What To Level Up Next In My Life

My current successes:

I’ve lost 85% of my excess weight diet changes. I’m currently on an almost 100% primal diet and have a a small percentage of pounds to lose.  I plan to continue documenting this journey here and in my public journal so others can follow my the steps if they like.

In the past 8 years I’ve gone from a 525 credit score to an 800 and almost paid off all of my debt.  I expect all of my debt (some new medical bills had came up last year), I will be debt free aside from my mortgage and some money I was loaned from a friend.  My goal is to have that paid off this year as well.  A lot of these tips are documented on The Money Drain, but I will continue to add to this as well.

I have taken Donalds non-existent credit and pushed him to a credit score of 746, and it will only keep growing.

I’ve gone from a fairly craptastic one-sided 7 year relationship with a married man, and the subsequent deep depression from the break-up, to a genuine partnership with a wonderful man who supports me unconditionally in everything I want to do. And who is so completely devoted to the relationship itself, not the “idea” of being with me.

I gained my clergy status, but still must do a lot of work to maintain it.

I have maintained my sanity that normally would shake the core of most people, during 2 of the most difficult years of my life.  My soul has prospered because of it.

So I’ve essentially upgraded my finances, upgraded my health, upgraded my spirit, and upgraded my relationship.  Next?  I want to upgrade my contribution to the environment (less waste, more self-sustainability), upgrade my income stability, upgrade my time availability, and upgrade my passion so they my prosper.

Upcoming Goals:

Get back out of debt like I was in March of last year before the job loss.

To refund my emergency fund with a significant amount of money to last 6 months worth of bills.

Buy my father a new used truck.

Greatly reduce my todo list so I may enjoy more things and have less “todo”.

Reduce the waste and consumptions of our household and document all that I’ve done.

Create a more self-sustaining home garden.

Supplement my income so I am not relying on one job to pay the bills, perhaps use this extra fundage to buy the farm we want to do the things we want.

Continue to blog and document all of the self-improvement steps I take, in order to show others that “yes it can be done, but you have to do something about it”.

Small Financial Updates

In list format:

  • I got a letter from my USAA military insurance, that due to having such a great year, they are giving me a $47 credit on my auto policy, which means that’s an extra $47 for me when my policy comes up for renewal in February. Considering I save up my renewal in advance with $50 extra for leeway already, I’ll have $100 extra to put towards debt. I love this company, it has to be one of my favorite companies.
  • Work is changing their payment schedule next month by a few days. Being as OCD as I am about my finances, this is going to throw me off a little while I re-adjust everything to the new schedule. I don’t think any of my bills due dates will be affected, since I -mostly- pay everything early.
  • I got the rest of my freelance money in and already put it on the last interest debt that I am paying off. I am still trying to look for another freelance project or two to help get this paid off ASAP. I’ve been looking on guru.com, but don’t see many projects in my skill-set there. I catch a few now and then, but winning the bid for the project is a whole other story.
  • Dad went out and got a log splitter on credit, which I am not all too happy about, but it was something he needed for his health, so there it is. I am not taking on anymore of his debt right now because I have some things I need to take care of on my own first.
  • I have to say though, dad has done a lot better with his monthly budget lately. He hasn’t had any overdrafts, and while he does still spend a good chunk on my credit card, we did talk about ways we could reduce that and I’m hoping to see that change taking place in this months report.
  • I did give my dad a $200 budget for holiday shopping. I told him he didn’t need to spend it all on me, but I have no doubt that’s what he intends to do. I know it seems silly to give him a holiday budget (especially when it’s just spent on me anyway), but that is something that is special to him (opening gifts Christmas morning), so it’s really worth the expense.
  • While going to the doctors yesterday and the radiologist today, my total expenses so far has only been the $20 co-pay to the doctor. And even that is paid out of my HSA, not out of my pocket. I’ll see what other charges I may need to pay for in a month or so, whenever the insurance company decides to bill me. But considering I have a couple thousand in my HSA for medical expenses, I am not worried.
  • I discovered that Microsoft Money has a “Tax Report” section that will actually display every tax related expense and income I’ve had in the last year. Technically I could just print that report out, and so long as I have categorized everything correctly throughout the year, it will show all my charitable contributions, my gross wages that have yet to be taxed, all my interest, etc. How cool is that? I am auto-prepared for tax season.
  • I am doing as much work from home as possible while I’m laid up cause of this knee injury. I get paid time off, but the less of it I use the better. Not that I really use my time off for anything…I guess camping and festivals are about it. My goal is to make it into work Thursday or Friday, even if I’m using a cane or something 😛

Patellar Tendonitis

So I woke up Sunday morning with a hefty pain in my left knee. I took a bad fall on the ice on this knee in February but it has been fairly fine since. Basically I can’t straighten my knee or walk on it, but when it’s bent i feels mostly fine.

The pain didn’t get really bad until Sunday evening, and then I could no longer walk. I also have a cold that I got from a co-worker on top of this but I think that is finally fading.

Yesterday I had to take off of work. I can’t even walk to the bathroom without resulting in tears at this point, so getting into work and going up the stairs is out of the question. I got a doctors appointment in the afternoon and he thinks I have a bruised patellar tendonitis, but says we can do x-rays to be sure. He says to keep ice on it and take advil, which I have been doing but this morning it feels just as bad as it did yesterday. I can’t imagine just a BRUISE feeling this bad. It’s quite literally the worst pain I’ve ever felt.

I have to call the advanced radiology today and see if I can get an appointment for the x-rays, but I’m starting to consider just going to the hospital. It’s a painful chore just to make it to the bathroom, and it’s not worth it to try and get something to eat. I hate relying on other people for anything and to have to just sit on my butt all day and not clean or do something is eating me up and putting me in a very emotional state.

I just want it fixed so I can move on. I don’t like missing work, I don’t like not being able to clean my house, I have big plans this weekend that I don’t want to miss, and I certainly don’t want to be like this over the whole freaking holiday.

Baby’s First Surgery – Wisdom Teeth

As posted on Twitter and such, I had my first surgery today to have all 3 of my wisdom teeth removed (I was only born with 3). I opted out of anesthesia and instead had the laughing gas, because I wanted to be able to go to work if I was up for it. I wasn’t, but did work from home today instead (actually until about 5 minutes ago).

I have to say this was one of the weirdest experiences in my life, not a bad one, but not one I want to repeat anytime soon since I don’t like surgeries in general. I will say though, that this doctor (Dr Pitts in Frederick, MD for anyone interested) was absolutely amazing. The office is insanely gorgeous, the doctor was kind and detailed, and his customer care is beyond anything I’ve seen. I can’t say I’ve ever been satisfied with a doctor or dentist in the past, but this one is certainly the first and will always be highly recommended by me. I plan to send a letter of appreciation and write a review on google.

The surgery only lasted about 30 minutes, and then I was up and able to drive home. When they put the gas on me, it felt -really- weird. I could feel my entire body going numb, and then felt like I was being totally disconnected from it, which I guess I kinda was. I had my eyes closed trying to allow myself to cope with that but also attempt to keep track of what was going on.

I remember while feeling myself pulling away, hearing the doctor and his assistant talking about Obama’s speech. I remember him patting me on the shoulder and saying I was doing a great job. When he was on the last tooth, he started putting me back on oxygen to wake me out of the laughing gas, and I remember opening my eyes and starting to become more alert. Only problem is I don’t remember them ever starting, so I was a bit confused as to how I missed it.

Then I started hearing the exact same conversation again, but this time alert and cognant. I mean the -exact- same conversation, and the exact same pat on the shoulder. I’m still confused how I heard the conversation the first time, if the second time I was awake and alert. It still doesn’t make any sense to me, and probably what weirded me out the most.

So I watched in his spectacles reflection as they yanked the last tooth out, and then waited a few more minutes for my dizzyness to wear off. They gave me some goodies to take with me, like a teabag to bite down on to help stop the bleeding with the tannic acid, some lip balm, etc.

Surprisingly I got emotional as I was walking out of the office. I really don’t understand why even now, but I had a few tears I think mainly out of confusion. Dad was a little worried, but I pulled it together and drove home.

I really haven’t been in much pain or swelling at all today, just mostly spitting blood. The only bad thing is the pain medication makes me really dizzy, so I’m going to avoid taking it as much as possible. Especially since I plan to go to work tomorrow and don’t need that. They did have to cut one of my gums and stitch it in order to get my bottom tooth out.

I did ask to keep my teeth, at my cousin’s suggestion. No clue why, and no clue if I’ll keep em still. But there they are.

Now I’m just trying to do everything right to avoid complications and to heal so I can eat steamed crabs on the 20th without complaint. I’m so going to gorge myself on steamed crabs…

Right now I’m sorta living off of pudding, yogurt, and my own veggie juice I juiced. I told dad I wanted mashed potatoes tomorrow cause this stuff leaves me starving.

Have you ever wandered what they did with leftover circumcision parts?

Well I recently found out.

Dad had outpatient surgery on Tuesday where they just put a skin graph on the ulcer on his leg to see if it’ll help heal it. Before they’ve used pig skin for this, but apparently they also save the skin from circumsized babies to use as skin graphs. So now my dad has baby penis skin on his leg. That takes not being “wasteful” to a whole new level folks.

I can see the jokes now…… “….waking up with a stiff leg.”

He has to rest and not bump it for a week or two, so I’ve had to take over some of his chores as well. Fortunately I have a three day weekend coming up where I can get a lot of things done around here.

I updated my pictures from yesterday with updated deck pictures from last night, as well.