…is it a good or bad thing?

I want to buy a cheap ticket to NYC in the next 6 weeks to see Aaron Tveit in his last performances as Christian in Moulin Rouge. He is one of big Broadway crushes and I have wanted to see him perform live for awhile. And what better role then Christian?! And what better show to go see. I found a reasonably priced flight and I can afford the tickets. It would stretch me thin for a month or two on fun and food budgets, but I wanna go so badly. I have the freedom in my schedule to do it. I am little worried about knowing where to stay hotel wise and navigating the city alone, but I am pretty sure I could figure it out. Should I do it? I want to real bad. I can be a bit impulsive though. I still regret not seeing Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp in their last tour of RENT. Do I want more Broadway musical regrets? Will I regret going when I have less food to eat in May? All excellent questions. Come What May.

Driving, Driving…

…and more driving! That is my current life.

I have never been a big fan of driving. In fact, it is a main source of my anxiety. I am afraid of hurting someone (not myself, but others – not that I don’t value myself, it just isn’t what my anxiety floats around). Moving to California only increased that anxiety. Y’all are kinda crazy drivers and the traffic is heavy. Lately, I have been driving at least two hours everyday with my new commute. My longest one way drive has been 2.15 hours (1.75 of that trapped in traffic on the five). Audio books and the no commercial Pandora help, but it is still a lot of driving. I love this new job though so that makes it easier to get into my car knowing what is ahead. I a really hoping I don’t get fatigued with the drive. I can’t move to Escondido for a seasonal job (I am really hoping they keep me on beyond the season). The commute on top of the very physical job (which I love) is just exhausting me a little after a pretty sedentary year. I am incredibly grateful for the work, especially at this awesome job, I just so wish it was closer. I am hoping that once I am used to working a lot again that the commute will just be something I do and not something I have to do. On the bright side my car gets good gas mileage. I know others who work there have a similar commute and that is good to know and good to commiserate with them. To have a group of folks who love their work so much that they are willing to make the same time sacrifice is awesome.

I am so grateful though to feel useful again and be able to put my skills into practice. It feels good. Also, it feels good to pay rent. Between my two jobs I almost had my whole rent payment (only had to dip into my savings a little). I know that sounds sarcastic, but it’s not. Grateful for every penny.

I Feel A Bit Stupid But…

…for some reason when this pandemic started I did NOT think it was going to last this long.

Or maybe I just hoped it wouldn’t. Wow – I am still part time and I am still a little worried everyday I go into work that today might be the day I get the ‘rona (my job is working with the public). All of this materials is ‘stay home stay safe’ but in order to pay rent to have a home I have to go to work…and work with the visiting public. There is no shelter at home choice for me and so many others. I am not a doctor, nurse, janitor, or other super important job that really really needs to work to help the world, but I need to work to help my world survive. I love my work and I know the risk I am taking but it is still a bit scary. Especially since I am taking that risk to barely get by. I guess I just thought some of this would have gotten a little better by now, but it’s getting worse.

That venting over with, I am very grateful to be getting by. My rent, bills, and food are somehow paid. Between work and UI benefits I am making it. Those UI benefits are essential to my survival. I promise you. I have no idea what I am going to do when Student Loans kick back in. That will put my bills past what I have coming to barely scrape by. I worry about it a lot. Although if you read this blog regularly you know I worry a lot in general, anxiety and all. I broke down and got myself some expensive dental insurance because I have a crown that is likely a root canal now. It hurts. I have been eating a lot of soft foods.

I don’t know how I have been scrapping by for so long during this pandemic, but I trust I will find a way to keep doing it for as a long as it takes.

Full Cabinets…

…and it feels good.

I decided to dip into the savings a little and fill my cabinets with food. I have been shopping on the skinny meaning the only things I am eating that day or the following. I went to Trader Joes, Target, the Dollar Store, Michaels (cheap and good holiday candles), and an Imperfect Produce order. I now have three kinds of Joe Joe’s, pumpkin for Marty to eat, and stuff to make dinners. I feel better – less rushed. I can’t do it all the time, but right now it feel like a good choice. I never thought that full cabinets would make me feel so reassured. I suppose food is survival so it makes sense I feel more secure. The feeling in relation to groceries just surprised me.

Then I used the money I had leftover to get Marty a haircut and bath. He looks incredibly handsome and smells super good. It makes me feel good to know he’s clean and taken care of by me. Makes me happy.

I suppose my whole overall take away is maybe money can’t buy happiness but is can buy peace. It feels pretty darn good and makes me happy. So, turns out, a little money can buy happiness and a cabinet full of food! People who say it doesn’t have never wondered where their next meal was coming from or how they were gonna scrape together rent.

The Money Struggle…

…is super real – especially right now.

I have never had a super high paying job – I never really needed one. I have always made enough to get by without starving, to keep my wine membership up, and have a bit of fun. The start of the pandemic was the end of that. I know I am not alone on this one and I want you all out there to know that you aren’t either.

I did okay with the increase of unemployment benefits. I still worked as many hours as I could get but, I was making it by with the help. I was even able to save a bit which is great because that is what I am living on now. The extra money wasn’t a luxury – it was a necessity. I am sorry not was, is a necessity still. I do not feel it is leaching off the system. I work at a nonprofit that has cut my hour and now my titles and pay significantly. I apply to jobs daily (everything from jobs in my field to cashier at Costco). I need that money to come back in some form. The unemployment I get now is just enough to pay my rent and like three bills. The rest (including food) is coming out of savings or because my dude is nice and I cook and do dishes and stuff (I try to pay back in services lol – not like that! get your mind out of the gutter).

Would it be bad to ask family and friends to pick a bill to pay as my birthday present next month? hahahaha That would be the best!

Anxiety is Kind of Like a Champagne Waterfall…

…it cascades layer by layer and could end in a bunch of broken glasses and wasted champagne.

When I am very anxious about one thing, it tends to waterfall into all my other avenues of anxiety. I am currently anxious about what everyone is anxious about – the pandemic and it’s affects on life, specifically my financial life. Work shut down today – and suddenly all my worst what if’s of the latest anxiety started becoming reality. How will I pay rent? I have previously written that even in the worst of times, I have grateful to have a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in. I see that disappearing. (I know my family will help me but they are going through their own stuff and I don’t want to ask). The first time I can recall feeling anxiety was when I was little and learned about and saw homeless people. It shot up to the number one fear in my life – growing up to be homeless. I know I have a few options before that happens but boy does it feel super real right now.

This anxiety is cascading into my other avenues of anxiety (which are a bit more practical but that makes it easier for them to affect my actions. Last night I turned to my dude and said “don’t hate me but I have to run home and make sure I blew the candle out.” I was sure that I had done it but that one anxious thought took my brain over and changed my course of action. I had to come check – there was no other way to end the thought quickly. My dude was totally understanding and awesome and even came with me, but I am sure I looked like a bit of a crazy person. Also, to pinch pennies I am putting my therapy on hold. I can’t afford expenses that don’t pertain to rent or food or sanity (aka wine). So I will have to employ the tools I have learned and hope that’s enough to get through this anxiety champagne waterfall.

I am really hoping that none of my other glasses break in this champagne fountain, but if they do I can handle it. I hope – I know I will but a little hope never heard anyone.