Category Archives: Anxiety

The Problem With Costco? How Do You Get All That Crap Home?

IMG_2885Costco. The mere whisper of its name conjures images of big, bigger, and so-big-there’s-no-way-in-hell-you’ll-ever-finish-it-before-it-goes-bad mega-big. It wasn’t that long ago when in their wildest dreams Americans could never have imagined the wonders of this super-duper-store. Why in the world would you ever need a half-gallon of shampoo, 500 Styrofoam dinner plates and tortilla chips in a bag that’s bigger than your torso? Yet today, we wouldn’t consider buying a single pound of ground beef at Ralph’s when we can go to a mega warehouse and buy the whole cow. You never know when a boatload of your closest friends might drop by unexpectedly and expect you to whip up an impromptu barbeque.

The sheer enormity of Costco hits you well before you enter the store. Costco parking lots are the size of small amusement parks, and still they miraculously tend to fill up – particularly in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Parking vultures will wait 15 minutes hovering over a customer loading up his vehicle rather than hoof it from an open spot that’s so far away it lies in another zip code. I don’t mind the trek, and figure that the walk to and from the warehouse will do me good, burning a few of the many calories I plan to consume from the numerous free samples. You could go to Costco every day of the week, never spend a dime, and still eat like a king – that is if kings enjoy nibbling on a smorgasbord of pomegranate juice, Cajun sausages, waffle bites, and spinach dip.

Samples are a daily surprise at Costco.

Because of my distant parking spot, I’m very appreciative that Costco hasn’t yet installed those brakes that lock the wheels of the shopping cart when they reach the parking lot boundary. Frankly, I’m a little surprised. If I was a homeless person, Costco would definitely be my cart of choice. You can probably hold 20 dozen more cans in its roomy basket, and unlike the carts with the missing bottom available at 2-story Targets so they can travel up their own person-less escalator, Costco carts have big bottom racks that could possibly fit all three of my homeless children in case I needed to transport them up and down the boulevard.

Is it just me, or did anyone else do a double-take over the line big bottom racks?

The Costco powers-that-be were absolutely brilliant in their decision to remove compact-sized parking spots from their parking lots. Have you ever seen a Smart Car pull into the lot? Not very often, if ever. They had better bring along some bungee cords and rope if they plan to strap that 12-pack of paper towels to their roof like a Douglas fir leaving the Christmas tree lot.

There’s a reason there’s no bicycle racks or motorcycle parking, because there’s not a single thing sold at Costco that’s small enough to strap into your backpack, with the exception of a gift card to Spafinder or one of Costco’s special Road Show events selling engagement rings. Somehow I figure if someone’s wealthy enough to afford a fabulous sea salt scrub or planning to pop the question to the girl of his or her dreams, they’re probably not going to do it while riding a 10-speed. However, you can actually buy a bicycle or motorcycle at Costco and park your 2-wheeler in the store while you shop (the motorcycle is on display in the store and available at However, don’t plan to do any additional shopping unless you arrange to pick everything up later in your proper minivan or U-Haul trailer.

IMG_2887There have been days when I have filled up the back end of my 8-person minivan from floor to ceiling and still had to invade the middle row and passenger seat for the rest of my purchases. I start to feel like that classic I Love Lucy episode where Fred loads up the car for the move to California and has to tie golf clubs and conga drums to the hood to make everything fit.

I wish a trip to Costco felt like a zany screwball comedy. It doesn’t.

photoweek114bIt’s not just the 2 hours of shopping and cart maneuvering, retracing my steps to the far end of the store for the forgotten frozen pizzas, the 35 minute line at the register which is so long it snakes into the snacks aisle, the brainpower needed to strategically place all the items in my car so the 50-lb. bag of dog food is not resting on the giant pumpkin pie, or having to drive 15 miles below the speed limit so the entire pile doesn’t entomb me during a sudden stop. Just when I think my long Costco journey is over, I am now faced with the prospect of making 20 separate trips hauling the load from my driveway into my house. Because I hate making multiple trips to and from the car, I turn this job of 20 into just 4 trips, hauling so many heavy items stuffed into my reusable bags across my forearms that the embedded dents in my flesh become nearly permanent.  I place the 80 cup pack of Newman’s Own Keurig coffee cups on top of the 24 rolls of Charmin bathroom tissue on top of the 32-pack of diet Coke, then cradle the triple pack of Kellogg’s cereal between my right elbow and hip, the box of 250 Bounce fabric softener sheets between my left elbow and hip, and balance the entire load like a tightrope walker.

I don’t usually make it to the kitchen without dropping everything, but I keep trying, telling myself that next time it will be different.

After I transport everything into the house, I spend another hour slicing open those plastic containers that are tighter than Fort Knox and ripping apart the cardboard boxes that enclose 90% of everything sold at Costco. Next I have to somehow defy the laws of matter to find space in my refrigerator and cupboards to store everything. My rule of thumb: If it fits, that’s where it goes. Then I slam the door hard before everything falls out.

I’m finally done. Or am I?

Like every single slasher film ever made, even this is a false ending, because then I have to flatten all those boxes and get them to fit in our over-sized recycling bin. Some trips to Costco take two weeks for the garbage man to finally collect it all.

But the very worst thing about Costco? Getting my Costco American Express bill three weeks later, totaling only slightly less than the gross domestic product of a small country.

You’d think would be the nail in the coffin to get me to quit shopping at Costco… but no.

The last time I went, I noticed that they actually sell coffins at Costco.

I wonder if my car is big enough to get it home.



Filed under Anxiety, Debt, Family, Humor

Will Friday the 13th Curse My “Happy” Birthday?


Dedicated to all the triskaidekaphobics out there.

Not my actual foot. And definitely NOT my actual pants.

Not my actual foot. And definitely NOT my actual pants.

I’m not by nature a superstitious person. I don’t mind if black cats follow me home, I doubt my mom will end up in a full body cast if I stomp on a sidewalk crack, and although I don’t deliberately walk under ladders, if found a good reason for it – say I could pick up a penny by doing so, I might cross my fingers, stoop under the steps and nab it.

cupcake2Today is Friday the 13th of September, and it also happens to be my birthday.  These two events combined beg to question:

Is it possible to have a Happy Birthday?


Dear Jason,
Why did you ruin my birthday?
(Not) love… Cathy

When I was a kid, I didn’t really think much of this dreaded day until Hollywood began making those Friday the 13th slasher films. Starting in 1980, Friday the 13th suddenly became synonymous with the name “Jason,” hockey masks, and horny camp counselors. Not surprisingly, this franchise lasted just one film short of 13. Perhaps they’re not planning to make another, since it might be unlucky.

Cool, huh? Why didn't I learn this in school?

Cool, huh? Why didn’t I learn this in school?

If I’m even slightly nervous about my birthday falling on Friday the 13th, I could consider the 1 in 31 other people who also have a birthday on the 13th (or the 1 in 30 in September, April, June and November, or the 1 in 28 or 1 in 29… you get where I’m headed here) who most of the time live through their cursed day as well. Except, of course, the ones who do actually die.

They’re the ones that make me nervous.

This is the 8th time my birthday has fallen on Friday the 13th, and remarkably I have survived all the other attempts for bad luck to foil my celebrated day.



Tammie and me. I’m trying not to strangle her before her first birthday.

My very first birthday fell on Friday the 13th, and I should have realized then (if I was coherent enough as a toddler) that my childhood birthdays were doomed. My sister Tammie was born exactly one month before – on August the 13th – so even though I was the oldest child, I would never be able to celebrate a birthday with my parents all to myself. But Tammie got the double whammy load of bad luck since her 13th birthday fell on Friday the 13th. I’m not really sure what the bad luck was since she got the guys in high school and I didn’t, but I hope the jealous voodoo spell I cast on her brought something bad.

Tammie… if you’re reading this, I’m kidding. If you’re not reading it, then I still resent you for being thinner and getting a better tan in high school than I did.

images-7Sorry. I’m not sure what would calm that unfortunate outburst more – a good psychiatrist or a steaming caldron with a lock of Tammie’s hair.

If I’m worried about doomsday destroying my birthday this year, I suppose I could oppose the Friday the 13th curse with my own counter-spells by grasping a 4-leaf clover and a rabbit’s foot in each hand all day; however without the full use of my grip, I’m more likely to be responsible for my own bad luck by dropping my iphone, sunglasses, and car keys more often than I do already.Screen shot 2013-09-13 at 11.16.28 AM


Not actually me. But it feels like it’s actually me.

Some people fend off the Friday the 13th curse by avoiding air travel, delaying important decisions, or safest of all – staying in bed all day. Since today is also my birthday, and the present I would like most is a nap, this old superstition may be a great excuse for me to get my birthday wish without my family thinking I’m a slacker.Publication1

I don’t plan on spending my birthday hanging up horseshoes, knocking on wood, or throwing salt over my shoulder, because that would be just plain stupid.

But I think I might wait until Saturday the 14th to buy a lotto ticket.images-10


Filed under Anxiety, Holidays, Humor

I Won Powerball! Now How Do I Spend My 3 Bucks?

Powerball ticketI buy a lottery ticket on average about once a week. Usually I’m picking up milk or coffee creamer or ice cream at the liquor store across the street and I’ll throw in a buck for Super Lotto. I guess if I found a milkman who delivered for a reasonable price I’d never buy a lottery ticket. On the other hand, I’d miss out on seeing all the interesting characters at my local liquor store.

Liquor Store SignOnce I won $11 dollars playing lotto, which due to the law of averages virtually guarantees that I’ll never win anything again in my life, whether it’s charity bingo or a shot on The Voice. Yet I continue to buy that single lotto ticket. A girl can dream, can’t she?

When last week’s Powerball surpassed a staggering $590 million, I did something I don’t normally do. I bought $10 worth of tickets, which in Powerball-speak is only 5 tickets. Ten dollars is a fortune to me these days, so it was a big gamble. Apparently the odds of winning were higher than being struck by lightning and simultaneously have a grand piano fall on my head, or something like that. But as the commercials say, you can’t win if you don’t play.$3 winning lotto ticket 2

But you know what? I did win! A whopping 3 dollars! And now I have a big dilemma:

How do I spend my winnings?

First of all, should I take it in one lump sum or have it doled out to me in annual payments for the next 30 years? I could really use the 3 dollars now, but it might be very handy to get that windfall of a dime each year for the next 30 years. That way I wouldn’t have the misfortune of blowing it all at once.

Should I spend the wad of cash or invest it? When they win lotto, a lot of people decide to take a trip. I might want to do that. I could pay $1.50 to take the Metro Red Line to LA’s Union Station and then another $1.50 for the Blue Line transfer to the Long Beach Aquarium. The problem then would be that I wouldn’t have any money to get home. That’s the downfall of so many lotto winners. They wipe out their winnings on that African safari but then are forced to return as a stowaway on a cargo ship when the money runs out.

CA Lottery totalsMaybe I’ll invest my $3 in my credit union. They currently pay .15% interest, so this time next year I’ll have $3.04½. I’m not sure if they’ll be generous enough to round that ½ cent upward for a total of $3.05 or if I have to wait a second year to make it an even 9 cents. If it’s only 4 cents, I’m not sure if that would get me much. Some parking meters will still take a nickel, but if you shove 4 pennies into the slot, you’re still going to get a parking ticket. In fact, by the time you plug all those coins, your meter will already be clicking back on “expired.”

I’ll be forced to pay taxes, so the total might only come to half of the 3 bucks. Too bad Uncle Sam won’t let me count that buck a week loss for the past decade to counter my winnings. With $3, I might have enough to buy an actual Starbucks coffee, but after taxes, I’d have to fill up my caffeine intake at 7/11 instead. And after dropping a few cents in the palm of that homeless guy hanging around out front, I may be bumming the cash back from him to get that cup of burnt java.

lhasa apso I’m also afraid that when word gets out that I’ve won lotto, every 3rd cousin and anyone who’s read about me on Patch is gonna be looking for a handout. I’ll be getting requests from strangers who want me to treat their precious lhasa apso’s diabetes or beg me to donate to their foundation to help shopaholics from hoarding Bloomingdale’s shoe purchases. By then, there wouldn’t even be a quarter left to give my son a mechanical pony ride outside of K-Mart.

Mechanical pony rideThere’s the fear that my kids will be kidnapped for ransom, or that my husband will poison me so he can keep all the money.  I could develop a costly drug habit just as Prop D passed and all those stinky shops with the green crosses will be closing their doors, forcing me to feed my addiction elsewhere. I might be hounded by news crews day and night, and I’ll have to go into hiding. The liquor store where I bought the ticket would need to hire an extra cashier just to handle all the extra lotto tickets sales from people hoping that lightning and a falling grand piano might strike twice in the same spot.

What a headache!

I think I’ll just use my $3 winnings to buy a couple of Advil.


Filed under Anxiety, Debt, Financial Insecurity, Humor

Falling Asleep at the Burnt Out Class

falling asleep

I love school! If I won lotto tomorrow, I would just plan to take classes for the rest of my life, whether or not I could earn a degree for it. I don’t care if it’s on auto repair or astrophysics or how to put up an astrological horoscope, if there’s learning involved, sign me up.

Unfortunately, my work schedule during the tv season virtually prohibits the commitment to a regular class schedule. In 2008 I went back to school taking online classes from Clarion University in Pennsylvania, and even though I was working at the time, in 2010 I earned my Master’s degree in Library Science.

It nearly killed me.

I felt like I fell off the face of the earth for two years as I concentrated solely on work, school, and kids – unfortunately in that order. It’s a learning experience I’ll never get from a classroom – even an online classroom. And it’s one I don’t wish to ever repeat.

Now I save my learning fix for hiatus and then search for classes like a dog with a bone. I finished up my last stage fix for Once Upon a Time on Monday night. Only 26 hours later I began a 12-week series of seminars for small business owners which takes place downtown for three hours every Tuesday and Thursday night.

Do I own a small business? No. But if I start one up, I’ll know what to do.

My medical insurance plan offers several workshops throughout the year on everything from nutrition to stress management to CPR so I signed up for three upcoming classes.

I was especially looking forward to Wednesday evening’s “On Empty and Burnt Out” which asked: Feeling as if you are running on empty? … Learn a new approach to your busy life – one in which you will be able to repair mentally, physically, psychologically and emotionally.

For anyone who knows me, I thrive on being productive, and I get a real rush when I have a sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately this rush was causing incidences of embarrassing short-term memory loss, occasional crying fits and the feeling like someone should just shoot me in the head.

Not something I would advocate, even if I do have a blog called Very VERY Busy Mom.

Frankly, I was hoping they would give me some tools to enable me to multitask more efficiently, offer advice so I don’t feel like such a flake if I have to let something go, and ways to make my sleep more productive so I could get by on 4 hours instead of 6.

Instead, the other potentially burnt out attendees and I were greeted with the advice we didn’t want to hear:

  • Get 8-9 hours of sleep each night
  • Remove all sodas, processed foods and refined sugar from your diet
  • Choose one day a week to slow down and perhaps make it a day of pampering
  • Exercise by walking or running 20-30 minutes each day, practicing yoga 3-5 times each week, and lifting weights 10 minutes each day

This is another great reason why I would like to win lotto. If I had time to do all this, I wouldn’t need to take a class called “On Empty and Burnt Out.” As much as I was excited to attend this class and enjoyed learning the information, I was having an extremely serious problem that was holding me back.

I kept dozing off.

The instructor wasn’t boring. She wasn’t repeating herself. She was knowledgeable and passed along information that would be incredibly beneficial to enriching my life.

I was just tired. Beat to my bones. And I was kicking myself that I made myself too busy that afternoon to grab a Monster Energy Drink, and the seminar didn’t have a coffee pot in sight. As I fought to pay attention to the lecturer, I performed wake up tricks like pinching my ears, pressing the web between my thumb and forefinger, tightening my Kegels and flexing my hamstrings – all to no avail.

I probably came across looking seriously ADHD.

It wasn’t until the next morning, after my first full 8 hours of sleep in weeks, that the lesson of the “On Empty and Burnt Out” class hit home.

Whether I’m working beaucoup hours or not, my tendency is to fill up every waking minute with something. The trick is, now that I’m on hiatus, it’s the perfect time to try to put these habits into place. Perhaps I should try sleeping for 8-9 hours, cutting out the things I shouldn’t be consuming, exercising every day, and taking a day to relax.

If I can do that, maybe then my short-term memory won’t be so shot to hell that I forget to do sleep, eat right, exercise and relax in the first place.


Filed under Anxiety, Career, Family, Humor, Kids, Learning, Multitasking, Parenting

Inglish iz uh Stoopid Langwij

stupidenglish02On Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00, a handful of moms at our local elementary school volunteer to help some of the 1st graders who are struggling with sight words. For those of you who have been reading English for a while (probably most of you unless Siri’s dictating all your messages) and who are unfamiliar with the term sight words, it means those words that you can’t really sound out but have to memorize. Most readers don’t often stop to think that of should sound like off instead of uv, that is ends with a z sound instead of a snake hiss, and said is pronounced sed instead of some strange double-syllabled word that takes hapless non-readers a good 30 seconds to try and sound out.

English is a stupid language.Tomb Comb Bomb

Three of the 1st grade sight words are though, thought and through. I still have no idea how to explain to these frustrated 6-year olds that ough from each of these words makes the long O, short O and double O sounds respectively. And while I’m trying, it would certainly not be the time to go off on a tangent and explain to them that respectively does not mean polite.

My 16-year old Emily (she calls herself Djaq and pronounces is Jack I’ll explain more in a future blog) just performed in her high school’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee.” She played Olive, an elementary school student whose only friend is her dictionary, which she reads voraciously while on the toilet. Olive muses that if you take the W from answer, the H from ghost, the second A from aardvark, and the T from listen, you get…

spellingbee… Emily/Djaq/Olive silently mouths the word:


English is a stupid language.

Emily/Djaq recently recounted an example that she learned from her eclectic 3rd grade teacher Mr. Schultz (quoting from George Bernard Shaw). If you take the GH from laugh, the O from women, and the TI from initiate, you get the word ghoti. However, it is pronounced fish. No kidding.ghoti

English is a stupid language.

If a word starts with a C, it is pronounced K or S. Why? Why did the English connoisseurs even invent a C if it doesn’t have its own sound? Why does G make either the G or J sound when there already is a J? Why is there an X when it actually blends KS, yet it is pronounced Z in nearly every English word with the exception of x-ray?  Why did they invent a Q when it really is just a K blended with a long U? And to make it even more inconvenient, there’s almost always a U piggybacking on Q like a lazy parasite.

stupidenglish04We teach these baffled children that an E at the end of a word is silent and it makes the previous vowel long (as in my son Jake’s name). Like all the other rules of English, this one sounds stupid too, but at least it seems like a somewhat consistent rule. That is, until they get to middle school and based on the silent E rule, they try to pronounce their new vocabulary words epitome and calliope. Oops. Not just an E at the end, but a really long E.

English is a stupid language.

images-1I took two years of Spanish in high school and all the English pronunciation rules I learned during my previous 10 years of education were thrown out the window. Yet once I learned that J makes the H sound and the vowels A, E, I, O and U are pronounced short O, long A, long E, long O, and double O, I found that Spanish doesn’t often break its own pronunciation rules. Jose will not and never will be pronounced Joe’s (unless you meet him in art school). Instead, it’s hose-ay, which written as a pronunciation looks as gringo as Doris Day.

english-diacriticsI think the easiest and smartest solution to the English language dilemma would be to throw out the spelling of all traditional English words and instead spell them with the same pronunciation key used in the dictionary. Of course adding all these long and short vowel sounds, CH, SH and the hard and soft TH, not to mention the accents and the syllable breaks, would make the English alphabet a little bit bigger. Everyone will have to grow their fingernails and file them to a sharp point in order to use the teeny tiny keys on their Smartphones to type:

ˈIŋ-glish iz uh ˈstü-pəd ˈlaŋ-gwij.

Then there’s the schwa (ə), which would probably be the most popular letter in the English language. It sounds like uh, and it is also the most widely used sound these 1st graders make when they’re trying to sound out a word:

“Uhhhhhhhh…” calls ə “the mid-central, neutral vowel sound… of a in alone and sofa, e in system, i in easily, o in gallop, u in circus.”

Speaking of circus, you have your full meal of English language funkiness with C sounding like K, C sounding like S, an actual S, a schwa (ə), and even one of those funky colon on its side things whenever an R takes a vowel hostage. Here’s how, Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, Oxford, Collins, and MacMillan each show their pronunciations of circus:


American HeritageOxford



Yes, English is a very very stupid language.


Filed under Anxiety, Humor, Kids, Public Education, Volunteering

Baby, It’s Freakin’ Cold Outside!

39 degreesI was born to be born in sunny Southern California, but man oh man, it has been really cold lately. Not just cold for me and my abnormally warm blood, but so cold it’s the main topic of conversation, or at least a close second to Jodie Foster’s Golden Globes speech. The weather anchors call it a cold snap, which seems to be the phrase they’re all using instead of cold spell. Cold snap certainly sounds more frozen, as if all of Los Angeles was a block of dry ice that could snap. If it could spell, the letters would be “F-R-E-A-K-I-N’ C-O-L-D!!!”

I’m writing this blog just before midnight, and according to NBC Weather it’s currently 39° and expected to drop to a low of 33°. I admit that I’m a cold weather wimp, but for even you East Coast and Midwest transplants, you’ve got to agree that unless you’re a Navy Seal or one of those hearty Little House on the Prairie women who couldn’t be broken by 24’s Jack Bauer, this transformed tundra has become truly uninhabitable.

It doesn’t help that our house has virtually no insulation. It was built in 1930 with lath and plaster construction, which means that there’s none of that fancy, fluffy padding protecting my delicate body from the harsh elements. Fortunately we installed new energy efficient windows a few years ago, but the heating unit is a joke. Apparently some penny-wise pound-foolish previous owner decided to install a central air and heating system that was meant for a home that was 70% smaller. They justified it by not installing vents in the kitchen or the bathrooms. Needless to say, in the summer butter liquefies in seconds in our blazing kitchen, and in the winter the bathroom is so cold you might consider wearing a Depends rather than venture onto that cold throne in the middle of the night.

My husband Tom has been up coughing the last two evenings, and because he’s a true prince, he has been considerate enough to toss and turn and cough and hack up a lung on the living room sofa rather than in bed with me. He probably knows that in two day’s time, I’d just end up writing a nasty blog about how he Typhoid Maryed me with his pneumonia and all our mutual friends will give him crap about it. It’s better to be known as a prince than the contagion carrier. He just grabs a few blankets and cowboys up. Plus, he prefers the temperature a little nippy. Frankly, I think he’s got a little Navy Seal blood in him. Or perhaps some of that hearty Little House on the Prairie just-suck-it-up-or-I’ll-really give-you-something-to cry-about blood.

The thermostat is in the living room, which is the farthest point from the furnace and therefore the coldest room in the house in the winter – that is, the coldest room that is lucky enough to have a vent. But the living room is a good 10-20° colder than the bedrooms. If Tom turns up the heat in the living room, the bedrooms are sweltering – especially for Mary who sleeps on the top bunk in direct line with the vent.

I’ve mostly closed off the vents in the bedrooms while Tom’s having his little bout of germ spewing. A swivel tower air conditioner is strung horizontally up on the wall above Mary’s bed so she can cool herself if it gets too hot. My little Mary is like a delicate flower that is wilting at night. This is a nice way of saying she’s a wimpy girl without the Navy Seal or hearty Little House on the Prairie blood.

So now we have our slipshod heater trying to force itself through mostly-closed vents in the bedrooms as it chugs its way to the living room trying to warm my ailing husband. We’re paying a hefty price for gas, electricity, and power for Mary’s makeshift air conditioning unit. And still, it’s probably 65° in the living room and 95° in Mary’s room.

My 2007 Honda Odyssey has a nifty feature – a thermostat that reads the outside temperature. I’m not brave enough to go out this second to see if it’s really 39° right now. But I wish I could use the feature to accurately measure the temperature indoors. I’d like to squeeze my minivan in through the front door to see if there really is a 10, 20 or even 30° difference between Tom’s sofa and Mary’s top bunk.

Despite the frigid temperature outside and the vast array of climates inside, this cold snap has left me with a tremendous sense of gratitude – gratitude that our family is not homeless, gratitude that I will most likely be able to pay both the electric and gas bill this month, and gratitude that we have cozy blankets and heaters to keep us warm. But at this moment I’m mostly grateful that my prince of a husband is coughing on the couch instead of into my immune system.

Baby, it’s a cold. Outside! ( I don’t want to catch it!).


Filed under Anxiety, Family, Financial Insecurity, Humor, Husband, Illness, Kids, Recuperating

My New Year’s Resolution this Year: No More Resolutions!

No New Year's ResolutionsThere is one topic of conversation today that dominates all others: New Year’s resolutions.

Correction. For this year only, everyone’s talking about surviving the Fiscal Cliff. However, a close second is the aforementioned New Year’s resolutions.

This year I’m boycotting.

Every year on January 1st I vow to eat healthier and to exercise more. It’s one of those blood oath vows that I am 100% certain will stick. My goal is to lose 20 lbs., which is stupidly unrealistic because in order to maintain 110 lbs., I would have to live on a diet of diluted vegetable broth and run a half marathon on a daily basis. Frankly, I could care less how much I weigh as long as I lose this jiggly abdomen I’ve acquired this year and have arms strong enough to paint a ceiling without taking a break every five minutes.

I’m not going to call it a resolution. But I’m definitely doing more planks and eating less popcorn.

I also think I’m going to get more organized. It actually is a necessity because the clutter is clogging up the good stuff I can’t find. I keep meaning to make the transition from paper Day Planner to Google Calendar so the rest of the family can see what I’ve planned for them without having to decipher my chicken scratch.

Every year I hope that the coming year will be the one that gets us out of debt. This year I’m more realistic. Short of winning lotto, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. I just plan to keep what I’m doing – paying my bills on time, juggling balance transfer deals, and only buying what I absolutely need. There are a lot of folks who are too poor to even accomplish that goal, so I absolutely feel like one of the fortunate ones. Of course I still wouldn’t turn down that lotto win.

Maybe I’ll eat healthier, exercise more, get organized, and pay off some debt in 2013, but I’m not going to make a deal with the devil to do it. If I fail, I’m not going to kick myself, single-handedly devour an entire Boston cream pie, toss out my Thighmaster, haphazardly throw the contents of my entire garage into a rent-a-dumpster or run through the mall like a banshee throwing my Visa card at everything in sight.

It’s the resolution relapse that bites you in the butt every time.

When exploring a list of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, I realize that there’s a bunch that I already do. I’ve never smoked, I already quit drinking, I tell my kids and husband everyday that I love them, I volunteer, I recycle, and I already went back to school. I’d like to learn more Spanish than “¿dónde está el baño?and “con queso por favor,” but if I don’t master the language this year, I can at least practice rolling my “R’s.”

Many people put travel among their list of New Year’s resolutions. I don’t, because it would cancel out the previous paying-off-debt goal.

Some aim for a better job. I actually like my job, and my boss pays me well, but I could use some extra hours in the off-season. I can aim for that, but I’m not going to call it a resolution. It’s more like making some phone calls to see if there’s any freelance work to be had.

Wait. I already do that.

Another typical resolution is to learn something new.  If I had the time, I’d do that more often, but I figure that I’ll have plenty of time for that in the old folks’ home.

A resolution that’s popping up more these days is vowing to manage stress. I could use a little more of that one, but since my bad bout of shingles last year, I’ve really been trying to get enough sleep and not get freaked out by the things I can’t control. So I guess I’ve been sticking to that last year’s resolution. Done.

Here’s what I really want to do in 2013:

I want to write more Facebook comments.

I want to accept that other parents won’t become more courteous drivers just because I roll my eyes at them when they double park at school pick up.

I want to watch more Jon Stewart.

I want to quit obsessing over gas prices.

I want to take a bath one day.

I want to find a better hiding place to store my son’s coloring pages than the recycling bin.

I want to dye my hair before my roots are an inch long.

I want to beat my kids in a game of Apples to Apples.

I don’t want any of my blogs to be stinkers.

Sometimes I just want to do nothing.

I’m hoping to do all these things in 2013. I’m just not going to call them resolutions.


Filed under Anxiety, Career, Debt, Family, Financial Insecurity, Holidays, Humor, Husband, Illness, Kids, Parenting