Never Enough

I struggle with money.  It’s not that I don’t get paid appropriately – though if we’re honest, no-one ever makes enough money – or that I spend outrageously.  Those of you who know my shoe addiction might snicker at that, but you would be surprised at how far money can go on such things if you do it well.  And shoes (and clothes) do wear out.

But hey, life is expensive.  Especially here in Manhattan.  I own my home – or more accurately, it owns me.  While my mortgage is totally manageable, my co-op had a major financial disaster soon after I moved in, and our maintenance costs have never really recovered.  (If you are wondering, our retaining wall collapsed on the Henry Hudson Parkway.  Thank God, it was only property damage.)  Plus, we have the worst. board. ever.  And don’t say I should run for the board – I don’t need to be paying a criminal defense attorney to clear assault charges on top of everything else.

Luckily, I bought a lifetime membership to my Bikram Yoga studio a few years ago, so that is no longer an ongoing expense.  The cats are pretty healthy, and since they stay indoors and don’t meet other animals, all the expensive vaccinations do not have to be done every year.  (If you didn’t know that, now you do!)  Despite the best efforts of the MTA, my commute remains practical, so I don’t have to worry about a car, parking, and so on.  I often get to go really cool places for work, so by staying a few days on my own, I have great travel experiences.

Still, there’s always something.  Most recently, a lot of unexpected medical costs.  stock-photo-beautiful-young-woman-throwing-mony-into-air-on-white-41084530And while I have amazing benefits, dental is a problem, because no affordable dental plan really pays what you need when you have that emergency root canal.  I’ve named the new crown “Vacation 2013”.  I do everything possible to be ready for such emergencies, but really, it feels like a swift kick to the stomach every time in happens, and I sit down to pay bills, already carefully scheduled to match up with my weekly paycheck, and I see that one more cost.

Whenever money is tight, I actually really freak out.  I did not grow up with a lot of money, though in so many more important ways, I was very privileged.  And I was fortunate to get scholarships, loans, and jobs, as well as family support, starting in elementary school, that allowed me to go to the schools of my choice.  The one thing I did not learn, apparently, was how to control my money panic.  So I try to pretend it’s not a problem, because mostly it isn’t.

If only my teeth would stop acting up!

What Lies Beneath

This morning in my Bikram class, I got distracted.  Really distracted.  Doing a third set of Camel rather than a second set of Rabbit distracted.   All of a sudden, I started thinking about icebergs.  (No, not because of Nemo (and by the way, when we start naming winter storms?  It’s a blizzard – call it a blizzard.).)  And then I started thinking about how we only ever see (according to this article) one-ninth of an iceberg, as the rest is hidden below the surface.  And then the title of the movie with Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeffier popped into my head, even though I’ve never seen it.  And what followed was a third set of Camel.  (It would not have been too odd to do a third set of Camel, I guess, if I had not already done the first set of Rabbit, but now you are getting a short glimpse into how I think.  Scary, isn’t it?)

Well, yes, there were images of real icebergs.  So what?

Yes, there were images of real icebergs. So?

But back to my distraction.  I started wondering about that one-ninth of the iceberg, and if it’s always the same ninth, or if icebergs can, oh, I don’t know, roll over.  I imagine there are glimpses of the other eight-ninths as the ocean ebbs and flows around the berg, but how likely is it that someone on the surface will see more than maybe an eighth instead of a ninth due to ocean movement?

Which made me think about people, and how little we really know about our friends, or even about ourselves.  See, 2013 has not been a great year for me so far.  In addition to the betrayal, there are some new medical issues, and if you were wondering, I feel fat.  And ugly.  And stupid.  (Yes, yes, I know those last three aren’t actually true.  But I feel how I feel.)

And then I started asking myself how much of this is “visible”.  One-ninth?  Eight-ninths?  More?  Less?  I imagine as life ebbs and flows around me, that it varies, like the iceberg.   But unlike the berg, we supposedly have control over the portion of ourselves that people see.  Right?  Well, sure, but then, life will ebb and flow, and we don’t control that.  (Stop giggling.  I said it, I meant it, and I’m trying to believe it.)

It’s funny.  I had a really important point when I started, but I got distracted.  A fourth set of Camel, anyone?

Labels Suck, Or Why I Don’t Call Myself A Feminist

Yes, I know,  I’m going to get all kinds of flack for this, but I just don’t care – I had to say it.  Before I get started, you need to read this article:  “The End of Feminism?”.  I’ll wait right here.  And then remind yourself of what I said about feminism in this post.

Okay, all done?  That article, and the comments, made me stop and think.  First, I realized I have never read The Feminine Mystique, so I promptly purchased the 50th Anniversary edition for my Kindle.   Now I just have to read it.

But seriously, what do we mean anymore by “feminist”?  How can I accept a label if I am not even sure what it means?  And please don’t make any snide comments about research and dictionaries.  We all know it’s a loaded term, and I think that a term so fraught with both positive and negative implications should not be used lightly.  But in fact, it is – used lightly, I mean.  It is used as though words don’t have power, and we all know they do.  Some words become so powerful we (appropriately) no longer use them – like the infamous “n-word”.  And some become so meaningless that their use no longer supports the original intent; to me, “feminist” is one of those words.

k5003136

Yes, these are ingredients. Ones I like to use in cooking.

So just call me by name.  No label needed.

I’ll show you what I’m made of pretty quickly.

Betrayal

“So this was betrayal. It was like being left alone in the desert at dusk without water or warmth. It left your mouth dry and will broken. It sapped your tears and made you hollow.” ― Anna Godbersen
 
I don’t fully trust many people, but I always believed that there were some standards of behavior to which anyone with a scrap of human decency would adhere.  thCAPF8AH8Note the past tense, because earlier this week, I was forcefully proved wrong.  And it was both public and humiliating.   I sobbed.  Not cried – sobbed.  And there were intermittent tears the next day until after my Bikram class (boy, that was one interesting savasana) and a long, long walk…
 
I guess at my age (which is none of your business), I should know better.  But I didn’t, and now I am trying to decide how to deal with the fallout.  These are people I thought of as my friends – even my close friends – and for whatever “I am pathetic and afraid to be alone with no friends” reason, I cannot yet accept that those friendships might have to be over.  That they failed, in fact.  That I failed.
 
And in the meantime, I got some not-so-thrilling, though not too horrible, medical news. 
 
All in all, it’s been quite a week. 

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