A Phoenix Burning

Me and My “Great Ideas”

So, the holidays are fast approaching, and with the looming fear of imminent financial disaster (okay, so I’m being a tad melodramatic…) I came up with this bright idea.  “Let’s go on a spending diet for a month and see how much we can save!  Doesn’t that sound like fun?!  We’re all in this together (cue HSM music)!  Come on Family!  It won’t be so bad!  Let’s start tomorrow!” 

Well, now tomorrow is here…the Start-of-Diet-Monday.  Everyone is off to work and school, so I’m left with myself and I’m thinking, “THIS SUCKS!!!!”  I’ll put on my happy “We can do it!  RA-RA-RA!” face around the kids, but inside I’m a downer.

It was a tossy turny sort of night.  I’m in mind of the poem “The Whatifs” by Shel Silverstein, only the Whatifs are all grown up now and even scarier than they used to be.  They consist of things like job loss, savings wipeout, child-raising, war, riots, illness, death.  (You see, I have a very annoying brain…I worry.  And in my attempt to calm my worries I say things like, “Well, at least we are all healthy.”  Of course, my twisted mind takes that and does the “Whatif” dance…and churns and turns with the music of life, leading itself from one disastrous thought to another.  Normally, I can squash my brain and tell it who’s boss, but for some reason, last night my brain got the better of me. 

{Okay, wait….how the heck did this go from a “let’s save money” post to an “I couldn’t sleep last night because I was having panic attacks” post???  Back to the topic at hand.  Sorry!}

I was going to ask if anyone wants to go on this spending diet with us?!  It might be easier if we do it as a group.  I can set up a page if anyone is interested.  The idea is to spend only on necessities…no extras until Thanksgiving Monday (November 24th.)  To my family, that means no Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks, no McDonald’s, no pizza, no Chinese food.  That means no dollar bin toys from Target, no snack boxes and all homemade treats.  That means no expensive steaks from the butcher, and no music from itunes.  That means no light for over my kitchen sink even though my other one broke and it’s driving me batty.  That means staying home more, so I’m driving less (even though gas is down to $2.79 here!  YAY!)  And a myriad of other little sacrifices.  Our goal is to save $500 this month.  It sounds like a HUGE unreachable amount, but if you’re gonna have a goal, you might as well make it a big one.  And an extra $500 would make our Christmas MUCH more enjoyable.  Anyone in???

And for those who have never heard my favorite author’s poem, here it is:

Whatif

 

  •  
      Last night, while I lay thinking here,
      Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
      And pranced and partied all night long
      And sang their same old Whatif song:
      Whatif I’m dumb in school?
      Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
      Whatif I get beat up?
      Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
      Whatif I start to cry?
      Whatif I get sick and die?
      Whatif I flunk that test?
      Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
      Whatif nobody likes me?
      Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
      Whatif I don’t grow taller?
      Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
      Whatif the fish won’t bite?
      Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
      Whatif they start a war?
      Whatif my parents get divorced?
      Whatif the bus is late?
      Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
      Whatif I tear my pants?
      Whatif I never learn to dance?
      Everything seems swell, and then
      The nighttime Whatifs strike again!

      – Shel Silverstein

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One response

  1. Wish I could convince hubby to save a little money, but he likes to spend it… like eating out every day for lunch, while I’m home eating leftovers 😛

    And, since you get to rub in the fall colors and snow, I have to let you know that gas prices here in town were at $2.19 yesterday.

    October 29, 2008 at 7:13 am

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