Monday, December 2, 2013

Late November melt-down: a new Christmas tradition?

Every so often, I'll rethink the name of this blog.  I'll look at my attitude and the things around me and show gratitude.  I'll think, "you know, the whole 'neurosis' thing really isn't true anymore.  I should rename the blog."  Then, I'll experience something like Friday.  

I let things get to me quite easily.  In recent weeks, I've been experience setback after setback.  After each one, I feel really optimistic that my losing streak is over.  One of the lowest points was that my stepmother was in a car accident.  The car accident was serious enough that the difference of a few inches would have been fatal.  Incredibly scary stuff.  On a small level, my bad luck may have begun with the breaking of the teapot (sad, but not financially devastating), then the breaking of my favourite mug (oh, come on now), and then the breaking of my computer and the tune up of my car.  This was all compounded by stress at my workplace.  You'll have to trust me on this one, because I won't be writing about it here.  I still really like my job, even when I'm not enjoying it in the moment.  Adding everything up, the main stressor was money, at least, on the surface.

In some ways,  I've done all of this to myself.  I'm currently in the middle of a course at the university.  I'm finding the course material to be meaty, but the professor to be, well, easy.  There's nothing here for me, and if he's not interested in really teaching it, I'm not interested in learning it.  Part of the course is a recap presentation of the previous weeks' material.  To be performed in groups.  My computer decided to crap out on me, the weekend before we were supposed to have the slides ready (for each other, not for the prof or anything. In retrospect, I don't know why I was so worried.  I guess I didn't want the other people in my group to think I was a slacker).  We agreed to have them to each other on Monday. To cut the story a little short, I ran around to different computers I knew.  I borrowed my brother's old one (which then proceeded to freeze on me and run updates forever), then went to the library (sat beside a thirteen year old who had not discovered deodorant yet.  Also, he was having trouble with the mouse; he kept picking it up and slamming it down again).  Then, near tears, I called my parents and asked if I could come out and do the work at their place (at least partially because I didn't want to go to jail for beating the shit out of a thirteen year old boy).  Also, I didn't completely understand the material*.  Luckily, my stepmother did, and helped me finish my slides for it.

The following Monday, my group and I stayed after class and went through our slides.  The long-winded "I'm-so-fucking-smart" douchebag had submitted 20 slides. 20!  ("The Lord is testing me," I thought.)  I had submitted 10, and the other girl had submitted 10.  The last guy, was putting them all together into a cohesive slideshow for us. At 40 slides, we knew we had to cull a lot.  I was quiet throughout the process, seething to myself.

"Guys," the woman said, "you've just cut out all her slides."
"Oh.  Really?" said the douchebag.
"Yes," I said, "I wrote ten slides and you've decided we don't need them."  And fuck you very much, I thought.

Most of my slides are back in now, but not before making me feel like my work (which was an incredible pain in the ass to complete), wasn't worthwhile.  The hatred I have for this course is officially at 11. 

I took my computer into the shop, because I really couldn't deal with purchasing a new computer this close to Christmas and I needed a computer**.  The cost of the fix was less than $100 - it was just labour - so that was good, I suppose.  When I went to pick it up, the lady said to me, in her thick accent:

"This computer is very old.  It breaks again, you don't bring it back, you buy new one!"  Then we both laughed and I explained how attached I'd become to my computer***. Being a computer nerd, she understood.

On Monday, I took my car in to have the snow tires put on.  My car's been stuttering a little bit as well, so I had them look at that, too.  I had the bring the car back in later in the week, to the tune of $650.00 (this included the tires and an oil change).  A small part of me can't help but feel that my previous mechanic - now out of my reach, being near my parents' place - wouldn't have charged me as much.  In reality, though, my car is getting long in the tooth, and this kind of bill is only going to be more frequent as time goes on.  I need to look at buying a new car.

I went to visit my parents on Friday night.  After trying to sit and fix my father's computer****.  My dad's laptop had  been taken over by some rather nasty malware.  A malwarebites scan showed 393 objects. 393!  I sat to take care of the issues while they tried to coerce me into watching a movie and having a drink with them.  That was when it all became too much and the tears started.  I've just not been having a good time, and it would be helped if I had a healthier relationship with money.  

As usual, when I'm having these terrible knee jerk reactions to any situation, I have to analyze it a bit.  Money was tight after my parents broke up.  I'm not sure if it was actually tight, or if this was my fears coupled with parental anxiety.

Every time I get exceedingly emotional around my mother or father, they ask the same thing: "have you told your counselor about this?"  No, we just eat cookies for an hour and then I pay her a lot of money once every two weeks.  It's not like I'm running out of things to talk to her about. I suppose they ask because they both still feel guilty that I'm still going to see one.  I know that I'm my own person, and responsible for my own feelings, but I don't necessarily think they're off the hook for their feelings of responsibility. A large part of me thinks that they suspect I'm not working as hard at getting better or taking therapy seriously, as though I could just focus really hard on that for a month and then "all better!"  Well, for September, I focused on being an adult, my abandonment issues, my overeating, and generally getting over everything in the universe, and then in October, I reorganized my closets!  Life is full of projects! I'm king of the world!  Come to my wedding and then meet my house and my baby!  Wouldn't want to do any of it in the wrong order!  Oh, do you like those ornaments?  I built them myself out of my own hair and vomit!  Which is incidentally how I lost all this weight!  Yup, my back teeth are rotten now, but there's now a gap in my thighs, happy day! You should totally pin that on a Pinterest board! Wowee! Zap! Pow!

I should probably stop here.  This is my story to tell, but I don't want to feel like I'm betraying my parents by saying too much. They still deserve at least a little privacy, especially in this online world of tattletales and braggarts.

At this point, I should mention that I did manage to order a computer online this weekend.  My friend had a good lead on a deal, and her fella was able to help me decide between a few, so it's on its way to me in a little while.  


*It was on Net Present Value, a concept that is so simple, and yet textbooks tend to over explain.  For clarity, Present Value is the amount of money you have to set aside today, in order to gain interest and have a certain amount some time from now.  That's it. The numbers change, and the formulas change, but that's the basic principle. 
**I had taken on another project and was determined not to fail this time.  I'm really tired of starting things and then not finishing them, but I needed my computer for this.
***Entirely true.  I can't believe how much I love TankGirl, my Lenovo R61
****Kind of a touchy subject for me.  My father, like many parents, will experience troubles with his computer and then blame it on the one time I've used it to check my email  weeks ago.

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