A Blue State of Mind
"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah
- Name: Debo Blue
- Location: The Western U.S, United States
I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!
Friday, September 26, 2008
When I was in my late thirties my father died. He had lived to be 82 years old and died and left us here to deal with life w/o him. He died early one Tuesday morning right before Thanksgiving so funeral plans were hurried because the morticians would not be working Thanksgiving.
As my mother, her best friend and I sat in the private room w/the mortician discussing the arrangements, the casket, family car and other necessities I panicked at hearing how much everything was going to cost. My father had an insurance policy but it wasn't enough to pay the full cost of the funeral. My mother's friend donated about $1500 and my mom and I came up w/the rest. So, here's the reason for the post-at that time in my life I had only saved $700.
I had a good paying job, lived at home w/the folks so didn't pay rent or groceries. I helped out w/the utilities and whatever else I would give my parents but it wasn't much. My car was paid off so why didn't I have any money? Sure, a boyfriend had helped my invest in a mutual fund but it was still only $2k, what if something serious had happened to me? Every bit of my money was going to credit cards-my one source of survival-and most of them were maxed out. If my mom's friend hadn't been so generous my mother would have had to pay for Daddy's services all by herself. Three grown children and not one of us had resources or funds to help out.
So, that horrible event of losing my father spurred me to begin saving money. Each of my eleven credit cards were cancelled and paid off, from the smallest to the highest. The monies I would have spent for paying credit cards was then taken from my paycheck and placed in a Credit Union that didn't have ATM cards and was not convenient to reach.
I bought books by Suze Orman and Melody Hobson that taught me how to create realistic budgets, ways to better manage my money and then how to invest some of the money. I would read the Motley Fool every Saturday to get hints on stocks and companies etc. And slowly but surely I began living within my means and saving my money. No one came to bail me out. My mom couldn't. My brother and sister couldn't. They were raising families, how stupid would it look for them to give me money to pay bills and I'm sitting at home every day w/no children and no rent or car payments? I can imagine their response: "Oh hell no!"
So now the great investment banks of the 90's and their rich players are receiving aid to survive. Rather than pull themselves out of this mess by their $25,000 Prada bootstraps they're shoving those boots right up the taxpayers' a-----. And you just know those people will never have to work again in their natural lives. They've made so much money they can live in Europe and use the euro to buy cheap American goods.
Sorry for the rant. I'm home on a conference call so while everyone's trying to make a point about how this re-engineering (which is the direct result of my financial company losing money) should go, I decided to post. Maybe I can find a job at a bank.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
2nd Week and I'm Still Standing
Yippee!! Glory to God!! My 2nd full week returning to work and I'm still standing! The first week was as smooth as the skin on Yul Brenner's skull (may he rest in peace) and went as quickly as a bag of Lay's potato chips.
This week started out with glum news though. My peer lost her mom to a battle with Alzheimer's and diabetes. Our group received news that our positions are being reviewed for "re-engineering" with a high likelihood of our current jobs going away and us having to find other jobs within the company.
First, I feel bad for my friend because I know the struggles and changes she and her family had to make with the care of her mother. From accompanying her to the doctors to having her sent to a private home because the care-giving became too great.
Regarding the re-engineering...I'm sorta torn between a whole lot of feelings. On one hand I think being laid off will allow me to finally move to Boise and be w/the rest of the family. I want the quiet nights. The change of seasons. Snow on Christmas morning. Always being w/family for the holidays. Family fishing trips and picnics. Sunday dinner w/everyone (well, not during football season of course). Watching the 3rd generation of us grow and develop into adulthood.
On the other hand, I don't want to leave here and have no one able to take care of the house. Neither my brother and sister are currently employed so it's me paying the bills and taxes. If I leave for Boise will I have to keep the house up? Find renters? Sell? I'm pretty certain my brother won't follow me to Boise because that dull life will eventually kill him. Besides, his children are here and he can't leave them behind.
My sister? She lived in Boise for about eleven years and has been adamant of never returning to live. I don't know what she'll do but she's extremely resourceful and won't have any trouble taking care of herself. I just don't think she'd be able to handle the house alone. We'll have a family meeting to decide what steps to take after the company's decision is announced.
Then there's the fear and disappointment with finding another job outside the company. The last time I looked there weren't many exciting positions for middle aged women in this youth-centric work place. I'd probably have to start at the bottom of a new company and hope I could work myself up again.
But that's not what I'm going to worry about now. I'm going to embrace this change because it's inevitable and there's no amount of worrying, fretting or missing sleep that can stop it.
Cie la vie!
Monday, September 15, 2008
TGMO-"Thank God Monday's Over"
First day back at work and it went amazingly smooth and easy. Before I left for work my sister and I prayed that it would go smoothly and not get me all in panic and attack mode. Prayer changes things!
So, the workday started out with the usual: me eating a breakfast of 12-grain toast and peanut butter and a drink and alternately watching "The View", "Regis and Kelly" and "Judge Mathis". I'm one of those TV watchers that has to switch channels every two minutes if it's boring or during commercial breaks. It's a bad habit and irritates those watching TV w/me but were unlucky enough to let me have the remote first.
Following breakfast was a shower and dressing in my "power uniform" which I wear whenever I've got a lot to deal with and I want to appear confident yet stylish. The uniform is any black skirt (I have about 8 black skirts) and a white top (too many to count). Muted eye makeup, lots of mascara and a bold mouth, maybe a dark berry lip gloss or stay put colour. A few sprays of cologne to complete the "power" look-usually Armani Code or Quelques Fleur- and I'm out the door.
I started carrying my lunch after realizing how much of my money was being spent on lunch, brunch, snack and dinner. I've seen a great savings in this area coupled with having more portion control, sodium and fat intake.
Arrived to work and the day went by so quickly and again so smoothly I'm not that tired. I am however, in my room while my niece and sister chat happily in the living room. I've lit my favourite spearmint candle from Bath & Bodyworks, listening to a jazz station from the Radio Guide and adding this entry.
Did anyone notice the full moon? I love the night and full moons. A full moon adds beauty to everything, I think. Under a full moon my eye lashes are longer, my skin looks softer, my hips look slimmer and my lips look fuller.
On the ride home the moon was just making its way to the downtown skyline. I wish I had a camera to capture that beautiful scene. Instead I borrowed this picture from joka2000 at Flicker.
Well, that's my Monday. I'll finish this post then off to visit my faves, a few rounds of Mahjong on Yahoo! and hopefully a restful sleep.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
My Week (A Review)
This is the end of a month long medically-imposed vacation from work and boy am I sorry to see it end. As a matter of fact last night I dreamt of returning to work. It was a strange dream; my office was in this great, high mountain and to get down I had to place my feet in holes built into the side of the mountain. Although the views were fantastic, I knew I would never be able to leave without a helicopter or other help.
While I never worry too much about calamities that befall the rich, I feel especially sorrowful for the folks that run Lehman Brothers. No, I'm not an owner of Lehman stock, nor do I know any of the rich people running the place. My concern is that another American business landmark has landed in tough times and they're looking -nay- begging for someone to buy them out in pieces. I read one article that said a HongKong banking consortium was deciding whether to buy the company. Hershey's chocolate is being made in Mexico, more and more of our American companies are foreign-owned and I think it's sad.
Governor Palin continues her quest to help McCain become the next U.S.President. It's just my opinion, but I'd rather have Biden a VP than Palin only becuase of his knowledge. I suppose if she and McCain did win the election and he died in office she could surround herself with knowledgeable people. But wow!
I cut my hair. It's very short. My best friend Maria doesn't like it too much. She thinks I should colour it a light brown or maybe an auburn because my dark skin coupled with my dark hair weakens my features. My two best friends Pete and JT think it's pretty cool although JT thinks highlights will work too. My family likes it but my brother's slow to take to it. He's the only one who thinks it makes me look a little "butch". No one at work or church has seen it yet. I'll know their opinions tomorrow and Monday but it's too late now. I like it although at first I wondered what in hell I had just done to myself but the shampooing and styling is reduced to three whole minutes a day so I'm really loving it now. My therapist thinks I cut my hair as a demonstration of control. He's partly correct. Control and I was tired of taking care of it every single God-given day.
You know those 500 or so Texas residents who refused to evacuate and then needed the Nat'l Guard to come rescue them as the storm grew stronger? If I were the government I would have left them right there and not jeopardize the lives of my crew to go get them. For a whole week officials told them to leave but no, they want to ride out the hurricane. Good. Sit there in the darkness treading water and get along the best you can.
Well, as I sit in my hot and sunny state I'll put this up and watch "Forbidden Kingdom" with Jackie Chan and Jet Li. Have a great weekend everyone!
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
My Crowded Bed
I'm having troubles sleeping.
Not because of bad dreams, insomnia or stress. Well, sometimes those do affect me but not for this post. I'm having trouble sleeping because my bed's becoming more and more crowded.
Each night I lay down with my laptop, my iPod shuffle, any magazine or book I was reading or had intended to read before falling asleep, the remote controls to my other iPod and TV and DVD player and my life-sized cutout of Dave Baptista. I've got to get rid of some of this stuff because it's bothering me. Let me tell you how all this ended up in bed w/me.
Well, the last few months I've had troubles that have prevented me from being able to rest or sleep at night. I've tried several prescription meds. Most failed except the real strong ones. Because I don't want to become addicted to any medications, I began trying to find my own ways of falling asleep.
I tried reading the Bible, especially the Books of Numbers and Leviticus. Trying to get through all of those "...who begat LLL who begat MMM the son of NNN" should put ANYONE asleep right? Well, sometimes.
Then I tried reading O. The articles are usually quick and informative and won't cause too many brain patterns to scramble. Didn't help.
Next I created a Shuffle of relaxing music that I could play quietly while counting sheep. That worked for a little while but I'd find myself either choking myself with the earphone cords when turning over in my sleep or laying upon the earphone which caused my inner earlobe to hurt.
Then the laptop. I got this crazy idea that playing Mahjong could help me fall asleep but I'd get so into the game that if I kept losing w/low scores I'd be too frustrated to sleep! Plus, if and when I did wake up and couldn't fall back to sleep, the laptop would be close by to pull up to watch Olympic scores.
I should point out that I have decided on changes to make immediately:
1) I'm going to put up the laptop for the night
2) No more magazines
3) I'll use the alarm clock radio which will click off after 90 mins instead of the iPod
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The Sure Foundation
When I was in my preteens my parents built a new home -our current home- built brick by brick. There were no mortgages, no financial backings, no loans from the bank. As they accumulated the money, more of the house would be built. It was a slow process and I remember how my friends and other neighbours would tease us about never living long enough to actually live in the house.
Well, eventually, about five years after the foundation was laid we moved in, right across the street from our delapidated shack of a home into the fanciest brick home on the block. My mother had a special dinner for some close friends and had the pastor come and bless the house.
While the house was being built, I remember wandering over while the builder was pouring the concrete for the foundation and wondering why my parents were so excited about concrete. My mother explained that now that the foundation was being built, nothing could stop the process. The foundation was the most important part of the house and as long as it was secure and correct, everything else would be alright.
In my church we used to sing a song: "What more can He do? What more can He do? He laid the foundation and He opened up the way. What more can He do?" This means God has established us and we have a firm, sure foundation. One that cannot be moved or destroyed.
Well, a few months ago, metaphorically speaking, my foundation was shaken and I don't know to what extent it's damaged. I have all these little cracks going here and there but most of them don't appear to be deep, they can easily be filled and repaired. Unfortunately there still remain deep crevices that I don't know can be repaired. I don't want the house on the foundation to be destroyed because my parents put too much into it. My parents nurtured this house and did everything they could to make it a home, livable, enjoyable and all things to us.
I don't know what to do to make the repairs. Time? Family? A new contractor or the one that built it in the first place? A few months ago I didn't know how to contact the original Contractor and I didn't believe He could or would be willing to help even if I did call. I know He hears me and He knows me. I just have to accept His work plans and believe in His decisionmaking.
Monday, September 01, 2008
Standing In History's Path
This political scene just keeps on getting more interesting every day doesn't it? No matter who we elect in November it will be a historic moment--either the first Black President or the first female VP.
I'm excited that Senator McCain chose Governor Palin. Not because of her policies and stuff like that. Nope, I'm excited because of her sex. I felt Senator Clinton, a political pioneer in her own right should have been given the VP selection because she brought 18 million other voters with her. With power like that, she should be rewarded w/the VP. My sister thinks she'll be the reckoning steel ball in four years so while the next Pres is in office staring at the economic sheets and complaining about the previous administration, Clinton will be strenghthening her campaign teams, including raising more money.
Now it seems Palin's closets are being x-rayed and probed deeper than a fat woman's body going through an airport security screen. And just like my hips, Palin's skeletons are jiggling out for the whole world to view and comment about. Like me.
Her 17 year old daughter's pregnant. Her 5 month old son is her daughter's not hers. She tried to get her ex-brother-in-law fired after he divorced her sister. Yikes! I feel sorry for Palin having to open her life up and suffer all the indignities we know will be produced. Now every voting record, every picture with big hair, every surgery and comment by her will be reviewed and commented on by supporters and the media and the haters.
Either way, no matter how you look at it my fellow Americans, we are standing in the path of a historic election. And I'm so glad that I will play a part in it.