It’s a hard rain…

I mean, literally, it has been raining all day. And I was just listening to Bob Dylan. And last week, the first week back, was pretty hard. There were really nice things, like getting Tuesday off because it 12 was the high, and Memphis is just not used to those kinds of temperatures. But my pipes burst and froze, and I did not run at all, and I ate cheese and drank milk and got a tummy ache, and it was just… well… hard.

But we have recovered. I am actually surprise about how much I really do love Simone. She’s very friendly and fun; she keeps me company and loves HGTV a whole lot (I might be making that up…) In the midst of the stress, having her has actually helped me to stay calm, mostly because I am a border-line clear freak, and I don’t want to make her nervous. I’m afraid if she goes crazy, she will tear up the house. Nobody wants that. It would be really not pretty.

As far as my financial goals go, I think that I have developed a better grasp over the past week or so on how to get out of debt this year in a realistic, I’m-not-going-to-fail way. I’m one of those people who comes out of the gate running, and I need to learn how to pace myself with just about everything. My plan was to just pay off everything ridiculously quickly, which would leave me very little wiggle room. So, I am leaving some wiggle room, and letting myself go at a 12-month, steady, consistent pace.

Travis and I had a sit-down, talk-it-out meeting on Saturday about budgets and goals and where we want to be and what we want to do and how we are going to do it. To tell you the truth, it was pretty hard to really look at my own spending and see how much money I wasted because I had not been organized. So, I made a budget and was really, really, really honest about my finances. Even though I spent a good portion of the meeting in stress-shock-oh-my-goodness-girlfriend mode, after it was over I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I felt like, “I can do this. This can happen. It will all be okay.” That is a great feeling! No seriously, it is! I am so blessed to have an organized, responsible, doesn’t-over-do-it boyfriend who really believes that I can do this! Woo hoo for support!

In other news, I watched a pretty great Ted Talk by Lizzie Valesquez. She was once called the ugliest girl in the world and people have said all sorts of mean, ugly, awful things about her. And, well, she’s a total badass. The talk wasn’t to the beat of “I have a dream,” but it was certainly inspirational. To be eloquent, her talk was basically a big “eff you” to all the small-minded people out there pissing all over people’s self-esteem, confidence, dreams, goals… whatever. The only thing I would have liked to see is her walking off the stage, middle fingers in the air. Lizzie is too classy for that, but you get what I am saying. The best way to get back at all of those evil people who basically suck a big one is to be totally awesome, like Lizzie.

Okay, so now that I’ve been silly and funny and encouraging, I do have to say one thing about the presentation that bugged me the whole time – me. I bugged me because I know for a fact that as an insecure preteen and teenager, I sometimes made fun of people and acted like a total bully. I bugged me because I know that I would stare at her if she was passing by me on the street. I bugged me because I kept on staring at her while watching the video in disbelief because she just looks so… so… so different. That part of me that is ugly and evil and oh so fleshy and human bugged me big time.

I mean, I look at the “People of Walmart” and laugh and say “Oh my gawwwwd” and totally de-humanize them. And you’ll say, “That’s not the same thing,” but isn’t it? We say, “That’s awful,” when we hear that someone told Lizzie to shoot herself because she was so ugly, but we don’t blink to say something nasty about a woman not wearing at bra out in public. Isn’t our heart in the same place? Maybe I’m taking this whole thing too seriously, but it still really bugs me that I do that – that we do that.

At school, I get all annoyed at parents who drop their kids off looking all crazy and disheveled. I have said things to people about it bothers me. And yes, I do think that parents should pull themselves together a little to drop their kids off at school, but what I need to do is show some compassion and grace in my own heart towards these parents. They might be who they present themselves to be, or they might just be really tired and stressed and overwhelmed, and their outward appearance should not dictate the way that I allow myself to think about them.

Okay. That got unintentionally serious! Hopefully it gave you something to think about or get angry about or say, “Oh girl, relax” about. I guess in closing I will say that I think I need to reevaluate my heart and my values and how I think about and interact with all people. Yeah, what do you think?