I am a creature of habit. Once I get into a routine, I pretty much like to stay there. It’s comfortable. It’s safe. I like to know what to expect. As much as I’d like to convince myself that I’m a freewheeling spontaneous type, this isn’t really the case unless I’m having impulse control issues, and that’s rather the exception than the rule.
So when Junior came to live with me two weeks earlier than planned in March, and my routine went flying out the window, I immediately went into mental health damage control mode. I’m still here, I’m still alive, just flopping around somewhat like a fish out of water.
This isn’t to say that Junior is bad for my mental health. I love him to pieces, and we have fun together. He’s a moody teenager, and I do need to be more conscious of taking care of myself, but overall Junior isn’t the issue. It’s the disruption to my routine, and finding my footing again.
When he came to live with me in March, I thought I had two more weeks of my cushy home office for writing blog posts to schedule for while I was moving. Nope. The office became his home base, and if you’ve ever seen the hurricane that is a teenage boy, well, I couldn’t step foot into my office after he took over. And I really didn’t want to force the issue. His coming to live with me wasn’t easy for him, it wasn’t under the conditions he would prefer either, so I wanted him to have a safe place to be too.
Could I have taken my tablet elsewhere in the house to write? Yes, for sure. Could I have been as creative? Maybe. Was I feeling inspired? Not at all. I chose to do what I do when I’m depressed, which is to acknowledge that I’m feeling out of sorts and to give myself a break. I was tied up in knots about dropping the blog for a while, so I had to remind myself that it wasn’t going to be the end of the world. Nobody seems to be reading yet anyway, and besides—life happens.
So I finished up my packing, did my homework for the training program I’m doing, spent as much time with Junior as he would let me, and binged Supernatural episodes at night. (I’m still not caught up. Seriously, this is a great show to binge. The seasons all have like 23 episodes. Team Squirrel all the way.)
Long story short, I’m all moved. I’m still alive. I still don’t have a routine because I’ve been at home while Junior is on Spring Break, but he starts school on Tuesday and then I’ll be back at work full-time. I don’t have a home office anymore and I’m a little unsure still of how to get my technology set up in a way that will maximize creativity, but I’m working on it. As I write this I am on my couch with my tablet. Not my preferred way of writing, but I’m in a good headspace at least to make it work for now.
On the financial front (which I guess I should get to since it is this blog’s raison d’être), I am moving in the right direction. My new rent makes me all giddy – it’s $1100 less than my old rent and it’s cool to see so much money left in my bank account. My bonus money is all spent, my credit cards are paid off, and soon I will be able to think about how to get started on paying down my 401(k) loans. I know I will have to pay the final utility bills at the old house, but after that I think it’s all “new life” expenses.
- Sell my second vehicle so I can eliminate car payments and reduce car insurance
- Figure out which bank account to use for automatic payments, which to use for other spending, and which to use for saving
- Figure out by how much I can increase my 401(k) contributions right now to get more company matching
This is all VERY exciting!