Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up: a little more than I can balance

It wasn't hard to go back to work on Monday after the Yahoo! Mother Board summit. I'm so lucky to love where I work, whom I work with, and what I do. A few of us went for Happy Hour after work on Monday, and I suppose that's one of the reasons it wasn't hard to go back! I knew there were cocktails in my future.

Thursday, I spent my lunch hour with Jessica Gottlieb and MarVistaMom to discuss the first book in Jessica's new online book club, The Saturday Wife.

Thursday night, a few of us went out yet again for Happy Hour after work, and on Friday, I remembered that I'm too old to go out two school nights in one week! Ah, well. I got through it.

On Saturday, we went to a friend's house to go swimming. I hadn't been to my friend L's house that she bought last year and I was so impressed, it was like envy.

I have been surrounded by opulence lately, and it started to get to me. The Four Seasons, of course, was beautiful. The girls' aunt's house and yard is amazing, my boss' house and yard from our department picnic is beyond spectacular, my sister's place that the girls love, Jessica's place is gorgeous, and now L. I know (because I've looked into it) that even in this market, I still can't afford to buy anything. I know that I'm doing fine and, considering where I was seven years ago, better than fine.

Still, when L asked how things are in my apartment, it was even hard to squeeze out the word "fine." There's no pool, I have to wake up at 6 on Saturdays to get my laundry done, there's no place for the girls to play outside, half the time when I put out my recycling bin, someone moves it and it doesn't get emptied (or worse, they throw trash in it), and two years later, I still don't know where to put everything. Plus, I made the mistake of looking at my 401k a couple of weeks ago, and that wasn't pretty. I have no savings to speak of, and the best that I can say about my finances right now is that I didn't use my credit cards this summer. That was my goal, it was a hard goal to meet, and I'm proud of myself for doing it. Still...well, you know.

Don't get me wrong: it's not that I need the most beautiful house or yard on the block. I've long ago given up on being able to keep up with the Joneses. I know I'm luckier than most in that I have a stable job, and I love it. It's not that I need the newest and brightest. Most of the time, I know that even if by some miracle, I could afford to buy something, I'd stay awake most nights, freaking out about the "what ifs."

And sure, I splurge a little here and there. Should I really have gone out for drinks twice this week? Of course not. Was buying those tickets to In the Heights really necessary, even at half price? Of course not. But those memories...they were so worth the monetary cost. Not to mention, even if I never splurged on these fairly minimal expenditures, they would not add up to a down payment for about 20 years. By then, the girls will be gone and a two-bedroom apartment might seem downright spacious!

Oh, good, I seem to have talked myself out of that envy all right!

So anyway, we had a great time at L's house, swimming and playing with her dog, and relaxing. One more week and the girls go on vacation!!


Cat said...

I know how you feel on the apartment front- that's how I felt in my mom's house.

Memories are worth an investment.

Danielle said...

I get that twinge of envy a lot when I see where some of my friends are and remember where I used to be, but it goes away pretty quickly!

Danielle said...

I get that twinge of envy a lot when I see where some of my friends are and remember where I used to be, but it goes away pretty quickly!

BigLittleWolf said...

It's all relative, as you know. Your health, your kids healthy, a stable job - that's huge. But it is so hard when others around you have so much more, and perhaps, don't quite realize their good fortune that isn't about working harder or being smarter. Just luckier, often.

I know what you mean about too small a space, and other compromises. But we all have to make some compromises when we have kids. Even those with the nicer homes and fewer worries. We just may not know what their compromises and worries are.

But it's hard, nonetheless.