2010 is a rebuilding year for me. Lots of things are broken, or not far from it, and the no-longer-quite-so-new year seems like as good an excuse as any to renew my resolve to start addressing that fact with something more than denial and ineffectual freaking out. Not that denial isn't fun, but it's nice to switch things up now and again. And, while dealing with reality does, quite often, bring the freak out, it's generally less fun than denial. If it's not going to be fun, it should at least be useful, right? So, for the new year: minimal denial and only effectual freaking out.
What's that you say? Yes, yes - I understand that some people manage to accomplish things without freaking out at all. Yes, I *have* tried it. Yeah, it's great, but-- LISTEN! I AM NOT THOSE PEOPLE, OK?!
Where was I? Ah, yes. The new year is off to a great start, thanks to the first of my Effectual Freakouts. The initial freakout actually happened last year, but I didn't take any action on it until now. It went something like this:
Reality (early 2009): Well, you've really made a mess of your finances. Time to focus on paying down those balances. Well past time, in fact. *sigh* IF I pay this much for this long...
Denial (in intermittent bursts throughout the year): Oooh, cute shoes...I've been wanting that CD...But, I've got to eat, right? And I'll order something cheap...Must.Have.Coffee...It's not for me...OMG, True Blood!...Well, it *is* on sale...
Reality (also in intermittent bursts) + Ineffectual Freakout: It's on sale, and I still can't afford it. I don't have any money and I'm all out of credit. Holy shit, I don't have any money and I'm all out of credit! How the hell am I out of credit?! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH CREDIT THAT WAS?! That's it - no more retail therapy. I'm going to exercise discipline and...yeah, that'll never work. Maybe I'll check out those debt management programs. Yeah, that's it - I'll check out those debt management programs.
Action (late-ish 2009): DMP checked into - yay, me! I can't do it until after my conference, but it's nice to have a plan.
Reality + denial: Ok, ok - I can't do it until after my conference. So, I might as well wait until the beginning of the year. I mean, I might need my credit cards over Christmas. And I need a few things for work. And I do still have those store cards. A little more wouldn't hurt...
Reality + Effectual Freakout: Jesus, Apollo, and Thor - what is wrong with me?! Wait - don't answer that! Baby steps...baby steps...OK! If I call them right now I can sign up for the program!
Action: *Spends two whole days doing and redoing budget for the year. Then spends what feels like hours on the phone, closing out accounts.*
Ineffectual Freakout + Denial + Reality: *Has total crisis because have had these credit cards longer than have ever dated anyone and--* Maybe I could just keep the one card...for emergencies? And it's better for my credit rating if I can keep one open, right? Right?! Oh, God. This is going to suck. And, I'm never going to be able to live by myself. I want to move! How am I ever going to be able to move?!
7. Reality + Effectual Freakout: Shut UP! You can't keep the one card because you have to close that OTHER card from them. And, you can't move anyway because you spent all your money! You're screwed!!! The best you can do is put the plan in motion and suck it up!
So, the plan is in motion. Which frees me up to freak out about all sorts of other things! Next up: health. No, dating! No, no - career--