Friday, December 5, 2008

on thoughts and holiday suchness.

hi, everyone.

just a semi-quick post to update before the next few days get a little crazy, with all i have to do and settle before i leave next friday. i'm so terribly excited to get home to new england again, after not being there for a YEAR. that's the longest i've ever been away from home. so ... i have plans to also get there early this coming summer.

the check finally came (and much-needed relief from stalking my mailbox for a month), so i sat down at my kitchen table tonight and worked out for an hour and a half, many different to-do lists, shopping lists, supply lists ... but most importantly, bill paying lists. Now, by the time I get on the plane Friday, all my consumer debt/bills save $400 (which I'm forgoing to buy a "new" used camera and donate to favorite charities with) ... that's about $5,500 or so. I will still have nearly $2,000 left over, plus my regular december paycheck, to get me through being home, and into january where i need to have some routine car maintenance done. when my second loan installment comes, i'll work on investing and setting several thousand aside for my summer in st. louis. which i'm promising myself will be a happy one this time around, due to being able to be better to myself thanks to the financial help. it's going to be wonderful to face a hopefully much-improved credit score, especially as i begin to toss around "house" thoughts in my brain (which of course won't be for another two years or so at the least, and it all depends on the market at that time).

the past two nights, i've been doing a great yoga DVD at home before bed. It's called "Yoga for Stress Relief." I'm going to order it and have it shipped to me at my parents'. i like that there are so many varying routines, many of which focus exclusively on relaxation and healthy, redirected breathing (breathing from all the right places) and you're guided through slowly, quietly, gently. just my type of thing. i'm still hoping to get a yearly membership when i come back, though ... it's expensive. we'll see. maybe i can use part of my candle party earnings to get that accomplished. it's hard to think of parting with all of the profit that was to be for my house fund, but well .. i consider health and wellness an important part of the whole picture, too.

i've had a little anxiety the past few days, i think mainly from general nervousness about travel to all the thoughts and memories that cascade down with the excitement about going home. i'll be okay, surely. just have to keep telling myself that, and breathing, and being slow ... and watching the kids just flow through life despite all of it. they are the great teachers.

i'm so disheartened to hear about the hordes of shoppers this year on "black friday," despite every possible economist out there saying we are in a recession. stop buying all this (pardon french) Shit, people. i recently read a statistic that really resonated with me, something like 70 percent of people in the world don't have a roof over their head, food in their stomach, and clothes on their back. because we all have these things, we are richer than 70 percent of the WORLD. imagine. and here "we" are killing people over gidgets and gadgets that take up more and more of the world's precious resources .. because we just can't imagine life without them. i am so glad this year that my gifts are few, thoughtful, and meaningful. and ... overall (despite some lingering doubts due to consumerist brainwashing) ... i'm glad i opted out of the school teacher swap and out of giving to friends. instead, i'll give of my love and time. and i'll spend the money on mini-trips i really want to take when i'm back in my little eastern u.s. hamlet.

read some good books, bake up good smells, do your anxiety-reducing and energizing yoga, and knit yourself into a beautiful stupor. these are true treasures we should never, never, never take for granted despite all that's there (but not really) for our taking. because in the end, "stuff" is not given -- it's stolen, in many many ways. so give what you can: the heart has plenty to go around.

be well, friends. be easy and peaceful. this weekend i'm attending a neighbor's housewarming party, baking pumpkin breads for the fire department, knitting, cleaning, and starting to pack. that's it.




  1. Christmas in New England Karen, how lovely. You must keep up your Yoga excercises, once you get the right ones that suit you they can be very beneficial. I know how stressful teaching can be so enjoy the break. England is a lot like America with everyone rushing to buy totally unnecessary items just because they have been reduced. Such a waste of precious resources as you say. So much 'stuff' everywhere sometimes makes me long to a minimalist which I fear I never could be. When I wrote the post about the Bunnykin china and the Nun who created the little pictures,I pondered how restful it would be to live in one of the Convent rooms with just a bed, a table and a chair plus a few belongings. I could never live like that but the lack of everday clutter looked very appealing. Your end of term is in site, take a deap breath. All the best. Eli

  2. It sounds like you're on your way to creating a good future for yourself. Your holiday to come sounds terrific - and so do your financial plans. It's so good to get a hold on what is real and important early on in your life so that you don't end up in such a terrible fix like so many.

    I completely agree with your thoughts on the overconsumption. It's hard to believe - and tragically ironic - that it's gotten this bad (the death at Wal-Mart) at this particular time in our nation's economic history. One would think that one would think!

    Have a lovely time with your family! I'm sure you will. :)