Tag: confusion

When Big Sister Didn’t Want a Bank Account

This is an absolutely true story. I may paraphrase a little because I didn’t record the incident but it was one of the funniest things that has happened in my family. Also, my kids might actually be learning something.

Two nights ago the dinner dishes had been cleared away and the girls were reading at the kitchen table (the one that lives in my living room because that’s the only place there’s space for it) and the mail came and there was a birthday check in there for $100 from her grandmother.

I said, “Congratulations, Big Sister! You know, we should open a savings account with that money so it’s not just hanging out around the house.”
She replied, “I have a piggy bank.”
I said, “Piggy banks are great for change and stray cash because it gives you one place to put it all. But eventually there’s enough in there it’s a good idea to put it somewhere even safer than your piggy bank. Plus, if you put it in a bank there is interest on the money.”

She responds emphatically with, “No, no. I don’t want one then. I’m good.”

I’m confused, but then Middle Sister says, “I think she’s mixing up interest you get on your money with interest you pay on borrowed money.” I figure it’s worth a shot and I say to Big Sister, “Honey, a savings account is where you loan the bank money so they owe you interest.”

I’ll be damned if she didn’t get a big grin and say, “Oh, then yes I want a bank account.”

I think the program at the bank that deposits $5 into your account for a report card with all As might improve her school performance as well.. We’ll see.

I’m amazed. My kids have actually been listening to me about money and compound interest. Hallelujah.

 

I’m Feeling A Little Lost

It’s been a bumpy friend road these last few weeks.

I’m confused and kind of sad and so I am choosing to just be in limbo for a minute because it feels like there is too much stuff in my brain to make sense of it all. I’m overwhelmed.

By now, I figure you know I’m not normal. My biggest accomplishment of the past ten years happened this week. I went shopping alone with the 5yo. I haven’t gone shopping like the normals in ten years. I did have a panic attack in the store but ignored it while saying to myself over and over, “If it is a heart attack at least I’m not going to die at home.” It was not a heart attack (which I knew already in the back of my mind) and I got home safely.

The other thing I have is a shitton of empathy. I’m the person someone calls if they’re in a bad place because I’ll let them talk it out. I’m the person someone calls if they have an unexpected windfall because I can enjoy their success without wondering what it means for me in my life.

I’m straightforward, have great boundaries, and won’t do things I’m not comfortable with. Trust me, this is great because the flip side is someone you ask a favor and they do it but then they kind of hang it over your head or bring it up as a big deal or even just feel resentful. I’ve spent a lot of time making sure I’m not that friend.

When I was discussing this new phase of the blog (I call it the “not poor” phase) she said I needed to be careful or I would be seen as a “Mark” and first I was like “10 points for awesome slang use” but I’ve been thinking about it a bit more and feel a bit odd that anyone would see me as a mark.

That being said, doesn’t it seem weird that I’m totally fine sharing about food pantry hauls and looking for a new place before I become homeless or an Internet fundraiser but I can’t find the words to talk about the raise Mr. Brickie’s getting June 1st? I can’t find the words to tell you the story about his possible post-apprentice career path.

The good things sound like bragging.

I don’t mind being schadenfreude fodder but I don’t know if I can handle being a success story.

Which makes me wonder if I ever thought this plan was going to work or if I was just convincing myself to keep moving forward so I didn’t just give up.

I’m in a really murky place. It’s not dark, I’m not sad…It’s just hard to see what’s what. I am so confused.

Maybe I’m just turning into a butterfly and this is the part where I have to squeeze out of the cocoon of poverty and damn if it isn’t a painful transition.

I really thought this blog would get easier to write as I had good things to shout from the rooftops.

Maybe I’m just a jerk and want to keep my good things a secret! LOL

For now I’m still blogging and you know what? I went through hell – I get to blog about heaven, too.

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Be Present….For What?

The only thing that keeps going through my mind is, “Be the present you wish to see in the world.” Because I destroy perfectly good quotes and make them into other things and that’s how I think.

I’m planning a birthday party today. I’m not sure how to be present for the possibility of 28 3rd grade children in my not-small but not-big house-apartment-space. I keep going back and forth between, “The kids will have fun. There will be cake. There will be toys. Kids are low pressure.” and, “They’re all going to laugh at me.” (Yes, the Carrie reference is totally intentional. Of course it is!)

Even if I get through this one I have two more this month. Big Sister’s in two weeks and the friends/family party the weekend in between. I might cry.

Okay, I know it sounds like I’m going off into left field, but stick with me.

In order to be present in your life, you have to know what your life IS. Some days I feel like my life now is like I won the life lottery with decent neighbors, people on the street that wave and say hello, and kindness at almost every turn. Then other days I feel like I live in an apartment and that makes me less of a life-succeess than someone who rented a house than someone who owns a house. Like, I would be happy to be present in my life if I knew how I was supposed to feel about my life, you know?

I have a great family, but I can’t afford the convenience of having a birthday party at the place with the trampolines. Is that something I should feel bad about or not give a crap about? Will the moms judge my situation? How do I make a good impression? Will I even have the chance to make an impression with a bunch of kids running in after being dropped off and running out when they get picked up?

I’m perfectly willing to be present. I just don’t know what I’m showing up to be present for. My life feels like someone else’s more often than not and I have this weird feeling I’m playing my part all wrong. (Not saying I could change, I couldn’t. That doesn’t make the feeling of doing it wrong go away.)

My choices since I have moved have been more social and I am doing my best to be the person I think I want to be, but I’m not sure if I’m doing it right.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is I am fully present but in a perpetual state of confusion.
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The Moving Order of Operations {Part 1}

I’m trying to figure out what order to do everything in.

Mr. Brickie (who couldn’t work today because of the temperature) went in to the school and got the transfer forms. I received a call from a very nice lady making sure I knew we could leave them in their current school for the rest of the year but I had to tell her as much as I’d like to do that, driving 30-ish minutes to and from the school twice a day was out of the budget in terms of gas. She was very understanding and kind.

We need to get our assistance switched over to Indiana so the kids can get fee waivers for public school as well as get signed up for the free lunch program. There is a preschool there that we might qualify for a scholarship for as well so poor Little Sister could stop dying with jealousy every day and get into a school for the second half of the year! My fingers are crossed.

So first he’s talking to public aid.

Then he’s going to talk to the school district now and find out about how the transfer will work.

A driver’s license would be a first choice except they do this SecureID thing and mail your driver’s license to you within 10 days of applying. My kids need to be in the new school in ten days, not waiting on the mail carrier. I have nothing against the more secure procedure, I’m just trying to figure out how to get everything done when I know there’s going to be a period of time where I might not have proof of anything. That is a scary thought.

After those stops it’s off to the Indiana Farm Bureau and State Farm for quotes on renters insurance (as well as a renters/auto combo, of course) and we will see what the best option is for insurance. I changed our online policy to reflect the new address and the six month price dropped by about a hundred dollars (yay!) but the policy starts over with a new address so in December I have to pay $187 to pay the policy through May. It’s a good deal to pay that much for an extra three months of insurance for sure, but every time I see another bill added to the pile I cringe. I’m being really careful with the moving fund money. I guard it. It’s the safety net to get us to the tax return.

If Mr. Brickie isn’t working by the time we have all this stuff taken care of (hopefully he is) he’s going to start making calls for painting jobs or get a seasonal job somewhere. We aren’t going to just hang out and lament the poor weather. He is going to get out there and hustle. That’s just who he is and I love him for it.

Oh, Comcast has already been scheduled to show up next Saturday for the Internet. (Only the Internet.)

I can’t change the bank account yet because I’m not sure how that works with the employer address on the check matching the bank and those records matching the union records. Direct Deposit is the jam, for sure, but I don’t want to mess everything up by changing the address prematurely or changing the wrong address first. We’re going to try and change them on the same day and see how that works out. I don’t know if it’s even possible but I’m going to give it a shot.

I have a list that’s a whole page long with two columns of everything I have to change the address on and I’m sure I’m missing a bunch more things. I’ve been paying attention to the mail but I’m just sure I’m missing something important. That’s what the post office change of address form is for, I guess, but even ten years later I still get stuff here that’s from the previous owners of the house so I know that’s not 100% accurate.

It still feels surreal that we thought we were going to move between Thanksgiving and Christmas and now the kids are going to be in a new school next Monday if we can manage all the proving and the form-filling-outing and everything else.

What a whirlwind.

As for stuff, we have moved a bench, the board games, and all the pictures to the new place. It’s a start.

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Why I Stopped Overexplaining and Why You Should Too

stop-overexplaining

I have several interesting personality quirks. Most of them were created years ago because I felt I was being misunderstood. (Only Trent knows how I feel!)

Now that I am all grown up and making my way through the world at a far slower and quieter pace than I was in my 20’s there are a few things I found were not serving me anymore. Plus I have a friend who kept telling me I needed to stop this one thing and then that therapist I fired mentioned the same thing in the first ten minutes of that first session and I realized they were right. I can be a little slow sometimes.

I finally agreed with my friends and family. I needed to ditch my constant overexplaining.

If you explain things more than is necessary you should drop the habit too. Here’s why.

People Wonder What You Are Trying To Tell Them

If you’re anything like me you overexplain because you want to make sure the other person knows your position and doesn’t accidentally give it a tone or underlying meaning you were not trying to put there. The problem is, the more things you exclude, the more the other person is wondering what you’re really trying to say. Instead of making your point clear, you’re basically convincing the other person you have a hidden meaning they just haven’t figured out yet. It turns a simple statement into a treasure hunt for the other person.

I think this will be the only blog post ever where a Shakespeare quote is appropriate. “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” The more you say, the more people start to wonder if they should be taking any of it seriously. It’s not a good scene for you or the person you are talking to.

Using more words should not be a go-to for clarity. I have chosen to try and use the right words the first time instead of all the words in stream-of-consciousness style.

It’s Annoying

My great grandmother used to say, “It is easier to be good than to be simple.” If you have to use four paragraphs to explain why you don’t like cats, you are being good at explaining but you are not being simple. It’s okay to not like cats (or dogs, or gerbils, or badgers, or serial killers) and to just say so. Everyone has preferences and yours are probably valid ones. Just go with it.

You Seem Really Stressed

Another side effect of overexplaining is the person you’re doing this to starts to wonder if you think they’re stupid. They may even wonder what you think is wrong with them that you keep going. Worst case they start to think you think they are stupid and can’t understand simple statements without pages of backup explaining. There are no positive side effects to overexplaining. You seem like you can’t find your point and are really stressed about it. You make other people feel stressed. It’s bad news for everyone.

Also, the confused looks you get from people as you are overexplaining may lead you to actually be more stressed because you don’t know if they’re really getting what you’re trying to say. This may lead to further explaining and even more confused looks until you just stop mid sentence and give up. I’ve done this more times than I can count. I felt like I was just talking until there was nothing more to say about my feelings on the subject and then I would just … stop. It was a conversation killer like no other.

I am not a fan of uncomfortable silences I create with my word babble. Sure there are still occasional uncomfortable silences in conversations now – they’re just a natural part of conversation – but knowing I did not cause it to happen makes it much more bearable to smile through those moments.

It’s Not Necessary

My favorite reason to stop explaining everything to death is the sheer pointlessness of the whole mess. At the end of the day, “I don’t like dogs.” and, “I don’t like dogs because one bit me when I was six but I’m sure your dog isn’t like that and honestly maybe I would like dogs and I’m not saying anything about people who do like dogs it’s just not for me but someday maybe because I do love animals and I’d never be against dogs I just am not in a place right now where I would want a dog in my house but I’m sure if it was a dog like yours I might feel differently about it.” are the same thing.

If you say you don’t like dogs and someone assumes you are a dog hating animal abuser? That’s not on you. That’s on them. In fact, I would go so far as to say you will learn more about other people when you stop filling in the silence for them. You will also discover that if you had people in your life that told you to stop overexplaining things that you will be dying inside when they do the same thing. You will want to call them out for it so bad because you will realize that everyone does this a little bit, you were just doing it a little more.

It becomes the word you see for the first time and then see ten times in the next week. It becomes a phenomenon you are above.

You will feel like a communication rock star.

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