I'm parked on the couch with a heat pack against my lower back and my feet up. The dogs are at the groomer, and at some point I'll have to go get them or risk prosecution. They look so innocent when they're sleeping, don't they? This morning, though, when I was getting ready to drive them to the groomer, they were making me crazy. I actually screamed at them. I knew it was time for a Mommy time-out.
Fortunately, this is rather an all day thing at the groomer. When I do go pick them up, my housework will be finished (check), the cat boxes will be clean (check), I'll have showered (check), will have replaced the torn doggie seat protector in my back seat (getting ready to do that) after vacuuming up a ton of hair from all around it, will have had lunch (check), and will have caught up on blog-reading (check). After I bring them home, I'm going to rest before going out to see a movie with a couple of friends. I had hoped to get around to stripping some more wallpaper today, but I think I've pushed myself far enough, thank you.
Maybe I'm pushing through it all because it seemed like a long week. I couldn't wait to do something besides write about multicast. It was a tough week for everyone, I think. I count myself fortunate that I don't have a ton of money in the stock market or in real estate, because I know people who are in that situation and are hurting right now. We're feeling the credit crunch only in that peripheral way that is making us very grateful to have jobs and a roof over our heads.
Some people may fool themselves into thinking that they have planned and prepared so well that nothing can happen to them. Don't believe it for a minute. Do you know how quickly a protracted illness can wipe you out? Do you know how fast things can turn around? Just like the Nationwide commercials say, "Life comes at you fast." I've seen it happen. I don't say that because I want to scare you but because I've had one too many people lately putting their chin out and saying, "We have been very disciplined. We're fine. All of these people who are in trouble are there by their own fault."
Case in point, my dad had hundreds of thousands in the bank...cash, liquid. He felt that it was better than an insurance policy. He was a successful business owner, shrewd, smart, and strong. He was invincible... until he wasn't. The Big C hit and soon we were reduced to living in a small house in a small town on Social Security. All the money? Gone. It was 1975, and the first surgery cost over $22,000. And since he could no longer work and had too much pride to let my mother do it, we all suffered. No college for me until I could pay for it myself.
Another case in point. My husband spent 6 years in the Marines serving his country during which we suffered from the worst poverty we've ever endured. It was impossible to save money, because we were barely scraping by. We didn't buy our first house until we'd been married 12 years, and even then, we didn't have much to put down on it. We almost didn't get the house because we had gone bankrupt after my husband got out of the Marines. It wasn't because of debt we had racked up; it was because of medical bills. We had two kids who kept getting sick and ending up in the hospital, and we had no insurance. Finally, we lost everything and had to seek relief under bankruptcy. It felt like a real victory when we bought our house. Now we're living in the 4th house we've bought, but the ghost of poverty will always haunt us. We'll always be running from that.
My heart goes out to those who have lost or will lose their house. I can't imagine anything scarier. As you know, if you've read me for awhile, I have been homeless before. I never want to go through that again. My heart aches for those who are dealing with that. I'd wager that most of them never saw it coming. So before you pat yourself on the back too much, say a prayer that your luck and blessings will hold. Something as major as this stock market slide won't leave many people unscathed. Let's just hope it comes back to neutral soon.
As for me, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my afternoon while the dogs are off beautifying (nod to Daryl!) And a shout-out to NATUI for her kind invitation for me to come enjoy dinner with her and her family. I've got a rain check on that....
Peace - D