Sober and Still Stupid "The Tao of money and the poo"

"Children make your life important".
-Erma Bombeck

It's not that I am bad with money. Ok. I am bad with money, if bad means disorganized. But the things I do are ultimately for good. The good of my family and myself. Whoever said when you get sober you will miraculously have "all your shortcomings removed", was working for Hallmark in the Easter Bunny division. If anything in sobriety your shortcomings are amplified as is everything else because you are after all sober, and devoid of all diluted perception that the alcohol or drug may have aloud you to have. You actually begin to see yourself for who you really are. You feel better, yes, because you feel everything!

Managing money is my biggest shortcoming. I never make enough or manage what I have well enough to rest easy. I won't keep a checkbook register. I write checks to cover other checks. I write checks from credit card accounts. As my mom used to say I "steal from Peter to pay Paul". I think this is some saintly concoction Catholics use to make it Ok to juggle finances. Like taking from one saint to give to another makes it ok, because you are after all giving the money to a "saint" or at least a worthy cause.

I would call my family a worthy cause. Yes sir. (as my Grandmother used to say) She had great words like davenport for couch and "you bet" for yes. My grand mother Lucille's good nature was the single finest thing that this family ever produced until, of course, my son.
My son is my worthiest cause. And when I fail myself I feel I fail him as well. So when my money managing foibles occur I will dip into to despair over whether God gave my son to the right mother. Because a "good" Mom should be able to manage money better. A good Mom does it all with accuracy and grace. And does it nice clothes looking angelic. What would JC do? That is, June Cleaver.

I will say for my part. My creative finances are due to a lack of finances. I have to juggle and wrangle and do the money taffy pull so we can stay afloat. I don't buy a lot of frivolous things. Ok one frivolous thing. McConnell's Tart Gizeh. It is expensive frozen yoghurt and I need it. Sometimes I go to lunch. I love lunch with friends. Oh and the other frivolous thing is thrift stores. That is usually a less than $10 dollar proposition. So shoot me.

Right now I am fretting about paying health insurance and paying bills. I made a mistake in getting a few low limit credit cards and have been regretting that ever since. I am in the process of paying them down one by one and destroying them. But lately, the minute I pay one down; I need the credit to cover us until whatever check I am waiting for arrives. Stupid me I fell for it and now I am getting dinged every month by these vampires for anything the small print in their contract allows them to ding me for. They are amazingly vicious. READ YOUR small print CONTRACTS. They are full of claws and snares to get your money. The small limit credit cards with the high interest and the fabulous initiation fees are the worst. My mission is to get rid of all but the two with the high credit limits and low interest. Strangely enough the cards with the higher limits and the lower fees are nicer about waiving fees. You have to call and talk to them and be sweet. But most credit companies have some "grace" policies.

My financial advisor and sober friend calls it being
"under the wheel". When the money coming in cannot match what you owe. If you can get a loan or use an IRS refund to pay down your debt, that is the simplest and quickest. If you pay down half of the balances you owe. Your credit score may jump UP as much as forty points. It is true. I did it. Paid half of everything with income tax return money. Boom! Forty points on the FICA. Cha Ching!

I am still in the poo today. But I know the way out of the poo. Patience and practicing sober thinking helps.
I get a kind of hysterical blindness over money sometimes. And then I hear on NPR today that someone on death row in Texas is waiting for a stay. I am reminded I am free. I am in a country where freedom is my right. I am capable. I can work toward and be in the solution today. I am not in a bar drowning my sorrows. My sorrows are not drowning me. I am sober and awake. I can appreciate this precious pain of awakening to a new phase in my development. OK I need a money class. Some discipline. Whatever this is, it is not cancer. This too shall pass. Right now the sun is shining on my boys yellow gold hair. We are going to have a beach walk. I love it when he links his arm with mine and talks to me and tells me what a great mommy I am.
It'll do. No poo.

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