Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Money Matters

"Money doesn't make you happy!"  I cry FOUL on that statement.  Okay... money may not make you happy, but sure lifts a load off your shoulders, allows you to dream freely and lets you enjoy some of the finer things.  I can absolutely find happiness in playing with my kids on the floor, hanging out at the playground with the entire family, catching glimpses of the Olympic mountains in my neighborhood, and laughing really hard at something inane.  All of these are free (hurray!).  But there's lately that nagging in my head (and a little in my heart) that were are way under water.  I'm sure a lot of it is that I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be in this position at 41 years old with a family of 5.  I thought the struggling happened in your 20s when you're just starting out.  You know, the "oh honey, remember when we had to share that can of beans on the floor of our dining room before we got furniture?" romantic kind of struggling.  That's the kind you look back on and are grateful for the experience because you see how far you've come.  Now, with three kids running around me as I stare into the fridge trying to determine if I can make a meal out of pickles, that romance is gone.  Of course, we're not exactly about to be turned out into the streets.  I am sitting here typing on a laptop (luckily negotiated through my last job) and it's one of two computers in our comfortable house.  My laundry piles up because we all have more clothes than anyone needs.  We have two cars and two flat-screen televisions, although we are discussing going down to basic cable and I am long overdue for an oil-change that will have to wait.  We're fortunate to have family that is helping us maintain things right now.  So, "struggling" is relative.  I get that.  But all I know is this life.  And feeling a pit in my stomach when I'm going through the check-out line at the grocery store because I'm worried about spending the money feels pretty lousy. 

So...I'm working on fixing things.  I have definitely opened up my job search to just about anything that may have one qualification that suits me.  Saying that my experience is "niche-y" isn't going to work anymore. 
I have desperately been searching for ways to keep the healthy eating up without spending $57 on two bags every other day when I go to the fancy-pants health food store (butIloveitsomucheverythingissonicethere!!).  After much digging, I finally found a group that creates a box of veggies straight from the local farms each week for your specific family size.  We are a medium sized family, known as "Garden" to this organic and health happy organization.  And for $32 a week, I can pick up a box of various fruits & vegetables just up the street.  If I get the meats and some grains every once in a while, we should be able to stay on the real food track for less than we have been paying.  It's shameful that, as a country, we're so unhealthy and becoming more & more aware of the issue of fat in our kids, yet healthy food is so much more expensive than processed, sugary, fatty foods.  Put it together, people!  This summer, I'll be growing peppers, damn it!  So there.

On top of trying to stay the course with our healthy eating habits and doing it for less dough (literally and figuratively - ha!), I have also jumped to the other side of the spectrum.  And I, crunchy-granola-mama-wannabe and sweatpants & concert tee wearer, have become an....wait for it....AVON LADY!!
That's right, folks, step right up and get your lip gloss, under-eye creams and Passionate Purple eye-shadow from yours truly. I had to do something to bring a few dollars in and to feel like I am actually doing something.  I'm rather enjoying it.  I haven't seen a dime yet, and it will probably take a month or so before I get some income, but I might be onto something here.  This weekend will start my first real door-to-door activity, so I'll let you know how that goes.  I am really envisioning myself ringing the doorbell, throwing some Skin-So-Soft lotion samples at whomever answers and running.  I did some in-person selling to a very close girlfriend and I still couldn't help but morphing into someone from Truvy's Beauty Parlor.  This is to say...selling cosmetics is a bit out of my wheelhouse.  But it's time I got off my duff and contributed to the basic cable.

Well, time to send a few more resumes out.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to nail this Mandarin-speaking flight attendant position.


  1. you are a really really good writer, A. I knew it was in you but not sure I got to see it that often - except in those great notes you wrote me at RHS about how everyone there should explode in a puff of Ralph Lauren cologne. Anyway, huzzah on your writing. I think you could really do something with your blog and maybe a book on struggling financially and finding joy inside it all? I'm really proud of you (not said with any condescension in my tone). xoxox

  2. Everyone at RHS should have exploded in a puff of Ralph Lauren cologne! :) (Oh how I hated my RHS days . . .but I digress.) You're a great writer, Amy. I love reading every word.