Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday Five @ 5

Every Friday I will wake up at 5am, put myself at my desk, and write about the first five things that pop into my head. An effort to make sure I post something at least once a week. If you want to write you should write. 

1. The highlight of my week was going to the dentist. I don't say this to imply that I had a bad week, I say this because it literally was the highlight. I'm terrified of the dentist, and I've been pretty bad about going regularly. My last visit a little over a year ago went VERY badly and I waited until now to get back in the ring. My 11am appointment on Tuesday this week began at 8am when the Actual Dentist - like the person in the white coat who comes in at the end and examines you and talks loudly and blesses your cleaning - called me on my cell phone to introduce himself and ask me if there was anything he should know or anything he could do to make me more comfortable during my first visit. I was honest and told him I had horrible anxiety, I hadn't been in a while, I really didn't trust or like anyone in his profession, and I was sorry in advance about the crappy morning he was about to have. He told me he liked my honesty. When I arrived for my appointment a few hours later, the hospitality continued. They gave me a tour of the entire office like I was a staff member and it was my first day. They made small talk to put me at ease, but also kept it real and asked me multiple times if I was feeling anxious and how best to share information with me so I wouldn't become more anxious - why don't more people do this? They offered me water, headphones, sunglasses, an eye pillow, lip balm,  and AN ACTUAL BLANKET. They spent 2.5 hours with me and I never felt rushed, I never felt like my questions were ridiculous, and as the minutes ticked by I started to have fun. FUN. At the dentist. At the end of my appointment, the Actual Dentist did that elbows on his lap/hands folded/leaned forward pose like he was about to say something important but wanted me to feel like he was on my level and we were in it together, and told me that there are probably 10,000 people in Boston who are also scared to go to the dentist and to please spread the word that it doesn't have to be that way,  and that he doesn't care if people come to his practice, he only cares that they go somewhere. I almost started crying it was so beautifully said. Is this guy a salesman? Probably. But I don't care. I have a dentist. FINALLY. I'm going back. I can't WAIT to go back. If you are like me and terrified of the dentist, you have to go here

2. I'm reading this book and almost every page is making me roar with laughter and nod in agreement. No one is better than Nora Ephron.  

3. Confession: I'm bad with money. Are any of you bad with money? Not just, "woops, I overspent a little this weekend" bad with money, or, "oh goodness I'm paying my cell phone bill ON the due date, that was a close call" bad with money. Like BAD with money. It's gotten to a place where I spend money as if I don't even like it. I spend it relentlessly, like I want to get rid of it as quickly as I can. Worst part? I don't have a whole lot to show for it. I don't run out and relentlessly buy groceries or even clothing. I don't really ever take vacations or travel. I don't sit on my couch at night with my computer on my lap feverishly paying my bills as soon as I receive them. I rarely buy the basic things I actually need. In fact, I've realized that I HATE spending money on basics. I'll stand in CVS looking at the price of trash bags, and the ones that cost $8.99 will scare me. "Mmmmmm. That's steep." But $80 on dinner and drinks I don't need and probably won't really enjoy all that much on a random Tuesday night? That's no big deal. Turns out? It kind of is a big deal. It adds up. It's a self-destructive habit and it's been a problem of mine for years. Those of you who socialize with me have probably noticed that I can be a little... extravagant. That needs to change for a while, or forever. The thing that's snapped me out of it and started me (hopefully) on a path to righting my financial ship, is the realization that I'm not even made happy by most of the things I'm throwing my money at. It hit me on Saturday night, again on Sunday night, and MAJORLY on Tuesday night. So, I looked back at 10 weeks of my bank statement and wrote down every expense I deemed an "extra" meaning things outside of the basics I've now admitted to myself I hate spending money on like rent, groceries, and bills. I'm a terrible person, really. The list was alarming. I then broke that list into two - 1. things I actually enjoyed or that were gracious/socially necessary, 2. things I either didn't enjoy or that were due to disorganization or laziness. Less than a third of the ridiculous amount of money I'd spent went to things I actually enjoyed or felt good about. I've thrown a lot of money away so far in 2016. It's amazing how much damage you can do to yourself if you're not paying attention. The silver lining for me is that I've been doing this for years, ending up in the same place, and never understanding how I got there. I acknowledge that this is a somewhat pathetic realization for a 36-year old woman and that some of you who own your homes and cars and/or who are raising children or have a responsibility to someone other than yourselves are probably rolling your eyes. That's fine. I'm rolling my eyes, too. But better late than never. I predict in about a month I'll turn the news on and see a story about Boston's restaurants suddenly suffering a downturn in revenue, with a side story that Uber drivers are reporting a major drop in business and that it's unclear if the two are related.  I am the WORST. 

4. So now that I'm going to try and be a normal, sane person who understands that you don't actually need to eat every single one of your meals in a restaurant and who is in the beginning stages of digging herself out of a money pit, I'm on the hunt for some tasty but inexpensive recipes. I started with this one. I've saved it in my email for years because I thought it sounded so delicious and easy, and last night it became a reality because I actually had all of the ingredients in my house already. Who knew? I didn't. Sigh. Sidenote  - I think someone could write an article about literally anything, and if I liked the layout of the page and the accompanying photos I'd run out and do it like it was the most exciting thing I'd ever heard of. Someone could say, "Take two pieces of bread and put them in your toaster. Push the button down. When the button pops back up, that means the toast is done. Take the bread out of the toaster, put some butter on each side, and eat it." If the page was cute I'd have toast for every meal for a month. Financial crisis - solved.  

5. Relatedly, I'm going to see this group perform next Friday and I purchased my ticket entirely because I randomly saw a Facebook post of theirs, clicked on it, and was immediately in love with their website and the way they announced their new executive director. Don't they sound neat?

Have a good weekend, everyone. 

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