Pity Party

Is there anything more annoying than someone with a near perfect life bemoaning the fact that their life is imperfect? If our response to public figures is any indication, the answer is a resounding, “No!”

I know better. I know that both situations and chemistry play a part in mental wellness. I know that, much like a cold, you can do a lot of good things and end up getting sick anyway. I can have a meaningful conversation with a friend as to why they don’t need to have a reason to be fighting the mean reds. But then it happens to me.

I have a list of reasons why I should not be sad. I can easily rhyme off a dozen of them:

  1. I have a job I love
  2. I am married to the love of my life
  3. I have medical coverage that includes massage and psychological health
  4. I have a good relationship with my parents
  5. I have a good sibling relationship
  6. I have a good relationship with my in-laws
  7. Some of my in-laws provide the best made up family (siblings, cousins, etc.)
  8. I have amazing friends who I can call up in moments of joy or sorrow
  9. My home is perfect (even excessive) for my needs
  10. I am surrounded by books I love
  11. My pet is cute and occasionally cuddly
  12. I can move freely both with my body and in my community

That was less than a minute and I can keep going, yet it doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me feel guilty. I have all this good and on a bright, sun-shiney day I want to do nothing. I want to watch the day roll by and pretend nothing exists or matters.

My depression isn’t crying in the bed. It isn’t not being able to have a conversation. It isn’t a lot of what we see in television and movies.

It’s a deep feeling of shame, of lack of self-worth, of trying extra hard to be “people.”

It’s not wanting to do anything but forcing myself to clean, because if I can fake it for five minutes at least when I’m back on the couch with my numbing agent of choice my surroundings will look pretty.

It’s filling my days with back-to-back meetings so I have a ‘reason’ for not having work done.

It’s working myself to exhaustion so I have a reason to take time off because I can’t love myself enough to take a break early. Because I don’t think I have a ‘reason’ to be depressed.

I know this will pass. I have been here before, I will be here again. I just need to be alright with the moment, the cloak that enshrouds me.

Maybe one day.

Monthly Debrief: February 2021


  •  # Buy nothing days :18 (64%)
  • # times ate out/purchased take out: 4
  • # activities with loved ones: 19; these included video calls, good news calls and walks outside
  • % over or under budget: 2% over budget – I also cheated a smidge and moved some of those over to the March line. This was because they hadn’t appeared on my credit card statement in February or came out after my last paycheque in February which is earmarked for March spending


  • We got ML’s news on February 18 and behaved well, we did order out that night to eat our feelings but chose an option that meant we also didn’t have to cook for a few days
  • We were able to have a good conversation and play with budgets immediately to offset concner and determine how long we could be alright in a worse case scenario


  • Not this month


This was the first year since 2015 that I haven’t attended a work conference in February. That definitely helped keep the spending in check!


This month was good. I didn’t move as much as I wanted to, however, the relationship front is strong. We were pleased to discover that we are now better equipped to handle job loss and budget conversations than we have been in the past.

I also took the final steps in my grad school application. I’m hopeful that it shall go well and I’ll be part of the 2021 cohort.

The P Word

Privilege is the word I’m thinking of.

It’s tempting to pat ourselves on the back for making good choices. Choices that mean that if, God forbid, ML is out of work until March 2022 we shouldn’t see a decrease in our lifestyle. Here’s where I see our privilege:

  • We both have jobs that allowed us to get out of the debt we accrued when we were making less than a living wage
  • The housing market, when we purchased, was no where near this crazy
  • We each tend to work only 35-40 hours a week, which has given us time to build our community, invest in ourselves (including shop for good deals) and stave off health-related issues due to exhaustion
  • We have good health benefit packages so have been able to deal with injuries and illnesses quickly; those jobs also gave us the time off needed or accommodations to recover

I’m highlighting all of this because while I celebrate the good stuff, I also want to recognize that I’m lucky. Sure I did the ‘right things’ but I also had the opportunity to do it. ML & I were reflecting that 10 years ago this would have been a crushing blow that we would take us years to recover. Ten years ago we had the house, student debt, consumer debt, car payments and no network. I know other people in similar financial situations who haven’t weathered these changes as well. Here’s how we’re doing it.

We don’t have kids

This seems like a strange thing to list, however, because we don’t have children we haven’t had to worry about so many things that parents consider namely the feeding, clothing and mental stimulation of children. Daycare alone would have taken away almost half my monthly income for at least 3 years and then about a quarter of it as we would need before and after school care.

Combat Lifestyle Inflation

We’re in a starter home. It’s what it was termed when we bought it and it’s most likely how it will be listed when we sell it. While mortgage brokers and banks are happy to extend us further credit to purchase a larger house or at least one in a swankier area, we decided to make this our forever home. We opted to invest in renovating our kitchen to better suit our needs once we though we could do it with minimal credit support. I was so pleased that we paid 0 interest on that kitchen! Even when we’ve made decisions that were a bit pricey, I was usually able to shift back within a short time frame.


The pandemic has actually been fantastic for helping us stay in our budget. With the limits to hosting, opportunities to eat out or find entertainment outside the home – so many of our previous spending triggers have gone. Our practice with frugality also makes us work to find the ‘free’ version of something.

Being Present

This seems like a strange one to list, however, enjoying our now and what we have allows us to not bee searching for the next best thing. I very rarely accept the free-trial of anything. Why? Because once you get used to something, it can be hard to give it up. This ties into the way we have avoided lifestyle inflation.


I’ve been using this blog since 2015 and though my blogging has dropped sharply, my budget use hasn’t. I have been finessing my budget spreadsheet over that time and have been tracking my own rise and fall annually.

Making Savings Work for us

The way we save may not work for everyone but it works for us. I have lines dedicated to the things that matter to me and every time I have gotten a raise, I’ve figured out how to either incorporate it into my existing savings plan (increasing our mortgage repayment fund was one of these) or direct it to an area of interest (my layoff account which turned into an education fund which has been redirected to bill paying).

The decision to increase savings lines that could have long term impacts on our financial well being (home reno, mortgage repayment and car care) rather than increasing either our spending or short term savings (gifts,medical not covered by insurance, or vacation) has meant that now that something big is happening we’re not trying to re-evaluate our values and see how we can work within our means.

I’m feeling pretty proud of who we have become.

Do we spend too much on things we don’t truly need (I type as I consider our bar, tea collection and my array of candles)? Yes!

The name of this blog has always reflected our values. Can we pull back in these areas when called to? Yes!

Will it be hard to not click on the next pain relieving, must-have tool that Instagram offers up in the ads? Yes!

Will I resist temptation? Most likely because I’ve got my budget as a guide and I’m using this blog again to help keep me honest.

Is this all possible because we’ve both been making (above) living wages in good working conditions that leave us with enough energy and time to be thoughtful? YES!