Monday, December 26, 2011

Post Christmas Blues

I'm so very, very thankful that Christmas is done.  It was a good holiday, but the stress of the season and some surrounding events has become a heavy, crushing force and I'm teetering on the brink of exhaustion.  Christmas itself is stressful enough with shopping and juggling time between families, keeping up with old traditions, trying to establish some of our own traditions and so on.

The past twelve days, though...whew.  The hubs was in a car accident twelve days ago.  Not his fault, he was sitting at a red light in his Saturn Ion and got hit by a work truck with an attached trailer that was going about 40mph.  I'm very aware that he was incredibly fortunate and I have no doubt that some other-worldly forces were at work in allowing him to be able to physically walk away from that.  Our kiddo was not in the car, either, which is so much of a blessing.  Hearing a police officer say that the back third of the car was mostly gone and that the rear bumper was in the front seat was one of the most surreal things I've ever experienced.  When I got to the accident scene and saw it, I could barely breathe.  At first glance, it didn't look so bad, but when I saw my kiddo's booster seat flipped over and wedged into a narrow space (that she physically could not have fit in), that old heart condition I have started acting up and I could feel that flutter in my chest as the rhythm starting getting all out of whack.

I'd held onto some hope that somehow the insurance would pay for repairs.  In my heart, I knew it wasn't true, but I hoped anyway.  Financially, taking on a second car payment is not a good idea for us and I just kept that hope alive...hoping and hoping and hoping some more, but we got the news last week that there was no way the insurance company was repairing it and they declared it a total loss.  I agonized over what to do.  The payout isn't enough for a new car, not even close--that old Ion had almost 100k miles on it and since Saturn no longer exists, it wasn't worth much.  But, we were thankful to get anything for it and we went back and forth over whether to just buy something used and hope for the best or to make a long term investment and buy something new.  Thinking about it hurt my brain.  I have two years of payments left on my car and we hadn't planned on getting the hubs a new car until mine was paid off. 

Clearly, destiny had a different idea.

We really only had five days to make our decision.  That's how long the law gives us with a rental after a vehicle has been declared totaled.  I hated being rushed, but I went with my gut and after lots of careful consideration, the hubs and I became reluctant owners of a new vehicle today.  I mean, we'll figure it out and make it work, but it's just not a position I wanted to be in.  The salesman we worked with came highly recommended and with the end of the year incentives, rebates and our down payment, we're financing roughly half of the total cost and the payments will be somewhat manageable.  It comes with a pretty good warranty that we'll hopefully be able to extend later.  I would have liked to do it now, but it would have pushed the monthly payments out of our price range.  On a good note, the first payment isn't due for 60 days and the insurance company will reimburse us for the sales tax, transfer fees for the plates, etc.  With that refund, it will actually be about six months worth of car payments that we won't have to worry about right away.  I keep reminding myself that things will work out somehow.  They often do.  I'm working hard to keep the faith and believe that it'll be okay, but it's more of a struggle these days. 

As for the decision to go with a new car instead of used...after working with the numbers, we would have saved about $50 or so per month on a used vehicle, which is a good amount, but I couldn't help but wonder what it would cost us in the long run to take over a vehicle that's already a few years old with no warranty and who knows what kind of repair needs.  It's a gamble no matter what.  I feel good that we at least have a solid factory warranty in place. 

I'm off work today and just trying to breathe and relax.  I work through Friday and then actually took next week off.  My kiddo deserves some uninterrupted time with me to just have fun and put this December behind us.

Rather than making a New Year's resolution, I'm making an end-of-year resolution.  My sister asked me to complete a 5k with her in the spring and I've decided to do it.  I looked into the Couch Potato to 5K running program and I do believe I can do it.  I have to be careful with my knees, so I'll probably stretch the program into longer than 12 weeks so I don't hurt myself.  My resolution for the end of 2011 is to get a good pair of running shoes.  One teeny, tiny goal on the way to a bigger goal.  I did a 5k a few years back so I know I can do it again.  Just have to get this old body moving again.  I'm not much of a runner and I don't anticipate doing very well at the 5k, but just finishing it is going to be my goal.

Speaking of resolutions, I took a look back at what I resolved to do in 2011 and here are my results:

  • I planned on attending three concerts this year.  Pete Yorn, Matt Nathanson and Mat Kearney.  Goal completed!
  • Blogging weekly.  HAHAHAHA!  HOHOHOHO!  SNORT GIGGLE SNORT.  Yeah, not even close.
  • Referral to orthopedist.  Nope.  My knee still has the mystery bubble that appears and disappears.
  • Reading one book per month.  I do believe this was completed.  I didn't always update my Goodreads account, but I've done a lot of reading and really enjoyed it.
  • Taking more pictures.  Yes, I did take more, even though my good camera was broken.
  • Pay off one credit card.  Done.  Done twice actually.  They were small balances, but it felt so good to get those out of the way.
  • Spend more time outside.  I did good with this for a while, especially over the summer when I spent a crazy amount of time out on my bike every night.
That's about it.  And really, that's enough.  Here's to hoping for a quiet week and a relaxing end to 2011.  I'm so ready for 2012.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Look! It's Me!

Wow, December snuck up on me.  November zipped by as I made my first attempt at NaNo.  The semester is done, thank goodness.  It wasn't a great session, but it's over now and I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of no teaching before the new semester starts.  Christmas is two weeks away and I'm almost done shopping, which is good.  I did lots of shopping online this year, with only a few adventurous forays into the stores.  I just don't do well with crowds.  Years ago, I always had my shopping done by Thanksgiving, but these days, my schedule doesn't allow for that. 

Anyhoo, I've been busy, as always, juggling work and home and trying to squeeze in some time for myself here and there.  My kiddo's been having a really hard time lately.  She's so intense and so obsessive about things.  I'm doing what I can to teach her to lighten up a bit.  That's kind of ironic coming from me, considering my own personality.  I just want her to have fun and be a kid.  Kids these days have so much to do, so much to worry about, so much on their plates.  I refuse to make my kiddo grow up too soon.  She needs to be able to play and be goofy and silly, the way kids are supposed to do.  I always felt old, even when I was young--that whole "old soul" thing--and I find myself enjoying things as an adult that I think I should have enjoyed more when I was younger.  It's fine to enjoy stuff as an adult, but I don't ever want my kiddo looking back with a sigh of regret over all the things she didn't do.  I hope that's one lesson I can teach her.  Life is too short with too much uncertainty to let things slip by.

And that's my philosophical moment of the day.  For now, I've got laundry to fold and a house that needs cleaning.  Not that either of those are likely to get done tonight, because I'm really thinking about going to bed.  Sleep is the definite winner tonight.