Monday, February 28, 2011

An Object in Motion

I was going to pop in on Friday with a quick update, and then Saturday happened, and then Sunday happened, and then today happened, each with their own update-worthy events. The moral of the story is: Blog. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, because life moves fast.

Here are the first two posts in the queue:

Friday’s post: I feel like myself for the first time in weeks!

I didn’t notice it until the day was mostly over, but during the late afternoon on Friday, I realized that I felt better than I had in weeks. I spent the whole month of February feeling like a hollow shell of myself. I went through the motions of going to work and coming home but I was doing the bare minimum in both places and I couldn’t figure out how to pull myself out of it. I was making up errands to run at lunch to avoid talking to co-workers, dropping really important balls at work, falling back on uninspired, lazy dinners for Elliot and barely eating myself, and sleeping like crap. On Friday, I paused what I was doing for a minute and noticed I’d felt like Me all day. I’d accomplished things, I’d talked to people, I’d had moments of feeling like I was competent enough to hold my job… It was really nice. The contrast made me all the more aware of how dark and cold the previous weeks had been.

Saturday’s post: New camera!

M and I have tossed around the idea of upgrading to a DSLR for a while now, but the expense has always cut the conversation short. The idea is always there on the back burner but the time is never right to make the investment. We experienced a bit of a financial windfall last week. Well, it wasn't a windfall exactly... or at all. It was really more of a gentle breeze that swept away a few leaves so we could see the pathway underneath. Specifically, we did our taxes and found out that M is getting a hefty refund (All hail the Adoption Tax Credit!) and we applied for and received a credit card with a 0% intro APR and a exorbitant limit. [Side note: It's no wonder so many people are buried in debt in this country. There is NO explanation for why we should have been given this much credit except that the company is hoping we'll hang ourselves with it.] The purpose of applying for the credit card was to finance a major trip we're taking with M's family this summer and also for TTC expenses our HELOC can't soak up, so that funding stream is already spoken for. And of course, the tax return is promised to sperm, ultrasounds and Fol.listim (oh my!) before it is even received.

About that trip... It will be a great time, no doubt, but it's not "our" trip. M's brother has set the itinerary and we really can't afford to extend our time there to do our own thing on one end or the other. So, as glass-half-empty as this makes me sound, it's made saving for the trip feel like more of a burden than it would if we were splurging on a vacation of our own choosing, and the fact that it is falling during such an expensive year for us (again, not our choice) makes it even harder. The anticipated hemorrhaging of money has resulted in some major belt-tightening around here over the past several months. We aren't eating out except in a pinch, and then we're only using group.ons and gift cards. Since the holidays, we have refrained from shopping for anything but bare essentials. We've cancelled our cable and our gym membership. Our landline, net.flix and other monthly expenses we can live without are next on the chopping block. All this is just to say we've been making sacrifices and they are likely to linger long after the trip and the IVF cycle as we continue to pay them off. 

Between the tax return, the 15 months of free financing at our disposal, and all of the cost-cutting we've done and will continue to do, I decided we each deserved one "treat" purchase on the new credit line. (I say "I decided" because as sensible and pragmatic as M is, she is ALWAYS down to splurge on toys and I am generally opposed to all such purchases - one of the many ways in which we balance each other out.) Once we'd decided to take the plunge at some point during the credit card promo period, it only made sense to buy the camera (and M's new 4) as soon as possible. The sooner the purchases, the more time to enjoy them, to get value out of them... and to start paying the darn things off! The cards arrived Friday, we went shopping on Saturday, and the plastic has since been locked up in the safe where it can stay out of trouble until its designated purpose beckons!

It amuses me up a bit that I've had as much guilt over the purchase as I have. I mean, once you've stared down a $12,000+ IVF cycle, $700 for a camera really should seem like chump change. Still, the little voice inside my head is nagging me... "Gah! That could have been three days of Fol.listim! You are so irresponsible!" I just keep reminding myself that we work hard at our jobs and we NEVER spend money on things like this, and as splurges go, this one is a really good investment. I'm excited to see the value it will add to our family memories for years to come. And also, it made this months' photo project so much more fun!

OK, I'm packing it in for tonight. Coming soon to this space: Sunday's post: Meet The Beatle! (a.k.a. we picked a donor) and Monday's post: The appraisal for our refinance came in way higher than we expected! Should we move? Help!!

Oh and also, my blog has a new look. It's nothing fancy - no need to click over from your reader. I actually won a custom blog design back when I was hooked on giveaways so this was mainly housekeeping to prepare for that transition. I'm hoping to get the code for that soon. In the meantime, I'm just excited to have a blogroll that bears some resemblance to the blogs I actually read these days, rather than the terribly outdated one it replaced. It's the little things in life sometimes, isn't it? :-)


jessie said...

Like the new layout! Exciting that you picked a donor! I'm just like you with spending money and Greta is just like M. Too funny. I'm glad you treated yourselves and that you're feeling better!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on everything! I'm glad to hear you're doing better. I already commented about your camera on FB, but I still think it's really exciting. :-D Just wait, though, until you get REALLY hooked on photography, you can spend that much on just one lens! Not, you know, that I would ever do something like that. *ahem*

Now, let's see if I can actually get this comment to go through...

Pomegranate said...

Congrats on the camera! I've been dying for a DSLR for so long and with the baby coming it seems like it's almost a necessity except of course with the baby coming it's even harder to find the money to spare. I'm trying really hard not to use the 0% APR credit card we got before the Australia trip.

I may just buy a portrait lens and borrow a Canon Rebel from school for the summer. It's not like anyone's going to be using them.

I did get Tam an iPhone 4, but I got her a refurb that was only $99. She needed a new phone.

What kind of camera did you get? I want to vicariously enjoy your purchase. :)

Inlocoparentis said...

Hey, these pictures are great - you missed your calling! Glad your spirits have lifted a little. :)