Reasons and Justifications

I am terribly torn at the moment.

Part of me feels terrible about the fact that I am not going to be working this year while I am studying. Hubby has said he is totally cool with me not working this year, because the first year of Nursing is full-on and it’s not like we’re going backwards – we’re not really getting ahead in conventional terms, but we’re in a position where we are pre-paying bills and we’re paying a little extra each week off our car loans. We are easily able to afford all the basic necessities for a decent standard of living – we have a nice house, we have cars, we can afford sufficient fuel for our transport needs, we can afford decent food.

But I still feel like I should be doing something to bring in more money, mainly because of “wants” – Hubby wants to finish his custom-made canopy for his ute. We want to buy our own house (instead of renting). I want to be able to buy books and music again, instead of having to wait for them to go on special. We both want the newest shiniest technology. We want to be able to afford to go on holidays, or even just out for dinner and a movie.

It’s all wants, and somehow I feel bad about the fact that I’m not bringing in the money for us to be able to do that.

So, my reasons and justifications for NOT working, just so I can remember for later when I feel horrible and stressed about everything:

  • it’s not even a whole year – I’ll be able to get work in some sort of nursing capacity as of the end of Semester 2 this year (9 months away), and there’s every possibility I can get a slightly better job than most people in that position because I’ll already have a Psych degree.
  • I need to concentrate on my uni work – the last time I was a properly “full-time” student was in 2010, and I’ve honestly forgotten what it’s like to have a full study load. I need to be able to concentrate on my studies and bring up my GPA, so that if I do decide to go on to the MD at the end, my marks will be good enough
  • I need to be sure of my health (mental & physical) – I have always tried to do too much, and I always seem to hit burnout just at a crucial point in the semester. I need to make sure I’ve learned how to manage myself so I don’t screw up this degree.
  • This year is content-heavy, but the next two are far less time-consuming – I have it on good authority (3 nurses, with degrees from different places) that first year is HARD – there’s lots of reading and rote learning, because you just have to learn the base knowledge (the thigh bone’s connected to the… shin bone…) and once you know that, the rest of the time is spent applying that knowledge to the practice of nursing.
  • Living through the discomfort will make you better able to deal with it – one of the CBT things for dealing with anxiety and other unpleasant feelings is NOT to avoid them, but to “sit with the feeling” and consider it, and FEEL it, and let it pass. Eventually, the feelings get less intense, because you are not allowing them to build up by ignoring them – you’re dealing with them, and moving on. The “deal with it and move on” process apparently becomes far quicker with time and practice.

One big thing for me when I’m studying is that I feel guilty for “just sitting and reading” when there are other things I ‘should’ be doing (like cleaning, washing, ironing, etc). Hubby doesn’t have this problem – and I think part of it is because I’M FEMALE, and when I was growing up Mum was a fantastic domestic goddess. My brain conveniently forgets the fact that Mum wasn’t studying or working while she was that domestic goddess. I’m trying to get myself into a routine where certain things get done on certain days, and I’m using all the labour-saving appliances we can afford to purchase and run.

  • I use the dryer ALL THE TIME. It’s not like we live somewhere that has terrible weather so I have no choice, or that we live somewhere with no clothesline – we have a clothesline, and the weather is IDEAL for drying things naturally. But, it takes a total of about 45mins to hang things out and bring them back in, and our clothesline isn’t huge – I wouldn’t be able to do all our washing on one day if I was using the clothes line, because the clothes wouldn’t dry quick enough for me to do 3 loads in a day. Using the dryer doesn’t really add anything cost-wise to our bill, because it’s something I’ve been doing pretty much since we moved out of home – so I’ve never really seen our power bill without it to notice the difference.
  • I don’t iron – or at least, not often. 80% of my clothes are purposely “non-iron”, and most of the others I can get away with not ironing, but I will iron them if I have time (they just look a bit nicer when I iron them). I have maybe 2 dresses and 2 or 3 shirts that really do need ironing – but I can minimise the time it takes by hanging them up while they’re still warm out of the dryer.
  • Set-and-forget food is great. I love my slow cooker – it doesn’t get much of a workout in summer, but in winter I make at least 1 meal a week in it. My cheap-as-chips rice cooker is the best $10 I ever spent, because I can set the rice to go and then all I need to worry about is the sauce/whatever is going with the rice.
  • I love my freezer. I bulk-cook, because making 8 serves of something doesn’t take any longer than cooking 2 serves, but it means there’s always meals in the freezer than I can fall back on for weeks when we’re short on time or money. Often, it’s cheaper too, because generally bigger packets of stuff are cheaper.

I really have no idea where I was going with that. I think I just needed to get it all out of my head. I’m not even sure it all makes sense.

But I’ll publish it anyway, because this is real life and I’m determined not to make my blog a “rose-coloured-glasses” view of my life. You get the whole hog – good bits, bad bits, and everything in between.

~K

P.S. if I’m the only person who now has “dem bones dem bones dem dry bones” stuck in their head, I’ll be very disappointed haha

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6 thoughts on “Reasons and Justifications

  1. I think you’ll be fine. I’ve been trying to go a bit more minimalist this year because it’s something I’ve strived for over the past few years but I seem to keep bringing more in than I need. This year, I’m trying to slow the income of things and increase the output of my home(get rid of stuff I don’t need).
    Maybe check out some of Leo Baubota’s and Patrick Rhone’s work, it might help get you in the mindset of not needing the newest, shiniest thing out there.
    Also, libraries are pretty decent for checking out the newest books and if you have a smartphone, there’s plenty of free ebooks on the kindle, nook, kobo, etc stores.

    You can make romantic evening dinners in, and watch movies from the library(mine has oodles of DVDs). It’s free, and you two can still spend time together. Also, you make bento meals, so you can pack really fancy lunches and go out together in the summer time. Plus you two can go out fruit picking and the like and (usually) spend a lot less money on that than buying fruit in the stores, you can eat your fill while you’re in the field, and have a good time together.

    Also, tea. Just because you are a student and trying to bust your behind to graduate doesn’t mean you should neglect yourself. Make a hot mug of tea and enjoy a book from the library or writing something for your blog is free and relaxing.
    Pro-tip: If you like to read in the tub, put your ebook reading device in a zip-lock baggie. It’ll keep it from getting damaged by any moisture, and if you drop your phone, it’ll protect it long enough to grab it out of the water.
    Also, keep a case on your phone. It may feel annoying but it’s better than cracking your screen and having to put up with looking at that until you are done with the year and save up enough to upgrade. Last Year’s Model is easier to stick with when you don’t have a bunch of cracks looking you in the eye.
    Crackle and Crunchyroll(and Hulu) are great mostly free sites to stream videos on as well, so you can watch stuff on there.

    I hope I gave you some ideas to pinch a few pennies and still enjoy your free time during your semesters! ❤

    • Thanks Grace!
      I already have enough tea to open my own teahouse (I LOVE TEA), and I already implement most of those things – I’ve been following Leo’s blog for a couple of years, he writes some fantastic stuff.
      I’m a member at 3 different libraries (uni + 2 city districts) and that’s great, but they don’t always have the books I want to read (but they all have overdrive books & audiobooks, which was seriously my best discovery last year).
      The whole ‘not working’ thing is a big step in the direction of looking after myself, I just have to keep reminding myself why I’ve done it on the days when I feel terrible for not being able to do/get some things (like the fact that Hubby hasn’t really had a proper bday present in 3 years – neither have I, but I always seem to forget that).
      I got a new phone case for Christmas, and it’s fantastic – the flip cover has card slots, so I’ve got my transport card, student card and bank card in there now. So much easier than having to always carry my wallet 🙂 It’s mainly Hubby wanting new tech at the moment, because his gaming computer blew up last year, and then the battery on his tablet decided to give up the ghost. I’d like a new iPad (because I want the mini so it would fit in my bag better) but mine is working fine so I don’t need it.
      Come November I’ll *hopefully* be starting some nursing work, and I honestly can’t wait!
      It’s mainly just that we’ve been living very tight for the past 3 years, and we are SO ready for a break from the penny pinching 🙂 I can’t wait to have disposable income again!

      • Hehe, I understand those feels! 🙂
        That said, it’s 10 months until November arrives. Might I suggest printing out a big wall calendar so you can X off each day until it get to be that you graduate? That could help remind you of why you’re doing it each day as well. At least for a few moments, anyway. 🙂
        It doesn’t hurt to have goals as well! (such as the mini and new gaming computer). I would go nuts if both my tablet AND laptop went up. I’m lucky that I have enough saved up that I could sell the other if one goes up and use that money along with some savings to just get a surface pro(my promise to myself so long as I don’t upgrade before something dies) but i’d go nuts if both went up. D:
        I hope he at least has a console he can play games on!

      • Hubby wants the Surface Pro, and I have to say they are one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!
        He’s got a work laptop, but it’s not supposed to be used for gaming – we’ve got a PS3, so he’s been using that, but he can’t do co-op on there because most of our gaming friends use PC :S
        We’re looking at getting the new computer for him and a mini for me when I get a job, so it’s the light at the end of the tunnel 🙂 I’ve got a countdown on my phone for the number of days until the end of this uni year, and its great to look at it and realise that suddenly I’m a week closer 🙂

  2. Pingback: Thoughts for Valentine’s Day | Thoughts of My Mad Life

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