maandag 28 februari 2011

Navigating the Reboot: Getting Back on Track After Falling Off of It. (The Track, I Mean.)

(Note to readers: This post is a tad self-indulgent. [On a blog! Go figure.] But hopefully, it'll help some folks who have been sidetracked on their financial and foodie journeys.)

Between September and early January, I was adopted by a cat, got married, went on my honeymoon, traveled to another wedding, got a new job, traveled for Thanksgiving, moved to a new apartment, blew through Christmas, traveled for New Year, broke my toe, and was buried in snow up to my cerebellum. Except for the prolonged limping, it was fantastic. I loved every minute with family, co-workers, and various strangers at the airport.

However.

You know all those good intentions you have stored in the back of your mind? And those behaviors you honed and practiced until they became habits? And those years and years of good financial, nutritional, and organizational practices, which you blog about almost every day, to the point where your husband asks with some regularity when you?re coming to bed?

Um.

Not to say I?ve spent the last few months buying Lexuses and cleaning out Chipotle. But I?m ludicrously out of shape, and my financial discipline has fallen way off. Part of this is (see above reasons). Another part is that I?m cooking for three different websites, all of which require an array of totally unrelated groceries. As far as the third part, I have no excuse. Spreadsheets made me sneezy? Yeah, that's the ticket.

Yet, my undies are not in bundles. It?s been a wonderful few months, which I wouldn?t trade for all 30 Rock reruns in the world. And, though it's not often mentioned in the frugality blogosphere, it's thoroughly possible to temporarily neglect budgeting and still feel okay about yourself.

But now, it's time to shape up, ship out (?), and get back on the horse. (You know the horse. It?s big and made out of money and noodles.) So here's my plan. Maybe it's applicable to your situation, too, and we can track our progress together. That would be neat.

1) Set some measureable goals, both long and short term. There's no better way to spark action and drive than having a quantifiable objective. For the short term, I'd like to get in shape, at least to the point where I'm not winded by subway stairs. For the long term, HOTUS and I would like to buy an abode before the apocalypse. So it's time to start saving.

2) Forecast necessities. First, the Commodore 64 from which I write this blog will soon be incompatible with ? anything remotely technological (though it will make an incredible paperweight). Second, I'm running out of contact lenses. Actually having none would not only impair my ability to see, but impair my ability to get fuzzies caught between my contact and my eye. And last, but not least, my iPod, which I love like a child, has a big ol' line running through the screen. Is this a necessity? That's like asking, "Can I live without daily infusions of Weezer's Pinkerton?" Which ? duh. No.

3) Create spreadsheets/tangible records. (*Sigh*) As it turns out, procuring a new job and a new husband kind of blows your former budgeting process to tiny pieces. Getting a handle on our spending, plus our combined financial powers, will go a long way towards accomplishing #1. Hello, Excel. Be nice to me.

4) Work out. For real, now. While dreams of being the first woman to play Major League Baseball have long been quashed by the sad acceptance of my A) total physical incompetence, and B) gender, it doesn't mean I should forgo exercise entirely. A 33-year-old shouldn't be stiff arising from bed in the morning. So, walking (and perhaps the dreaded jogging) will soon be in order.

And those are it for now. Readers, have you ever fallen off the horse? How did you get back on? Tips are sweet.

~~~

If this prolonged navel gazing appealed to you, you might also enjoy these:


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