My motivation to do, well, just about anything has been low the last couple of days. I haven’t been feeling very well physically, and although I suspect exercising would help, it’s really hard to push myself to work out when I feel weak and tired and my head is pounding. I did just conclude one of my busiest weeks at work to date, culminating in an outdoor event that began at 6 a.m. in cold, drizzly weather Friday, and I suspect I’m just due for a few days of rest and relaxation.
My eyes are glazing over at the sight of Craigslist apartment ads, so I may go drive around looking at “for rent” signs today. I have mostly decided against the studio, as much as I like it. I explored the surrounding area and it’s truly a concrete jungle. I wouldn’t mind except that I walk my dog at least twice a day and I think it makes more sense to live in a more lush, walkable (and, yes, safer-feeling) neighborhood if possible.
I guess I’m just feeling a little sorry for myself right now. The 6+ weeks of small paychecks at work (while we transition to a different pay schedule) have been frustrating at a time when everyone is working so hard. I feel guilty about every dollar I spend, mostly just on food, and I wish I didn’t. I’m not in dire straights and am having no problem paying for the necessities. It’s more psychological, I guess. Wanting more to show for my effort. More generally, I wish I weren’t forced to look at the absolute cheapest apartments available on the market. If I could spend even $200 more a month on a place to live it would be such an obvious improvement. Better layouts, more storage, less grime, and maybe even fewer crazy neighbors.
I already don’t have cable, don’t have a smart phone, don’t shop much. There’s only so much I can cut back on. I’m sure the personal training sessions “should” go, but I’m hanging onto them as long as I can. Most personal finance books and blogs would probably tell me that at this point, I should focus on earning more money, not just spending less. Take on a “side hustle,” at the very least. A weekend or part-time job, a freelance gig, or a side business. The idea is not altogether unappealing to me, although I’m not sure what I’d do and how I’d manage to do it while staying sane.
It should go without being said that I know I don’t truly have it that bad. But something I have been appreciating about the personal finance writing for women I’ve been consuming lately (like Smart Cookies) is that this genre encourages women to want more. To set higher goals for earning power and financial security. To go beyond paying the bills to think about building wealth. I work in the non-profit sector for an organization that serves the poor, and I come away feeling very conflicted about all of this. Conflicted about what I want and should want, what I deserve. I also have never wanted to be one of those young people who thinks they immediately deserve great jobs, great homes, great incomes, etc. before putting the work in. Nor have I ever wanted to be “rich,” whatever that I means. But I do feel, deep down, that I need to aspire to more. That I do work hard enough to warrant a comfortable life.
Anyway, enough whining. It has been cathartic and I’m feeling a little more energetic again. Ready to get out of the house and make this Sunday count.