Tag Archives: money


I have been meditating. FOR FOUR DAYS.

Laugh all you want, but it feels like a miracle that I have been able to keep it up for that long. I have tried meditation before, but it always seemed to make me more anxious. I attributed it to a couple of things; the main ones being I just wasn’t ready and my mind really didn’t want to be turned off. When your mind is used to racing at a million miles an hour, and it isn’t attuned to the present moment, it can be very difficult to quiet it down – let alone turn it off.

When I am able to sit peacefully and sink into my body, it creates a calm and peace within me. I believe that when I meditate I am creating a connection to the core of who I am. I have noticed that as I am learning to become more present in my physical self, I am able to recognize that I am not my thoughts, I am simply the awareness of my thoughts. Being able to recognize this is so hugely important. Especially when I tend to attach so much weight to my emotions and my thoughts.

I am trying to get to the essence of who I am by being in tune with the present moment and making every single moment matter. I am training my mind to focus on what is literally right in front of me (right now it is the weight of my dog sleeping on my legs). I believe that when I am able to do this, only the here and now matter. I am trying to break free of the past and the future.

We all have the bad habit of worrying about the future and perhaps lamenting the past. My tendency to project myself years into the future never get me anywhere emotionally healthy. My tendency to get all nostalgic or relive the past does me no good.

I have this awful scenario that I invent in my mind when I am feeling anxious and my thoughts are slamming around in my brain; out of control. It goes something like this: The year is 2024 and I am turning 50. I have 2 children who are almost 18 and nearing the time when they leave the house and I am an empty-nester; all by myself. I have only recently begun my own business in counseling, and the income isn’t what I had hoped it would be. I am wrinkled, gray-haired and have no partner in my life. My future is bleak, dreary, and downright terrifying.

I cry every single time my brain goes there (right now too); to a future that does not exist. I try to distract myself with being busy and trying to focus on the positive; empowering myself for a future of success and happiness. But I don’t think that is the answer either. Of course positive thoughts and being gentle with myself are important, but even more so is pulling myself back to this moment and letting go of my addiction to time. When I am right here, solidly in my physical self, there is no time but the present. And the future and the past simply do not exist. I don’t even need those positive thoughts to help me feel safe and secure in an imaginary future filled with success and happiness. They don’t matter.

I can’t predict the future, nor can I change the past. My perceived future with my husband and my children, living and loving under the same roof, are gone. Futures have a way of falling down in mid flight. Relationships and financial success are not recipes for happiness or security. My INFJ brain wants to analyze, dissect, and plan, plan, plan. It loves puzzles and working through life-problems with the goal of finding the answers; solving the puzzles. Retraining my mind to settle down and learning to pull it back to the here and now, are two of the most difficult challenges I have faced (and I have faced more than my fair share of challenges).

I think that meditation is the answer to much of what ails me in life. I am an emotional creature. I am continually driven by my emotions. Getting out of my head, and into my body, and freeing myself from the addiction to time, has become my number one priority. Putting down my phone and focusing on my children when they are right in front of me, babbling away about something or other, is all that matters. When I am doing the dishes by hand, and accepting that is the only thing that I am doing; nothing else matters.

When I strip myself of my wandering and obsessive thoughts, and ground myself in my body, I dissolve into the present moment at hand.

I am free.

As I sit outside

I feel peace within me

Radiating from me

I feel a blade of grass tickling my leg

I watch as an ant ascends my boot

I hear the wind wrapping itself around leaves just beginning to bud on the trees

A distant chime from someone’s backyard

The warm spring air moves around me

My hair floats in wild strands around my head

Yet I am still

No cars

No children

No voices or laughter

A magpie cackles behind me

I have found what soothes my introverted soul in the middle of my hectic day




I am ready to go back inside


Money Saving Tips!

This is certainly new and different for me.

Since I have had to tighten my budget, I have been doing loads of research on how to save money – anywhere and everywhere. And now that I have discovered a few apps that actually work well, I thought I would share them with you all. And my apologies to everyone abroad and not local – they won’t be applicable.

Gas Guru is awesome – It is an app that lets you view gas stations in your area and it is really simple to hone in on the cheapest one. I drive A LOT. To and from work, to and from my kids school, and twice a week a long haul to therapy for myself and the monkeys. Thank God I have a Prius.

The app for Sprouts Farmer’s market is another good one. It makes it very clear what items are on sale – loads of BOGO – and you can generate a shopping list and it will prompt you if one of your items is on sale.

The app for Costco is another good one. It can also generate a shopping list that will prompt you when items you need are on sale. I love this store so much – buying in bulk is a huge time and money saver. I can buy toilet paper twice a year and never worry about it! I can buy a gallon and a half of organic milk for $9.99. Costco is totally worth the cost of membership.

If you are like me and hate leaving the house to go grocery shopping, Boxed is an online big box store that will deliver to you free of charge if you spend a minimum amount of money (maybe $50?). They have a decent selection of groceries and household goods and I have done the price check and comparisons – they really have competitive prices.

If you get your wifi or television through Xfinity – they have an app that offers it’s customers free wifi access. I have found that this actually works and is great for when I am out and about and want to hook up my phone to the internet. Most of my cellular data is turned off on my apps which makes them inaccessible without wifi.

I was able to haggle my cell phone service with At&t down from $75 a month to $50 and the same was true with my wifi bill – $80 t0 $40. I bought a smart thermostat – a Nest – and I love it. It senses when I am not home and drops the heat down to 58 degrees and I have it programmed to go up to 64 when I am home so I don’t freeze my arse off. I also bought a heated mattress pad – it keeps me warm at night which allows me to drop the heat in the house down to 62 degrees while I am asleep.

And this is budgeting 101 – save all of your receipts and use a budgeting tool like Mint. It helps you track your spending and alerts you when you have bills due or you go over a budget.

I think that’s all I have for now. If anything else pops up, I will share it here. And, if you have any other advice or tips, do share!! I am saving money like a maniac. It’s kinda fun.


Request for Help

This is tough. This is humbling myself beyond what I ask of my friends in terms of childcare support. The phrase ‘first world problems’ keeps running back and forth through my head. But I think that phrase is an awful one. It is dismissive and undermines the reality of my pain and my struggles. Problems are problems. Tough situations exist for everyone. Perhaps the difference is in the magnitude of said problem?

This is raw and real and I am done worrying about it. It feels like I am doing my children a disservice by not actively trying to figure out a solution for our security and our future.

If you cannot contribute I totally understand.

If you feel comfortable doing so, please please share this post. I’d be forever grateful.




A reality I do not want to face

I hate to have to do this.

I don’t want to talk about it, write about it, complain about it…But fuck, I am freaking out about money. The stark reality of having one income instead of two is currently unnerving me.

With a legal separation and with a divorce, come separate finances. Separate incomes, bills, utilities, mortgages, rents, credit cards. You are expected to divvy up the retirement accounts, savings, etc. My career was never ever supposed to be the only source of income. I AM A PRESCHOOL TEACHER. I got my ‘almost’ MA (3 courses shy) in Early Childhood Education when we were newly married, to supplement my husband’s substantial income and to have vacations and summers off with our children.

How am I supposed to survive on a salary that tops out at 25,000 a year?! Most of the jobs posted online here in the Denver area pay 10-15 dollars an hour. I feel like crying – this is the one thing sending me over the edge right now. My mortgage is $1500 a month, I have $200 a month in student loans, bills out the wazoo, and a house and children to take care of. Groceries! Clothing! Living! WTF! And yes, I can expect help from my husband, he isn’t kicking me to the curb (thank God), in the form of child and spousal support – but what happens when that runs out? I don’t even have my own health insurance – I am covered under his plan.

He will be paying rent on his new place starting this month and things are about to get really fucking tight. One more burden to bear. One more ridiculous thing to have to try to explain to the kids. “Why can’t we rent that movie on Amazon, mommy?” “Because we have to save money, kids.” They are still confused as to why their dad no longer lives here with us, for Christ’s sake! No more ordering pizza. No more trips to local museums, no more random purchases here and there. We are on financial lock down and I have no desire to add to their list of shitty things to worry about.

But I am worried. I am frightened. What if the only job I can find requires that I work vacations and summers? I have been home with them every summer since they were born. That alone makes me want to crawl back into my cave and curl up into the fetal position. What if I can’t afford this house that we love and we need to move? My kid’s lives are already out of whack. Part-time with each parent. Going from one house to another. No predictable anything for a while at least. And then what? I am supposed to cart them off to summer camp and pay for that too?

What the flying fuck universe?? This simply sucks. Why can’t someone pay me to write from my heart and from my soul from my cozy bed? Yep, I am actually whining. And I am okay with that in this moment.

I know, chin-up! (Cue fabulous eye-roll).

At some point, I will pick myself up and find a fucking great job that hopefully will sustain this lifestyle for myself and my kids. But for now, I am going to just sit in this shit and stress out. And mutter under my breath “FUCK THIS SHIT” as often as I damn well please.

This too shall pass. I hope.