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Miscellany: seasonal

10 Nov

Today is the first day in three weeks I’ve not exercised. It’s a measure of how I’ve changed my life in the past month that this is a milestone. I’m now considering what to do when I’ve completed the 30 Day Shred in a week or so; probably another similar programme by Jillian Michaels, to be honest. I just can’t quite trust myself to do the stuff I hate (squats, lunges, planks) without her drill sergeant tones urging me on. Think I’m ready to top it up with a couple of classes – spin and Body Pump for preference.

I’m delighted to have reached 12st 6lbs today. Definitely a size 14, more than halfway to the dare-to-hope 11st where I finally get to be in the healthy BMI range for the first time in my adult life.

The progress has not, though, been helped by the as-yet unreplaced ripped HotPants. Anyone else think Zaggora’s customer services aren’t up to much? Eight days today since I returned them, but no replacement pair has yet appeared.

Christmas’ arrival is inexorable. I love Christmas – not least because five uninterrupted days with my mum is a joy. Christmas is for family, so me and Londonshrink go our separate ways to our own families; we have plenty of time together the rest of the year, but a Christmas without him for his mum or without me for mine would, I know, ruin their days. I adore time with my mum (and my dad and brothers), and that’s one of the most special things about Christmas.

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Sunday Sunday here again

6 Nov

Box

I feel lacking in self-will. Two of my November resolutions are already broken. Last night I hosted the Academical Couple for dinner and broke resolution #7 (not to drink); and blogging today as the first time since Thursday breaks resolution #1 (writing here every day). Rats.

Thinking about my lack of self-discipline in these two areas (my excuses are no more than tirednes and inclination towards a lovely glass of cava) led me on to contemplation of the area of my life that lives in a big black box in the corner of my brain with the lid tightly closed: money. Broadly speaking, my life is good – full of purposeful activity, good food, exercise, time with my boy Londonshrink and our wonderful friends like the Academical Couple. I have a great job that pays well. But my financial affairs are a mess, and I’m scared even to be honest with anyone about the extent of the mess. Despite working for a decade, my student loan appears not to be paid off, and the personal loan I took out to fund a holiday and some extras just seems to get bigger rather than smaller (currently at around £7k). I have a credit card that needs paying off (around £2k) and miscellaneous obligations of perhaps another £500. I have no mortgage, and my rent is manageable; I have no kids, no car, no store cards. I don’t really have expensive tastes: my clothes are high street and usually secondhand/charity shopped rather than new. We don’t regularly travel on huge adventures around the world. I probably eat out (2/3 times per month?) more than I should and spend too much on crap – books, coffees, nice food to try. Still, I am too scared to open the post at times for fear of the unexpected bill that leaps out at me and takes all my spare cash. I have no savings, no pension, no disaster money, no escape fund.

I know I need to sort this mess out: watching Londonshrink pay off his loan for his masters degree should have inspired me, but it just leaves me feeling small and scared and overwhelmed.

So I have a thought (maybe it’s a silly one, of the type that comes to you in the shower as your legs are still shaking from Level 3 of the 30 Minute Shred); maybe I could get one of the wonderful frugal bloggers to give my finances the once-over in return for an equivalent amount of time spent by me doing something that would help them? I’m good at several things that others find daunting:

    I craft great job applications that help get people over the shortlist hurdle and into the interview, and I’m great at helping people prepare for interviews and tests
    I’m a good career coach and mentor, and able to help people make decisions for themselves about their direction in life
    I write great speeches and presentations and am a practised editor of the written word
    I understand politics and social policy and will happily run skillshare workshops on a range of issues.

So, maybe out there there’s someone who needs help with their career or is looking for work, needs an editor for their NaNoWriMo project or dissertation, needs help putting together a great campaign to save a local service or just wants me to spend some time working through their direction in life with them. All in return for an afternoon spent sorting out my finances with me – a skills exchange, if you will. Does anyone know that person?