Goodbye 2009

Two thousand and nine. What a heck of a year. Sure, nothing significant happened until May of this year but it pretty much snowballed from there. I move out of my parents’ place and quickly learned what it means to really use your toiletries1. It has certainly made me look at money in a very different way than I ever used to. I still own a lot of different bottles of whatever but most of it are from clothing swaps2. At first I got saddened by the reality of my “poverty”3, but I quickly realised how much worse it could be and that this was the price I was paying for my independence. Not that I ever had issues with independence when I was living with my parents in the sense that they were very trusting and allowed me to come and go as I pleased BUT they were also always around to bail me out4.

So even though I’ve had this resolution for the last few years, I know that thanks to the consumer proposal I filed earlier this year I will actually be able to say that I have made a dent in the debts that I owe.

The next significant thing to happen, was not a pleasant event in the least but I would be lying if I said that nothing good came from it. Breaking up is always hard to do but I think it definitely gave me the courage to be open with what I want, and5 begin being honest with myself about what I want. I don’t know how I managed to do it but even in the five years I was in my last relationship I learned to be sure enough of myself to know that it’s okay to want what I want, and that I may even deserve it. I’m not sure when it started but every relationship I started, started with doubt for me. I doubted myself, and what I had to offer a relationship and the person I was in the relationship with. Naturally, I didn’t want to freak out the guy I just started seeing so I never said anything and held it all in. What a way to start a relationship right?

Well, the next resolution for this year would be to not be in a relationship unless it really makes sense for both of us6. If I’m not ready, and he is then too bad because I’m not ready. If I’m ready and he’s not, then too bad because he’s not ready. I can only hope that I am able to only keep dating people who are able to be honest with themselves and with me so that I can keep this resolution. I realise this might be a really hard one to keep since it relies on other people but that’s another thing I think I need to learn to do: rely on people.

I don’t like to rely on people because, people can let you down. But more often than not they actually surprise and delight you, but only if you let them. So resolution number 37 is to let people in.

Many people have told me about friends of theirs who have regaled stories or have told me themselves about how the 28th year of their life was a significant one for them. I felt it before anyone said anything to me the night I turned 28 and I’m feeling it even more as the months pass by. And as many of you know, I desire to make the world better for8 the people I care about the most9 and I figured that I can only do that by first taking care of myself. So yes, these resolutions are about me. But they’re about all of you indirectly.

And with that I just want to say thanks to you for still being here through this turmoil I’ve been through in the last little while10. I hope that your 2009 was a memorable one – whether there were hardships or not – and that it only helped you become the wonderful person I know that you are11. I hope too that the beginning of the next decade brings nothing but prosperity, love and understanding for you and everyone you love.

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions?

  1. to the very last drop []
  2. yes, we bring more than just clothes []
  3. obviously, this is a horrible word to use because at least I still have a roof over my head and food in my belly but can I please have this one… just this once?? []
  4. financially []
  5. at the very least []
  6. myself and whoever this dude might be []
  7. for those keeping track []
  8. at the very least []
  9. uh, yes I realise I tend to care a lot about a lot of people []
  10. even though you don’t comment, I know you’ve been here so thank you []
  11. and don’t you dare let anyone tell you otherwise []

Resolutions: The 69th day check-in.

Ayprel recently posted an update on her personal goals for 2009 and I was quickly reminded of my own goals and how I haven’t really checked in with them to see if I’ve made any progress. And so, like the eager beaver that I am… I had to come right over here and write a post about it!

To recap, my goals were:

  • Diet:
    • Keep up the diet1.
    • Lose another 8lbs.

So far, I don’t think I’ve done too badly. I’ve managed to keep up with the diet, giving into a few indulgences of french fries or pancakes on the weekends here and there2. But, I have only lost another 4lbs. I think this could have something to do with the fact that I’ve started some exercise and am building muscle. At least, I hope it is and that my ‘few’ indulgences were not more frequent than I allowed myself to think they were.

  • Exercise:
    • Become more active3.
    • Continue to go rock-climbing in 2009 or find an alternative.

I have not been rock-climbing since I came back from my holidays, I thought I had found someone else to go with but she hadn’t responded to my wall message on facebook… and then I left facebook for lent so I’m going to have to try and find someone else. I haven’t become quite as active as I want but I feel like I’m halfway there with Yoga twice a week. I hope to move this into a set 3 times a week and then pick up something else4 to do at least once a week. This will give me an activity to do four times a week, which I feel would be sufficient to say that I lead an ‘active lifestyle’.

  • Money:
    • Pay off at least 40% of my debt by the end of the year.

Can we talk about this one later?

  • Friends:
    • Keep in better touch with people

I don’t know why this one is so hard for me; I have gotten better with email but I have yet to start calling people on a regular basis. Baby steps right?

  • Blogging:
    • Manage my blogging time better so that I can stop blogging at work!

I actually have gotten better with this. This past Thursday was the first time that I had spent blogging at work since I made this resolution. That means I was blog free at work for approximately 64 days.

And there you have it; now I know what I need to do to get back on track. Its strange how this year feels like it has dragged on, yet we’re already on the 69th day of the year.

How are your resolutions doing?

  1. that I started at the beginning of December []
  2. all this before lent of course []
  3. by either joining a badminton or volleyball club, going for more walks, or even just help my Mum clean around the house []
  4. like the previously mentioned badminton or volleyball []

Diving in head first

Sometimes, the only way to do something is to dive in head first. No blind spots. No looking back. Just go. As some of you may know, one of my new year’s resolutions was to save money. And because of my debts I find it rather difficult to save said money. So today, I grabbed the bull by the balls and went to my local bank advisor and enquired about a consolidating loan.

I have never felt more responsible. As I sat in his office, with him tapping away at the keyboard, I was a nervous wreck. With a loan, once you make a payment you can’t access the funds again which is very different to how I’ve been dealing (or lack thereof) with my debt. As long as I had a balance that’s high enough – even if I continue to made payments towards it – I would spend whatever credit I had available.

So I figured that the best way to finally get rid of my debt was to get a loan that will help me pay off my credit cards, laptop, and personal line of credit. It wasn’t an option to simply increase my personal line of credit because then I would still be able to spend the money again once I earned some credit back by making payments. Anyway, after my oh-my-god-I’m-never-going-to-get-out-of-this-debt- I’m-having-a-panic-attack-can’t-wait-any-longer stint of waiting, he finally reported that the automatic approval didn’t go through so he would have to send it through manually (this could take 2-3 business days). Great. More nerve-wracking waiting. “Oh ok.”

If I get this loan, I will not only need to make lower payments per month but I will be able to plan my finances better. The only thing I need to watch for is racking up more charges on my credit card. I do need to keep a credit card for airline tickets and other such online purchases, but I need to watch my spending. This should be a little easier because while I was living in Ireland I had to get a credit card, but Irish banks give you the option to have your entire balance due at the end of the period – an option he made me promise to chose. And I’m glad he did because this has trained me a little bit in paying attention to my credit card balance in mind when I’m spending actual cash.

I know what you’re thinking, “Why couldn’t you just do that with your credit cards now instead of getting a loan?” Because my balances had gotten out of hand, and I just couldn’t keep up with it. And because the balances were so depressing, I usually ended up spending more (money I didn’t have) to cheer me up. It was quite the vicious cycle I had gotten myself into. I really hope I get this loan so I can get a fresh start with my finances – even if it is later than I should have. I was “hmm’-ing and “huh”-ing about whether or not to gethe loan because every application you make to a lending institution lowers your credit score… but heck, it’s better late than never!