Do I Buy a Car? A Thought Process

My car isn’t paid off and I won’t get enough for it to pay it off.

I will miss having a convertible.

I cannot even put the top down that often because of LD.

It’s getting hard to navigate putting the car seat in.

I have to drive up a crazy hill this winter that the Mustang will not handle.

Sometimes I feel like I have to drive Ethyl forever because (1)she was (mostly) my dream car and (2)my dad talked me into buying her.

On the other hand, Dad would buy the new car.

Also, Dad would say, “You can roll your loan in.”

Also, Dad would say, “You can make more money tomorrow.”

What’s the point of fixing my car and then trading it in in four months if I can just trade it in now and not fix it?  I’ll probably get the same amount.

I know that I cannot keep my car much longer but I also know that I am afraid of becoming a MOM mom.

Seriously, tho.  My car is really dirty and I’d like to start fresh. lol.  #thelaziest

And it would be nice to have leather seats with a toddler and also Michigan winter totally calls for 4wd and heated seats.

Sirius radio trial.

I mean, it kind of seems logical to just buy a car…

Randomness- Building a Life

I think that it happens to everyone at one point or another and I think that sometimes, as in my particular case, it has happened slowly and all at once.

On the end of the Mega Super Panic Attack that went from Sunday into Monday, the MSPA that made me unable to go to work on Monday and barely able to function at all (except that I have to because baby), I was kind of losing it a little.  I sat on the couch with my husband and my baby and I looked around me and I fought back tears.

Why?

And that is always the question.

I am the happiest that I have ever been.  I have a husband who is the love of my life.  I have a baby who is just perfect and awesome, healthy and bright, a real ham.  I love my cats.  I love my family.  I love my friends.  I love my house.  I love my car.  I love my job.  I keep busy.  I have a passion.  I have a goal.

So, why do I feel like I am falling apart and nothing is right?

Well, I know.  It took a lot of thinking and it took a lot a lot a lot of courage to admit it.  I DID admit it, though.  I admitted it to myself.  I admitted it to LD.  Those are vital first steps.

I’m not going to tell you what is wrong with my life.  Instead I am going to tell you a little about my plan.  I am going to work toward my goals and work with my passions.  I am going to stop giving a fuck about what everyone else thinks.  I am going to start grinding it out, day after day.  I am going to work hard.  I am going to play hard.  I am going to show up and be present.  I am going to prioritize.  I am going to stop running and hiding.  I am going to do self-work and practice self-care and take the time to do the things that I really want to do.  I am going to make changes.

First, I am going to work every day on the thing I want.

Second, I am going to be more active in my daily life, physically.

Third, I am going to commit my time and energy to my husband and son.  None of this “I’m spending time with LD but really I’m thinking about/working on my ridiculous to do list.”

Fourth, I am going to spend more time doing what I WANT to do instead of scrolling.

Fifth, I am going to face the things I need to face.

Sixth, I am going to prioritize so that things actually get done.

It’s a lot and it’s a big deal and I am doing it.  It’s time to be strong, smart, and confident.  It’s time to take control of my life.

Tally Monday- July 3, 2017

Checked out

  1. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Bought

None!  (But Amazon is up in another tab right now. lol)

Read

  1. Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar
  2. “The Third Birdhouse” by John Biquent
  3. Archie, vol 3 by Mark Wade

Currently Reading: The Night Circus and all of my journals, 1999-present.

Last month I turned 33 and it struck me that I was at a point where there were a lot of things that I had been doing for two decades or even longer!  Like, shaving my legs, dying my hair, and keeping a journal.  That’s right, I have kept a journal more or less religiously for 20 years.  I mean, in the beginning it was pretty sporadic but when I was 16 I went through a rough patch and it was the kind of rough patch that catapulted me into a love of journaling.

So, I decided to read all of my journals over the next week because I can.  And, you guys, they are fucking hilarious.  Fifteen year old Rachael is, like, so super dramatic.  And she says the funniest things like, “I think of myself as a young Monica Lewinski.”  Why?  Because my mom took me shopping because I was sad and I felt like she was “buying me off.”  It’s pretty damn funny, right?

As far as my other reading, I loved the King and I loved the Archie and I loved the short story.  It was all really good.  And I am enjoying The Night Circus but I know that it is going to go slower than I would like it to.  So I’m just kind of avoiding it, I guess.  Hubby is listening to the audio and he seems to really like it so far, even though I am further than him.

Hopefully I get through these journals this week.  I can’t wait to read about all of the stuff I’ve forgotten.

Tally Monday- April 17, 2017

Checked Out

None

Bought

  1. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
  2. Authority by Jeff Vandermeer
  3. Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer

Read

None

TBR Your guess is as good as mine.

Another week of basking in War and Peace.  I am beginning to hate Tolstoy who has ripped out my heart a couple of times now.  And it’s hard to predict, you guys.  Sometimes a character’s story will pick back up and I’ll catch myself clenching my teeth, awaiting the oncoming disaster.  Only, the disaster doesn’t come.  The story line swerves and the character lives to see another day.  Then something wonderfully hopeful happens and I get so excited for the wonderful, happy thing to come and it doesn’t happen.  Someone takes a lover instead or freaking dies.

Touche, Tolstoy.  Touche.

This morning I caught myself wondering how he did it.  How did he make me care about these characters?  They never seem technicolor to me, though they never seem flat either.  There is just enough there for me to think of the characters as real people.  They have just enough personality to be distinct but little enough for me to paint them with my own ideas and impressions.  It’s a fine line but he walks it well.

This week I will finish War and Peace and then I will launch headlong into The Stand.  One big book to another.  I’m looking forward to it, though.  I need more Stephen King in my life.

I bought the whole Southern Reach trilogy last week because I was feeling kind of down and they are pretty.  What can I say?  There are worse habits to have.

The Podcast Problem

The other day my phone warned me that it was nearly full.

“How can that be?” asked Hubby.

I shrugged.  Then I pulled up my storage management and saw that Podcasts were taking up 35.5 GB of space on my phone.

Hubby looked at me, aghast, and said, “WTF is wrong with you?  Why do you download them?”

Easy.  I download my podcasts so I can listen to them when I don’t have a wifi connection.  I am one of those people, you know.  I connect automatically almost everywhere I go on a regular basis.  When I walk into Meijer to get groceries, I automatically connect to their network and my Meijer app pings.  I connect at home.  I connect first thing in the morning at work.  I connect at all of my friends’ houses.  I connect at the local McDonalds.  My phone is set up to use the wifi if it is available and NOT to use data, because that got us in trouble once.  (Did you know that you actually have to set your phone up like that?  Our home internet was a little slower than our iPhones liked and apparently was switching to data constantly without us knowing until our bill came.  Our wifi is faster now and we’ve learned our lesson.)

I took a day to think about how I wanted to handle the situation while I desperately cleaned out photos and apps.  See, because my Podcasts are downloaded to my device, they don’t disappear if I fall behind and something gets removed from the feed.  I can listen to them in the car without fear.  When our internet is down, I have a cache of treasure ready to go.  I never worry about not having something to listen to.

But I have fallen behind.  I know that.  I fell behind when I started this job because I can’t listen at my public desk and the work that I do at my off desk requires a lot more of my attention.  (I’m bad with numbers and I manage a budget.)  I listen to audiobooks in my car because I am also behind on my TBR list.  I just don’t have as much time to listen anymore.

And so I made a decision.  I am going to finish up the Ramona series on audio, which should not take long, and then I will transition into my Podcast listening through maternity leave.  I planned on listening to podcasts then anyway because they are right on my phone.  In the meantime, I’ll keep up with my regular listening around the house.

This morning I added up how many podcasts I have downloaded.  1170.  Fucking seriously.

Now, on the other hand, Hubby had me change the podcast in his car the other day and I said, “Don’t you have it downloaded.”

“No,” he answered.  “I just stream mine.”

I looked at him, aghast.  “WTF is wrong with you??”

Tally Monday- January 9, 2017

Checked Out

None, thank God.

Bought

  1. Maestra by LS. Hilton
  2. As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner
  3. Siracusa by Delia Ephron
  4. Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

Read

  1. The Maldive Shark by Herman Melville

TBR 22ish, probably closer to 25

Panic at the Library.  That would be my band name.

The days and weeks are ticking by, speeding up like a train pulling out of the station.  Or like a madman preparing to run someone over.  Whatever.  However you want to think about it.  The fact of the matter is that I have 11 weeks until maternity leave and I have not put a dent in my TBR pile at all.  At.  All.

Why?  Oh, I don’t know.  Five million bazillion reasons.  The first being that I am tired.  The second being that I am mostly brain dead at this point and scrabbling to function like a human being 40 hours a week.  The third being that, honestly, I don’t want to read this shit.  I do not want to read that stuff for work still, even the book that I am really enjoying.  It’s well written and packed full of information but it is not what I want to read.

Which brings us around to my little problem.  When I can’t sleep at night, which is more often than not these days, I pull out my Kindle and read The Handmaid’s Tale.  It’s taking me a long time because I am basically reading only in bed and only until I am tired but, you guys, I just realized that I feel like I am taking sips of good literature and it’s all that’s getting me through.  When I catch myself worrying that I no longer love to read, I remind myself that these little tastes of dystopia are refreshing and make me happy, even when they give me nightmares.

Because all it takes is a couple of shitty books in a row to ruin a reading life.  And I have never, ever felt so much for those poor saps who hated everything that was assigned to them in school.  They are, undoubtedly, ruined for at least a while, if not forever.  If you hated The Crucible and Walden in 10th grad in my school, there’s a good chance that you have never recovered.

And yet I have hope.  Hope springs eternal.

You can tell because I bought four ebooks this week.  I got a $50 Amazon gift card for Christmas and in the interest of making it last as long as possible I have taken to scouring the Kindle deals and stocking up for whatever may come.  I hear Kindles are helpful when nursing.  And I also have a feeling that not sleeping is going to continue well past birth.  I have months of inadequate sleep ahead of me.  I may as well make the most of it.

As much as I was complaining about the Little Black Classics a couple of weeks ago, it has gotten me to finally read some people I have never attempted before.  Recently I read my first Dickens and my first Melville and both were pretty decent.  I currently have no plans of going out and conquering Great Expectations or Moby Dick, but I feel a bit braver having read the small selections and understood them.  At least I think I did.  I don’t really have a sounding board, so we can just pretend.

This week I have some goals.  First, finish season 3 of Erueka.  Actually, it’s season 3.5 which is pretty tricksy of them.  Second, catch up on my Splendid Table podcast.  I’ve only got about 13 episodes left and I plan on plowing through them this week, even if my next audiobook finally comes in.  Finally, I need to finish three books.  Three.  Well, I better get on winning the lotto because it doesn’t sound like I have any time left for work.

My Reading Life in Review

As the end of the year nears, I find myself looking back over my reading for the year and I find myself feeling, well, unsatisfied.  To tell the truth, I’m not even sure why.  If I look back at the books I’ve read, I see a few that I really enjoyed.  H is for Hawk, Barkskins, Lumberjanes, The Southern Vampire series, the Little House books, Giant Days, Marvel and a Wonder, The Girls, a touch of Stephen King.  I liked these books but it feels like I am picking them out of a sea of other shit.  And it’s not even like the other shit is SHIT.  A lot of it was really good.

So, why do I feel like I wasted a year of reading?

I’m not sure.  I wonder if it has to do with the Little Black Classics, which took the place of my short stories and which feel, well, like a lot of filler.  I wonder if I read too many comics this year because they do kind of feel like cookies to me, little delectable things that I enjoy but that don’t fill me up for long.  Is it simply that I’m not reading what I want to read when I want to read it?

I’ve taken down 122 books so far this year and I admit that this number in impressive.  But so much of it feels like junk food when I look back.  I want to read something with more meat, you know?  And I’m not trying to devalue any of these things at all.  Lord knows I’m not going to devalue cookies.  It’s just that I think I may have had too many and am getting bloated and developing diabetes.  Is this analogy working?  I don’t know.

So, what the fuck is it that I want out of my reading life next year?  No clue, you guys.  No clue.  I guess that I don’t want to waste my time because I know that there is going to be  so much less of it.  I want to finish a book and feel satiated by it.  I want more classics and more family sagas and more depth and more meaning.  I want less “OMG!  You need to read this now!”

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be considering what I want out of my reading life in the next year and how to get it.  If you have any ideas, comments, opinions, admonitions, please share.