change, I guess. Despite being surrounded by change, most of it stemming from my own actions, I really struggle to accept it with grace. I constantly tell myself to be thankful for what I have, and not give in to the worry and stress.

By the way, I really suck at not giving in to the worry and stress.

Physically, I feel good. It's been a year and 3 months since my surgery, and I've pretty much leveled out, weight-wise. After the huge nosedive of a loss early on, I seem to chart about 1/2 lb. per month loss these days. I anticipate that will probably stop altogether in the next couple of months, which is fine. The one thing that I don't need any reminder for is being thankful for my improved health. Thank God for that surgery, my surgeon, my job and resulting insurance, and my willingness to subject myself to the procedure.

The kids are excited for the holidays, of course, but it's tempered a bit this year. It's been hard for me to watch the kids go through the holidays post-divorce. I put off decorating the house for weeks because I didn't want to divvy up the tree decorations into "mine", "his", "used to be ours - no longer applicable". It's something I should have done prior to the holidays, but I didn't. I thought about it a few times, and I intended to set aside a day to do it while the kids were in school, but I never did. When we finally got the boxes out, I tried my best to slip his things into other boxes, but kids never miss a trick, so I changed tactics and packaged them carefully, sending them over to the ex with the kids, trying to be as positive as I could and telling the kids that I felt sure their daddy would want to the decorations in time for Christmas. Actually, I've tried to put a positive spin on most things, but I often find that it ends up feeling like more of a bribe than encouragement. For instance, I have found myself telling the kids that they are lucky to be able to have multiple Christmases this year, like that's some kind of consolation prize for the divorce.

I really didn't intend to do that, but I admit I have, just because I couldn't bear letting them ruminate too long on the downside of having their family blown apart.

Which brings me to another thing that I've struggled with - determining what effect all of this has had on the kids, really. I mean, there is a chance that none of this bothers them as much as I think it does. I keep telling myself that kids are adaptable, they spring back. Then I think about all of the times I have heard my friends talk about their parents' divorce, and how bad the holidays sucked from there on out.

I think they call it transference.

Maybe I'm projecting things onto the kids that aren't really there. Maybe when they fight with each other, or sass, they are just being kids, and not reacting to the divorce at all. It's still early days, I guess, but I find myself examining their behaviors for clues about which ones to chalk up to the divorce, and which ones to act upon and correct.

By the way, I really suck at not knowing which behaviors to chalk up to divorce and which ones to act upon and correct.

In the midst of all of this transition, my fiance and I planned and postponed a wedding, which has been both a relief and a disappointment. No one lives in a vacuum, and like everyone else, we were subject to the whims of a bad economy and the constraints of time and budget. We underestimated the amount of time and money needed for a relocation, re-employment, stabilizing finances post-divorce, assumption of premarital debt in the post-divorce monthly budget, allocation of funds for growing children with ever-increasing needs and wants, and the demands of hosting a ceremony that would host friends from near and far and pay the proper respect to us and our families.

Yeah, it's been rough.

But, just like with this blog, I'm not giving up. I keep thinking that when everything settles down, I'll be able to revisit the plans with a fresh perspective (and a healthy wallet.)

So here's to 2010. May we all gain a fresh perspective and healthier wallets.
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