When I'm stressed, I clean.
Like everyone else in this country, my income taxes increased effective January 1, 2013. A friend of mine (who makes less than me, annually) mentioned that she's getting roughly $70 per month less on her paycheck now, which is really scary. With increased income taxes, increased health insurance costs, and increased contributions to my health savings account... it's a fair assumption that I'm a wee bit stressed. I get to find out tomorrow how screwed I really am.
So I did some cleaning tonight. I discovered a few things:
1. Steve has been hiding empty soda bottles behind the sofa. He's in deep doo-doo when he gets home.
2. There were fourteen socks behind the sofa as well. None were mine.
3. There's no reason for me to buy toys for my dogs - they just end up under the sofa.
4. I really need to figure out how to decrease the amount of dust in the house. Suggestions?
5. NPR thinks ten minutes of foghorns blaring is considered 'music.' Fortunately, they made up for it with 10 minutes of The Ramones. (Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to goooo, I wanna be sedated!)
I feel a bit better, now that I've dusted, vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen and lugged an entire trash bag of dog hair, ratty toys, and miscellaneous sofa-bunnies to the trash. But the fact remains that I think it's going to be bleak this year, financially. So I've made yet another goal for 2013... to practice frugality. I may have to go off paleo a bit, but only by adding things like beans and potatoes (in moderation) back into my diet in order to make my food budget last a bit longer.
Over the next few weeks, I will assess my lifestyle habits and see where I can cut corners. Do I really need $4/bottle organic handsoap? Probably not. (Though it does smell fantastic... mmm, honeysuckle...)
A big change this year will be with my addiction to dog junk. No more dog junk. Aside from an $18 rag replacement for the dogs' flirtpole, there's nothing they really need. No more collars, no more tags, no more coats. No more blankets. No more beds. They're probably better accessorized than 99% of their peers already, so anything more than what we already have is most definitely overkill. Heck, I may even try to sell a bunch of their stuff.
I think I just need to do better. At everything. I know it's easier said than done, but I really am happiest when I'm not disappointed in myself.
At this point... I think I've de-stressed enough that I'll be able to fall asleep. I've done another few loads of laundry, and started a load of dishes. The house isn't completely clean yet, but it's getting there. It's good enough that I won't feel terrible when I come home Saturday night from 14 hours of driving and raw meat obtainage.
I'll end this with a photo of Revy, because she's the main "dog hair culprit" and I've decided I'm going to bathe and brush her more often in an effort to cut down on the mountains of dog hair that have been accumulating in the house. Sorry, kiddo.