Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Swamp of Sadness

I've been having an extremely challenging time with life lately and the best comparison I could come up with was the Swamp of Sadness from The Never Ending Story.  

For those of you unfamiliar with The Swamp of Sadness, its a horrible place that if you start to get consumed with sadness, you sink and die.  If you, despite the gloomy surroundings stay positive, you can cross with no problems.  

I am the White Horse:  
Oh hey Karen & Dennis, your car engine broke and Mazda won't cover it, please pay us $9,000

Ok. So shitty things happen in life and you deal with them best you can.  Dennis' car engine broke and Mazda refused to honor their warranty.  $9,000 isn't chump change, but totally manageable.  Welcome to the Swamp of Sadness.
and then...
Oh hey Karen & Dennis, the plumbing in your PA House is F'ed up, it needs to be fixed
  So this was a $1,000 fix, again totally manageable, but things are starting to get tight, and its really starting to get to me. I'm about halfway sunk into the swamp. 

and then... 
Actually, there is something REALLY wrong with the plumbing and we have to Dig up the Yard and Replace the Pipe

And after hearing the cost of THAT repair, I literally found myself neck deep in the Swamp, and it wasn't looking good.  I felt like giving up.  I felt like every coupon I clipped to save money was for nothing, because in less than 2 months, I was pushed so far back financially, it was beyond believable.  I couldn't be more upset about what was happening, and everything else that I had ever been sad about consumed my brain.  It was not good.  

The only thing left to do was to sit down and see what cuts we could make to afford our unexpected expenses.   

1.  Crossfit.  It PAINS me to even admit to this.  Normally this expense we would defend to anybody that would say it's too expensive.  I still stand my ground that it is worth the cost, but only if you can afford it.  Currently we cannot.  We've talked about supplementing a true membership to Crossfit with looking at the Main Site's WODs and make do with the equipment we have and/or see if we can get some things via Craigslist until our situation changes.  

2.  Daycare.  Chain Daycare Centers are beyond expensive.  It's sickening how much they cost and there are only two other alternatives.  A.  Stay Home (which is not an option for us) or B. Bring your child to a "Basement" Daycare.  And that is the option we are choosing.  Obviously we are doing all the proper research and making sure Shane will be safe.  

3.  Cable.  Unfortunately, we are locked into a 2 year commitment with VIOS so until that is over, we have downgraded ANYTHING that was possible to save $ per month. 

4.  Cell Phone.  Again, waiting for our 2 year contract to be up and then switching companies to a cheaper alternative.  

5.  Misc. Cuts that hopefully will make up the difference. 

So here I am, trimmed to the bone, and feeling completely sick about what cuts I've needed to make in order to get to zero, and then something really weird happened.  

Today, Sept 22nd, I was scheduled to run a 10 Mile Race.  With everything going on, I had been slacking in my training and just basically feeling sorry for myself.  In fact, I was SO close to just skipping the race all together.  

Then I thought about it more.  I said to myself, Karen, just run the first 5 miles and we'll consider it a win.  That will be my goal.  So, reluctantly, the family and I drove to start line and again, I was filled with disappointment   Less than 40 runners :(  It was so unmotivating.  UGH.

Fast Forward to mile 8.  Yes I said that right mile 8 was the mile I absolutely HAD to walk.  (I was so tired and the hill was mountainous ).  I was so excited/happy for myself.  The longest run I had trained with was 5 miles and I could barely do that.  I was on cloud 9, and when I crossed the finish line, I couldn't believe my eyes. 


I was really happy.  For the first time in a long time, I felt happiness.  And now I'm starting to feel better about everything that has been happening to us.  Myself and family are healthy, we have a roof over our head, and we have the capability to make things work.  I hope this "happy" feeling lasts and with my new renewed attitude I hope that when upsetting things happen in the future, I don't take them so hard and personally.  

I've finally been lifted out of the Swamp and I hope I never ever get stuck in it again.