Underneath my yellow skin

Accentuating the positive

It’s been a rough 2024 for me so far, and I’m done with it. But, I don’t want to be mired in the negatives, so I’m going to recount the good things that have happened so far.

One. Shadow is alive and healthy. He’s old and cranky, and he definitely has old man cat body and sensitivities, but he is still with me. I remind myself of this when some of his quirks (like his food pickiness) get on my nerves. He still cuddles with me. He can still walk on his own. HeĀ  still jump with ease. He’s nearly 18 and still able to be an independent cat.

When he got sick at the end of 2022, and I took him to the vet for the first time in a decade, they ruled out kidney issues, urination issues, and cancer. They said he was losing his eyesight, but he would not completely lose it for several years. It turned out to be a cat cold, and after ten days of giving him antibiotics by mouth (that was NOT fun), he’s fine!

Except for the eating thing. He used to eat the same food all the time. Now, he won’t eat that food, and it’s a gamble what he will or won’t eat at any given meal. But, he will eat. And twice as much as he used to. (He had and still has dry kibble in a bowl that he can eat at any time. He barely eats it now that I give him more wet food.) I have to remind myself that he’s not doing it on purpose and try to be patient with him.

Two. My new (to me) laptop. It’s banging. I didn’t realize how much I was nursing my old laptop along until I got this one. It’s faster, has crisp graphics, and it’s just a dream. I did not understand how much I had been just putting up with my old laptop until I got this one.

Something something getting used to a hard life something something. It really is the ‘boiling frog’ (that has been disproven, but whatever) thing where you just used to things getting shittier bit by bit until suddenly, you realize it’s terrible.

I mean, that’s life, right? You get used to whatever you have because things don’t usually change suddenly. I mean, it’s similar to how if you get promoted and make more money, your lifestyle gradually changes. K and I have talked about it. She’s from working class roots and then worked as an admin assist when I knew her. She and her hubby were barely making ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. We went out once a month for dancing and drinks. She was very thrifty with a penny, and she was very conscious of every cent she spent.

She and her hubby had one car that was ancient, but they made it work. Then, she got her Masters of Education while working sixty hours a week (two jobs). I cannot tell you how much I admire her and what she’s done with her life. She became a teacher at an alternative school. Then she worked her way up to the ‘principal’ of the school.

At some point, she and her husband decided to buy their first house. This was before the turn of the millennium. Her broker tried to convince her to buy more house than she wanted, and she held firm. She had planned on getting just enough house so that if she or her hubby lost their job, they would be fine. This was such a smart decision especially when the housing market crashed in the late 2000s.

Anyway, we talked about how she got used to her level of living as it went up. We’re not talking about yachts and trips around the world. Or Lambos and steak dinners every night. It just meant she might drop a hundred bucks on books once every few months and had dinner out a month as well. And they upgraded their car. At one point, they had a car and a pickup truck, but I think the pickup truck was from someone in the family if I remember correctly.

It went from her stressing if she missed a paycheck to being able to take carefully planned trips to Hawaii and back to Minnesota. Again, it was nothing wildly extravagant, but it was beyond what she could have dreamed of when she was twenty or twenty-five.

Now, we joke about being bougie (I have always been comfortably off), but in her case, it’s hard-earned. She has worked very hard to get where she is, and I’m very proud of her.

Oops, I did it again. I went way off the beaten track ,but that’s just how I am.

Three. I am lucky enough that when I did not have a working car, I could Instacart and Doordash what I needed. I was in no danger of starving–and this was something I talked about with K. Since I am fortunate enough to worry about that and I can transfer my problem to someone else, I tip very generously. As K said, she wanted them to share in her bougie goodness.

This is such a gift. I cannot overstate how lucky I am in this regard. There’s a saying that sometimes the best solution is to throw money at a problem. That’s how I feel. It’s something my brother and I have debated before. He is very much about saving money. I am not against it, but he pushes it to the extreme. He sees everything as an opportunity to save money (like putting things on Craigslist), but what he doesn’t see is that time is sometimes more important than money. I need to get rid of hundreds of books. My brother said I should throw them on Craigslist. No. That’s not worth it to me.

The amount of time it would take for me to put my shit on Craigslist or eBay (not to mention having people come to my house. As a single female-presenting person–no. Not going to happen) makes it a no-go for me.

I’m done for now. Will pick this up again tomorrow.

Leave a reply