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Sticking a needle through your eye socket" - welcome to my thoughts on de-cluttering

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Hi,





Yes, I've been missing in action, yet again but to tell the truth I have been mentally exhausted. I'm realizing I married a hoarder (we've been married for 12 years so, yes, I am a very slow learner) and I realized that this is playing a major role in my depression.

John and I are sticking it out, so no worries there although to tell the truth I have been sorely tempted to stick him in the paper shredder more than a few times. Wouldn't do much good, though would it because think of the mess that would create! I mean, the stupid shredder overheats enough now as it is! Please say you are understanding my humour and are not calling 911 to report me.

At my last doctor's appointment I cautiously mentioned that although I deeply love my husband there are times I would cheerfully stick a needle in his eyeball or drill out his belly button. My doctor laughed and said "welcome to married life, my dear". So, I then mentioned this same thing to John and he burst out laughing too and said "at least we are honest about it". We talked about it and both agreed that these moments are very fleeting and have agreed that we will refer to them as "the five minute death curse" where we will tell each other "I have to walk away right now - five minute death curse is upon me".

Yes, I used that expression this weekend when John had the dogs out and let Ginger wander off and she was gone for 2 and 1/2 hours in the woods near our house. I was sick with a really bad headache and was sitting on a overturned bucket in the pouring rain calling "Ginger" every few minutes while he walked the trails. When he came back to check on me he took one look at my expression and said, "you could stick a sharp alder branch through my eye sockets right now, couldn't you?" which made us both laugh. Oh, and little miss Ginger trots out of the woods a few minutes later with an expression that said, "oh, were you calling me".

Well, the good news is, I have six large garbage bags of shredded paper out of my house, I have our taxes sent in for the past three years (oops!) and we have our final bank appointment tomorrow which means our debt will be consolidated. No more phone calls from credit card companies and it means that I am taking a more active role in our household spending and budgeting.

So, how does this apply to my life on Spark? Well, I am walking the dogs everyday for 20-30 minutes and I am drinking my water. Not doing very good with the eating (as usual) but later this week we are setting up a budget for our household and that will really lend itself to meal planning which is turn will lead to eating regularly and more healthy.

I think I will feel better mentally too when the pressure is off and I become more content in my own home. While doing all of this the past couple of weeks, I have realized that I need a schedule in my life to keep my sanity in check. Again, my doctor reassured me that this is normal and, in fact, quite a positive step.

On other notes, I handled my very first dog adoption this weekend with the little one our group had in foster care. I spent Saturday night with this dog and its foster care provider so I expected to be a little sad when the adoption went through but they turned out to be so positive and caring that I was really glad to be of assistance. They had a three hour drive to get here and they brought in their other dog to see how it would go and within minutes the two dogs were running together and playing. Shelley was one of those that touched my heart and if we hadn't just rescued Ginger I would have taken her in. I guess it made me a little more protective over her but I am very happy that the adoption went well and she is in the kind of home she needs.

Well, I must go and stop "talking your ears off". I hope all is well with each and every one of you!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENCRANER 9/10/2012 10:57PM

    I'm so proud of the steps you've taken toward financial health!

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EDLEAR 9/7/2012 2:10AM

    Susan -
thank you for your honest sharing. It's comforting to read about someone else dealing with my own issues. Humorously, too. Thanks.

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ILOVEMALI 9/6/2012 11:20PM

    I'm going to shred now! xoxoxo

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SPARKLISE 9/6/2012 3:58PM

    emoticon Happy to hear things are going well. emoticon

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JLITT62 9/5/2012 5:26AM

    I've been married just about 27 yrs . . . and believe me, I have those moments too!

Sounds like you're doing really well. Keep up the good work & the eating WILL fall into place, too.

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LYNNWILK2 9/4/2012 10:17PM

    WOW Susan, welcome back to the world outside the basement and away from the paper shredder. You have to feel so good about yourself.
CONGRATULATIONS and it's great to see and have you back!

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ANGRITTER 9/4/2012 6:58PM

    Wow! Look at all these positive comments. I commend you on your talk with DH. Not a lot of people are brave enough to stand up and say "Yes, 4 out of 5 times a day I was to kill you, but I do love you", and those that do sometimes just don't get it that this is normal life.

And my favorite expression is "You make my want to stick a carrot through my eye"... and then one day I was farting around and damn it if I didn't poke my eye with a freakin' baby carrot!! So now, the saying really sticks! Oh, and I threaten to stab people in the face... another way we are a lot alike.

You've inspired me to clean my closet - I burned all of the records I had from credit cards and everything from over 5 years ago. Took them outside, stuffed them on the burn pile and lit it up! Felt great to let it go. No, those bills have not been paid in years - not since I broke my neck in 2005 - but I am no longer holding on to it.

See you inspire people by doing the work. And lady, you have surely been doing the work!! If I were closer I would help, but I know you have to go through everything and make sure you aren't throwing anything good away. That's the scariest part!

Love and hugs to you. And please tell Ginger she shouldn't make you worry. She's not to be outside partying all night in the woods. Nothing good comes of the woods after dark for a pretty little doggie. Read her Little Red Riding Hood! That should scare the bejeesus out of her!

Peace and love, and have a glass of wine!

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KAYDE53 9/4/2012 4:09PM

    It's got to be frustrating going through all that stuff so you have my sympathy & yes, dhs can be trials sometimes!! Great blog!! emoticon

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SOFT_VAL67 9/4/2012 3:53PM

    I cant believe I just logged into SP and this was the first blog I seen, cause I have been looking, no, searching, no...desperately tearing my house and hair apart, looking for an ace bandage.
Now, an ace bandage...? Really, one might ask, whats the big deal. Well, I only just bought it around 2 weeks ago. And only used it a couple of times on my sore foot.
It was wrapped up neatly and last I seen it was laying on the end table next to the couch.
Now, its no where to be found.
So, this search led to cleaning out bedroom drawers, kitchen cabinets and even the refrigerator....dont even ask why I thought it might be in there.
I just cleaned my house yesterday. The living room is very neat, the kitchen is neatish, give or take a few too many bowls in the sink. The bathroom is as clean as its been in weeks.
I am not a hoarder, but have blogged in the past about my possbile tendencies and well as Honey's.
But that has bothered me til I was in near tears, trying to find that ace bandage. My foot began to bother me again today and so I thought I would put it on.
No such luck, now I have a pull on foot wrap.
But just where did that ace bandage get off to is still eating at my very last nerve.
And by the way, I think this subject has very much to do with our lives on SP.
Hoarders or those that love them, are no different than anyone else with an addiction or an enabler.
I know that a good many times when I have watched these hoarding shows on tv, I have noticed many of them to be overweight.
We hold onto stuff.
Be it clothes or books, pictures, whatever, weight....
Its all related.
I am glad your dog returned home safe and I am glad you took an active role in getting organized.
I sure hope you dont stick a needle in anyones eyes and I sure hope you can find the bandages if you do.

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POPSY190 9/4/2012 3:38PM

    Your blogs always provide food for thought. Your dr is right - murderous thoughts are quite normal in happy marriages! emoticon? Your other readers have said it all - gaining control, sense of humour, compassion and contribution to others - all great.

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HOPESINGH 9/4/2012 3:28PM

    Dear Susan - I just LOVED the illustration you put there. Perfect!
I think my dad has hoarding tendencies but my mom stops him, so there's just one room in their house that's just full of clutter, floor to ceiling.
Your relationship with John sounds so good, including the shredder non-episode. Making fun of each other and of the hard moments is the best!
I do hope that with the financial progress and the planning you'll feel more in charge, more in control. emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 9/4/2012 2:41PM

    Susan you are doing great!
I often want to box ears or kick in the groin area, which I do refrain from, but yes it is part of married life.
You are doing terrific tackling a huge problem that has taken years to accumulate. It will take time. Hang in there!
Hugs,
Angela


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HOPEFULANGE 9/4/2012 2:20PM

    I'm glad to hear you're taking steps to take control! Love your positive attitude!! Great going with the doggie adoption. You rock. emoticon

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SUSANS706 9/4/2012 1:24PM

    Oh my Hubby is a "keeper" too! He does not know half of the stuff that dissappears every now and then to charity!! If I did not do that who we would never get into our basement! Sounds like you have a great plan going! One piece at a time, it will all come together!!!

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BOVEY63 9/4/2012 1:10PM

    So glad things are turning around for you and that you are getting all in order.
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Love the expressions you and your hubby use on each other!
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I couldn't help but picture you putting him through the shredder!
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KANSASROSE67 9/4/2012 1:01PM

    LOL...you have the best sense of humor...guess I should say humour!

My DH and I need a similar code phrase I think.

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SPARKLES 9/4/2012 12:54PM

    I too appreciate your sense of humor - reminds me of myself. I'm not sure if one or more of us here are hoarders - might just be too many adults trying to put their whole houses into one house. Sigh. I just know the clutter and lack of cooperation is driving me insane. I won't get off on my tangent - this is your blog - sorry. ha.

Glad things are getting better for you.
Jenn

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ILOVEMALI 9/4/2012 11:00AM

    Time for me to start tossing stuff again!! Lol!

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_LINDA 9/4/2012 10:12AM

    LOVE your sense of humour, and so glad your hubby is in with it too! That is great you have those lines of communication open, but oh my, a hoarder is such bad news :((, I feel for you dealing with it.
Your Ginger sounds much like our Bendix. he would disappear and after hours (and sometimes even overnight) of calling him, he would suddenly appear behind us on a trail looking totally innocent. I am sure he caused Mom and Angus more than a few grey hairs when he ran off mindlessly chasing critters through the bushes in the off leash areas. The one ran along the river bank and it was unlimited how far he could go unfortunately, but he usually didn't stray that far as what ever he chased would get away and he would lose interest and come back to us.
That is a great relief to get your finances in order and all that income tax done (yikes) Spark actually has a place you can set up a budget and track your expenses and spendings (Spark Savings), I have actually started using it and its an eye opener, as much as the food tracker was for me, where your money gets sucked into. You put your expenses and spendings into categories and give yourself a certain amount on each thing how much you want to spend and its really interesting to see how it all adds up. I went over on clothing as I bought too much workout wear :P
That is so wonderful Shelley is going to a good home, that is good to see, and awesome of you to help with adoptions!!
All the best with your coming efforts!
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EJOY-EVELYN 9/4/2012 9:28AM

    Lots of exciting new beginnings. My family has two hoarders and my strategy to do it gradually, hasn't worked well. Inviting company to dinner or an overnighter seems to be some of the best motivation, but after such major events, I go into the, "I can't seem to find anything" mode. Yike! I guess there are volumes of books on the subject just for that reason.

Great fostering! Each animal you take in will likely have their own unique entry and exit in your life and how they tug on those precious heartstrings. Great accomplishment! Keep trying something new! One of these days, you'll unlock the secret to success!

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SILVER1369 9/4/2012 9:08AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CODEMAULER 9/4/2012 9:01AM

    This sounds like a terrific weekend! Congrats for Shelley's new forever home and way to go on all of that paperwork!!

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Paper shredders and dog poo! Welcome to Susan's Anger Management Class

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hi,

Sorry if I had some of you worried when I posted in my feed that I was angry and it wasn't a pretty sight. Well, both parts were true but it isn't even worth blogging about. Just extended family stuff that is still lingering since Nan died and how they announced to me through Facebook when her ashes will be buried. All because I spoke my mind which in my family is a big no-no as everybody keeps things bottled up and grudges go on forever. This is my father's family I am talking about and thankfully he wasn't like that! Perhaps it is years of therapy that have taught me to speak my mind, albeit tactfully, when needed.

So, if you are scanning this quickly to see what my title refers to here it is. I am gutting my house of paperwork. Our finances are in a complete wreck, we haven't filed a tax return in three years (how did I become this person?) so we have a lot of digging to do. Problem is, dear Johnno, who is a hoarder in training. He claims he is one bag of marbles away from being on that Amercian television series so at least he still has his humour. Every grocery receipt for the past five years, every pay stub since the mid-80's, every bank statement, every gas receipt, hmm...you get the picture.

If he fights me one more time over the need to keep things HE is going through the paper shredder! We even had the receipt and care information for the dusty rose carpet that Mom had installed in the living room 20+ years ago and which was torn up seven years ago for the hardwood floor!

He knows he has a problem with paperwork and is actually being a lot more accomodating than I thought he would. Mind you, it took me a few tears to explain that I couldn't continue to live like this but he has been good about it all once he fully realized the toll is is having on both of us. I still have a basement full of stuff to go through in the attempts to find the stuff needed for our taxes but it will get done!

Oh, and the dog poo? Well, suffice it to say we have to deal with quite a bit of that with three dogs but yesterday John had a hearty chuckle at me when I came home after walking Louisa and told him that the poo bags had malfunctioned (my fingers went through!!!) . I realize only pet owners would find this the least bit amusing but to get him back for his laughter at my expense, I have put plastic dog poo in our bedroom closet where little Ginger did her business the first few days as she was adjusting. He hates that plastic dog poo and doesn't quite find it as funny as I do but just you wait...........

Signed the sicko!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENCRANER 8/23/2012 11:20AM

    Oh, Sparksister, you are SO BRAVE to take the (financial) bull by the horns! I'm SO PROUD of you! :)

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_LINDA 8/23/2012 12:30AM

    So sorry to hear about your family issues :( That is not healthy being like that, so glad you have moved beyond it! I love that you speak your mind! I rather have honesty then sneaky things said behind my back. My sister-in-law loves that I am frank, honest and open and tell it like it is. She is tired of everyone pussyfooting around her.
Wow! How on earth did you get away without filing income tax for three years?? Lucky we are not in the US as that IRS would likely be arresting you all and taking all your belongings if the horror stories you hear about people dealing with them are true.. I sure don't envy you wading through all that paper -your shredder is going to wear out!!! I was a bit of a paper hoarder too -had a huge three drawer office size filing cabinet full (three feet high by six feet long!!!) -finally learned to let go thanks to a move to a smaller apartment -no way it was going to fit in there, so I downsized it to a small two drawer one.
Love the fake dog poo -way to get back!!
You rock!!
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JAMER123 8/22/2012 11:39PM

    I actually chuckled my way through your blog even though it is issues of concern!! I would be upset as well. Your DH sounds like someone that is trying to work through his issues as well. You are quite the writer. Ever thought about submitting some of your works? :):) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUSANS706 8/22/2012 8:48PM

    I don't feel so alone! We have lots of paper, between home, and business! Old files from our office. All in boxes, somewhat organized, but I would love to shred some!! Good luck with the tax part! The plastic poo is funny!!!!!

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CODEMAULER 8/22/2012 7:30PM

    There has to be a solution to your paper challenge. I hope that you and your family can find it!

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BOVEY63 8/22/2012 7:22PM

    I don't envy you all the old paperwork and getting it together. Wish I could offer some good advice, but not one to give it in regards to too much paper laying around.

Love the poo story!
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POPSY190 8/22/2012 5:31PM

    Hello Declutter Queen! On one of my teams we had to set a challenge for ourselves and mine was to clear out/organise a pile of papers to do with a hobby. I'm half-way there. Then there's all the stuff piled in the garage so that the repairs could be done . . .. My sister-in-law wants a photo of my husband to make a portrait for an 80th birthday cake - where, oh where has the album gone, oh, where, oh where can it be emoticon. And my husband's way of dealing with his clutter is to pile it in a box which he then deposits on top of the other stuff in the garage - so far this year he has added three boxes to the heap! GGrrr.
So I empathise, sympathise, and any other -ise that is appropriate. Good shredding!

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HOPESINGH 8/22/2012 2:06PM

    Plastic dog poo! You are mean! emoticon emoticon
And actually I think you're coping really well with what sounds like an overwhelming mountain of paper. It will get done! Just don't shred your hubby before the warranty is over! emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 8/22/2012 12:59PM

    You are a wonderful, strong and determined woman. You will succeed.
Every blessing.
Hugs,
Angela

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KANSASROSE67 8/22/2012 12:08PM

    "If he fights me one more time over the need to keep things HE is going through the paper shredder!" I am LOL at your blog! I know it's serious but the way you tell it is just too funny.

I have a fake poo story. When we were young, we went on a family vacation and visited my dad's aunt and uncle in Wisconsin. This uncle was a big practical joker, and he somehow placed some fake poo under my little sister, who was probably 4 years old and had fallen asleep on the floor. When they went to pick up my sister to put her to bed, my poor parents saw the poo, and naturally assumed she was the culprit. I will never forget the huge laugh that resulted; though even at 8 I felt sorry for my sister.

Hang in there dear; you are more than a match for a mountain of paper!

Comment edited on: 8/22/2012 12:08:47 PM

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ILOVEMALI 8/22/2012 11:44AM

    I also have a problem with paperwork (I'm a lawyer, and I keep everything. It's my training). I have gotten a bit better since I visited a friend of mine who has asked me to assist her son when she passes. Her house is wall-to-wall paper.

This experience sent me directly to the shredder. I broke my shredder with all of the stuff I shredded...

I've been pitching and purging and shredding and Goodwilling (or, rather, preparing for the Goodwill).

If you saw my office, you'd scream! LOL

Good luck with your husband!

As soon as I wrote this, I got up and shredded some stuff from my office!

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ANGRITTER 8/22/2012 10:56AM

    I love the plastic poo! It can be put anywhere. And someone bought me Great Dane poo for a gag gift at Christmas one year. They knew I had been giving my Dane, Dozer, garlic to fight the fleas, and his poop would turn the grass brown because of the garlic! So, I have GIANT plastic poo!

Send Jon to FL and I wil put him on the show. Or maybe I should call the show so they can do a Canadian version and come help you out! That sounds like the better deal.

My mother and I throw my dad's thing away when he is gone to get parts or something. She comes to me and says, where can you hide this until your father leaves and then you can throw it away. So, my closet floor is again covered because she pulled this trick yesterday after the floor was finally cleaned up. So tomorrow is garbage day and I have a bunch of old crap to throw away.

I ownder will it ever end?



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SILVER1369 8/22/2012 10:31AM

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I'm not doing to drown, I'm not going to drown, I'm not going to drown....Am I?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Hi,

For those who know me you know we have found ourselves in debt for the first time ever over the past year or so. To be quite honest (and when am I never...much to my embarassment) I have been like ostrich with my head in the sand for much of my life.

I was neither allowed nor given any financial independence throughout my formative years. Basics were provided and we ate well. I wasn't spoiled by any means but I also wasn't allowed to make any decisions when it came to money and how to spend it. I went to university never knowing how much it cost my parents and I lived with them until I married at age 34. Yes, I did have a credit card and a job but I didn't spend much money and I always paid my credit card off when I did. Okay, so I lived a spoiled life then as all I ever paid for was my gas.

Then I got married and my husband had a pretty good job. I worked too but never knew even how much money I made. I never so much as looked at any bills coming into the house. And, I started spending money. Not, a lot of money, but keeping a house going does require some money.

Long story short - John's company closed up and there went 400 jobs in a small town. For three years we lived on savings (we were lucky) but now it is getting tight. We owe more than I would like to admit and are going to take out a small mortgage on our house to make monthly payments easier to handle.

Problem is I think my husband is getting really depressed over the whole situation. He was always the "take charge" kind of guy and by that, I don't mean controlling. He is now working and I will return to my part-time seasonal job in a few weeks. So, I am taking over to ease some of the pressure on him.

I will be the first one to admit that I don't have a clue about money and so I am getting help with that with our bank. They are going to get us back on track and then I will take over from there. We are also going to set up a budget to live on and I think this will really help us in a lot of ways. For one thing, meal planning will become a requirement and that will help us both towards our healthy lifestyle goals.

Oh, and did I mention John is one stack of paper away from being a hoarder? He keeps everything and keeps it forever! We have every statement, every paycheque, every envelope etc that ever entered into our home. I told him I was going to set up electronic billing and he was actually interested in it.

So, today, my challenges included, walking the dogs (done), drinking my water (done), opening envelopes and sorting through the mess on our dining room table (done), buying a few organizational tools (like a portable file holder thing - done), and starting a filing system...not done. I have all receipts stacked up and will go through them as I watch television later on tonight and I have the kitchen tidied up. Whew.

I am not going to drown in paperwork! I am not...darn it...I'm NOT!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPESINGH 8/21/2012 1:03PM

    filing gets much easier when you're already on track, and just have to keep up with the incoming stuff. Don't worry, you'll learn to swim! emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/19/2012 4:55PM

    It sounds like a plan. Anyone could get in trouble when the money stops coming in. That you were able to last for three years is very commendable and now that you're both working, and with both parties involved with a plan, you'll be able to emerge from the backside of all this stronger and smarter than you are today. Good luck.

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KAYDE53 8/18/2012 5:37PM

    You can do it, Susan! How many times have you come through when you needed to?? I'm glad you're doing it with help, sometimes it tough just going it alone. I like that you're setting mini-goals too!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CASE4GRACE 8/18/2012 11:37AM

    I was in a similar situation growing up. I was not spoiled - my parents just said "no" to everything, so I was never taught how to relate to money, how to use it properly, etc. As an adult, I went on a spending spree and wracked up some debt, but could always manage the bills each month. Got married, continued wracking up debt (debt total was increasing year by year) but still always paid the bills on time - and extra, never just minimum pmts. My husband had his hours cut at work and eventually lost his job. I had several creditors that I finally had to go to humbly and ask if they would be willing to settle for a payoff lower than the total and we cashed out some retirement savings and paid almost everything off. It was humiliating, but it was that or bankruptcy. I found a significant amount of help with budgeting and management tools through the Dave Ramey organization. They have what they call "Financial Peace University" and he has written books, has a TV show on cable, etc. From his website, we found a local person who was trained by Dave Ramsey and he helped us get our debt paid off and set a proper monthly budget. We have stayed on track since then - over 2 years now - in spite of being on unemployment for 18 months. I would highly encourage you to check out Dave Ramsey - great resources there to help get you started. Wishing you all the best!!

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JAMER123 8/17/2012 11:27PM

    Way to go, Susan! You are taking control before you go under. I am proud of you even with never having anything to do with the finances. I am the person in our household that knows where every penny is, pays the bills, and works with the bank. My DH knows all that is going on and can do it if I am not able to but he turned that job over to me when we married. And I am an organizer, even when we raised our 3 kids and working full time. Not sure now how I got it all done but I am now retired and have less time it seems!!
You will get there. It is called one day at a time!! emoticon emoticon

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EJOY-EVELYN 8/17/2012 10:36PM

    I'm impressed. You have found a new talent and expertise that will bring the two of you even closer (in the long run). Great plan and hoping your success keeps you motivated to stay the course.

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SHEILA-45 8/17/2012 9:54PM

    You can do this Susan! Just take one step at a time like the SP program; don't let it overwhelm you. Getting advice is a step in the right direction. I too have a money issue which I have yet to deal with... back taxes. There were a few bad years emotionally and I never did my taxes and now Uncle Sam is knocking on my door (thankfully not literally yet! ) So, I'll deal with that after the wedding ... Two weeks and 2 days away... emoticon

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CODEMAULER 8/17/2012 8:54PM

    Don't be afraid to ask for help - there are financial folks at your lending institution that are there to help you get on track!

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KANSASROSE67 8/17/2012 7:53PM

    Don't give up! Keep the momentum going and you will feel so empowered when you've taken control of this area of your life.

I have complete faith in your ability to handle this, and handle it well!

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BOVEY63 8/17/2012 6:28PM

    You are a very smart woman and will do a great job getting your budget in order - good idea to get help from the bank to get on track.

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JOANNANOW 8/17/2012 5:37PM

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Sounds like you are in the drivers seat Susan.
Have a wonderful weekend.
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ILOVEMALI 8/17/2012 5:20PM

    If you saw my office, you'd cry from the paperwork.

I keep telling myself that, if money is my only problem, then I am blessed. I try to differentiate "problems" from "inconveniences," and have decided that money is my only problem. I am blessed.

I hope that you have few problems, and that you get the money thing under control. I'm working hard to do it, too -- I know that we can do this!

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ANGRITTER 8/17/2012 4:53PM

    Been there, am still doing that!! I have a budget for the $400 allowance I get from my parents each month. I get $100 per week as I do all the taxes for the trucking business, and my parents want me to be able to guy food when they are not in town. Well, Aunt Di has $200 in food stamps per month, so we use those and I use my allowance for paying for my medication, doctors, etc. It really helps when I can pay for my own expenses and I don't have to ask for money.

So we have had completely different upbringings regarding money. However, I still stress about money, but am trying to not stress since I don't have any and know tomorrow I will still not have any.

But I know what you are talking about. I used to keep every dang piece of paper, and every bill and every receipt. Last year, I had a giant bonfire and burned all of the old bills - they were 5 years old! Then I started on the receipts as they were mostly faded so why keep them?

I am so happy that you are going to take over. I am sure it will be a relief to your husband to share some of the burden, and it's always good to know where you are financially.

But you sure have gotten a lot accomplished today! My only goal is to get my bed linens changed, and I have it stripped but not remade. So I am half way there!

Keep going, sweets, and you'll get it all together!

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SILVER1369 8/17/2012 4:30PM

    emoticon emoticon

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POPSY190 8/17/2012 3:48PM

    You will feel better about the debt now that you are taking charge of the problem. And you are going about it sensibly by getting help and making a plan to get organized. There's light at the end of the tunnel!

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Spark Motivator? Me? Surely you jest! Please read if you are struggling because I am too

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hi,

Let's see if my computer let's me post this before I lose it as has been the case for the past several weeks. We desperately need to have our computer cleaned up but that has to wait until we have our finances are in order which should be about a month from now! emoticon

I do some of my best thinking while walking the dogs and lucky for you, my dogs get walked everyda! Ha! So, while Maddy, Louisa, and Ginger were on squirrel and moose patrol last night I had a long conversation with myself. And to think people get locked away for talking to themselves. I try to keep my lips from moving in case the psychiatric police are lurking nearby and so far I've been undetected! emoticon

The past week has been an interesting one to say the least. I wrote a blog, SparkGuy responded, and suddenly I'm famous! Okay, famous in my own mind. I mean, come on now, how did I become a Spark Motivator? Me, who has been on Spark for two years and an now heavier than when I started?

And, then it dawned on me. Spark is a means to self-improvement. It is NOT a diet website. I might not have the diet thing mastered but my life has improved a lot since I was first directed to Spark. For those who don't know the story, it was my dog's vet who told me about Spark for she believes that healthy humans lead to healthy pets.

So, where have I come in two years? I'm still mentally ill but now I talk about my bouts of depression and S.A.D. with ease rather than humiliation. I now drink 8 glasses of water each day without thinking about it. I now feel guilty if I don't walk each day and I look forward to counting up the kms I've walked.

Where would I like to be? Well, to be honest, my weight problem still plagues me but with any journey you can't do it all at once. I also talked myself into believing it can be done. Am I the only one here who has been going through the motions but deep down doesn't believe I can actually lose the weight? AND, I'm a Spark Motivator.

At first I was alarmed that I was selected a motivator (okay, after my three minutes of fame I basically had a panic attack) but like I said above Spark is a tool. We all use it differently. For me, up until this point, Spark has helped me discover myself and to even like myself. Now, I realize it is time to get serious and stop letting the thoughts of being 50+ pounds overweight stop me in my tracks. But, that, my friends is fodder for another days walk!

Thanks to all of you who believe in me!



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Susan

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 8/16/2012 4:13PM

    I've been less than perfect, too, but I haven't given up. Likewise, you are still hanging in there. I think you are right to congratulate yourself on better self-image, on-going honesty, drinking 8 glasses of water, and the daily walk. All of these add up to improvements in health whether or not you ever lose another pound. Keep up the good work and you'll continue to motivate the rest of us.

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JLITT62 8/16/2012 5:00AM

    I don't see anything in the definition of motivator that says you have to succeed . . . BUT . . . and it's a big but . . . you do have to believe you'll succeed. You won't achieve it if you don't believe it. Sad, but oh so true.

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JAMER123 8/15/2012 11:01PM

    You do motivate us!! CONGRATS on the award!! You have figured it out that it isn't the diet/wt. loss that motivates but total body health. You have come so far and, yes, you may have more miles to go but you are on the right path!!! I am on the motivator list as well and haven't lost either. But, like you, I love to give others the Spark that I haven't kept going. Keep up the great work!!
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BOVEY63 8/15/2012 6:09PM

    You a Spark Motivator? Sure doesn't surprise me because you motivate me over and over again!
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POPSY190 8/15/2012 4:41PM

    No need to panic - just go on being yourself and you will continue being a positive force on SP. You have hit the nail on the head about the site; it's not about perfect bodies, quick fixes or image. It's about real people, with all the problems, anxieties and ups and downs that being human brings. Great blog.

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EJOY-EVELYN 8/15/2012 3:48PM

    emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 8/15/2012 3:13PM

    Self-improvement is right. None of us here are perfect, so we just keep going on and doing the best we can!

Congrats to you!

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ELLISH 8/15/2012 2:21PM

    I see why, that's for sure! Sometimes we don't even know why but it is what it is and you got it! ;)

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ANGRITTER 8/15/2012 2:06PM

    Woman, you know I love you to death!! This is exactly the same type of blog I would have written about it. Please know that we do hit that "motivator" button when we read your blogs, because you make people smile and you make them feel important. You respond to people positively and you ALWAYS have something nice to say. I know you've made me smile a hundred times on here with our little quirks we share. I feel like I have found a kindred spirit... maybe my Canadian Sister! We could remake the movie Strange Brew!! (I still have it on VHS and will never give it up!)

And the panic attack is normal... I would have had one too, but just know we don't expect anything more from you than what you have already given us: your smile, your witty comments, your agreeable nature, the fact you make comments on picture pages, etc. You are just an all around wonderful person. (And yes, make your husband read this one too!!!)

I love you and am sending you virtual hugs and the strength to get through you bout of "Fame". Enjoy it, you deserve it! Now go out and talk to yourself some more!! It's obviously working!

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NO_SNOW_BODY 8/15/2012 1:09PM

    Obviously believing in yourself was the first step

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GAYLE-G-63 8/15/2012 12:58PM

    emoticon

Dearest Susan,

It's your honesty that makes you such a great motivator. There are many of us who suffer with depression and other struggles that aren't as open about them. That fact that you can and do is incredibly admirable. There are many times I haven't felt quite so alone after reading one of your blogs athough I may not have told you. Thank you.

~Gayle~

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_LINDA 8/15/2012 12:53PM

    Well deserved Susan -because you are taking steps in the right direction for a healthy lifestyle. You are putting your struggle all out there for everyone to see and that is very brave. Especially with mental illness that most people would prefer to see swept under the carpet and hidden away. Its your living your life to its fullest and enjoying everything around you when times are good, but not being afraid to admit when things are dark. This is why we believe in you and you are motivator -because you keep coming back and never giving up! You will have to put up with longer than 15 minutes of fame now as you will be getting a flood of e-mails and congrats -hope that poor computer can hold up ;)
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GARDENQE2 8/15/2012 12:32PM

    You hit the nail right on the head..."I might not have the diet thing mastered but my life has improved"
YES! YES! YES!
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ILOVEMALI 8/15/2012 12:17PM

    Congratulations! Spark Guy was just validating what we've been telling you all along!

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SILVER1369 8/15/2012 11:31AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Goodbye - why I have had enough

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hello,

Now, don't go getting your collective knickers in a knot because of that blog title. I am not saying good bye to you my beloved SparkFriends but I am trying to say good bye to one of my most annoying personality traits. I am a die hard perfectionist.

Perfectionism often grasps me so tightly that I also become a procrastinator. So I am trying to say emoticon to one of those P words. If I am honest with myself I can see how my quest for perfectionism has kept me from actually moving ahead at all - and not just with weight loss.

I don't do a lot of things simply because I am not perfect at them. I know that sounds pretty stupid and even a little bit self-centred, but that is my honesty speaking. How many times have I not walked 5km a day and then felt terrible about that. Or how many times has one calories splurge prevented me from tracking my food?

Perfectionism is unattainable and the quest for it sets us up for failure. I am hereby going to lower my personal expectations so that I can actually move ahead with my journey instead of stopping in my tracks.

Here is a karate chop for all of you - because I know I am not alone in my wish to stop putting so much pressure on myself. emoticon Actually I just realized that that emoticon in not of a karate chop and my evil twin Mrs. P (perfectionism) wants me to change my wording but what the heck......

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVILPASSION 8/15/2012 11:34PM

    SIgn up for "Flylady" online -- even if your house is already clean she spends a lot of time coaching people to end perfectionism. The Motto this year is "Perfectionism is shelved in 2012". You're definitely not alone.

http://www.facebook.com/not
e.php?note_id=10150558091125252
&comments emoticon

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JOSHWATS 8/15/2012 10:02PM

    Great blog! I have struggled with the perfectionist/procrastinator also. I started Spark in 2010 but gave up when I couldn't "make" myself exercise every day and "couldn't" eat the right foods. I know now that those were excuses and that I don't ALWAYS have to eat right and I DON'T have to exercise every day. The next hurdle is to not get down on myself because I can't use a scale (due to my full time use of a wheelchair) but that I can use inches as my measurement instead. This blog had great insights. Thanks very much for sharing Susan.

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PATSYB7 8/15/2012 6:53PM

    Yes! I have been working very hard on this very topic--letting go of perfectionism. Baby steps! Congratulations on being named a SP Motivator. Keep up the good work!

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SHUTRBUG1 8/15/2012 2:03PM

    Sometimes we just have to say "this is good enough"!

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_LINDA 8/15/2012 1:04PM

    Good for you Susan! I don't know how I missed this, but I a very behind on a lot of Sparking as I was caught up in the Olympics and fair. I am going to say I have never had a problem with this probably because I suck at so many things and am just such an average Joe that if I actually do well at something it comes as a pleasant surprise lol. Having low expectations may normally keep one down, but not me as I am too stubborn to ever give up. Sometimes it takes a lot of head banging against the wall to realize I am simply not cut out for something! I guess that is why I am on such an even keel and doing tedious tasks like tracking everything and mindless factory work was a good fit for me. I wish you well in this important endeavor to just relax and let come what may. Giving it your best shot is all you can expect of you! To never have tried you let yourself down..


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INGMARIE 8/15/2012 7:28AM

    emoticonand we all have suffered or are suffering from "Perfection-noja"
I am trying my best to Kick it.
Thanks for a great blog.
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CHERIRIDDELL 8/15/2012 12:46AM

    I like this I tend to have the same problem!

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JOANNANOW 8/12/2012 9:52PM

    you are sooo cute... I like the little kick boxer. I think you're onto something with the perfection thing. As the surfers say "hang loose!"
sending hugs. emoticon

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HOPESINGH 8/12/2012 9:59AM

    You are perfectly (yes, perfectly!) right. The P word has been my closest friend for quite a while too, and one of the things I've been spending my time with my therapist on doing, is saying goodbye to this friend. Because somehow, in my case and maybe in other people's case, not doing something perfectly is not just bad, it's a failure, and it means I am not okay, and I do not deserve to be loved. Which is crap, of course.
Hope you part ways soon! Sending you lots of love and hugs!

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CHLOE453 8/12/2012 6:24AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 8/12/2012 5:19AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CASE4GRACE 8/11/2012 10:56PM

    I think you and I share the same DNA - I could have written this blog myself. To recognize that in ourselves is a huge step in the right direction The only thing I want to do to perfection anymore is to not be perfect - allow myself to live in the gray area the represents the balance between doing things perfectly and not doing things at all. I wish you all the best doing the same!

Comment edited on: 8/11/2012 10:57:35 PM

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GAYLE-G-63 8/11/2012 11:31AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PEDODGEBALL 8/11/2012 11:23AM

    Ah perfection, its hard to step away from it. I to am a perfectionist and some dyas it feels like it going to kill me. I am working on just doing the best I can instead of striving to always be perfect in everything I do. I'm glad your trying to shed that part of your life, you will be better for it.
Jeanne

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TXGRANDMA 8/11/2012 10:58AM

    emoticonthat you are saying Good Bye to perfectionism. I have the same problem but am getting better at it, where Spark People is concerned........Glad that you aren't leaving us! emoticon

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Q8PRINCESS 8/11/2012 7:54AM

    Yup, sometimes it just doesn't matter.

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POPSY190 8/11/2012 12:34AM

    I used to tell my students before exams to do the best they could IN THE TIME AVAILABLE. Too many able students didn't do well in timed exams because they were perfectionists and spent all their time on one question. Result: they didn't attempt all questions and lost a lot of marks. In this weight loss, health gain business we have to do the best we can in the circumstances we find ourselves in; I once heard someone say, "If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing badly." So better to do food and fitness tracking imperfectly than not to do it at all!
You're right to farewell Mrs P. Hello Mrs B- balance in all things!
I can hear your determination in this blog. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 8/11/2012 12:02AM

    Boy, was Lori right about you scaring us!! Miss P need to go away from us all and then allow us to function in a mode that we can try for the perfect day but if we fail, we don't flog ourselves for our failures but allow us to learn!!
emoticon for a great blog and emoticon emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/10/2012 11:38PM

    Quit scaring me like that! I nearly had a heart attack! emoticonLOL And you are so right about perfectionism! It is a cruel task master, and we MUST be free from it! emoticon

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LESSOFPMCD 8/10/2012 10:27PM

    I`m also a perfectionist. I think sometimes that I set the goal high for myself knowing I cannot attain it and therefore giving me an excuse not to try at all.

but I have learnt... When it comes to diet and exercise - something dome half way is better than nothing done at all.

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EJOY-EVELYN 8/10/2012 10:24PM

    Hi, Susan. This is a major step forward! Congratulations!

For me, it's not so much about perfectionism (although it's close) as it is about overachieving. If I go back into my awkward childhood, I don't believe I was ever chosen to be on a team early on . . . so this is probably my way of over compensating . . . I take the meaning of personal responsibility a little too personally, and then have great expectations for my SparkFriends like you who really want to see progress. Fortunately, taking responsibility also comes with success. I do wish I didn't have to work so hard at maintaining a healthy BMI.

Try to answer these questions in the affirmative: Are you overall satisfied with the person you are? And know that you have a lot of people who sincerely care about you on this web site alone! Are you ready to live a healthy lifestyle? Do you have some rewards in place as you reach a variety of the goals you've set? If so, then you are ready to reach for your dreams and make them your reality! Along with SMART goals, I'd probably use this time to get rid of the junk food and pledge to my pooch how often we'll be taking walks.

Looking forward to hearing how we can best support you. In the meantime, we're eagerly listening. Some pressure can be good. -- Such a fine line we walk! You're a great writer and organizer. The true test now is in the follow through. You are so deserving of the improved you that you will become with healthy living.


Comment edited on: 8/12/2012 8:44:04 PM

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BARCLE 8/10/2012 9:41PM

    emoticon and I liked the use of the phrase knickers in a knot - it's one this Kiwi gal uses quite frequently emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 8/10/2012 9:37PM

    Good for you!
Hugs!
Angela

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PURPLESPEDCOW 8/10/2012 9:09PM

    I think this and fear of failure are big problems for many of us

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GOOZLEBEAR 8/10/2012 8:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticongreat blog, I'm proud of you!

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ILOVEMALI 8/10/2012 8:26PM

    You are so smart!

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ILOVEMALI 8/10/2012 8:20PM

    You are so smart!

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ILOVEMALI 8/10/2012 8:20PM

    You are so smart!

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SUSANS706 8/10/2012 8:03PM

    emoticon Great post!!!

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ANGRITTER 8/10/2012 7:40PM

    OMG, he really did read your blog!!! How exciting! I guess everyone "liking" your blog worked out!

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SPARKGUY 8/10/2012 7:10PM

    Byby perfectionism -- hello building small healthy habits one at a time that will help you do your best and then continue improving at that one day at time and having a lot of fun along the way :).

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ANGRITTER 8/10/2012 6:49PM

    If we were all perfect we wouldn't be in the situation in which we find ourselves now! And I can't even walk and talk without falling down, but I do have perfectionist traits that I am trying to drop as well. But I started working on this when I quit my job in 2005 - I had a nervous breakdown and decided I could not live with that pressure anymore.

I have also lowered my expectations, but again I did this for another reason. I decided that if I lower my expectations, I will be surprised by the smallest of things! (Maybe I lowered it too low! HAHA)

But good for you for accepting you have a problem... that's the first step. It's the other 11 steps I have a problem with!

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SILVER1369 8/10/2012 6:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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