Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Laughing at myself

I feel really sorry for people who take themselves seriously. People who can’t laugh at how mind-bogglingly stupid we can all be.

I now have a very clean, orderly desk. My keyboard has been air-dusted and rubbed down with lovely, electronics-friendly wipes. I have a new desk organizer, three tiers of orderly goodness. And a little revolving thingee for the pens, paperclips, Post-Its, stamps and return address labels.

There is not a shred of paper floating loose on my desk right now.

Not. One.


Because if I hadn’t been doing all this organizing and cleaning, which I told myself I simply had to do before I could possibly get anything else done due to the clutter = brain-drain effect, I would have been taking care of all the bills now sitting in neatly arranged stacks in the organizer. I would have been reading all the magazines lined up in the top tier. I would have been putting my Covey planner to good use organizing my life.

All of which I am telling myself that I simply must do before I can get on with the one thing that I really need to do before I do anything else, INCLUDING my job: decide whether I’m keeping my job.

I’m pretty sure I’m losing money by working. I’m pretty sure I’m losing an average of almost a thousand bucks a month…although I have to confess that I’m getting that number by dividing the number of months I’ve worked into the amount of new credit card debt we seem to have mysteriously acquired during said time.

It’s an ugly truth, and I don’t want to face it. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t want to even think about it.

Ergo…I’m cleaning. Organizing. Straightening. Puttering around with the filing system and neatly stacking things, doing the filing, sharpening the pencils…getting ready to get around to the possibility of maybe thinking about looking at the Dread Numbers and seeing just how bad it really is.

It’s so incredibly silly that I just had to stop and laugh at myself. Honestly. Like the problem will just…go away!...if I can just get the bills paid and the magazines read. Like suddenly, my income will be such that taxes and childcare won’t be sucking 80%+ of my gross salary into oblivion.

Like…all the stress I’m under is just going to magically disappear, if I can just wade through that back issue of The Economist I’ve been ignoring for two weeks.

Denial. It’s a beautiful and mysterious thing. I sat down here half an hour ago with steely determination: I was going to log into my accounting software and get to the bottom of The Issue. I would look at the cold, hard numbers. I would determine once and for all how much of it was extraordinary circumstance, and how much is sheer ‘we just don’t make enough for this’. I would make the judgment call: is it costing me more to work than I am earning? Or, is it costing so much for me to work that it just isn’t worth it.

Make a decision! Take charge of my destiny and decide whether it was best for my Den for me to work, or not! Be forceful! Take it like a woman!! Write the memo!!! I, Mother of Chaos, do herewith tender my resignation because I am bleeding money all over the Central Valley trying to make this work, while meanwhile my house is rapidly turning from a Den of Chaos into a Quagmire of Despair and my youngest is developing PermaCough, a common condition for the 4-and-under set who are in full-time daycare centers.

… then again, I could go in search of that cunning little postage stamp dispenser I got at the thrift store back in 1994…I just know it’s in here somewhere! Would you look at the state of this closet, *tsk-tsk-tsk-tsk*…


Very Herodotus said...

Ah crap. That sucks. You seem to enjoy working, even though it adds stress to your life. But, I would bet money that you've got those credit card charges all categorized and tallied by now.

Would it be cheaper for you to hire someone to come to your house to watch the kids? Maybe a college student or something?

Or, in a much more drastic fashion, could you relocate to somewhere cheaper? I thought living in the DC metro area was expensive, until I got to talking with some colleagues who live/work in the SF area. One guy lives in a neighborhood where the houses go for a million bucks, and these are older ranch houses with 3 bedrooms and about 1800 square feet. And the taxes!! Good lawd the taxes!!

I don't know about your husband, but I would think your skills would be in demand all over the country.

Mother of Chaos said...

We've bashed around the idea of moving many-a-time. We've even looked at those million dollar so-not-a-mansion places closer to work; and moving out of state; and moving way up into the rugged Sierras...we just hate to move far away from family. We have a lot of support in California, and none a'tall anywhere else.

I have had in-home care. It was a nightmare. The person was lovely, but...she couldn't come today because she was sick, or her kids were sick, or her car wouldn't start, or her boyfriend's truck had a problem, or her uncle's cat had a broken tail...

I'm convincing myself that I need another quarter's data. We just had a really, really, REALLY awful first half in 2006. Too much stuff breaking, from the dishwasher to, uh, ME.

Still, it's kind of demoralizing.

Very Herodotus said...

Yes you have had a rough year so far. Oy. Are you back to 100% yet?

I've been flirting with the idea of moving. All my family lives in a much cheaper area of the country (NC). Finding a job there is the biggest challenge. That, and the culture shock that I know my husband will face. But it would be fabulous to be able to call my sister and say "Can you pick up Jakey from school? He's sick and I have a meeting at work for another hour." Working parents need this kind of support, and right now I ain't got it. So, I can understand your desire to stay put.

I think another three months of data is a great idea. How were things looking before the gall bladder hatefulness? Maybe these past months are simply an ugly pothole in an otherwise peaceful stretch of road. (Sorry - a bit cheesy)