December 4th, 2019

Long-Overdue Thought Dump

Maybe this won't go anywhere, because I'll probably be seeing Adam and Trish tomorrow, and I could just as easily tell them about the things that are on my mind. It's not the first time I thought about writing a LiveJournal entry in recent months, but what's different this time is I feel like they already have enough of their own thoughts in their heads, and if I do end up seeing them, I'd rather talk about things we can all comment on, versus something more one-sided. That said, the first thing on my mind here? A dream I had last night. One that was freaking me out badly enough verbally recalling it on the couch out in the living room that I retreated to underneath the covers in my bedroom, and I was still getting all weirded out. It's not like it's bad because it was just a dream, but the way, and the location it all played out in was just strange.

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Setting the dream aside, the next big thing on my mind is money, and how I feel like I don't have enough right now. For the most part, that's because it's Christmastime, and that's always an expensive time of year, but thinking back to Christmas a year ago, it feels so much different. Last year, I managed to put four digits into my savings in the month of December, and still have lots of gifts to give everybody. This year, I'm having to dip into what I don't want to touch to buy things that aren't even presents, and while I have a good pile of stuff to wrap, it's nowhere near as much as before. What's more, I realized a couple days ago I don't have a single thing for Trish yet. Oh, sure, I spent over $100 on something I knew she'd really want, only to find out Adam already got her the same thing, which, while I am able to return, I probably won't get a refund for until after Christmas. Another layer this year is Naomi and Ty aren't here anymore, after moving to the states to live with Ty's parents until they can afford their own place (long story). I don't want to exclude them, so I thought I'd send them some money via Paypal on Christmas day, but even that's going to require some serious budgeting. So what happened? Why is this year so different?

Item the first: my hours at work are not the same as they were before. This time in 2018, I was working 5 shifts / 45 hours a week, and bringing home just over a thousand dollars bi-weekly. This year, I'm getting three to four shifts a week depending, and my highest pay to date has been ~$900. I haven't been complaining about that, because the cost of less hours and less money is having two other full time overnight people, meaning it's no longer just me and the baker after 4am, but new as of just yesterday, I'm losing an hour and a half on at least one shift. I've decided to give them a pass for now, because it's not worth my time going in and making a fuss over a one-time thing, but if it happens again, I'm going to talk to somebody in management.

Item the second: I've been probably spending too much money unnecessarily lately. To my credit, there's a certain thing I've been doing without for several months now, that I was previously spending at least $100 a month on, but in its place, I have been buying merch. Lapfox / Halley Labs merch, specifically. Due to Emma's personal situation, there's been a new CD or cassette tape each month this year so far, and I've been there for every one I could get my hands paws on, regardless of whether it was something I already had or not. We're waiting on an announcement for December right now, but from what I remember, the same release schedule is going to continue until June or July of next year, when they should finally be in the clear for everything. Still, all of that being said, buying merch directly isn't so much the problem. Buying merch from the /r/lapfoxtrax trading thread on Reddit, however, is a different matter. Because I don't know how to make a reasonable offer, I have so far paid $225 for one cassette tape, and two CD albums, one of which I already own. Initially, I was all pleased with myself for being so into this as to buy from other people, but gone is the satisfaction, until my items arrive, and I save up some money again, anyway.

Item the third: personal expenses. Nothing at all like the $100+ monthly expense mentioned above, this one mostly refers to food. Well, food, and I bought a new laptop a month or so ago, which was almost a $700 setback. Back to food, though, I've been going to 7-11 a lot lately. My days off from work usually come in pairs, and I never fail to make it up there for $6~$15 worth of snacks at least one of the two, sometimes both. Also in the category of food is all the chips and popcorn and other movie-type snacks for whenever Mom comes over here. To be fair, I enjoy having her here to watch a movie now and then, but it seems like every time we have plans, I head up to Food Basics (my own choice, to be fair) and spend at least $10 on things to munch on. $10 could be worse, and it's worth it when you consider what it's going to, but I'm starting to feel like it would be fine if she brought a bag of microwave popcorn from here and I figured out my own food from my freezers full of stuff every other time or something.

Outside of those three things, I try to be as responsible as I can for money though. My change jar of quarters, loonies, and toonies is almost full again, I still have some money in savings, and I don't spend unnecessarily outside of the things listed above... I need to step back and take stock of what I have and what I can expect (namely from work), and do my best to function inside of those constraints. I already went on about it in a previous entry, but one thing I really need to do is start going out for walks again. Monday night before work, I went out to Walmart, Dollarama, and Real Canadian Superstore to get Christmas present wrapping supplies, and a bunch of other stuff I was low on, and the satisfaction I felt just from that walk lasted all night and then some. It's gotten too easy to convince myself that sitting around at home staring at my laptop all night is the best thing to do, since it's the lowest-effort option.

It's getting close to 8am now, so I should try to wrap this up soon, but there's one other, distinctly personal topic that's been gnawing at me for a while (and you watch I'll be here well after 8 writing now). Where I'm at in life. My birthday is coming up next week. Friday the 13th, to be precise. I'll be 35. Halfway to 70, if that means anything, and I just... don't know.

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See? The cut was totally necessary. I'm sure it's after 8 now, but I refuse to look at the clock since I want to wake up for 2, and the less I know about the time the better. I've said pretty much all I wanted to as well, so now it's time to log into LiveJournal for the first time in forever, post this, and lay back down, hopefully to good, wholesome dreams. Tomorrow's activities are going to include going to Commercial Copy Center to get return information for that package printed, mailing out the package at the post office and hopefully picking up another one (or two), putting up my Christmas tree, going for a walk, and even wrapping some presents after the rest of everything is all said and done, if I have the energy.

Regardless, it's nice to have plans, and things to look forward to. Even better is finally getting most to all of this stuff off my chest, since it's clearly been building up. Maybe next time, something more positive <3