My last night of "freedom."

This is my last night before I start work. It's free. But it's also confined. How do I fill the hours? How have I filled my day? I've been up for so long that I've spent periods saying "I don't know what to do right now." Once work starts, I doubt I'll be doing that as much. More likely, I'll be excited that I have the chance to do things I couldn't all day.

I intend to do this job right, to enjoy it, to be a blessing to others through it. Otherwise, I don't know how I'd manage. I'm reading a book called Work With Meaning, Work With Joy. It's about spirituality and work. So far, it's been a good read. I'm encouraged by knowing that I can have a spiritual life even as I'm working, to be reminded that work doesn't cut me off from who I am or from who I'm being.

I've also been reading things like lifehacks, liferemix, the happiness project....sites which encourage people to live with happiness and joy, to cut down on useless activities and negative attitudes. I've also been reading Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. For me, that's like a devotional book. It's not aimed primarily at Christians, but a lot of it is things taught by Christianity put into more modern language and honed down into specific points. It's useful. And I have The Little Flowers of Saint Francis on my PDA for metro reading. I may bring a book too.

Financial Achievements:

  • Scheduled my trip out so that it was as fuel-efficient as possible.
  • When shopping for a blouse, found one that I really liked and that was on sale for $4.88 (!!!). I guess that wasn't my doing, but I'm glad I found it.
  • Used the library and saved the expense of buying books.
  • Made a list before shopping in order to optimize shopping trip.
  • Saved $2 by using Giant card and another $5 by buying CVS generic instead of name-brand moisturizer.
  • Went through Giant flier looking for upcoming sales.
  • Made a big batch of curry, for lunches and leftovers. This saves money because I won't have to buy lunch and it saves stress so that I won't have to spend time cooking after I get home from work.


About Sales.... I noticed something when looking at the Giant flier. A lot of the sales looked good but were thoroughly impractical. Who needs to buy 10 jars of mustard for $10? Maybe a school or a huge family which has a lot of cookouts and picnics. But seriously? The only 10 for $10 item I can use is 10 cans of diced tomatoes (with or without spices). I'll double check to make sure the generic isn't cheaper, but it's canned and I actually used diced tomatoes a couple times per week.

This makes me think of the post An Elephant For a Dollar Down and Easy Weekly Payments.

Things I'm grateful for: Thought it might be a positive element to occasional posts.

  • First thing would be Mr. Micah. I made a messy vegetable curry tonight and he not only did the dishes, he also cleaned the stove! Bless the man!
  • My upcoming job. Not only is it a way to earn money and gain valuable skills, it's a place to build relationships, to learn how to interact with people, and to occupy me. It'll prevent listlessness and boredom. I hope. Reframing that, I hope that I can use my activity there in such a way as to promote a healthy and happy mental life.
  • The apartment. Mr. Micah did really well in finding it. It's a good size and people were so generous in giving us furniture to start out with. We bought nothing new here. In fact, we bought nothing here within the last 2 years.
  • The internet. Helps me keep in touch with the outside world, good tool for learning.
  • The local library. Excellent collection, I doubt I'd ever read all the interesting books available there. Even if unemployed.
  • Air-conditioning. We have it on low, but it definitely made a difference these last few weeks. Sometimes we can turn it off at night, but a low conditioning makes all the difference between overheating and feeling ok.

Not a comprehensive list, but something. One last word concerning The Secret. Perhaps it works for people. Maybe some people need that kind of reminder that a positive attitude makes a positive difference in their lives. I hope people find it useful. But I think it's potentially dangerous in promoting selfishness, blaming victims, discouraging people (who think positively but stay the same), etc. Thus I don't approve of it as a book or an idea. And I think it's not an ancient secret.

Mr. Micah suggested that they should have presented it in a different way: "Ok, the universe can be a crazy place and sometimes really bad things happen to good people or indifferent people. But when you approach it with a positive attitude, you're much much more likely to get through the bad stuff than when you don't. Your attitude can change some of the world around you...so cultivate a good one."

That's the basis of cognitive behavioral therapy, which has helped the both of us.

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