Personality Tests

It doesn’t surprise me that I got my lowest scores in Trust and Emotional Stability (my emotions do shift frequently). I find it completely accurate that my highest scores were in Altruism, Sympathy, Imagination, Introspection, Intellect, Self-Consciousness and Confidence.

Advanced Big 30 Personality Test Results

Sociability |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Aggressiveness ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Assertiveness |||||||||||||||||| 58%
Activity Level |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Excitement-Seeking |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Enthusiasm ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%
Extroversion |||||||||||||||||| 59%
Trust |||||||||||| 38%
Morality ||||||||||||||||||||| 62%
Altruism |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 86%
Cooperation |||||||||||||||||| 58%
Modesty |||||||||||| 38%
Sympathy |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Friendliness |||||||||||||||||| 60%
Confidence |||||||||||||||||||||||| 78%
Neatness ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Dutifulness |||||||||||||||||||||||| 74%
Achievement ||||||||||||||||||||| 62%
Self-Discipline ||||||||||||||| 50%
Cautiousness ||||||||||||||| 42%
Orderliness ||||||||||||||||||||| 62%
Anxiety ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%
Volatility ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Depression ||||||||||||||||||||| 62%
Self-Consciousness |||||||||||||||||||||||| 78%
Impulsiveness ||||||||||||||||||||| 70%
Vulnerability |||||||||||||||||||||||| 74%
Emotional Stability ||||||||| 30%
Imagination |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Artistic Interests |||||||||||||||||| 54%
Introspection |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Adventurousness ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Intellect |||||||||||||||||||||||| 78%
Liberalism ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%
Openmindedness |||||||||||||||||||||||| 71%

Take Free Advanced Big 30 Personality Test
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Just Stopping By

You know, I haven’t been updating much lately. My life has expanded so much, and I can’t predict when I will find time to write.

As SARK says, “I think too much journaling is a tyranny.”

I agree totally.

I am reading all my favorites regularly, I promise and cross my heart and hope to die. I am lurking in guestbooks but not posting unless I feel I have something meaningful to say or offer.

I will update here when and where I can, but I’m not going to hold myself in contempt when I don’t for a few days.

It’s OK not to journal every day! I just realized that.

But since I’m here, I will say that I am ok, I am happy, my hubby is no longer on strike and the strike was only 4 days. His union negotiated a good contract and now I can get back into paying off the debts full force now. Before you know it, I’ll be stopping by here to announce debt-freedom.

I am also busily planning a last minute party on Monday Memorial Day. My mom is the guest of honor. I invited 44 people, thinking only a few would accept on such short notice.

But so far, I have 20 confirmed. And quite a few more I suspect will confirm as well. What a shindig this will be!

Day care, Strikes, Our Future, and Sweet Men

Ok, ticked off entry follows.

Why, oh WHY is daycare so darn expensive????????

This summer, Princess will need all day care, since I have to work all day. She will have to go to the daycare at 7:00 a.m. and will be there until 5:00 p.m. I hate that she has to go, mainly because that is a SUCKY way of spending your summer vacation. Yes, my day care does do fun activities and she will have playmates, but she won’t be able to do the “sleeping in” thing and utter leisure, etc. The best parts of summer vacation, in my humble opinion.

On top of THAT, and even more worrisome, is the PRICE of said daycare. Keep in mind that I have done my research and compared the cost of other day cares, including home day care providers, and for the level of service I am getting (which is pretty darn high), my day care is the least costly. I have also looked into day camps, including the YMCA. They are all more expensive per week than my day care. There are home day care people who will watch Princess for less than $150 a week, but they are not licensed and not in a good neighborhood where I’d feel secure about Princess playing outside. So my day care is still the winner on the price and quality issues.

But it is *still* going to cost $600 a month! I will outlay $1800 during the 3 months of this summer for day care.

That is one month’s worth of my take-home pay. So basically I’m going to work 3 months, and lose 1 month’s worth of pay just to send my child somewhere I don’t want her to go!

I would quit my job right now if I could. But we are so close to getting these debts paid off, and when we do, then I can stay home and not have to worry about my income anymore. Also, after the summer is over, we are not going to need after school day care anymore, so the expense will be gone completely at that point. Princess is starting middle school and we have decided that we will let her come home from school every day for that hour before I get home. She is very responsible, I have no worries about her being at home by herself for short periods of time. We have been slowly introducing her to that concept, starting with 10 minutes, and working our way up to more time.

During the school year, I am currently paying $300 a month for before and after school care. So when her day care expense is gone, I am going to invest most of that money into letting Princess pursue some of her interests, like guitar lessons, karate, and perhaps even horseback riding. I figure, it’s already earmarked for Princess, I’ll just keep it that way and help her expand her horizons.

Ok.

Here’s another thing that is going on. As of 1:30 p.m. today, my husband and BIL could go on strike at any time. My husband, his brother, and their dad are all union employees, and talk about one broke-assed family when they go on strike! LOL. It’s a necessary evil. The company is trying to rake us over the coals. However, it will be a rough road for us, managing with only the minimal “strike pay” that our husbands will be bringing home.

I have been told they will bring $50 per week home the first 2 weeks, then $200 a week for the next 2 weeks, and then $300 a week thereafter. Ok, to some that may seem like a lot and we are truly grateful for even that, but it will be an adjustment when your husband brings quite a bit more than that home every week usually. But we’ve made it on practically nothing before and we are quite experts at it.

It’s just that we had moved beyond the “scraping around for pennies” phase in our lives, and it sucks to return there, even temporarily.

However, I am optimistic about the future. This will be a frugal summer any way you look at it, but we had a family meeting last night and discussed it. We made a list of free, cheap and special treat activities we could do this summer and we have planned out June’s activities – we planned our weekly “Family Fun Nights” and weekends, planning around paychecks and other scheduling issues. I am excited about camping in the backyard by the fire pit, and bike riding at Kensington Park, and kite flying, and going to the sprinkler park.

I am looking forward to my husband’s broken foot healing, and lots of time logged on the jetskis.

I am looking forward to our special treat trips to the Zoo (packing our own lunches of course).

I am looking forward to buying some plastic molded chairs and stuff for my porch, and making pretty chair pads to make them so comfy, and sitting there of an evening listening to the cicadas when they appear (I figure I should just accept them because they’re coming whether I want them or not) and brushing them off me in droves LOL.

I am looking forward to my nephew’s wedding in July.

I’m anticipating our game nights, and our little slumber parties in the living room, etc.

You can have so much fun, and not spend a dime. Life is beautiful.

We will be ok, I guess we have to accept things like unexpected or unpleasant expenses. This won’t last forever, and after the trial by fire, we are going to be so much better off than we were at this time!

As Charles Swindoll said, “The lens of fear magnifies the size of the uncertainty.”

I am not afraid of our future, I know we’re going to be ok.

I am truly grateful for everything that I have now, and if I never get any more, it would be ok, because I have enough, and I have more than I need.

One more thing, a really nice thing to close down this mostly negative and ranty entry.

This morning, we go outside to our cars and I pass a plant in my backyard that I haven’t identified yet. It’s a hosta-type plant, with these tall stalks that are flowering with purple flowers. Some of the petals are growing upward, and the outside petals and pointing downward. Anyway, they are quite lovely and I exclaimed over them this morning “How beautiful!” and I leaned over and smelled them “And they smell great too!” and my husband said, “Yep, just like you – beautiful.” Then he kissed me and smelled me, and said “But I think you smell better.”

🙂 I love that man.

We are ALMOST debt free!

Wow – third entry of the day!

I just wanted to record this.

I am proud of my husband and myself. Over the past 5 years, we have actually managed to pull ourselves almost completely out of the black hole of debt — in a big way. We are almost to our goal of being debt free (except for a house payment, but we plan on paying that off early too). Just to give a recap:

During the past 5 years, we have bought and paid off 2 vehicles, and are almost done with 2 others. Keep in mind that we sold the 2 paid off vehicles and actually made money off of them! In addition, we have been paying off debts that we both entered the marriage with. On top of that, we have bought, maintained, and made substantial renovations to our home, supported ourselves and Princess, gone on some really decent vacations, and paid for our wedding completely ourselves.

We have had fun, and saved money, and when we are through paying off our debts, we plan on never getting into debt like that, ever again! Actually, other than our vehicles and our home equity loan for home improvements, we have not accrued *any* new credit debt in 3+ years. Also keep in mind that I was a stay-at-home mom with no income for 18 months out of the 60 we’ve been together.

I am not happy about the amounts of money we have outlaid on certain things, but some of them were necessary, and some of them, at the very least, were learning experiences that we will not repeat again. The numbers may scare some of you. They scare me when I look at them, but I am heartened because the payoff process is speeding up now that we have eliminated almost all of our interest-accruing debt payments. I also know that our debt is wimpy compared to some, and others have probably never even had debt in their life. I WILL say that our progress and the promise the future is holding for us financially is because of *extremely* hard work, savvy financial planning, and subjugating a lot of our personal wants, and I now feel very confident in our ability to make sound financial judgments. I am also very excited because I did a calculation, once all our debt payments are gone, of how much we could save by this time 2006.

Here’s how it has gone down for us in the last 5 years:

Debts paid off:
Concorde 23500
F-350 15000
Loan from CG’s mom 1300
Loans from 401(k) for
wedding and house purchase 7250
Hubby’s debts from pre-CG 1000
CG’s pre-Hubby debt 500

Total $48,550 (sick, huh?)

Debt left:

401(k) remainder 250 (will be paid off June 25 2004)
Van 2650 (will be paid off July 23 2004)
Harley 1700 (will be paid off September 3 2004)
CG’s debts to family 3350 (will be paid off by October 30 2004)
Home equity 10000 (will be paid off by March 2005)
CG’s debt (all pre-Hubby) 3640 (will be paid off by April 2005)

Projected Savings by May 2006: $25,650!!!

This does not include 401(k)’s or our savings plan through another source. I probably oughtn’t be putting all these numbers on my diary but I can’t help it, I am very excited, and it has been such a huge part of my life, this getting out of debt and becoming financially independent. I have been struggling financially for over 15 years. I am so done with that. I also feel like if I show people my numbers, they can maybe realize that IT CAN BE DONE. You can be without debt, if you learn self control and really believe in life without debt.

Yeah, what she said!!

I have to quote Catie. I don’t quote her a lot, but I absolutely adore her wisdom and the really whimsical way she can hit the nail on the head.

When you read this, just remember, that I am nodding my head in agreement and appreciation!

“Kittens, here’s a lesson to write down. When you get married you marry EVERYONE. Not just the person you say I do to. You marry their parents and their siblings and their Polish granny. And the majority of the time it’s not a big deal, but at some point it’s probably going to be annoying and you’ve got to keep your mouth shut on account of the fact that your partner already knows their family is screwed up and what they need from you is support and love, not confirmation that their family is a mess. This is something that I sometimes accomplish and sometimes not. I’m careful to watch my beloved’s face when I start to rant and when I can tell I’ve said enough I stop.

Because there isn’t a single person on the face of the planet who could fill my life the way this Bulgarian does. And like I said yesterday, there’s so much love in my heart for Andy I can love his whole family, too. ”

Hear, hear. I agree totally!!

Man, I hate it when….

So. You know what bugs me?

When you’re working at your desk, listening to LaunchCast at Yahoo.com…and one of your old favorite songs comes on (Silent Lucidity by Queensryche), and you are so very stoked about it. You turn the volume up so you can really enjoy the music (but not so loud that other people can hear it…just enough that the copy machine doesn’t ruin it), and settle back into your work enjoying the cool song that you never tire of hearing.

THEN…someone (a new person) comes to your cubicle and starts asking you questions like “Where is the letterhead? Should we type out mailing labels or print them? Then they go to the mail room, right?” and so on and so forth, and you have to tell them this stuff correctly the first time because you don’t want to have to re-tell them later. When they finally go away, the last notes of the song are straining and you realize it could be a LONG time before you hear Silent Lucidity on LaunchCast again.

grrr.

So that’s what is bugging me right now. That and the uncertainty of my future and the frustration of not being pregnant yet. But missing the song is bothering me more right now, so I guess I should be grateful for that. ;->

Wait, everything is so much better now. Another rare but favorite song just came on! “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk!!! Recently remade by No Doubt, and really good, it just doesn’t quite measure up to the original. Gotta go enjoy! Pray no one comes up and messes me up while I’m jamming.

Life is ok again.

Pure Assed Lazy

I am ok! Just in case you were wondering. I wanted to put something, anything, in the place of that last pathetic entry!

I told SIL yesterday that we are in this “slump”, so to speak, as far as our progress we were making with keeping our homes organized, and getting on track with our health regimens, because we are conserving our strength because of all the things we have going on in our lives right now — impending strikes, problems with children, problems with parents, and so on.

To a certain degree, it is right, we are paralyzed because we feel we can’t make any moves until we know what is going to go down with this strike. It just looms over my head like a dark cloud and depresses me. I just want it to get started, because the sooner the strike starts, the sooner it will be over. And I can get on with my plans.

But really, there is no excuse for not taking care of our health. In fact, NOW is the time we need to exercise, more than ever. Exercise would *give* us more energy, if we could just get over the hump and do it.

That’s what it boils down to, folks.

At least for me (I can’t speak for SIL), I know it is pure-assed laziness that is keeping me from exercising, eating right, and staying on top of my home management. But I also know that SIL has a *Lot* more going on that I do right now. I pray for her constantly, that she can withstand the pressure that is on her right now.

Well, I do need to get on the ball here at work, and since I have people who would object if I played around all day here, I’ll get back at it.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who were supportive when I was feeling ugly and sorry for myself. I feel a bit better. I’ll explain this later.

Take care!

Beware — Entry full of Self Loathing follows

Guys and Dolls, I am so confused. I don’t understand why I sabotage myself every time I get something going that is positive in my life.

I am struggling within myself to figure out why I don’t do the things I ought to be doing. Things I do enjoy once I get going and do them. You guys know that I was doing really well there for a few months, trying to eat better, giving up Dr. Pepper/caffeine, taking my vitamins, doing yoga every day, doing other exercises every day, including pilates in the morning. I phased in a morning and evening routine that kept me more organized. I started FlyLady and my family and I were keeping our house clean and neat all the time. All was well in my world. My body became more flexible and my back pain disappeared almost entirely. I slept better, I felt better. I incorporated a lot of little rituals to make my life more meaningful. I was feeling pretty good about myself, for the most part.

But something happened…my momentum slowed and then came to a complete stop. Where once I was jumping out of bed at 5:45 a.m. every morning to do my pilates, I haven’t done any pilates in over 2 weeks. I have barely been keeping to doing yoga once every other day. No, I am not pregnant, as my wonderful box of tampons can attest.

I gave up caffeine, and because of that, I had to give up my favorite beverage in the world, Dr. Pepper. THEN, on vacation, I found Caffeine Free Dr. Pepper, and I went on a “drinking binge”. I bought about 8 two-liter bottles of it back to Michigan, and drank nothing else. My water drinking became minimal again. I have run out of the DP now but I have been drinking tons of Mug Rootbeer ever since.

Another problem I’m noticing is that I am a complete sugar fiend. I have to have it, almost all day. I don’t know a lot about eating disorders, but I am beginning to think I have something going on. When I get to craving it, I can think of nothing else until I give in and get something. Just today, I had a Milky Way Bar at about 9:15 a.m. That was AFTER I had scrambled eggs and 3 strips of bacon for breakfast. Normally that morning sweets craving has been filled by the root beer. I told myself I wasn’t going to buy the root beer today and just drink water. So what do I do? I go, as if in a trance, down to the vending machines and buy a Milky Way! It’s still early? Wonder how much I can take before I give in again?

I am hungry all of the time. Or is it just my perception of hunger?

I know I am addicted to sugar and chocolate and soda, but I am totally at a loss as to how to kick this habit. I don’t want to eliminate sugar entirely, for I love sweets too much for that. I crave those things, and breads, and starches (which I know convert to sugars, damn them!). And until I win the battle with these things, I’m probably not going to slim down.

I think that is the root of my problem. I had been exercising 3 times a day, every day, for weeks on end and had not lost a pound. I really didn’t lose any noticeable inches anywhere either. I will admit that the flexibility and loss of pain really were the biggest benefits, but I guess I was so disappointed that I was working so hard and couldn’t see much outside tangible evidence that I was doing all that work. I guess secretly I wanted to slim down a bit and, honestly, I just wanted my husband to see me and go, “Wow!” He tells me I am pretty and that my weight doesn’t bother him, but what if he is just being nice? He doesn’t just go “Wow” anymore. This causes me much grief.

Part of me doesn’t want to even care about this, I don’t care what the media says is pretty. But I do want to be pretty and I want people to think I’m pretty and I want my husband to think I am sexy. If I am pretty and I am “plus” size, that would be ok with me. But I just don’t think I am. I have this weird mentality. As you may or may not know, I have always struggled with my complexion, and had severe acne from the age of 13 until about 1.5 years ago. I tried everything to fix it, including Accutane (which was awful), but nothing worked, until I started taking this specific kind of birth control pill. My face cleared up then, which tells me my acne problem was really hormonal and not caused by any of my outside issues like diet or makeup. I could eat whatever I wanted, use whatever beauty products I wanted, and my acne breakouts would be very minor and minimal. The only thing that remained was my scarring, which I have been having a hard time dealing with in the first place.

When I quit taking birth control pills back in October, I knew that the acne would come back, but I never dreamed it would come back in such an unbelievably ghastly fashion. I can’t believe how much my self-esteem suffers when I have acne. So anyway, here I am, covered in huge cystic blemishes, all around my mouth, nose, chin and neck. Add in that my skin is sagging around my jaws and I have this horrid double chin. Then, my once very, very beautiful figure has changed dramatically, and now I am much rounder and I have this belly and I just don’t look the way I used to. It’s more the shock of how different I look now than I used to. Oh, add in that I am more than 50% gray haired at the age of 30, and you can see I am suffering huge blows to my self-esteem. I just miss my pretty figure. I don’t miss a pretty face, as I never did seem to get that one, but Lord knows that I deserve a pretty face after all I have been through with the one I have. I am having trouble accepting this new picture of myself. I am fighting hard against those crazy social precepts that say I have to be thin to be beautiful. I’m trying to find the beauty in what I have become but I am having a very hard time, because I really think my husband must be disgusted with me, as I am disgusted with my aging, dumpy, zitty, scarred self.

So anyway, I am discouraged and sad, and now angry with myself for quitting something else. I really want to find some understanding for myself, and forgive myself for getting discouraged, and get motivated to keep on trying to be healthier.

On the good side, I do have to give myself credit for continuing to take my vitamins, and doing my yoga more often than I don’t do it. I also have my little morning ritual, which brings a spiritual aspect to the start of my day. And having FlyLady in our household has helped us — even when we are lazy a couple of days, it’s easy to get back into things.

However, let’s get back to the problem at hand. I think one of my biggest issues is learning to love myself for what I am now. I just can’t seem to do it. I am doing everything I can think of to love myself and treat myself special, but when I look into the mirror, I am just saddened by the woman I see there. I feel like I look so much older than I really am. I have this handsome husband, and I would like to at least be as attractive of a woman as he is a man.

I know! I’m pathetic! I also need to deal with this eating thing. I think I may be a compulsive eater. It seems I turn to the chocolate and sweets to comfort myself. I don’t know where to turn for help. I don’t have a lot of money, don’t have a lot of time, and I’m not particularly disciplined. Changing my diet is going to be such a huge challenge and I’m not sure if I am up to it. I really need to do it, but I am fighting a lazy disposition and I am soooo good at reasoning away things or procrastinating.

I’m ugly. And sad.