Family Sayings

My oldest daughter recently brought to my attention that our family has too many made up sayings.

I rename a lot of things. I’m not sure why. I know their real names, but since the kids were little I renamed many things, and now that they are older they have went off in the world with all these made up worlds that have everyone confused.

Yes, they know the correct words also, but since they have heard me call certain things, certain names for so long… it’s become hard to drop my cutesy sayings. Or so I’m told.

1. Our SUV is called The Tank.

So when my daughter is walking out of the mall with her friends, or church, she points to our vehicle and says, “There’s the tank!”

No one around her knows what she is referring too.

2. Hand sanitizer is know as Germ Killer.

Again, when my kids ask the teacher or one of their friends for hand sanitizer, they refer to it as Germ Killer.

3. Snacks are referred to as Fun Food.

When the kids ask their friends if they would like fun food, their friends ask what that is?! Lol

3. Then there is coming home and changing into your pajamas.

I have always said, “time to get cozy, cozy.”

And that means get ready for bed.

Again, when my daughters are having sleepovers and they ask their friends if they would like to get Cozy,Cozy….They get some odd looks from their friends.

I think this all started when the kids were toddlers. We had a fire place that I use to refer to as The Hot One.

I would tell the kids to be careful and not play near The Hot One.

It was very cute to see my little girls point to the fire and say Hot! Hot One!

But now it’s not as cute when my teens ask me to pass them their iPad…or drink, on THE HOT ON.

4. Laundry is referred to as Chores.

The kids have several chores. (Dishes, feed animals, vacuum) But laundry specifically, is referred to as Chores.🤔

5. Our House is referred to as, The Fort.

I can think of so many other ones we have, but have shared enough for now.

Does your family have any special names for anything?

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December

This year has been life changing.

Spiritually and Physically.

Everything has changed. Some bad and some good.

I have increased my work load so much, but it doesn’t feel like work because I love it so much.

I’ve succeeded and surpassed this years work goals from last year and God willing, I’m hoping 2019 it will triple.

I have all three kids on Computer school which has been a bit of an adjustment, but well worth it. I start working right after breakfast. And twice a week I source. I never thought I’d go back to a routine, but it’s working, so I’m on board.

I’m back to 100% from my surgery and am praying about another surgery or next year. My sons healing from his accident and surgery, and has another month of physical therapy to go. He is planning on getting his first job in February. I’m hoping for it to be at Subway, which was where I started at his age. His 14yr old sister just opened up her online store, so I’ve also been helping her with that. DH has got a side hustle that he’s been very into, so everyone has been busy. One more Birthday to go, and that will be during our Beach trip. My youngest is turning twelve. I just can’t believe it. I sometimes wish I can turn back time. I just want to sit at the table and do crafts with the kids all day… but that ship has sailed. They all have phones and we sit around sharing funny videos and memes instead.

All my Christmas shopping is done and I’m hoping time will allow me to wrap it all this week. I have a couple doctors appointments this week though, so we will see how I feel.

Here is a picture of last weeks Ugly Christmas Sweater party outfit.

Everyone told me it was not ugly though, so needless to say, I didn’t win the $50.

In conclusion

While a lot of things have changed this year, and almost nothing has stayed the same, I know I’m in Gods will and he’s got my back, as well as my families and friends.

My Faith has grown so much, and I simply can’t ask for anything more then that.

Scoliosis

Well, when it rains it pours. Or so the saying g goes.

Besides recovering from my surgery this past month and being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Degenerative Arthritis this year…. I just received a letter from my doctor that stated I have Scoliosis.

I seem to recall getting checked at school for it in the forth grade, and my mom shrugging it off. I was only checked that one time by the school nurse I think.

Needless to say, had I been given a brace to wear back then, it may have been corrected. From what I’m told now. But what’s done is done, and none of these things are life threatening.

I’m now two weeks into my Celebrex and Cymbalta and feeling better each day.

The most positive thing has been sleeping better. I went from waking six times a night to only waking once a night. I wake up by 7 now, feeling refreshed. I generally turn in by 11, or 12. Opposed to 2 or 3am.

Weekly Meds Update

Weekly Update on Medication:

It has been one week since I have started my Fibromyalgia meds.

The first day I felt no difference, obviously.

Second day as well.

By the third day I had less aches and pains.

Still the same mentally.

By the forth day I woke up at 6am, having went to bed at midnight, and I felt refreshed in the morning. Something I never feel unless I drink three cups of coffee.

I got out of bed with no aches or pains.

I went grocery shopping and felt a bit of pep in my step.

The fifth day I felt all around better.

Physically and mentally. I woke again at 6am.

The sixth day (yesterday) I felt a bit crampy.

I was on the kitchen floor most of the day taking shoe pictures for work. That did my back in, and I felt back and leg pain until bedtime.

This brings me to this morning.

I work again early and refreshed. Pain is gone.

I take both medications in the morning upon waking.

My Cymbalta (30mg) I take with my tea. Then I wait a hour and take my Celebrex (100mg)with a bite of granola bar. I tried twice on an empty stomach and it made me nauseous.

I started intermittent fasting last month, and I am still on that journey, as I am

continuing to lose weight. I am down 30lbs so far.

I thought I’d save you the Google, for those that don’t know what these medications are for. Personally, I’m taking both for Fibromyalgia. But they also treat a few other things.

Cymbalta is used for chronic pain; fibromyalgia; anxiety; back pain, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Celebrex is a NSAID, like Advil or Aleve. It’s just stronger. It is used for arthritis, acute pain, menstrual pain and all around discomfort.

So there you have it. If anyone else reading this has been on either of these drugs recently, please feel free to comment, or send me your blog link if you have written about your experience. I know Celebrex had a pretty bad wrap several years ago before they changed the formula. I also know that the withdrawals that you can go through from stopping Cymbalta are pretty awful.

Currently, I am not sure how how I will be on these two.

I know out of pocket each run close to a grand a month. Thankfully my insurance is covering them in full.

Fibromyalgia

Since my surgeries I have been having back pain. I mentioned this at my six week post appointment, but my GYNECOLOGIST said that a hysterectomy does not affect your back.

Yesterday I went to see my Rheumatoid arthritis doctor and she told me that it definitely can affect your back. And that it’s tied in with nerves.

Who do I believe? I don’t know. But she sent me off for some back X-rays and I’m currently waiting for those results.(Update: Came back acceptable she said)

While I was there she diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. She told me that it is hereditary and to not Google it because I will read otherwise. This test is not through blood, which I found odd. Your doctor puts pressure on certain body parts and waits for you to say OW! or not. The doctor will also ask you if you wake up well rested or not. (I never do, and haven’t for the past six or so years)

When I was back in the car, I googled it and article after article stated that it is a form of PTSD. 🤔 Seems like everything is nowadays.

I read that stress and life traumas, trigger the pain that is associated with Fibromyalgia.

Again, what is the truth?

We will never know for certain.

Because I am leaving for a trip in a few weeks, that will have me starting my days early and ending late, I decided to treat my new found ailment with whatever means the doctor ordered for me.

I do not want to be the middle age lady that can’t keep with the rest of everyone. Especially on a trip!

So the doctor put me on Celebrex twice a day, at the lowest dose, and Cymbalta. To my surprise!

Cymbalta is generally used to treat depression, but has a side affect for treating pain associated with Fibromyalgia.

Again, she told me to not Google it, because I will read how this medication has made teens and young adults suicidal.

She assured me that teens and young adults hormones are all over place, hence the medication reacting in a negative way.

I said okay. And I told her that because I an generally a happy, go-lucky person, I’m

Pretty sure I’ll be alright. BUT the first negative, mind altering thought I get, I would call her and need to stop taking it.

That said, if it’s going to stop my daily fatigue and pain, and not alter my mood in a negative way, then I will give it a try.

I started these two medications yesterday morning.

I’m intermittent fasting, with my first meal at noon and last at 5:30, so I took the meds on empty stomach yesterday and felt very sick the rest of the day.

Then this morning I took them with a couple bites of a granola bar, and felt a bit better, but still somewhat nauseous.

I think my body will adjust though.

Up until now, the only meds I’ve only taken were for my under-active thyroid. (Armor)

We will see how this journey goes.

Surgery Recap

I had my surgery on August 6. 2018

I went into my surgery very optimistic, having been through a half dozen natural childbirths… I was told that it would not be as painful as a natural childbirth.

This was music to my ears.

Six months ago when I was told that my bladder and cervix were falling out of me, I was pretty shocked.

I didn’t even know that was possible.

And since I was not in any pain at the time, I was very confused by this news.

I knew something was wrong. After all, I saw something hanging out of me one morning and tried to push it back up.

Sorry for the TMI, but it felt like how I’d imagine a penis to feel. A heavy hanging feeling. I don’t know how other to explain it.

I had two doctors diagnose me with prolapse of the uterus and bladder.

Yes, I had a second opinion just to make sure.

After that, I knew that I needed to make a decision.

During that time, I had my menstrual cycle for seventy-two days. And I knew THAT was not normal. I made a GYNECOLOGIST appointment for the following week.

The first question the doctor asked me, was whether I was done having kids.

Dh and I knew our family was complete for the past ten years. So that was an easy question to answer.

I went home and prayed about it.

I instantly felt at peace.

I called the doctors office to let them know, and the following week they gave me my surgery date. It was really that easy.

I was told to not eat after midnight the night before my surgery, and to wash TWICE with dial soap the morning of the surgery. (The yellow bar)

I didn’t have this Dial soap, so needed to go buy some.

I was told to not wear any deodorant, perfumes, jewelry, etc. the morning of my surgery.

I then had a nurse call me to ask me if anyone was forcing the surgery on me, and how I was handling myself mentally.

I felt like I was on the phone for thirty minutes trying to convince her I was fine. Perfect in fact!

But I suppose that they need to make sure.

I packed for a whole week. Just in case!

I Arrived bright and early!

There was no one in the waiting room except for me.

The receptionist called us in to take the payment. Which by the way, in case anyone was wondering… $129,000

Yes! That is how much the cash payment is for this surgery.

Mind blowing!

Praise The Lord that my insurance covered 80%.

The receptionist asked me why I was there to make sure I knew. I guess?

Then she took my ID, insurance information, and my picture, and sent me back to the waiting room.

Now there were two men out there.

One was a husband of another lady having a hysterectomy. And the other was his pastor.

We waited for about thirty minutes. Then I was called in.

The prepping part was a bit awkward.

They had me undress and put a hospital gown on. Then they gave me a cap for my hair.

They took my glasses…and bagged up all my clothes.

Then I heard what sounded like an electric razor.

I asked what the sound was, and sure enough….

You can guess what came next?!

I asked why they couldn’t have told me to take care of matters at home. The nurse said that it needed to be gone a certain way, and there was no need to be shy.

Thankfully that took only a few minutes.

After that, the anatheises came in to talk about putting me under. He was a barrel of laughs. And I mean that!

Very personable, and made me feel right at ease. He told me that hospitals are nothing like the TV show ER. And that he’s been doing his job for nearly thirty years.

I’ve never been under before, so I had no idea what to expect. I began to feel a little nervous.

After our chat, a nurse came over to hook up IV up and check my stats.

Then DH said Good-Bye, and away I went.

I remember them rolling me into the operating room.

I remember bright lights, and being lifted to another bed/table. And then nothing after that until I found myself in a completely different room with nurses calling my name to wake up.

I kept hearing, “You did great, time to wake up, it’s time to wake up!”

Opening my eyes, I felt nothing.

Mentally or physically. Nothing!

It was an intoxicating feeling.

My mind was not thinking at all. Nothing!

My OCD brain was completely disconnected.

I was now in a private room. It was all very nice.

A nurse asked me if I wanted to eat anything.

I told her that I’d eat tomorrow.

I just wanted to go back to sleep.

I slept for a couple hours and woke to DH and my oldest daughter in my room.

At this time I started to feel a whole lot of pain.

I was told that the catheter needed to stay on until the following morning.

The pain was intense and they gave me some morphine through the IV.

However, It wore off very quickly and I couldn’t have any more they said. They then asked me whet my pain level was. On a scale from 1-10.

13, I said!

A nurse told me that they may be able to get my pain level down to a three, but to expect some ongoing pain for the next few hours. I started crying and worked myself into a frenzy, then I passed out. Maybe fainted, but I was in be, so I think I passed out from the pain.

I remember a nurse trying to wake me back up.

I do not remember how long I was put, but when I woke back up I was in pain still. I had a nurse checking my blood pressure, which was fine, but that is what I think woke me back up.

I started to cry, and the nurse called another nurse.

The new nurse that cane in started telling me all about her hysterectomy that she had, and how it was the best decision that she’d ever made. Next to weight loss surgery. She said.

She was very sympathetic to my pain, and prepared me what she called, a cocktail.

She said it was her husbands favorite mix for pain and nerves.

At that point, she could have given me OX Blood and I would have taken it.

Anything to dull the pain and pressure I was feeling.

What was this mystery cocktail:

2 Benadryls

2 Tylenols (white circle ones)

1 Ibuprofen (800mil)

2 Vicodins (I think these go by weight.)

2 stool softeners, because narcotics make you constipated they said.

Within ten minutes, I was relaxed as a cucumber. I was shocked how good this combo worked. Mentally, and physically.

Once again, I felt nothing.

Pain went from 13 to 0.

Of course it did not last very long.

And It was a song and dance each of the six times I took this cocktail.

They had me repeat my full name and birthday each time. Then they checked my wristband to make sure it matched up with what I was telling them.

I fully know that this combo would probably kill my liver long term… it worked so much better then any meds distributed in the IV. Including the morphine.

I was pain free for around six hours each time.

This all takes me to day two in the hospital. They had asked if I wanted to be discharged.

I honestly did not. I told them that I would stay as long as my insurance allowed. I did the same when I had each of my kids.

Day 2 was painful, but bearable. I had the cocktail again. I had my first meal since having the surgery.

Day 3- I went home at noon, after having the cocktail one last time.

I Slept all day.

Day 4- My appetite was back, but since my stomach had shrunk, I only had two small meals.

Day 5- I was constipated, so I decided to triple up on the stool softeners they gave me. I also had a strong coffee. (It had been a week since I had any coffee or caffeine)

Day 6- I was no longer constipated.

I felt good upon waking, so I was on feet a lot more.

Day7-I overdid it and was back at 100% bedrest in substantial pain. Lots of pressure.

Day 8-Still in bed with pain.

Day 9-I woke up feeling good once more, so I started back up working.

Day 10-I over did it the previous day, and had to take it easy in bed again.

Day 11- I woke up feeling a bit better, so went out to pick up some furniture with DH for the kids.

Day 12- I woke with a bit of pain.

Day 13- Felt good enough to go out to dinner and a movie. Was getting antsy in bed.

Day 14 post surgery until today.

September 17th, I have been up and about. Grocery shopping, working, etc.

During the past few weeks I’ve had to pass on the zoo, a hike, and a fair outing.

I feel like I’m missing out on all the fun.

Currently, after being on my feet for two consecutive hours, I need to sit down and rest.

And even now, I feel like I’ve been overdoing it. Last week I started to bleed, which concerned me. I no longer had tubes and a cervix, so couldn’t imagine where the blood was coming from.

I called the doctor and they asked if I was in pain, but I was not. So they told me to wait till my check up, which was only four days away.

This all brings me to today.

I had my six week check up to check the stitches.

Turns out I bursted some. Most likely from lifting things more then five pounds.

For my work at home job, I handle with moving mannequins and Rubbermaid bins full of shoes and clothes. Not to mention a full photography back drop and lights.

I have been lifting bins of clothing for work.

It was nothing too bad, but he did a quick repair in the office and sent me on my merry way.

He said to take it easy for the next two weeks, and come back in three months.

I’m going to try to take it easy, but I’m leaving for a trip in exactly three weeks.

I’m excited, yet anxious.

People keep asking me would I have the surgery again, had I known how painful it was. And honestly, I do not know. It was 10x worst then natural child birth. In my opinion.

Yes, I’ve dropped a lot of weight, and after a couple more weeks, I won’t ever have to worry about my period ever again.

Ten years earlier then waiting for menopause to kick in.

So that’s a positive.

I would say the pain was the only negative.

I’ve been reading story after story or how many women feel less then, after having a hysterectomy. But I have not been able to relate to any of the stories that I have read.

I really do not feel any different, mentally, then I did before.

And I keep getting sympathy from people telling me I’m going to be. okay. And then they start sharing how hard it is, mentally, to adjust, and fine peace…

But I’m fine. I do not feel any less of a women. REALLY! I don’t. I feel just as much as myself as I did a year ago.

It surprises me at how many women have had a hysterectomy. Young women too, early 30’s.

You see, After I decided to go through with it, I started telling my close friends. And it turned out that more then half have had hysterectomy.

And all my nurses at the hospital had their own stories to tell me.

Six different nurses!

A couple of times (this past month) when I was out shopping, and felt like I had to sit down and rest, I had complete strangers walk up to me to ask if I was alright. (This warms my heart)

I did not feel shame or weird, telling them that I’m fine, but just recovering from a hysterectomy, so I’m tired.

And then that sparked their stories too.

This includes ubur drivers who have seen my exhaustion and have asked me if I’m okay.

Honestly, I guess I better start looking at myself in the mirror when I’m tired, because I’m apparently looking like death. Maybe I look different now.

I am currently sticking with the short and sweet phrase, “I’m fine. I’m just recovering from a hysterectomy. Thank you for asking.”

I’m not sure why this surgery is such a secret imo get the female population.

I guess because women feel shame. I’m not certain.

I know that the very first time I’ve heard the word, hysterectomy, was back in 2004.

I was at church, and had asked a friend where a mutual friend of ours was.

And my friend whispered.. “Hysterectomy. Shhh!”

I had no idea what that meant and had to look it up online.

I still didn’t fully understand. But I had another opportunity back in 2009 when a friend told me that she’s never been the same after having a Hysterectomy. She broke town in tears and told me that she regrets it everyday.

Other then those two occasions, it wasn’t until my doctor asked me six months ago whether or not I’d be interested in having one, had I ever fully educated myself on the word.

The other two options that I was given, was to be on birth control pills and a Strong progesterone pill, or, have my cervix burned.

I forgot the medical name for that procedure, but I recall having a lady back home tell me about it in detail. And that, sounded just awful at the time.

So. Would I have gotten a hysterectomy had I known how painful it would be the first few days afterwards. I guess yes!

I was bleeding for weeks on end, and my cervix and bladder were literally falling out of me.

That all shared,

Everything feels brand new now, so I’m good to go!

I do not feel shame or disappointment, whatsoever.

I don’t feel anything negative at all.

And I really think more women need to open up and talk about these things with one another.

Sure, some things are to remain private, but if you go through something that can benefit and help another, why remain quiet about it.

Women are so much more then their Uterus’s. So much more! 💕

Working on..

I am working on a complete raw review on my experience on my recent surgeries. I had a Hysterectomy, Hyman Repair, and Prolapse Bladder repair two weeks ago.

This was the first time I’d ever had any surgery.

I will be posted by it this Friday. I’m hoping to hear from other ladies who have had any of these things done.

Homosexuals & Transexuals

~Keeping professional in your Business~Several years ago I remember a news story about a bakery not wanting to serve a homosexual couple a wedding cake.Then there was another story of a woman who would not issue a marriage license to a gay couple. At that time in my life I was torn with it, and to be honest; up until today, I still was.I didn’t grow up in a religious household, but in later life fell into the religious trap. And when I say trap, I’m not bashing religion by any means. What I am saying is that during the time when my circle of friends were very “Pharisee-like” so was I. I just read last week that you become like the five people you mostly talk with. 🤔I had a circle of thirty or so people who were very strict and religious. They liked to refer to one another as accountability partners. Not friends! So I went from spending the first part of my life being very worldly. And then I spent the second part of my life as very judgy, to now, finding a healthy balance with people. Including myself. Fifteen years ago I was at a church where a eighty year old woman told me to never forget to… “Love them anyways.” We are called to show love. Not choose WHO deserves our love. Because we ALL do. We need to be genuine on showing this love.I had only been saved five or so years during the time this church lady shared. What she called, her LIFE MOTTO, so at the time I didn’t know what she meant, exactly. Having went the complete opposite direction for a period, I felt horrible inside. That said,I felt somehow, that God loved me a bit more then everyone else because I isolated myself against any Ungodly people. I did not understand why I felt so awful when I was earning Gods favor in the only way that I knew how. I started thinking very, for lack of better wording.. Amish. Old school Amish! To give a picture of my mind at the time..It was a very lonely journey. Romans 3:10 says:As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. I’m not sure why I felt better then anyone else, but I suppose that is what religion can do to you.During that period of my life I met another woman who seemed to be the complete opposite of me. She loved everyone! She extended so much love to everyone and everything, that it use to make me upset inside.Yes, Upset?! 😳She would tell me that Jesus loved everyone equally. Love the sinner, hate the sin. We are all pretty familiar with that phrase.Yet at the time, I didn’t really know how that fit into my life with God. What I do know now, is that hate and discord only multiplies. And it causes so much division in this world. 😔I’m realizing that I CAN love everyone and not change the world one bit. But I CAN have everyone who crosses my path leave me a bit happier then what they were, before we crossed paths. So while it’s impossible for one person to change the worlds ways…I can make a small difference.Whether a smile or hello, or even a ten minute conversation with a stranger who is going through a hard time, and needing someone to vent to, or hear his/her story…Or like today, a transgender person.Last week I had a man reach out to me and ask for help. He told me he was currently transitioning into becoming a woman, and liked a lot of the things I was reselling online. He wanted to know if he sent me his new measurements, would I help him shop my store. My first initial thought was no, this makes me uncomfortable. So I just ignored the request. After all, I’m a Christian, and I feel like men should remain men, and women should remain women. And while I do truly believe this, it should not affect me helping someone who is asking for my help. Currently we have a Chaplain in our Sunday school class that says when he is working at the hospital he will pray and bring bibles to everyone who asks. Fine. But this also includes Muslim patients who are ill and ask him for their holy book, the Koran. On occasion, he gets asked why he brings the Koran to the Muslims. And he reply’s that here in America, we have Freedom of Religion. And had he been ill in another country, and at the mercy of the hospital staff and asked for the Bible, he would like to have it brought to him. Most likely it would not be given to him per request, but here in America we have Religious Freedom, and he would never let his personal/religious views reflect his Job and professionalism. He has also shared that he’s had Muslims at the hospital ask him about Jesus, due to his genuine love he’s extended to them. Getting back to my recent encounter…It took this Transgender man three to times reaching out to me. And it shouldn’t have. I’m currently disappointed in myself. So tonight I extended Love regardless. I remained professional and helped clothe this transsexual man. I explained to him how ladies sizing runs, and told him about different fabrics. He seemed very grateful, and told me that he’s not use to women being so helpful and nice. And placed an order with me. It was really all very simple. 🙂If anyone has a similar story, please feel free to share. I’m going to be replying back to all comments next week, as time allows.

Today’s Youth & Lifestyles

Be warned. This is something I’ve been adding to for the past month, and will be jumping all over the place. But….🙃

 

 

~Today’s Youth & Lifestyles~

 

 

Why do today’s youth frown at having a service job? Aka’ flipping burgers; sort of speak.

Didn’t all the us that grew up in the 80’s want to work so damn bad, that whether it was in a fast food joint, or cleaning up animal messes, if we got a pay check, we were all in!

Could it be because we were use to doing without?

 

People always question why? Why don’t kids want to start at the bottom?

I fall into this category too.

Why?

Most fast food places that I go to are basically run by the 40+. I always am confused by this.

Oftentimes I think it’s because more kids are in college full time until they reach thirty. Many remain at home and don’t work at all. I think I have found a couple puzzle pieces to this. Of course I could be wrong.

But….back in the days when we started removing both parents from the home, more often then not, out of necessity. I realize this.

By having both parents working, and hourly wage improving, parents had more money then their grandparents. More money coming into the home,eventually meant more vacations, toys, etc.There came a point, and I think it really took off in the early 90’s… where parents started providing more for their kids. Whether this was out of guilt, for not being around after school for them, or tucking them in at night…

Regardless, the more kids received, set the stage for MORE! MORE! MORE!

Always wanting more.

They saw their parents not saving for anything anymore, simply charging it.

Long gone are the days where people do without, use cash, save for all major purchases, and go on only a few vacations each decade.I will be the first to raise my hand here.

My mother was a single mom, but had several credit cards. When I wanted something, like new red Reebok High-Tops, because all my friends had the latest and greatest, she would get them for me. I can’t recall a time that I really wanted something that I did not get. Of course at the time, I didn’t realize how much damage it was doing to me. Or, that it would be thrown in my face for the next forty years.

But that’s besides the point.

My kids started off getting an allowance, but the more money that came into my household, did not mean a larger allowance. No, it meant no allowance, and I would just buy it.

Or charge it.

Before my family made a major move, more then a decade ago, we were swimming in maxed out charge cards.

We both became a part of the problem, which is why I don’t mind talking bluntly about this now. We have never been upper middle class, but I do consider us middle class.

However, there was a time when we were living paycheck to paycheck. I think this is the major reason people decide to get credit cards. After we sold our first house, we paid off all our credit cards and cut them up.

It was liberating!

We lived within our means for around five years. Then we started feeling bad for not being able to give to our kids what their peers had. So.. the cycle began again.

But by this time, along with a couple credit cards, I started working full time. Let’s be honest, even adults enjoy new things and instant gratification every so often.And while I have always been perfectly happy with ‘new to me’ things, I do like my lattes and avocado toasts as much as today’s youth.

I also like having a new cell phone every couple years. Keeping in mind- that all my work is through my phone.

And if I didn’t have a phone, I would not be working. That says something about myself. Something rather ugly, but we won’t get into that today.

In a nutshell, I’m all about convenience. I spent many years doing things the hard way. Now I want to do everything in half the time.

Much like today’s youth.😐

I don’t like gardening, yet enjoy organic foods. I have medical issues like everyone else, so during times of not feeling my best, I like to treat myself.

Again, ‘new to me’ but none the less.

We use to take yearly vacations, now that has increased to about 2-3 a year. Nothing fancy, but again, none the less.. a weekend trip here and there still counts. I think all these little things turn into bigger things over time. And while I have never felt that I had a ‘lifestyle’ to uphold, when comparing my families life to my neighbors, I’d be lying to think otherwise.

I’m thinking of how all the little things that I’ve grown accustomed to having, are the beginning of a lifestyle. We use to bring thermos of coffees and ice waters. Then I switched to buying a case of bottled water, and having it in the trunk for the kids to have whenever they get thirsty. Then my husband and I would treat ourselves to convenient store coffees.

After All, what’s a .89 coffee. 7-11 was our favorite because they were the first to offer free coffee syrups.That transitioned into Sheetz coffees for $2ea, and then to Dunkin Donuts coffees for $3ea, and now to $5 Starbucks lattes. Which I secretly hate, but my husband still adores. I use to pack lunch bags and coolers for trips to the city, zoo, hike, etc. But now we just go out to eat if we are out and get hungry. It started off with three Little Ceasers pizzas for only $5 each. To feed a family of seven for $15, is almost unheard of.

So why not?!  But then we switched over to stuffed crust ones at $8 each. Feeding a family of seven for $24. Doable!

When we first started going out to eat more regularly, we would all order things to share and only order water to drink. For the seven of us, this kept the bill at around $40-$50 before tip. But now it’s almost double! With tip, it is!

Everyone gets a drink, and most of the time we all have our own platters. And yes, leftovers.

I remember a few years ago being out with my mother at the grocery store and reaching for a Diet Coke at the check out. She commented to me, asking me why I was going to spend $1.39 for a drink, when we were ten minutes away from her house.I told her because I was thirsty now, and why not?! What’s $1.39. She rolled her eyes and told me that I could buy a two liter Diet Coke for that price, and she could not justify it, and couldn’t believe I was. I then asked her if she was thirsty, and told her that I’d buy one for her too. She said that she was fine to wait ten minutes. And then got angry with me.

Last year I was out with my mother again and my teen daughter wanted a fancy frozen coffee. I asked my mother if she could pull through a Starbucks to get some coffees. She responded the same way as before, asking me why she couldn’t wait ten or fifteen minutes and make coffee at home.

My reply again…Why? We are out already.

So you see, I get it! And I realize that I’m part to blame. While I don’t fall into the mind frame of needing everything to be brand spanking new, I do enjoy the little things in life.

This reminds me of a family that we use to know years ago. They were considered upper middle class. Which I’m told, means six figures.

I guess in today’s world, Rich, means you are bringing in a seven figure income.

Six figures means upper middle class.

Anyhoo, I was over this families house one day, and she told me that her husband just got laid off. Her main state of sadness, was that she was going to have to cut back, and not be able to buy her fancy coffee beans.

At that time in my life I was secretly rolling my eyes thinking… Ohhh poor you!

I was making Maxwell House and Folgers coffee at the time.

Later, I started buying those same coffee beans! 😐

But tying this story into ‘lifestyle’ and having the simple things in life..

She was really stressed out by the thought of not being able to buy the type of coffee she was accustomed to having.

THIS was something that mattered to her.

Later she opened a Go Fund me type of page and got enough funds donated, to buy their coffee beans. And she later mentioned that some neighbors blessed her family with a case of, said coffee beans.

And again, at that time… I thought this all sounded absurd to me.

Probably a lot like how my mother saw me buying a drink and coffee out, and not wanting to wait ten minutes until I got home.

This was years ago, but it has taken this long for me to realize that we all have little things that we find important. Things that we would miss if our ‘lifestyles’ changed.

This brings me to the conclusion that we ALL have lifestyles. Whether it’s buying a cheaper wine when times are tough..

Making your coffees at home with cheaper ground coffee..

Using milk instead of cream..(my husband would rather go without coffee if we have no cream in the house. This is his simple luxury)

Not having bottled water on hand and having to drink tap..

Having to get regular, instead of premium gas..

Having to paint your own nails and do your own hair, instead of salon visits..

The list is endless.

We all have little things that we will continue to roll our eyes on, when hearing…

But these little things are our lifestyles.

They mean something to us..

And today’s Youth have a lot more in common with us then we think.

That is very hard to think about. But maybe our grandparents went through the same. I don’t know.

That shared..

Back in my day, I was making $5.25 a hour and was able to afford a $325 a month rent, buy my food, and afford public transportation. So I really don’t get how minimum wage is double here, and kids feel as though they can’t afford a $600 rent and remain at home.Then again… that would mean cutting out Fancy Lattes, Drinking strictly Almond Milk, having new phones, and yes, daily Avocado toast.

And I would not even omit any of that myself. 😁

 

So tell me about your lifestyle.

What is something that you would rather not do without.

Would you open a Go Fund Me page for it? 🤔

Getting older/Change

When I was in my mid-30’s I was so excited to see the world ever changing, but now being in my mid 40’s, it’s somehow depressing me.

Maybe it’s change. We are humans of habit, and having a world that is ever changing is oftentimes hard to keep up with. I use to love technology, and now I sometimes wish it didn’t exist. I have wasted so much time online that I want all that time back! But it’s too late.

Looking back to my life five years ago, change didn’t bother me at all. But now I’m realizing that it is effecting my day to day living.

I’m feeling as If I don’t know where to go from here. Like I want to stop time.

So my only guess, is that I’m getting older and coming to the conclusion that everyone has been through this at one point and time. Or will!

Life also seems to be going by much quicker then it did just five years ago.

My body is not what it was, nor my mind, and how I saw the world and people. There is so much hurt in the world that we don’t always think about. Frankly, it’s depressing to think so much on. Yet it’s hard to ignore because everything is in your face.

I sometimes wonder if this is how our grandparents felt when the television became a household add-on.

Before that you received the daily newspaper and either read it or not. Then televisions bombarded the homes with local and world news.

And now, it’s the internet.

Even if you use it sparely, you can never escape the ADS. And if you don’t choose to read what’s happening on the day to day, you have people telling you about it, or overhearing it in passing. Every single thing focuses around the Internet.

So yes, if it sounds like I’m depressed, I am.

It’s so hard to not compare myself with others my age who are still full of energy and zest; living for the moment. Welcoming change.

How I wish I had that mind frame back. Because for many years that is how I lived my life.

But life is not all fun and games and change is inevitable. More then often, hurtful.

I am struggling to find the balance.

I have so much planned for this year still. Things that have been already been paid for. Things have been ordered, and life is already written on the calendar and for the most part, planned out.

I’m told that THAT helps to not fall into depression. Organizing. Planning.

Even so, I feel as if I’m just going through the motions..