With a Whoosh and a Schuss!

Even though I have spent 39 years of my life in the Midwest of the United States of America, most of those years in Wisconsin, I have never gone skiing.

Until now.

This weekend I am making the trek up to my home state with a group of my friends to purposely hurtle myself down a mountainside and hope to heaven that I don’t end up crushed in a pile at the bottom.

Now of course, I’m not going to be stupid about it.  I’m going to take lessons and start on the proverbial “Bunny Hill,” or whatever they call it at Alpine Valley Ski Resort.  And I can pretty well guess that the “mountain” at Alpine Valley will look nothing like the photo at right, with jagged cliffs and deep gorges.

Still, I’m a tad nervous.

And I won’t be alone, either.  There are a bunch of us in the group who have never skied before, so at least I won’t be the only one learning how not to break my nose.

But if I come back in a complete body cast, you’ll know why.

Heaven help me.

Rollercoasters are s'posta be fun, right?

Sorry for the long break between posts. As the title presumes, last week was quite a rollercoaster ride. And no, it wasn’t fun.

It started off pretty fun. The whole Obama Rally/Election Day excitement thing was a major thrill, and probably one of the most exciting moments of my life.

But what happened next, just a couple short days later, made me feel like the stock market on a really bad day.

I got an eviction notice.

Now I must explain a few things here. This had been snowballing ever since my bout with kidney stones a year ago. I was in and out of the hospital for nearly a week and missed a lot of work. I also called in to work a lot because I was still in so much pain after the initial hospital stay. I used up all of my sick time, and the majority of my vacation time as well. So if I got sick for any long period of time, I ran the risk of not being paid for those days. Thankfully I have an extended leave of absence clause at work due to health issues, so I can’t be penalized for those days off… but still, I was in a really bad place.

I worked myself out of it for a while and then the holidays arrived. Back down goes the rollercoaster. I took out loans on my 401(k) to catch up, then maxed out my loans. I was okay for a little while and then it seemed something else came along to knock me down. I never could find my way back.

I had been paying my landlord what I could, when I could, but it simply wasn’t enough. And she had had enough of all of it, obviously… so she did what she had to do.

Now before you begin envisioning me homeless on some dark street, sleeping under a train trestle, I want to dispel your concerns. I did what I had to do — and I called someone. I’m not going to say who. You can guess, and I won’t tell. But that someone helped me out and helped me repay my debt.

The problem is, I still feel like I’m robbing Peter to pay Paul. I wish I could just be independently wealthy and not have to worry about calling someone to bail me out. I wish it were just easier to live my life and do the things I want to do. But that’s the way the cards have been dealt to me, and I have to play them the best way I can.

I am still living in my apartment, and my lease is up in April. At that time I plan on either downsizing to something I can afford, or taking in a roommate. It sucks. I’m 37 years old and I still can’t make ends meet. Back when I was 27, I thought by now I’d be settled down and living the good life with my husband and our two dogs (and two cats) in a lovely townhome in Lincoln Park. Obviously, I haven’t grown up that much in the last ten years.

But I also realize that I am not, and never will be, alone in this situation. I’m sure a lot of my friends have the same troubles I do, and even those who look like they have “it all” really are barely getting by. It doesn’t help my finances get straightened out, but it does make me feel somewhat better.

So where do I go from here? Well, I will be having a very meager holiday season, and will most likely not be having my big holiday/birthday party. That alone will save me some major bucks. But in the meantime, I just have to be on time with the rent and everything should be fine. I’m paid up until December, so I can start paying now for December, which is great. As long as I keep myself in line, I’ll be fine.

And I’m staying away from rollercoasters until further notice.