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On Lentils and Unemployment

Do you ever have those days when you just feel like crying and watching 50/50 and eating a dozen donuts and maybe buying three pairs of shoes online?

Neither do I.

(Andy, I didn’t buy three pairs of shoes. Just two. Kidding! So there’s really no reason to look at the next bank statement.)

Maybe it’s all of the Will-I-have-a-job-in-a-week?-Oh-we’ll-be-fine-no-need-to-worry yo-yoing going on at work these days.

Or hormones.

Or cutting back on Starbucks.

Really, though, it feels like we’re so close to starting a new life chapter, but are getting papercuts right as we’re trying to turn the page. 

***

Right after The Great Cull of 2013, Andy and I felt lighter. Unburdened.

And then, while Andy was abroad on business, I got a work-related smack across the face.

And stress ate a box of Thin Mints

(Fine. And Caramel Delites.)

(FINE. And Peanut Butter Patties.)

Looming unemployment? Eat your feelings!

But then I called him in Indonesia, and we started figuring things out.

And he was wonderful.

And I felt fat.

So then, to cool the burn of looming unemployment, and the feeling that I’m a disposable cog, I made cutting our monthly expenses sort of a game.

Gym. Bubye. I can run outside.

Starbucks. Adios. I. Can. Do. Without. Coffee. *Sniff* 

(Until Andy saw me uncaffeinated. Then decided, “Maybe you going cold turkey off Starbucks isn’t the best thing right now.”)

Lentils, hello. Ridiculously overpriced Fresh Market treats, peace out.

Candy, you’re awesome but expensive. (You’re welcome, teeth.)

Monthly Greenpeace contributions, out. The orangutans are going to have to make it work for a little while. 

Credit cards, you no longer hold us in your debty grasp. To the scissory guillotine with ye!

A little here. More there.

Then, wabam!

We’re down a few hundred dollars a month in expenses.

And we’re actually financially and physically healthier than before.

(Even if lentils aren’t as appetizing as a buttery croissant and coffee. And take a little getting used to gastronomically speaking.)

***

And it’s then, when we’ve cut and culled and budgeted and saved, that I realize that we’re pretty damn fortunate to be in this position.

To have a roof over our heads.

To only have to worry about the usual bills.

To have a plan.

To have a bit of savings squirreled away to catch us if we start teetering.

***

So, we enjoy the quieter moments that much more. 

Toting tea instead of crazy-expensive coffee. Plus, it's perfect for downtime.

Celebrate our accomplishments.

 Bubye, debt!

(With Fiestaware) 

Buying Fiestaware! The best way to celebrate the end of credit card debt!

Still have a life on the weekends.

Enjoying a hot drink at a favorite haunt.

And bandage our thumbs so we can turn that stubborn page.

Even if it first takes a little sweat. 

A dollop of blood. 

A few tears.

Or three four boxes of Girl Scout Cookies.

4 thoughts on “On Lentils and Unemployment

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