O’ Brandonia, Where Art Thou?
Okay, let’s take a paragraph or seven to catch up, then on to the good stuff.
The last time I posted, I was still in Georgia, and it was still summer. My life was a raft on a river at that point. I had done my best to steer myself to the right position for the rapids that I knew were coming, but I had very little control (If you’ve been following this site, you probably know that I’ve felt like I have very little control for a little over a year now). Even the travel arrangements home from Athens gave me as little control as possible.
I was flying standby, and there was a hurricane that closed airports across the south. I stayed a night in the Atlanta, missed two standby flights, and a day of training for the new job that was to be my salvation trying to get home. Through the grace of my family, I made it home, but only just.
Screw it, at this point, here’s a bullet list of everything I was dealing with the week I got back from Athens:
- I got home at around 11:30 pm the night before the first day of school – you know, for my new job.
- I lost my Jeep, and was dependent on public transportation, yet still had to make it downtown to train in between running my classes.
- I had no money left after my trip (remember I’ve been living well below the poverty line for the last year before you judge too harshly)
- My dad was in the hospital.
That was just the first week.
Over the past few months I’ve received some incredible grace from my friends and family. That continued the next week. I was able to buy a car from a family member. I was able to make it through my first week of school feeling good about the job I’d done.
Then we found out my mom has health issues that are as serious if not more so than my dad’s.
Add to all of that the pressure of learning a new job with 144 new students, maintaining another two-article/day writing job, and having to make it through September with minimal income, and that’s the reason you haven’t heard from me in a little over a month. Oh yeah, and I went through a break-up.
Eff, Dude. I Need to Talk to Someone…
So now that it’s October, I’ve got a few things going for me that I haven’t had in over a year.
I want to be clear, getting a nice, fat (to me) check was great, and it helped take a lot of weight off of my shoulders, but it didn’t solve anything. All it did was give me the resources to do what I need to do from here on out.
One of those resources is access to affordable health care.
The week before I got my first teaching check for this year, I ran out of my some of my meds. I was going to run out on a Thursday. I tried calling the doctor’s office, but was driving out of town and had a crappy connection, so I just thought, “I’ll call them tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow,” was, of course, Friday. I forgot that my doctor’s office is closed on Fridays. I dug deep and got ready to tough it out over the weekend – which worked surprisingly well, until Monday came around. I was prepared to wake up feeling bad, but I figured I’d just call the doctor first thing, have them call the pharmacy to authorize the refill, and by lunchtime, I’d be back on the road to stability again. Well, turns out, these particular meds require a doctor’s visit every six months in order to renew the prescription.
So the rest of the day was spent trying to figure out how I was going to borrow the $50 I would need to pay the doctor half of his fee and get the meds. (Granted, I thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster I didn’t need more expensive drugs, but for crying out loud…)
I was a week away from having more than enough money… but I digressAt least it wasn’t a life-threatening condition.
I don’t have that problem anymore. Now I have really good insurance, comparatively speaking. So good, in fact, that I’m finally able to start seeing a counselor again! I could dance a jig!
Here’s Your Dose of Discipline and Mantra!
I did poorly with the discipline for the last six weeks, I’ll be honest. I didn’t make it to the gym three times a week. I didn’t hold to my “skip one, you gotta go the next day” rule, either. I did stick to the overall plan, though, as best I could.
I didn’t turn to over-eating or laziness. I kept working out, even when it was a couple of days in between. I kept watching my calories, even if I wasn’t actually tracking them. I remained committed to the goal, even if I couldn’t stay committed to the specific tasks.
My point there is, I had a lot of shit to deal with these last six weeks – it was the boss fight at the end of a fourteen-month long game. I took some damage at the end, there, but I won the game.
So Now What?
New Week, New Month, New Season
Well, Brandonians, now you get to watch the results. I’ve been spewing forth all kinds of verbal righteousness and virtue about discipline, right?
Well now it’s time to put my money where my mouth and my thoughts have been. That’s a big reason I’m going to be working with the counselor. We’re going to tweak my attitudes and behavior a bit so that I never have to live through this again. In short, I hope that we’ll work together to put the goal-setting and achievement skills I already have to work in service of my financial goals.
I also hope that the practices I put into place in all areas of my life from here on out can be of use to you, and I’ll do my best to tell you what works and what doesn’t—at least for me, anyway.
But that’s only part of the picture… I need help getting back on the horse named discipline in a few different areas—mainly from you, by keeping me accountable.
Here’s a list of some of the goals I’m working on this week:
- Go to the gym three times, running at least 2.5 miles and doing a core circuit each time.
- Limit my calories to healthy fats, whole grains, and plant-based nutrients.
- Spend at least ten minutes meditating each morning.
- Spend at least five minutes every afternoon learning Spanish
- Do a half-hour of yoga on Tuesday and Thursday (gym “off” days)
Oh, and One Last Thing…
I ran two and a half miles, did two hundred flutter kicks, one hundred upright medicine-ball twists, forty vertical leg raises, planked on front and both sides for a minute a piece, did two sets of 30-second hangs, and did a minute each of low-weight/high rep lat pull-downs and chest press sets tonight.
Oh yeah, and I loaded, hauled, and unloaded a couple of big-ass truck tires for my dad.
What did you do today?
I do that at least three times a week, and I have been for nearly a year now. My point? You ask—with that look in your eye that borders on jealousy and pure vitriol?
My point is this. I may sound big for my britches right now, but believe me, all of my britches are too big for me at this point. Now imagine what’s gonna happen when I pull this off and I start saving money and crushing debt the way I’ve been losing weight?
I’m gonna be goddamned unstoppable! I always am when I get my mind made up on something.