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a musing or two
tuesday, april 19, 2005

saxy had a long day ahead today so i stayed home. apparently, this was a good thing. i slept until 11:30. well, sorta - had 2 kids to get off between 7:30 and 8:30, but i passed right back out after that. it's a bit odd to me now, considering i'm usually up by 9:30 or 10 on non-working days now, and up anywhere from 5 to 6:30 on work days (depending on what school i'm at). those work days have affected my sleeping habits and taken some of the night owl out of me, so to speak. not that i go to bed much earlier - 2 a.m. is the limit (compared to 3:30 before), but the wake up time is definitely different even without the alarm clock. but i guess the ol' body will demand an occasional late day to make up for all the late days i've been missing recently.

the big bummer, of course, is the affect on my creativity. my best time creatively is between 1 and 3 a.m. i've always done my most and best creative work then. and i think it shows in my writing that i'm not getting that time. it's a good bet that the lack of a consistent schedule isn't the only reason i'm struggling with getting a routine reestablished with my writing. evenings and early mornings are low energy times for me - mornings more so than evenings, but still. morning is pretty much taken care of since i'm getting ready for work and setting up for the day when i get to the school. which leaves evenings, and i'm usually too tired from work to be doing much then - not to mention needing a break from the stupid desk. and usually by the time it hits 1 a.m., i am pretty much ready to snuggle down with a book and wind down to go to sleep now. so my creative time is being squashed by the schedule. i try to make up for it during my breaks at work and try to get a little in before it's time to sleep, but the times i take aren't my best times.

the silly praxis stuff isn't helping much either. the ppst/praxis 1 is behind me (hopefully without reason to revisit any part of it), but now i'm trying to prep for the pII middle school language arts test. it's all content, but oh my frickin' god, it's all the content i learned in college and then some. i've been out of school long enough to be able to look at some of this stuff and go, "wow, that looks familiar but i haven't a clue what the heck it is." we're looking at 3 years gone for me. last night i spent my "creative time" researching stuff i need for this test. so far the pile of print outs is about 1" thick. most the rest will need to come from 2 books i have (rules of thumb and writers inc, both of which i highly recommend as excellent writer resources) and my old english lit anthologies - good thing i kept those damn things! i have 2 months to pull together a succinct study guide, and only one month to pay for the damn thing.

assuming i can. i was listening to dr. phil the other day and actually got to thinking about our actual living expenses. i know saxy and i aren't doing the best in terms of money management at the moment, but some of phil's guests floored me. good grief, if you're $1 million in debt, sell at least 3 of the 4 damn trans-ams you own! i know saxy and i have substantial debt to worry about, but oh. my. god. anyway, i decided i needed to take a closer look at living expenses and did i get blown away. our problem isn't just how much we spend, although that's a big part of it, it's our living expenses. just to live in this house is costing us (without food, mind you - this is rent and utilities only) $1500 a month! now that's not a big amount to a lot of people, i'm sure, but it's triple what we spent in cali, and it's over half our income. then there's food ($400/month for 5 people when cutting corners and not eating healthy, at least $600 now that saxy and i really need to take care of blood pressure and high cholesterol - and even then we're not going full health nut), medications ($200/month), the car ($35-$50/week in gas, $175/month in insurance), the kids school meals, school supplies, clothes, and a zillion other little things we need that don't get counted into the base living costs. it's insane!

mcat has been talking about us getting a house, one we would own, but had mentioned something about it not costing less than what we pay in rent right now. i called him yesterday and said, house or not, when this lease is up, we've got to move. he told me i misunderstood, that the house will cost less and we'll get us in a position where the financial pressure is less. and he has every confidence i'll get hired and almost triple my income. i hope so on all counts. that job is supposed to help us get out of debt, not just make it so we're finally able to pay our living expenses. and there really is so much to balance here: we need a lower payment, period. even if we're in a 2 bedroom dump that we have to fix up to make sellable so we can get a better place, we've got to lower the monthly housing payment. but, at the same time, we've got to keep taz where he is in school, which will probably limit how far we can take the monthly payment down. hopefully between what little we trim in living costs and what i add in income will be enough.

right now i'm trying to figure out how to buy the last few books i need to read for the praxis II and the work clothes i need. in some ways, going back to work has helped; in others, it placed a bigger burden on us for me. when i wasn't working, my clothes didn't matter, so i let them slide - i bought stuff for the kids and for saxy, but kept wearing the same old stuff of mine because, hell, i wasn't going anywhere. i had one good dress (which is becoming quite raggedy, truth be told, but it is literally 5 or 6 years old) that i wore when we went out, bought an occasional pair of pants (always on sale) that would last me years and a blouse every now and then. big, loose, comfortable shirts that could double as nightwear (or nightwear that could double as shirts) have been the mainstay of my wardrobe. almost nothing of what i own is appropriate for work.

hrmmm . . . maybe the problems with my writing and being tired all the time isn't entirely because of not being able to use my best creative time.

i don't know why i seem to have to think about this stuff so much. there's no real solution except to keep moving forward, keep doing what i need to to get a better job, and know that it will all eventually get better. musing about it doesn't really help much. panicking about it definitely doesn't help at all. and yet, here i am, wearing the whole thing out again.

i think i'll go and use my time a bit more wisely and work on a story or chapter or two. i'm home, might as well muse on the fun stuff!

word of the moment: posset

to cause to curdle or coagulate; to pamper with delicacies

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