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Good News, Bad News

It’s crazy how much can happen in a week, isn’t it? More good news than bad, though, which is how it should be, methinks.

Good News: My new glasses came in last Tuesday, and I picked them up right away. I’m kind of missing the old bi-focals, because there was a clear demarcation of where the reading lens was vs. the rest of the correction, so it was easy to know where to direct your eyes. Now, I just have this sort of fuzzy area in between that won’t correct either way, and that does kind of drive me a little nuts. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, and I’m happy to have the stronger reading part (that does make a huge difference), even if it is kind of small, but it’s going to take a little more time.

Bad News: I think I mentioned that I missed budgeting the week before last due to poor planning on my part…and I definitely paid for that (no pun intended) last week. It was a very expensive mistake – one that I really couldn’t afford. So now, more unnecessary expenditures have to be temporarily dropped until I can make up the difference. Sucks, but this is a lesson I *will* learn, no matter how long I need to struggle with it.

Good News: Needless to say, I did get my transaction log downloaded early this past Friday, did my budgeting for the paycheck that should hit my account today, and as long as I’m careful and stick strictly to the budget, I’ll stay in the black. No finger-crossing necessary, just discipline.

I had Thursday and Friday off work last week – Thursday was my birthday, and I kept it all to myself. Friday was just for fun. My weekend was pretty low-key…household stuff, more new routines put into place (some money-saving), and I was more careful than normal with my time, so I got stuff done and didn’t have to rush about it. I am really going to strive to do that more often going forward. Weekends are so much nicer when they aren’t spent rushing to get everything done.

Yesterday wasn’t a vacation day, but a federal holiday, so I spent it writing and knitting. And playing a little, but I did limit close screen time because…

Bad News: I realized something a little depressing during the time I had off, which is that once again, I’m straining my eyes with all the “extracurricular screen time”. Mostly, playing games on my cell. *sigh* My eyes have been incredibly dry lately, and part of that is the extra heat running plus the cold air when we’re out walking, but part of that is my propensity for playing games in the evenings (Pokemon Go & Animal Crossing) rather than just watching TV and crocheting/knitting (or playing a game on the TV screen, which is far less taxing on the eyes than playing on my cell). The switch screen is bigger, and doesn’t seem to bother as much, but Pokemon Let’s Go is still engaging enough that I’ll sit there and stare and *not blink*, which is the killer.

So…along with breaks every hour or so, I also need to build in a few hours in the evening where I’m not visually focusing as hard. I’m using my Neo to write, which is a non-backlit screen with big letters, so that works well, and I’ll just have to make sure to put my cell down after we get back from walking and do something else while I’m watching TV (if not playing big-screen games).

Good News: My weight is slowly (oh, so slowly) dropping with the extra workout time I have with the new morning routine. I have time for weight lifting along with yoga four times per week (Mon/Weds/Thurs/Fri), and adding weight lifting in there has made a big difference. So hooray for that! I’ve lost around 9lbs since last August, and would like to lose another ten or so. We’ll see if the downward trend continues, but I’m cautiously optimistic.

Finally, I am a very small stack of comic books away from being completely caught up on my Harley Quinn backlog. Once that’s done, I only have a smallish stack of Amazing Spider-Man comics to get through, and I will finally be completely caught up with all my comic book series. *And* I got a gift certificate to the comic shop for my birthday, so…I see a restocking trip in my near future.

This week will be short, busy, and end in a haircut, which I really, really need.


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Pokemon, Guilt & Renewed Motivation

So, last week I was on “vacation” (in reality, I was liquidating vacation hours that I’d be forced to take before March anyways – still have one more week to go after Christmas). The Friday before that, I got paid, and instead of being the responsible, fiscally practical adult that I probably could be if I tried really hard, I ordered a Nintendo Switch console, and a copy of Pokemon: Let’s Go Eevee.

I did buy a refurbished unit, straight from Nintendo itself, so that was a good $25 less than a new one, and about a hundred bucks less than the branded Pokemon console/game/accessory pack. So I wasn’t as irresponsible as I could have been.

Just sayin’.

Still, it’s the time of year to buy stuff for other people, not one’s self. And I also have been doing an insanely poor job of paying down debt this past year, despite a resolution to do just that. Needless to say, I spent the first four days of my vacation feeling incredibly guilty, budgeting tightly to cover the overspending, and watching YouTube videos on Pokemon Let’s Go game play.

Then the console showed up on Wednesday, and I spent the next three days spending whatever time I could (minus dog walks/drives & meals) playing that new game to the point where I could connect it with my mobile Pokemon Go game to get a special pokemon you can only get in that particular manner. I reached that point around 3am on Saturday morning, and felt a pretty distinct sense of accomplishment.

Then I put the switch down for the weekend, went out and played Pokemon Go for an hour or so on Saturday, and spent the rest of the weekend working on all the stuff I’d originally planned to finish that week. I actually did get a fair amount of it at least half to three-quarter’s done, which I was kind of impressed by, honestly. And when I was whining to my mom last week about feeling guilty for playing so much instead of getting stuff done, she reminded me that that’s what vacations are for: doing things we wouldn’t normally do to take our minds away from the normal “stuff”. So, there’s that.

But, I didn’t really treat it as a relaxing break. It was enjoyable, but the more I played the more I wanted to reach the goal before my vacation was over, so instead of just taking my time and working through it like a normal person would, I rushed, and took shortcuts, and raced through. Now that I’ve hit my goal, I fully plan on going back and taking the earlier parts slower this time. I was really enjoying it a lot before I got all goal-oriented and started rushing.

My guilt for spending the money now instead of after the holidays like I’d planned was probably part of that rush-rush feeling. Probably some sort of need to justify the purchase, though I’d already thought long and hard about it, and decided on that specific console due to more than just the Pokemon game (I have a list of games that will keep me busy for quite some time).

In any case, while I still feel bad for spending the money early, I’m happy I got the console and the game, and I managed to kept the budget balanced regardless, which feels like a pretty big win overall (especially considering I decided to switch the dog’s food up to a higher priced delivery service at the same time).

Friday is payday, and I’ll be solvent again, and I definitely have a renewed interest in working toward paying off debt next year with a vacation-away-from-home as a carrot/prize dangling out in front. So the new year will definitely see a new plan of attack when it comes to my finances.

One week to Christmas, and another to the New Year. It feels like this year has blown by like a big rig on the highway. Weird, since it felt excruciatingly long just last spring.

My only wish now is snow on Christmas eve & morning. It’s dry and brown, and it never feels like Christmas without snow, dang it.

Santa, are you listening?

Vacation Time – Installing Updates

About that missing post last week…yeah. My weekend got away from me and then before I knew it was happening, so did the rest of the week. It happens.

But this week…this week, I’m on vacation from the day job. And as I determined through a largely unscientific trial and error period, I do better with purposeful, scheduled vacations rather than the “anything goes” type. So I have a plan, and I’m excited to get started on it tomorrow. It’s gonna be a good week, methinks.

I really need to do some basic house upkeep, and I want to take a good chunk of time for writing, some for reading, and this time I even built in a short little afternoon out-of-town trip. Here’s the basic outline:

Monday: Write 1500 words and clean off the long counter in the kitchen (so I can find/use my crockpots again, and to make nightly maintenance/cleaning easier at the tea station). In the evening, crochet boot cuffs for a friend.

Tuesday: Write 1500 words and bake some goodies for Wednesday.  Watch some youtube videos on replacing bathtub faucet washers. Think I might watch Smurfs: The Lost Village too (been wanting to do that, and it’s on Netflix). And in the evening, crochet a small Christmas gift.

Wednesday: Write 1500 words and go visit my grandma for tea and goodies in the afternoon (Just shy of 100 miles away – road trip! Back in time for dinner.).

Thursday: Write 1500 words, clean out the basement bathroom (don’t ask) and replace the toilet innards so it’s usable again. For evening, start a small knitted gift.

Friday: Write 1500 words and take apart the upstairs tub faucet to replace washers or whatever I need to do to stop the damn thing from dripping night and day, day and night (I can hear it in my office and every time I pass that room. It’s been driving me *insane* for months now, literally – it *has* to stop!). Finish knitted gift in the evening.

So, if everything goes well, I should end the week with 7500 new words written, a reorganized and more usable/easily maintainable kitchen counter, a nice visit with my grandma, and two bathrooms that function as they should again (and cost way less in water and personal sanity). Not to mention several crochet projects done and ready to pass along or wrap up for gifts, some comics caught up on and at least one movie I want to see, watched.

It’s going to be very, very cool. And all very doable in the time allotted (should be time to spare with most of it, though plumbing issues often take longer than they should, unfortunately), leaving me bits and pieces of time for reading comics & watching movies.

I’ve also been working on revamping my morning and nightly routines a little, and I’ll keep working on that (I’ll keep to my normal sleep/wake routines pretty much all week, with the exception of *not* getting up early on Tuesday). And we’ve been tweaking our eating habits a bit too – refining portion sizes and ratios, so we’ll keep working on that as well. But I’d be doing those anyways, so they don’t really count as “vacation” projects, aside from being able to tweak my routines without repercussions if they set me back a little timewise while I’m figuring things out.

I know this doesn’t sound very “vacation-y”, but it’s all things I really, really want to do and can’t ever seem to find the time for. So this is stress relief for me – fixing little everyday things that drive me nutty on a daily or almost-daily basis. Plus visiting my grandma in her small, quiet town, where I can pretty much guarantee at least one rousing game of Scrabble will take place along with our tea, cookies & scones. I might even load up some podcasts to listen to on the way and back, if I can figure out how without too much trouble.

Oh…and Thursday or Friday I’m gonna go talk to my tattoo artist about my next tattoo (to be scheduled around my birthday in January). I have two ideas to give him, so we’ll see which one he finds more appealing to work on first, and go from there. Something a bit less serious and more comic-ish this time. A fun birthday gift to myself.

So. Anyone else doing anything fun, exciting, or just plain productive this week?