Accepting Life

Life is a journey… or something like that. The hardest part for me? Accepting that I am alone. I am a single mom and that means all the responsibilities are mine, and mine alone. There is no one else here to help with anything. It sucks, it’s stressful, and most days I feel like crying.

I come home exhausted but there is no rest. Meals have to be made, things need cleaning up, the cat needs care, all on top of my son’s homework and keeping him on track until bedtime. Unless you’ve been in these shoes, you couldn’t possibly understand the level of exhaustion a single parent deals with on a daily basis.

I had a revelation or epiphany or whatever last weekend. I read something that said “happiness starts when we accept life as it is and not as we think it should be”. I am alone. I have to accept that I am alone. I have to embrace that I am alone. My responsibilities are my own and no one is going to provide assistance. I said it out loud “I am alone” and felt a little better.

We all have to get to the point where we accept life as it is. Whether or not we’re happy with it is a different story. We’re all only one decision away from a new life. But the first step is accepting our truth and our reality. Once we do that, we are free to make any choice we want to change our lives.

I have started making changes… and we’ll see what happens from there.

Fibro Flares

It has been quite a while since I last posted. I’ve been super busy then a fibro flare happened (and is still happening!). This resulted in quite a few 7:30/8pm bedtimes. The exhaustion, fatigue, and pain are overwhelming. In the midst of the flare, I decided to do some research on fibro-sensitive diets (since scrolling on my tablet is about all the energy I had) and came across many interesting articles that suggest gluten-free.

The last time I went gluten-free, I suffered carb flu very badly. Because I’m working through a flare, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to add that on top. So, what have I decided to do? Well, I’m slowly weaning the carbs out. I started with soda, my morning biscuits, and lunchtime rice. This presented a few challenges since I usually have sausage & biscuits for breakfast every morning and a piece of baked chicken with rice for lunch. I can prepare the biscuits ahead, they travel well and only need a quick reheat in the toaster oven at work. Plus I never reheat the chicken, just the rice. However, I really want to feel better. You have no idea how badly I want to feel better.

I decided to still have my sausage, only in crumbles, not in that yummy white gravy (it’s flour-based, blah). I’ve been eating scrambled eggs & sausage for breakfast followed by a mid-morning snack of an avocado with lemon juice. For lunch, I’ve been eating a hamburger patty and salad followed by blackberries & sunflower seeds.

Needless to say, I’m starving by the time I get home. You don’t know how filling carbs are until you don’t eat them anymore. Today is only day 2 so I’m hoping this gets better as the days go by. This is forcing me to expand my taste buds though and I ended making the most delicious shrimp Sunday evening. I will post the recipe in another thread.

I’m curious to see how this turns out and I’m hoping for the best – that I have more energy, less pain, less fatigue, and I can actually do things again!

To all my fellow fibro warriors out there… Keep fighting, friends. This really sucks. I get you. I feel you. I’m proud of everything we manage to get done every day. Even if it’s just washing your hair – small victories add up.

Budget Planning Update

Lol, I love Grumpy Cat! The memes this cat has inspired are some of my favorites.

For some reason, it seems the word “budget” has a bad connotation. I can understand why – it usually means restrictions, cutting back, or completely giving things up. So let’s clear it up!

I’m doing an update on my budgeting plans that started several month back. I’ve learned quite a bit about money management, my own personal spending habits, and will power. Budgeting doesn’t mean restricting – it means creating a roadmap for financial success. A true successful budget doesn’t start by eliminating things. Here’s what I did…

  1. Write down total monthly income.
  2. Write down categories like Home, Auto, Utilities, Food, Savings, and yes, even Fun money.
  3. In each category, write the items that category includes. Example:
    1. Food:
      1. Grocery
      2. Restaurant money
      3. Kiddo’s lunch money
  4. Assign values to EVERYTHING: haircuts, weekly spending money, even that expensive coffee splurge – you have to account for ALL of it.

After that, I had a clear view of where my money was going and where it needed to go. I was able to shift things around so that I had a plan that made sense for my family.

Every month since the budgeting started, something has come up – car repairs, Christmas presents, etc. The Savings category has been there to cover all of it. The idea behind Savings, for me at least, was to save money, but it has mostly been a contingency fund. This has been a huge lifesaver since all these extra things have come up along the way.

So how has it been going? Well, I don’t have a savings stashed but I have been able to address random things that have come up with no trouble while not affecting the other parts of my budget. Budgeting allows me to compartmentalize my money so one thing doesn’t affect another.

So wipe out those negative thoughts about budgeting and ask yourself if compartmentalizing your money would make life easier. If so… try making a budget with categories and see if you can get your money moving where you really want it.