5 Ways I’ve Changed in My 30’s

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No More Crap

I’ve stopped buying things just because I think I need them, or because I’m prepping for a future need. It’s just stuff! This took a lot of effort honestly, because we’re conditioned to be consumers…but given my tiny house dreams – there’s no more room for stuff I don’t use, and the heirlooms I have left, I’ve already decided who I’m passing them along to…and that’s SO relieving!

You WILL Treat Me Respectfully

Outside of the workplace, obviously because I still work for someone else, I do not tolerate disrespect, chauvinism or other attempts to make me feel less than I am. I don’t care who you are, no one gets to tear me down, and I will absolutely banish you from my life if you offend me badly enough. Most of the time I’ll handle it with a clever retort, when necessary a cross word.

I Won’t Settle

If I don’t want to do something, I don’t. If I don’t want to date someone, I don’t. If I’m not excited about going somewhere, I don’t go. Why? Because someone will be disappointed? WELCOME TO LIFE.

Screw Climbing the Ladder

I worked tirelessly in my 20’s trying to climb some ladder to get me somewhere making more money, in a more fulfilling job and you know, the one thing that has remained true throughout? I’m always happier outside of work. So I stopped taking jobs that made me miserable, I look for quality of life, and happiness at work. And it has helped, I don’t dread going to work like I used to, 100% worth it. Sure I make less, but I’m still happier.

I Don’t, and Won’t Justify My Beliefs

If I feel like having a conversation about my political/religious views, I will – but only with mature adults. But if I’m asked, and I don’t feel like it, I don’t have anything to prove, and won’t discuss it. I’m always polite about it, but you know, it really ISN’T anyone’s business but mine.

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The Battered Man

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I spent several hours talking to a battered man a few days ago, telling him about my experience in custody battles, being a parent and handling delicate situations and my knowledge of the law, never told him my name – on purpose. I don’t need him quoting me as if I’m a lawyer and I made that clear to him. Consult with your attorney, period.

Not only is he a battered man he’s also been emotionally beaten down for four years so much so that he feels so strongly tied to her, regardless of how horribly mean and jealous she is, how incapable she is of providing and how inept she was at maintaining her own home. This woman is 1 year younger than I am, 35 years old. I do not understand why ANYONE would stay with a person that would hit them, that’s a deal breaker folks. I will deftly shoot holes in any bullshit theory that makes staying with an abuser ok in ANYONE’S mind.

This man is financially stable and able to care for his two year old son. He has a great job that he can take time off from, and has several weeks of vacation available. He has also begun the purchase of a house. Some of you are like me and are just awed by the no brainer that is leaving this situation, when you have this much going your way. Understandably, he was concerned he would lose his son and pay through the nose to take care of him by proxy because he didn’t think he would get custody. This, is why he says he stays. So I explained to him what they law will allow. Settled his fears about custody, if the situation is what he says it is, have no fear – it’s time to GO. As we’re talking it is said that she is diagnosed bipolar and is un-medicated. That is when I told him he’s playing with a loaded gun. Oh and I mean it. He loves her, and I know the heart can lie and the brain will enable it, I’ve been there – but loving shouldn’t hurt like that.

By the time all was said, he was lining up his ducks, calling friends for a place to stay, making plans, working on his exit plan – did my damndest to instill in him that he didn’t have time, he didn’t have a week, HE HAD TO GO AND TAKE THAT BABY WITH HIM. I could go into the details of our conversation but I’d rather not rehash the whole thing, mostly because it’ll make me mad all over again. There are lots of things that I have no knowledge of, but family law, abuse, people who are diagnosed bipolar – these are all things I have a tremendous amount of experience with, and even teaching my child how to handle the other parent being off their effing rocker and dragging the child into the issues.

And I will argue those things to the death if it will save a child from seeing that kind of life and thinking it is normal. Every single child born to this world deserves a fighting chance at happiness, and if it means I have to be ruthless in arguing, because I mean to tell you – I was – then I will do so every damned time.

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Roots; Where it begins..

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There are few constants in my life, music is one of those constants. Without it, I cannot imagine my life being anything other than drab, boring and far too quiet. I grew up listening to old classic country with my grandmother, current and contemporary 80’s and 90’s country from my mom and rock, blues and classic rock from my Dad. As I went to high school I broadened my musical tastes to include pop, rap, metal, hair metal, grunge, a lot of that popular 90’s music. Around the time that Toby Keith cut a song about smoking weed with Willie Nelson and my relationship with my ex boyfriend starting hitting speedbumps I left country music behind. Occasionally listening to Gary Allen, Shania or Garth, my staples in country music.

Fast forward to we’ll say about 7 to 9 years later and I am coming back to the country music roots I have, knowing now what type of country I prefer helps, because I know certain artists do only the type that will send me screaming from the banjos. I love a story, maybe it’s because I’m a reader, maybe it’s because the men in my family have all been story tellers, but that’s the type of country I prefer…storyteller music.

Honestly, there is an exception to EVERY rule. There is only one rule I can think of that bears no room for exceptions. But yes, by and large, if the song tells a story, I’m pretty much in…and lately it’s love songs. I know how ridiculous it is…trust me! Not swaying me though, I love it, Rascal Flatts, Luke Bryan, old Alabama, Jason Aldean..you name it. Brantley Gilbert was a welcome surprise. Just as I quit listening I think he had put out a song but I never paid any heed, I entertained punk, ska and metal for several years almost exclusively. Bottoms up is easily one of my top 5 favorite songs/videos – yeah it IS because he’s super hot.

See me not giving a single fuck what you think about that? Google him, you’ll see ๐Ÿ™‚ So yeah, country love songs all up in my car, at the house, playlist at work. The one that I love the most right now is older, and I believe off the first or second Rascal Flatts album. The Day Before You. I’ll link it below. If I’m in the middle of heartbreak next year this time – just take pity on me, remind me that it was good while it lasted ๐Ÿ™‚

Or you can play this next song for me lol.

It’s weird how events in our lives can return us to a different place, or bring us to a familiar place with new feelings. I’ve never felt so intensely about anyone, and that makes all of this music sound so different to me now than it ever did before. I’m making my peace, slowly but surely with the past as it resides in my memory. It helps that my ex just texted me last week, seemingly looking to start something up. I shut that shit right down – I am not even a little bit interested in returning to the land of confusion. Let me just also add, when I left, it was because all my efforts to make it work had been exhausted…and I’ll be honest, I had been kinda mean in the end of it all, why he would want to reach back out to me is beyond me.

It made me a little smug, admittedly. But like I’ve told you all before, I’m an asshole, and assholes get smug when a jerkface attempts to crawl back to what he so gleefully abandoned previously. So, with a country song, and me teaching myself two stepping – I’m back to some of those old roots…this is where it begins.

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Rewards for Goals

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I have these bouts of introspection that most of the time lead to a change in my thinking, acting or something. They aren’t predictable at all, and I don’t know if it’s maybe a byproduct of self awareness or what but regardless, it’s one of those things that make adult life kind of a bitch.

Wish: That I could have fun, spend money whenever I want, and still be able to pay all my bills with no problem.

Reality: Budget, Budget, Budget, No you can’t buy that, no you can’t do that, no that concert isn’t something you can afford to go to. No, no happy hour for you.

This is what introspection does to me. I have to get real with myself and typically, it’s about the time I need to also dig out of a mess of my own creation. Hence, therefore, thus. I spent a lot of my life as a minimalist, wouldn’t shop, buy things for myself -spend money on myself, do fun things that involved spending money. I look upon those times as the dark period. I really have no desire to revisit.

However, my budget says that I need to slow WAAAY down. Which is so boring. SO. What I would very much like to do, is an idea that is similar to “going dark” which is a term used for covert activity in the military – I believe. I have decided I drink too much outside of my own home – so I’m not going to allow myself to do it again until I’ve dropped a size. Then I will permit myself one wild and woolly karaoke night, hopefully coordinated with my friends.

That is Goal #1. You would think my finances would be what I decide should be goal #1. Nope. My reward for good behavior. I want my fucking reward. So I will be good, and drink at home, and work out MORE OFTEN at home and stop avoiding the loneliness I’ve been avoiding by plopping my ass onto a bar stool too often. I started this working out kick in August, and I’m still doing 3 workouts a week including my challenge and a personal commitment to push ups. But it’s not enough. I’ve been tracking everything I put in my mouth for a month, and I just drink too much when I’m at the bar. There’s nothing else to do there but drink and smoke, and talk. What does it offer me? An escape from my reality.

How pathetic.

Are you enjoying this confessional? Recognize yourself in any of this destructive behavior? I started with the WHOAman in the mirror and man alive..what a mess that bitch is. But we all start somewhere and I dare say that where I’m at is a far cry from where I was last year, with the exception of not with someone. I think my biggest problem with me is that I’ve realized in the last month or so, I made a colossal mistake this year and I regret it, but have no choice but to move on.

Live and learn right?
Sigh.

I have also decided to do my level best to have a car paid for free and clear by 2020. I don’t think trying to have my student loans paid off by then is going to cut it. I want to start on my tiny house dream. So I’m hoping that next year, if all goes as promised, one of my part time jobs will pick up and add $200 or more per month to my budget and my savings will get kicked up a notch.

Honestly folks, financially, I’m terribly irresponsible. Terribly. I’ve struggled with it since I was a young adult and on my own for the first time. I know what the right thing is, but I have so much trouble fighting my impulses.

Share your tips on self control if you have any, I need all the help I can get.

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