Where’s all this cash come from?

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I stared at the computer screen for a while confused, scrolled though the bill pay list on the bank app, looked even more confused, checked that mortgage payments were clearing, nope, no answer there either.

So,where has all this extra cash in the account come from?

We must have missed paying a credit card bill, we are so about to be hit with an interest payment and overdue fee, Doh!  But the thing is, I can’t see where it’s happened.  Everything appears to be paid up and on time.

That was last Friday and it puzzled me all weekend. We lost incoming cash in January due to a job amendment in Crazy Cat Boy’s world, we’ve been going out to dinner and the movies regularly over the past few months, something we don’t normally do… apparently leaving the house gets in the way of slumping on the lounge in front of bad TV chugging back a couple of $25 bottles of wine, so going out wasn’t really on our agenda at all.

Now, we aren’t talking about a retire tomorrow sized amount, just more than enough to make me sit up and look for a problem.  The only thing I can think of is we are seeing the cumulative effect of 6 months of very little (and now no) booze, more organised food planning, me spitting the dummy at my car insurance renewal* and finding a better deal and some other $20 here, $10 there changes.

Now I know we were spending at least $100 on wine a week… Crazy Cat Boy god love him had it pegged at “about” $40 pw for some reason!  But this, coupled with these other small changes have put us in the position to put some more cash into our Vanguard EFT this week.  That’s our long term retirement income stream plan.

So not only will I live longer by laying off the booze I’ll also have the money to!  LOL

*I swear, Insurance is the only service that you buy where you are penalised for long term loyalty! What’s with that?  “Oh, you paid us on time for a service you haven’t used for 6 years, here’s a hefty increase in your premium for the next 12 months” Well I’m not taking it anymore!  Now, if I’d been drinking at the time I’d have ranted and raved and NOT done anything about changing service provider.  I’ve saved $30 per month with a quick Google and online quote.  Not bad for 10 minutes work on a sober Tuesday night.

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Friends + Booze = Help?

Spent the weekend in the big smoke with friends we don’t see often.  Drinking has always been a big part of our time together so I’d warned them ahead of time that I was on the wagon via text so the shock wouldn’t be too much.  I knew I’d be “enthusiastically encouraged” to drink as Kate* is a very big drinker, as is her husband William*.  Mind you, I’m not about to crack on day 80 something for people I don’t see that often, so I wasn’t too concerned about any pressure.

Kate greeted us at the door, glass of red in hand and “Here are the teetotallers”.  Hmmm, might be a long couple of days I thought to myself.  Our not drinking was the topic du jour for almost the entire time we were together. Kate seemed keen to know the ins and outs (I kept it at “It’s an internet challenge”, while I love her dearly, she does love to share  juicy information with others and I don’t need my reasons out IRL!).

Around midnight Saturday after a couple of bottles of bubbles, the best part of a bottle of red** and sharing some very unsound taxation advice, Kate came out with “I just can’t face not drinking forever”.  She seemed genuinely sad and worried about her drinking and I’m now worried for her.  I didn’t judge, hell, who I am I to anyway? Three months ago I’d probably been having the same conversation, the only difference is that I’d be two bottles of bubbles in myself!  Instead I shared some of the blogs and the benefits that I was seeing from the time off and encouraged her gently to go for it if she wanted to.

I’ve come away from the experience wondering if I could do more to help.  I’ve sent the links I said I would and offered to do the 100 days with her – no issue for me, I’m going to do them anyway. I’ll wait and see if she decides to go that way and I’ll help in anyway I can.

FYI, I’ve all but decided that I’ll continue through until at least 1st Jan 2019 and really, if I can do that, then it’s only another 4 months to the year… got to be worth it right?

Oh, and 85 days of Belles 100 Day Challenge today… should be working, blogging here instead, somethings haven’t changed! LOL

 

*Not Kate’s or Williams real names.

** Kate had consumed, not me, I was good I promise! 

80 Days!

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Busy with work and not much to share but I’ve hit 80 days of Belle’s 100 Day Challenge today…….

(sorry for the delay in this post, just had to go and shoo a bird out of the back yard – the cats are out at the moment – the photo above should be captioned, “But why can’t we chase the bird?”)

……. Actually, I take that back, I do have something to share.  Work isn’t just busy, it’s Insane, yep, with a capital “I”.  I should feel like I’m drowning but I don’t, I feel calm.  I’m still not getting much done, so perhaps I’m not calm, perhaps I’ve gone into shock!  LOL.  In all reality though, it has to be down to not drinking, I’m also sleeping through the night and in these circumstances that’s just about unheard of for me.  Normally I’d either by laying awake worrying or at my laptop at 3 am trying to wade through it all. Something’s definitely changed.

I’ve also started the ground work for “the chat” with Crazy Cat Boy.  You know, the one where you gently break that this 100 day thing is probably going to become a 365 day thing.  Don’t want to scare him too badly all at once, I’ve got another 20 days to soften the eventual decision delivery.  😉

Have a happy and healthy day all!

 

Challenge Accepted!

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One of my fav TV characters of all times is Barney Stinson from HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother), his catch cry of “Challenge Accepted” always makes me smile, usually because it was attached to something that was never meant to be a challenge.

Well for the next 100 days “Challenge Accepted”* is going to be my catch cry as I take on Belles 100 Day Challenge – no booze until August 1st this year.

Crazy Cat Boy is concerned that this means “no drinking on your birthday” and I’m ok with that.  The next three months possibly could be make or break with me and what I do in my professional life for the next eight years that I plan on being full time.  I need all the focus and energy that I can muster up to make these next moves, and wine needs to be off the table to get me there.  I’ll check in with my progress regularly and I know I can get there, as of today it’s a 97 day challenge as I’ve already done 3 sober days.

What will be the challenge you accept?

*Ironically Barney usually uttered those words in a bar, beer in hand!

I’ve given up!

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Worry that is. You might remember when I gave up guilt?  Man, what a relief that was!  Now I’m going cold turkey on worry.

I made this decision yesterday and I feel a million times lighter.

It’s not that I don’t care, I do, I always will, but the emotion of worry? That I’ll pass on thanks very much.

Given than I’m an Olympic standard worrier, what’s brought this on? I hear you ask.  Well, it’s a couple of things…

First, a few weeks ago (keep it quiet, I’ve only told you fab internet peeps) I had my first anxiety attack in nearly twenty years.  It came out of nowhere and I think might have been linked to a very bad drinking session I’d had the week prior (yep, booze, the gift that keeps on giving).  It’d been so long that it took me a bit to work out what was happening and get myself under control – I was out in public with someone I don’t know that well. Given that I tend to pass out that could have been somewhat, um, er, “dramatic” and I much prefer a lower key presence!

Secondly, I’m in the middle of major projects with missed deadlines zooming past me and work piling up, so after a sleepless night I got up early, opened my email and my chest immediately tightened up.  Hmm, I was pretty sure at that point that something had to give, and I’d prefer it wasn’t me!

I’ve taken my body’s cues and listened; not only did I decide to give up worrying but I impulsively sent my resume off to several recruitment agencies.

I feel so much lighter and happier and amazingly I’ve been so much more productive.  I think I’ve achieved more in the last two days than I have in weeks.

I’ve told Crazy Cat Boy that I’d given up worrying, and he laughed and then looked startled when he realised I was serious.  It’ll be an uphill battle, but I think I can win this one, time will tell, but I don’t plan on worrying about it … well, not a lot, baby steps!  LOL

 

In case you are wondering, I’ve pretty much not been drinking since that day.  I’ll have one or two with friends over dinner, but that’s it from now on.

I’m Still Alive!

Just in case anyone is wondering, I am still alive.  Work has been craziness and just having the mental capacity not to yell at my colleagues is about as far as I can stretch at the moment, so the blog has been suffering due to a distinct lack of creativeness on my behalf.

On top of that I decided, after hearing from mum that my grandfather built most of their house that I MUST be genetically predisposed to construction and that Crazy Cat Boy and I could obviously finish the ensuite without any assistance from professionals other than Bunnings videos and YouTube (the fact that I couldn’t get a tradie to show up and do the job has NOTHING to do with it I tells ya!) so we’ve been slowly and I mean at glacial pace moving towards completion… There are now tiles on the floor and the new drain tray is in place ready to pour the shower base… this has taken 4 weeks (there was only 6 tiles to put in to give you an idea of our work rate) so I have my fingers crossed to move my toothbrush back in just before Christmas.

Apart from that all is good.  I admit that I did go back to regular drinking after all of my great efforts but I’m mostly back on the wagon at them moment and feel that I should stay there.  I am much happier when I don’t drink, not to mention my jeans fit 😉

So that’s it at the moment good internet peeps, I hope you are all well and following your dreams!

But I’m The Customer!

 

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When did it become ok to treat your customers as an inconvenience?  Has technology put such a barrier between a businesses staff and the people that spend money with them?

What’s more, why are customers putting up with this?  I shouldn’t be impressed when someone does their JOB!  But more and more I am; this shouldn’t be happening.  I’m now conditioned to be let down by the organisations that I want to spend money with.  I’m actually surprised when something does go to plan. Technology is meant to free us up to focus more on what matters but it seems to be doing the opposite.

For the past few months I’ve been dealing with an International hotel brand that will remain nameless and more and more I feel like I’m an inconvenience with an open wallet to these people.  I know with only 100 people at the event that we are a small party in their world, but you know what, this is the first time I’ve been made to feel like that by a venue in a very long time.

I’m angry that I’m being made to feel apologetic for daring to want to hold a successful event that suits my customers at their venue.  I’m angry at myself that I’ve allowed a business to make me feel this way.

Is it that I’m being unreasonable?  I don’t think so.  I’m beginning to think that it’s because I’m an email to these people that I’m not “real”.  Even phone calls haven’t seemed to soften the hard line our way or the highway and you’ll pay for it as well attitude that I’m getting.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind paying (gouging on the other hand, don’t get me started on hiring AV equipment for a function!) businesses are not charities; they need to be suitably remunerated.  It’s when they know they have you and then the additional charges for every little thing come out of the woodwork.

So are we losing our ability to connect with people and is customer service dead?  With AI and automation set to become an even bigger part of the customer experience how do businesses make sure that their employees see customers as important and real?  I don’t know the answer but I do know that I’m not standing for it any more, you want my money, you treat me as valuable!

I’m Surrounded

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I’m surrounded by booze at every turn!  It’s wine o clock Facebook tells me, emails show up from frequent flyer loyalty programs offering me award winning reds, updates from sober blogs come in from Twitter, colleagues telling me to relax with a glass after a stressful day.  I don’t event have to leave my desk to be bombarded by triggers telling me to have a drink!

When did our society become so obsessed with alcohol… hmm is it society, or just me obsessing?  Perhaps that’s a mirror better not looked in LOL!

Anyway, that’s my whinge (whine??!) for the day.  Have a healthy, happy day wherever you are.

Where Will Your Road Lead?

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about where my road is leading me and I’ve decided that I won’t get old without a fight.  I won’t let my road lead to nowhere.

I’m watching people that were passionate and impulsive and full of energy let their lives slip away and I don’t want to go that way.

Please understand I’m not talking about aging, that happens and quite frankly I’m debating the whole botox issue* with myself at the moment. Crazy Cat Boy has taken to calling me “Angry Bird” and having just seen myself on screen, I’m inclined to agree with him.  It’s that gradual loss of a sense that anything is possible and doing interesting things with life that scares me.

So even though I’m in the second half of my life I’ve decided that I wont get old without a fight, I won’t give up on seeking out new opportunities and I sure as hell won’t allow taking a different way home from the shops to become an exciting thing in my world.  I’ve been as guilty of this as the next person, life gets busy and somehow we forget to live it along the way as the days and then months slip by.

I want to have an answer that is more than “oh, you know, just busy” when someone asks me what I’ve been doing.

I wont be scared, I refuse!  I’m issuing the challenge to anyone who wants to play along – What will you be able to say when someone asks “What have you been up to?”?

Where will your road lead you?


*There is a post coming on this.

Miranda Sings Award

mirandaWow, thanks Strictly Light Hearted. What an honour to be nominated for the Miranda Sings Award.  I’m new to this blogging scene and am working on getting better and following more of the amazing peeps in the blogosphere.

As per the rules, I have to list 7 things I love about myself and nominate 7 bloggers to receive the award. So here goes…

  1. I love to learn new things. New skills and knowledge excites me
  2. I’m always positive. I can generally see a way through any situation and know that I’ll come out the other side
  3. I’m loyal. Some would say to a fault, I don’t. I’m loyal, but I’m not stupid or blind!
  4. I’m organised and methodical, but I can also be impulsive
  5. I “know” things. Don’t ask me how, I just do.  I see them and they happen.
  6. I have a solid grasp on the concept of time and the benefits this brings – ask me what I’d doing in 2026, I dare you 😉 (there’s always a plan!)
  7. I love that I can trust my gut instincts; they are always right no matter how rash they might seem to others.

So who to nominate?   I’ve got a couple of bloggers that probably have no idea that I follow them and how they inspire me so I’m nominating them…

Sober Mummy over at Mummy Was A Secret Drinker

Fiona’s Saw It, Pinned It, Did It 

Jack Monroe at Cooking On A Bootstrap 

Mardene  The Fashionable Librarian  

Jackie Gower’s always great  Riches Have Wings

Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories and knowledge.