When the Bad Mood Breaks

I’m still scared as shit about my life at the moment and somewhat dispirited about writing (hence the lack of it). But yesterday, I guess I was just done being a fucking mess. Because things seemed genuinely funny to me again. And I heard from a bunch of people I care about. And I read good poetry. And I went to the grocery store, which was a big part of feeling better.

Here’s the thing. In the past, when we’ve been short on cash, we’ve been short on cash, which meant eating one peanut butter and jelly sandwich at lunch and rice for dinner and just feeling grouchy and deprived and miserable. I am not that broke these days. When I eat out at lunch, I spend between $10 and $15. I can get a lot of shit to bring with me from home for $5-$6 and be saving a bunch of money and not feel deprived.

My goal is to do nothing extra for July. No socializing that will cost me money. And then I’ll see where that leaves me at the end of July. Hopefully with a good picture of how much socializing I can do that does cost money.

I was telling my co-worker yesterday that I think part of what makes tough times tough is that, though, objectively, this isn’t so bad–a little belt-tightening with an end goal in sight–for me, the feeling of staring into an empty cabinet and not only having no idea what I’m going to eat, not just that evening, but for the rest of the month, is real. It’s a real thing I went through.

And I don’t think, because food is such a necessary thing, it’s a feeling you ever forget. So, even just a little ordinary belt-tightening in order to meet a goal feels like it’s going to lead straight back to that place where you’re sobbing on the front steps before you go in the house because you’re trying to put on a brave face once you get in the house.

It’s hard to convince my lizard brain that these times are not those times. Well, not hard. Impossible. But there’s something nice about going to the grocery store, loading up for the week, and seeing that your grocery bill is less than the cost of eating out for lunch every day.

So, July. I’m going to let myself be sad AND I’m going to try to get some things back on track–like writing and, hell, even planning for October, which I have given almost no thought to.

5 thoughts on “When the Bad Mood Breaks

  1. if you aren’t already using Mint.com to track your spending, I would highly suggest it. It’s a free online tool – I’ve been using it for almost a year now and it’s amazing how much easier it is to control your spending when you have a clear picture of where your money is going each month. Also, every Saturday, it emails you a pie chart of your spending for the week. You can also set up budgets. It’s pretty great.

  2. Min:

    I did. I knew quite a few people who I consider to be fairly intelligent in web matters who use it. Plus, it’s not like I have a billion dollars – Anyone who pilfered my bank account would be desperate. Kind of like anyone who steals my purse would probably come back to beat me up out of anger because of what little they’d get.

    Additionally, the institution I bank with has a solid history of protecting their customers from fraud – i.e. a friend who banks at the same place had her debit card compromised years ago & she was reimbursed the full amount.

Comments are closed.