Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Downsizing your dreams




Finnigan, or my bladder, woke me up at 4 a.m. and I couldn't get back to sleep.
My mind began to race, as I tried to find a solution to our short term cash flow issue. Nick is still looking for work, after being overlooked by Starbucks yet again, and our boarder will not have first and last rent until September 1st. That leaves us with approximately eighty bucks to live on, after the bills have been paid, until Scott gets paid next week.
We're not food bank material, not yet. Last week, we stocked the fridge and pantry, bought lots of red and black rice, a pork tenderloin the size of Texas and a slab of salmon. Not going anywhere, but we will eat well. We also have a fairly full tank of gas.
So it's just a matter of hunkering down and waiting it out.
I don't get paid until mid-September from my magazine job, and Scott's on commission. Car sales are down this summer, and Scott's decision to change jobs last month isn't helping, not one bit.
The good news is that we get benefits in September so I can finally take care of business: a crown on the back broken tooth and some bonding on one of my front teeth which has a tiny chip. Scott needs a couple of crowns, as well, and we both need cleaning and mouth bone maintenance.
I've got a few medical tests that I have to go for, and I'm thinking of putting them off for a month. I'm suspicious that if anything is wrong, and it's diagnosed before we get our insurance, I won't be covered for what is ominously called "pre-existing" conditions. Right now, I have high blood pressure and that's it. But what happens if the tests find something, and that happens before we get the benefits? Can't be too careful. We don't have much of a track record when it comes to good luck.
I remember the last time I got benefits. The first week of my job, I lost a filling and had to spend three hundred bucks at the dentist, all out of my own pocket. Sheesh!
Early this morning, I was ruminating about selling some of this fine furniture we accumulated when we did have money. We have a beautiful harvest table which I bought when the kids were small. It's played host to many a gathering of family and friends, and I hate to part with it. But with the kids gone and our circle of friends grown small, it just sits there, looking lonely. Maybe another family could make memories around it.
I also have three desks, one a leather and gold-leaf embossed accountant's desk, a library table that my grandfather built and a useful little computer table. I adore my accountant's desk, which I bought off a truck at the Rideau Tennis Club, when a man came in hoping to unload his late mother's fine things. But do I really need such an exquisite piece of furniture, one that marks easily, one that is really too small for use when editing reports and writers' copy?
I also have two wonderful bookshelves that I carted across the country from Regina, bookshelves that I spent four thousand dollars on 26 years ago, back before Nicholas wasn't even out of diapers. Like all my furniture, I love them, but do I need them in this cramped little pile that Scott and I call home?
Other items to consider: a china cabinet full of crystal that rarely gets used, a sideboard with place settings to serve 16, crystal lamps from New York City, a three thousand dollar sleigh bed that's too big for the bedroom.
All wonderful pieces lovingly purchased to feather our nest. But do we really need this kind of opulence in our situation?
I'm thinking, I'm thinking. Our situation is not dire, but it is disturbing.
I'm not going to panic. I'll just try to sleep on it, in sleighbed, a few more nights, if I can sleep at all.

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