Between a whole lot of snow and some crummy personal stuff, it’s been a long week over here- and it’s only Wednesday!
As such, I’ve been feeling pretty tired and mopey so I’m going to try some forced gratitude. There’s a lot of research that suggests that expressing gratitude increases satisfaction and contentment. SO…here goes!
My job offers a student loan repayment program– This is a great, although less common, perk. My employer, for any loans that went toward a college degree, offers a certain amount of money that you can apply for each year to pay down student loan debt. And it’s recurring! I can apply each year. This is a fantastic benefit, as it allows me to put an extra large payment on one of my loans each March. Plus, the degree doesn’t have to be related your current job (which is good, since my undergraduate degree is technically in French…)
Our super-powered snowblower– We’ve had this snowblower for a good number of years (originally acquired when we lived in Minneapolis, where a snowblower was more a necessity than a luxury). However, it’s still going strong. B. does a lot of yearly maintenance to keep it in good working order and we expect to get many more years out of it. In fact, last year, the handle that turns the…blower part(?- I am not mechanically inclined) broke off when we moved. Fortunately, a local farm and garden store was able to repair it, and for much less than we would have paid for a new snowblower. In any case, it has come in very handy for this week’s snowstorms.
Family visits! My sister and brother-in-law (and their adorable son) are in town for the week. I love getting to spend time with family and Baby W. is ridiculously cute and chunky and perfect. 🙂 They currently live about nine hours away, so it’s always nice to get to see them whenever they make it down here. I think we’re going to try and plan a trip to see them this summer.
Our new house– One week until closing! We went and picked out some paint samples last weekend (a rare time when B. and I got to go out alone). So far, everything seems to be getting done in time for closing next Thursday- hopefully that trend continues. I’m starting to get excited!!
A healthy family– I’m knocking on wood as I type this. The flu has been making the rounds through daycare as well as my office, but so far we’ve managed to avoid catching it. Besides feeling miserable, illness is always a big hit to our frugality efforts, as neither of us can muster up the energy to perform the money-saving tasks we normally would (like cooking dinner).
It has been a bear of a week at work so I think it’s more than time for a four things that are making me happy post. I know it sounds totally self-helpish but making these lists really does make me feel a bit better. It can be really easy to wallow in the bad and stressful and it helps me calm down to remember all the things that are still going well.
I got some new to me clothes for fall from ThredUp. I will shortly be doing an entire post devote to ThredUp, but suffice it to say, you can get great, used clothes at a fraction of the price of retail. Fall is my favorite season and a couple new sweaters makes it really feel like fall!
I caught a potentially big issue at work before it actually became an issue. True, it’s been a stressful week dealing with fixing it, but I’m super glad I caught it before it actually became an issue.
F. is slowly but surely adjusting to both her big girl bed and a new daycare room. Through a series of unfortunate forgetting on my part, I transitioned F. to her long-awaited big girl bed the day before she started in a new room at daycare and my change-averse child has had a tough time with all the transition. This week, she’s been going to sleep without problems and not crying at drop-off, so I’m going to consider that a win.
It’s supposed to be sunny and pleasant out all weekend, so I think F. and I will definitely take advantage of the weather and get in some quality outside time before the colder weather sets in.
Time for some miscellaneous gratitude! (Or, this week has sucked and I could use a little attitude adjustment.)
I get to go to lunch tomorrow, on the company dime, to a restaurant called THE CHEESE BAR (emphasis mine, obviously…). It’s like my version of paradise- an entire restaurant dedicated to cheese. The obvious plus is that I also don’t have to pay for it! I would probably never go here on my own (certainly not now, with a toddler in tow…) so I’m grateful to get to try it out.
I have exactly one commitment this weekend (and it’s dinner with a really good friend, so not even really a commitment). Between house guests and vacation, my life has been a little crazy lately. Plus, we have guests coming the next two weekends after this one. So I’m looking forward to some quality time with F. and a relaxed, no obligations weekend (why yes, I am a very big introvert. Why do you ask??). I’m thinking pancakes and pajamas are in order at least one morning…
My department at work is having an eclipse viewing party on Monday on the top of the parking garage, complete with food and eclipse viewing glasses. I am very excited, since I wasn’t actually planning on getting any work done during the eclipse anyway 🙂 I’m sadly not in the path of totality, but I think we’re like…95%? Something close, anyway.
We’re almost to the halfway point of B’s deployment. I think things are going a little faster for him than they are for us, but I’m happy that we’re starting the downward slide to this deployment being done. Parenting and running a household alone while also trying to maintain a long distance relationship is a unique challenge and one I’m happy to be rid of soon. I’m also grateful that B. has been happy and relatively safe during his time away.
F. has decided that she’s ready to move to a big girl bed- This is not going to make my budget happy, as I hadn’t planned on buying a bed this month, but we’ve been waiting and waiting for her to decide that she’s ready to move from her crib and she finally decided she is! Plus, my brother-in-law will be here later this month so I’ll have someone who can help me set up the new bed and take down the crib (I can do both, but it’s nice to have another set of hands…). Transitions with F. (going to bed awake, potty training, eating, etc.) have always gone better once she decides she wants to (and by better, I mean if she didn’t want to do it, it was.not.happening) so I’m happy that she’s ready to make this transition.
Bonus! B. has been making bracelets for F. while he’s deployed and she told me today that she’s going to give me one because “mommy is my best friend and I love her.” I’ll be tucking that conversation away for a rainy day for sure 🙂
There we go! In a week of not so great stuff, I still have a lot of things to be grateful for. How about you? What’s making you happy right now?
I am in desperate need of an attitude adjustment today…
Dave Ramsey is fond of pointing out that living on a budget and managing money are easier if you approach them with an attitude of gratitude. Instead of focusing on what we can’t afford and can’t do, we should try to focus our energy on things that we can afford and can do.
Today….I am very much in need of an attitude adjustment. It was a hard, long weekend alone with my toddler and I am still feeling very crabby and resentful today. Resentful of friends whose spouses are around, resentful of my husband for not having to deal with the sometimes overwhelming mundane work involved in keeping a household running and resentful of the “things” that other people have- houses of their own, cars that work right (my stupid car trunk keeps not opening at the most inopportune times), etc.
Resentment is an icky emotion and if left to fester, often has a way of taking over and making everything terrible. I know- I’ve been caught up in resentment spirals before, most often when I’m stressed out and B. is away (he is probably my biggest asset for staying grounded when I’m stressed- he’s so unflappably calm!) And it’s not good for anyone. I make poor financial choices when I’m stressed out and resentful, I yell at my toddler, I get frustrated with the dog…it’s just not good.
So today, I am in need of an attitude adjustment. So, instead of focusing on all the things I can’t do or don’t have, I’m going to focus on five very concrete things that I am grateful for today, to remind myself that even though there are things I would like to have that I can’t right now, I still have a lot.
5 Things I’m Grateful For Today
The blessed break in the heat wave– 85 degrees has never felt so cool, you guys. The humidity and heat wave broke over the weekend and has been replaced by some truly gorgeous July weather. F. and I went to the park after work today and had a really fun time running around and looking at the flowers. Outside time= happy toddler (and happier mama too!)
The ability to have choices about what to do with my money– I know that so many people out there (my readers included) aren’t in a place where paying down debt is even an option. Where they’re having to choose between bills and food. Where food and housing insecurity are real, unending worries. I’m profoundly grateful that B. and I make enough to be able to meet our basic needs and even have some money left over for little luxuries. That’s more than a lot of people and sometimes I need this little kick in the pants when I’m starting to wallow about what I can’t afford.
My awesome landlords– It’s been hard to go back to renting after owning a house for so many years before we moved, but that transition has been made easier by the best landlords anyone could ask for. B. and I are very lucky to have had a lot of good landlords over the years, but the couple that owns our current house are some of the best. They’re responsive, they’re kind and they take really good care of the property. I may not be excited about renting, but I couldn’t ask for better landlords.
My supportive teammates at work– I’ve been feeling pretty negative about my job recently (not “so bad I want to leave” negative, but “I’m bored and therefore frustrated with minor things” negative) but I got a great reminder today of the awesome team of people I work with. I had multiple people come up to tell me how much they enjoyed listening to my presentation and how interesting it was. I so appreciate when people take the time to say these things, because it always feels great to hear (and I try to make a point to say them to others!). Today’s presentation really helped me feel like my contributions are valued and important AND helped remind me what a great group of people I get to work with!
Online library books– I just set up my online account so I can check out books directly to my tablet. This technology is amazing- I’m never out of new and interesting things to read and I’m grateful to have the technology to be able to take advantage of this great feature.
There we go. Five things I’m grateful for today. And you know what? This sounds corny, but I do actually feel better after writing that list. What’s on your gratitude list today?