Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Let's Say Goodbye to 2013

Most nights at bedtime, Elfe and I have a little ritual we call "let's say goodbye to {insert day of the week here}."  It's sort of our version of not ever going to bed angry, and it goes like this...

I start by asking if we have any questions about the day.  Usually there aren't any questions, but sometimes Elfe will ask me something about my day at work or I'll ask her about something from her day at school.  I figure it's good for her to get in the habit of telling me about her day now, before she hits the secretive teen years.

Then I ask if there's anything sad from the day.  The idea is to get rid of the sad stuff so it doesn't linger around and get carried over into the next day.

Then I ask if there's anything happy from the day.  Sometimes there are no questions and sometimes there's nothing sad to get rid of, but I always insist that we each come up with at least one happy thing from the day.  I want us to go to sleep with happy thoughts on our minds, and I firmly believe that even on the saddest day there is at least one bright spot to be thankful for.

Then I say "Goodbye {insert day of the week here}, get ready for {insert next day of the week here}."  And we go to sleep. 

Now, let's say goodbye to 2013...

Any questions?  Ask them in the comments section and I will try to answer.

Sad things...boy, I could go on and on and on here...let's just say 2013 was pretty depressing in general.  My financial situation is at a low point - two credit cards maxed out, my credit rating in the toilet (which I discovered when I tried to refinance my mortgage at the end of the year), no savings at all, overdue bills and bounced checks and late fees galore, and my Barefoot Books business did not bring in as much extra income this year as I was counting on.  Things are pretty sad on the domestic front as house is cluttered, disorganized, in desperate need of a thorough cleaning, and several things need to be repaired but I have no idea when I will have the money to take care of them.  I'm pretty sure I should be sad about my physical health as well, but since I haven't been to a doctor in at least three years I can't tell you exactly how sad the situation might be.  I do know that my stress level is through the roof and I've done entirely too much yelling this year, which also makes me sad.

But, there are also some happy things...I got a new job in April and even though the salary is much lower than I was making before (in the job I hated), this job has fantastic benefits and my supervisor gives me as much freedom and flexibility as I need - I can arrange my hours to bring Elfe to her dance class once a week, leave early on the days when school lets out early, take vacation time when school is out, work from home if I need to wait for a delivery or a repair person, and just in general fit my life into my job and vice versa.  I'm extremely happy at this job and feel lucky to have found it.  And while my financial situation is stressful right now, it looks like I AM going to be able to refinance my mortgage despite my abysmal credit score and my monthly payments will be almost $200 lower as soon as the paperwork goes through (keep your fingers crossed that this happens soon!).

Another thing that makes me happy about 2013 is an idea I found on Pinterest over a year ago that really worked!  Starting last January, Elfe and I would write down good things that happened to us on little scraps of paper and put them in an empty mason jar.  We did this all year, and last night before we went to bed we opened up the mason jar and read all the notes.  There were all sorts of happy memories in there, from special play dates with friends; to fun days out together; to events where we had great Barefoot sales; to the day I found out about my new job; to our annual trip to see the Urban Nutcracker at the end of the year.  It was a fantastic way to remember that even during a "bad" year, there are always bright spots to be found.

So now, let's say goodbye to 2013 and get ready for 2014!  I, for one, am looking forward to a great year - how about you?


kn said...

I love this post. I hear you on the financial stuff. It can be so draining. We have just barely begun to dig out and it's not easy. Yay on the job! My new job offers me flexibility also and that is everything! I'm also looking at brining in more money and am looking forward to see what happens in 2014. Happy New Year Liz!

barb_aloot said...

You are not alone on the financial woes and home repair front. It is so stressful, so yeah, you aren't alone on the yelling front either! Here's to a much better 2014.

Sue said...

I'm glad you are writing again and hopefully saying goodbye to all the tough stuff in 2013 and moving into 2014 regaining footing on many levels.

Now get to the doctor:)

K said...

I love your bedtime ritual. I hope 2014 has lots of happy stuff for you.

Waiting for Zufan! said...

Wow, yes, finances are super super stressful. That is my biggest challenge right now! Seems harder all the time, as the "haves" have more and the "have nots" have less. It can be overwhelming, that's for sure. Let's both get it together in 2014. And I agree with Sue, make that doctor appointment NOW! :)

Kelly said...

I love your bedtime ritual. I might have to adopt that at our home as well. I'm so sorry to hear that 2013 was such a tough year for you. I do hope that 2014 takes a turn for the better. I have a job like yours - low pay but wonderful flexibility, and it's wonderful for parenting a young child.