A glimpse

Pensioneering

I came upon this blog post tonight, and it had me in tears.  It was a glimpse into my own life, my daily struggles. One of the reasons I find myself so depressed most days. One of the reasons I struggle with my weight.

We just spent nearly $200 on groceries. It has to last us the whole month. For 3 people (including a growing teenage boy who could potentially eat us out of house and home!). I know all too well what this feels like. I don’t wish this on anyone. The constant worry about whether we’ll have enough to eat all month is a nightmare. It attacks the mind and body with equal viciousness.

Being looked down on, and being given “advice” only serve to make things worse. The only people I will take advice from about this particular subject, are people who are currently, or have been very recently, in our situation. Those who have never been, or haven’t been in a long time, just don’t understand (or remember) what it’s like.

Those who say things like:  “Give up your internet or cable, you’ll be able to afford more food!” – truly don’t understand. Giving up either separately, would net us either $20 or $50 extra. Not a whole lot extra. Giving up both would, obviously, give us roughly $70 extra, which is a more “substantial” amount, granted. But what they never take into consideration is that without those things, my mind would collapse. When my mind collapses, I eat or sleep. I stress out. I have no outlet. Scary thoughts creep into my head.

Bill and Matthew are able to get out of the house, interact with other people, see different scenery, experience different things. But me? None of the above. Which is why I can’t give up both of my only sources of sanity (and the positives don’t outweigh the negatives, making it pointless to give up just one for the paltry amount of money we’d gain).

The biggest insult of all, I’ve discovered, are those who flaunt their ability to buy whatever expensive foods they desire. Part of it is jealousy, I’m mature enough to admit that. Of course I’m jealous! I want to eat steak and lobster, fresh fruits and vegetables, and go out to eat a couple of times a week! The other part is anger. Anger that our food industry does nothing to help, and worse yet, they make it seem that if you’re not following the status quo, you’re somehow a substandard human being. And I know that my friends and family who perpetually flaunt their abilities aren’t doing it consciously. They’re just excited that they can buy their fresh, organic, gluten free, corn syrup free, healthy foods. They know not what they’re doing (to the rest of us).

I guess this has been boiling up inside of me for some time. Funny what it takes to get me blogging again after, what, 2 weeks?  I’m still in a mental funk. I’ve had ideas for posts rattling around in my head, but it seems whenever I sit down to get it out, I discover that I’m too depressed to actually type it out. How sad, really, that I’ve had a list of things to do when I give a damn again. The fact that this particular post has been at the top of my list for a while, hopefully means that I’m ready to emerge from the funk and hibernation and depression. Don’t hold your breath, but think positive thoughts for me, please.

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  1. March 16, 2010 at 7:06 am

    I hear it. I know all about it.

    It kills me online because I hear so many people yattering on about their toys, and their renovations and shopping at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and I just think, damn, I worry about what I can afford most days, not if it’s GMO or organic. I do what I can, but at the end of the day, I worry about FEEDING my kids, period.

    And that’s when the class differences online come clear. Sure, I’m still priviledged to be online at all, but hey, I WORK for the cable company and pay next to nothing for my internet. Cutting it would kill me, and net little.

    Judging is easy for people who have never had to feed their kids pasta all week cause there’s nothing else.

    Glad I got you writing, sucks I got you crying. 😦

    • March 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm

      Please don’t feel bad that you got me crying. I do that a lot on my own, anyway. 😉 I am grateful that you got me writing again! I have a ton of stuff bottled up inside of me, and I think that once I’m able to get it all out, my depression may subside … at least for a little while.

      Pasta all week is definitely not fun, or tasty, or healthy. But it’s sometimes a necessity. Between regular pasta, or adding meatballs or sausage, or Hamburger Helper, or lasagna or some other pasta meal, I’m all pasta’d out. I tend to burn out on foods easily, so when I’ve had enough of pasta for a while, I don’t have a lot of other choices.

      I burned out on salad a couple of years ago, when we were able to acquire garden veggies, and haven’t really had the desire to eat a salad since then. The same thing happened with peanut butter & jelly, when it’s all Bill and I could afford to eat (2-3 times a day). Now, the thought of pb&j actually makes us gag.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, but heartbreaking that anyone else has to go through this.

  2. March 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Dear Shelli, Since my wife and I are, now both retired, the money crunch has hit. I have no advice. I do have love for you and your family. I know about the weight thing too. I have fought it for most of my life.
    Be Well, Peace, howie

    • March 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

      Thank you Howie. I’m glad to have a friend like you in my life! *hugs*

  3. March 17, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Hey Shelli, I’m thinking of you and hoping you get through these tough times intact. We’re not at that point yet, but it’s gradually edging closer and corners are being cut. I’m afraid a part-time post office job won’t delay the inevitable, if I don’t get something more lucrative. We’re all doing the third world shuffle if things keep going this way. I’ll be checking in.

    • March 18, 2010 at 1:51 am

      Dan, I truly hope that your job affords you the ability to continue to keep out of the third world shuffle. For me, this has been an ongoing struggle for most of my adult life. There are times when we get ahead of things financially, and we buy a ton of food for the freezer, but eventually, we’re right back to where we started. If you do need advice on how to live like this, you know where to find it! I’m a bit of an expert at it. (ha ha, but not ha ha, if you know what I mean)

      • March 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

        Thanks, Shelli. This blog is real life, and man are we all dealing with it, eh. Let’s hope for a good weekend.

  4. March 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Sending some positive energy your way, friend! I think the fact that you can write out your frustrations is a giant step in the right direction towards finding your way out of your funk. Just hang in there! =)
    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

    • March 18, 2010 at 1:53 am

      I’m hanging! I’m good at writing out my frustrations … it’s the actual sitting down and doing it that I find difficult. That, and the fact that I don’t want all of my posts to be this whiny negativeness. I guess I just need to get it all out, cleanse it from my system, so to speak. Thanks for the positive energy! 🙂

  5. March 23, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Shelli,
    I have a lot the same issues. I am living off of a fixed income, and it isn’t even an income really, I am living off of my student loans. I had to take out over $50,000 for this school year. While it seems like a lot, over half of that goes to school. The rest is what I have to live off of for the year. To make matters worse, my money is dwindling, and I have no job. Internships are hard to get here, there are so many pharmacy schools in this area. Plus, I can’t afford to see the specialists that I need to, to try and figure out what is going on with me. You are not alone.
    I really feel with you about the food. I eat so much tuna fish, that I seriously need to be checked for mercury levels, but it is so cheap (the cans, not the packets)
    I am sending good vibes your way!! Keep up the blogging, write what you need to, and get it out.

    • March 24, 2010 at 4:30 am

      I empathize with you, you know I do! *hugs* School has become so expensive, it’s ridiculous! I remember what college was like. I was lucky that my room and board was paid for (I was a live-in nanny), but I paid for my own food and gas and school supplies, etc. with only a paltry amount coming from a student loan.

      Your tuna fish was our peanut butter and jelly. I truly did feel like a nut! (you are what you eat?) LOL

      If I may offer a couple of ideas: with the new healthcare bill being passed (along with a piggy-back for student loan and grant changes), it might be something worth looking into to see if you qualify for Medicaid and/or a Pell Grant. Both would substantially help you out, with your medical issues and with money (that doesn’t need to be paid back! yay for grants!) What you may not have qualified for yesterday, you might today. It’s worth looking into, in any case, just to say you tried. 🙂

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