Tuesday, January 13

Change Me

It’s been too hard livin’,

But I’m afraid to die,

I don’t know what’s up there,

Beyond the sky...

Well, minions, I promised you a real post today and here it is. Our theme, it seems, for the last little while and the next has been and will be change. OK. Well let’s talk about how I’m going to change the world. I’m starting with actual change, coins that is. I’m not trying to shill for anything here, but Bank of America’s Keep the Change program is pretty awesome for someone like me who has trouble putting money away. Somewhere around $50-75 a month goes into my savings account just because they round up my purchases on my debit card. I use Part Tim Bloggers .01 trick – whenever I can I make sure that the charge comes to .01 in change so that I’m socking away.99 without even feeling it. It’s the without feeling it part that is important to me because in the never ending battle of want now vs. Will need later now seems to usually win out. So BOA helps me trick myself.

I thought that could probably work with actual coinage as well so I’ve been dumping my change each night into an old coffee can. At the end of each month I’ll go to a Coin Star machine in one of the grocery stores I go to and convert that into a donation to a local charity – or into cash if I’m not excited by the charities listed at the Coin Star, which will then be donated on my own. Simple, easy way to support the causes I care about even though I’m not swimming in money.

Now here’s the big change: Years ago I promised myself that I would quit smoking when I either got pregnant or turned 30, whichever came first. Well, I’m not pregnant, but I’ll hit the big 30 in April. The thing is that I don’t really want to quit, which seems to me a pretty huge stumbling block to the promise. On the other hand I am consciously trying every day not to lie to myself, so this is a promise I need to keep. This isn’t about my health or saving money – pictures of black lungs, thoughts of $1,000’s wasted and even the memories of my grandmother’s death from emphysema don’t stack up against my habit. Smoking keeps me from feeling bored and alone. The obvious answer is that I need a life – which I’m working on as well. You have to be the change you wish to see in the world, isn’t that it? So I’m becoming a person who loves myself more and treats myself better. I’m breaking it down –

· I’m cleaning house, literally. Since I’m moving to an awesome apartment soon I’m going through everything I have and throwing away the useless, giving away the unwanted and selling on eBay the things that might pay for movers.

· I’m getting back to eating better by making weekly menus and shopping for healthy +chocolate. Let’s be realistic, I need the chocolate like you regular people need air.

  • I’m not beating myself up about the fact that I don’t work out. When I move to the apt with the free gym right next door I will. Until then I’m giving myself a break. No more lying to me – i.e. taking gym clothes to work with a plan to do it and then letting myself down. It’s time for some loving realism, minions.
  • I’m reading up about my puppy. I’ll be creating my own family and I’m excited. This is something completely selfish and new for me. This isn’t about what anyone else thinks but about what I want.
  • I’m picking out the colors for my new apartment. For years I’ve been hiding in an apt I hate as a punishment for something I never did wrong. That’s over. I’m thinking chocolate brown and blue. I’ll post color samples soon.
  • Let it go has become my new motto for when the mean thoughts about myself and others start to creep in. I don’t forgive really, myself or others – it isn’t really in me. This only hurts me so I’m trying to learn to let things go.
  • People who love me are not inherently stupid, evil or wrong. They have not been duped. Eventually I’ll get that.
  • I’m going to bed each night with the expectation that something amazing will happen the next day. Eventually it will.

I can’t focus on quitting smoking because I’m not a follow through kind of gal, minions. So if I focus on my making my life a happier, warmer, more loving place to exist (and through the use of gum, lozenges and patches) I can create a life that just doesn’t have smoking in it. Replace boredom with contentment and watch the smoke dissipate.

In May or June I’ll start focusing on how best to use my time to help my community again. Until then, “Doctor, heal thyself.”

Thought I oughta’ talk to my brother,

I said brother could you help me please,

Then I went to my own mother,

I said Mama, Mama I’m down on my knees,

There were times that I thought I couldn’t last for long,

Somehow I’ve been able to just about carry on,

It’s been a long, long time comin’ but I know,

A change gon’ come,

Oh yes it will.


The CEO said...

I save the same way. Smart! I also like that you donate your change to charity. Generous.

His Sinfulness said...

Change is good - both in the financial sense, and in your life. Best of luck!

Susan said...

Good luck, darling. I was one evil, evil bitch when I quit smoking.

...I know I know...how does that differ from now...

Deacon Blue said...

I know the problem is affording to take the stuff for a few months, but Zyban worked wonders for my wife on the stop smoking path.

You're much more ambitious than I am with your 2009 life changes, and you're much more socially minded (God bless you)...my single solitary goal is to replace my sagging client list before I go from freelance writer and editor to pumping gas on the night shift.

Pamela said...

Lots of new year's resolutions. Good for you. YOu know this is NoR, right?

WNG said...

I like that you're commenting, Monty. I've missed you!

Just watch me, Pater. This is my year. The Year of G.

Last time I tried to quit my roommate (who's name was Susan) offered me a choice: go back to smoking or move out. That's how evil I was.

You're also finishing a book, Deac. Or did I just resolve that one for you?

I thought so, but I wasn't sure if you were using the real name now. Yea Pam!!!

Big Man said...

That's a good list.

Dianne said...

I have the Bank of A savings thing too! :)

this post made me feel so purposeful and today has been a rough day so thanks for that!!

WNG said...

that's a short comment :-)

Well, Dianne I do what I can - which is quite a lot ;-)

Deacon Blue said...

Yeah, you're right, there's that novel thing.

OK, my single solitary goal that has any measurable impact on my family and societal obligations is...


slag said...

Yay to living deliberately!

Quitting smoking will definitely help you attract life.

Gye Greene said...

Good the heck luck quitting smoking. I don't smoke, but I've heard it's... difficult.

Maybe every time you feel like a smoke, you can cuddle your puppy. (When you get it, of course.)


Word verific: ''dinger''. For real.