Thursday, October 23, 2008

Princess Pity and the Honorable Judge McJudgey

There is nothing that makes me feel poorer than being on a budget.  Just like dieting makes me feel fatter or running makes me feel runnier ... oh wait ...

The only thing I can compare it to is seeing Angelina Jolie on the cover of People Magazine and realizing that for one, I'll never be that tall ... or rich ... or lip plumpy and two ... WHY EVEN BOTHER TRYING?

It's at that point I descend into a funk where Princess Pity lives: "Why do I suuuuuuuuck so bad?" and the Honorable Judge McJudgey presides over the courtroom: "You did this to yourself.  You are sentenced to budgeting hard time, young lady!"

Princess Pity:  It's not faaaaaaaaiiiiiiir.
Judge McJudgey:  You have no one to blame but yourself!
Princess Pity:  But, but, I don't waaaaaaaaaaant to!
Judge McJudgey:  Actions have consequences.
Princess Pity:  But everyone else has moooooooore, why can't I have mooooooore?

By then it feels like I'm the little ball stuck in a pinball machine that gets stuck being thrust back and forth between two vice grips pounding out any ounce of happiness that I had left only to replace it with feeling both sorry for myself and wondering how I could be so stupid.  

Isn't this FUN?  

So you can see why I avoided budgeting.  Oh SURE, the drill sergeant part of my brain would pull me up by my bootstraps on occasion and muscle together a budget so tight I could bounce a quarter on it ... if I had a quarter, which I NEVER did because every penny of my money was accounted for and carefully documented.  And Princess Pity and the Honorable Judge McJudgey were close by keeping tabs on me waiting for the screw up.  Which happened.

OVER and OVER again.

But now I love my budget.  

What changed?  I swear I'm not drinking any of the Suze Orman Koolaid, nor have I gone all Tony Robbins with the positive breathing and envisioning.  And as much as I love and respect Oprah, the SKYPE is driving me CRAZY.  The program has become so choppy I can't sit down and get in mah Oprah zone.

Nope, I love my budget and the only reason is because I stopped making myself crazy and started asking myself what I wanted.  What I REALLY wanted.

I did something similar with my diet last year.  August 1, 2007 I decided I'd never diet again.  I was sick of the roller coaster, the pinball table of Princess Pity and the Honorable Judge McJudgey and never feeling happy or satisfied or that I was good enough as I was.  When I thought about what I was trying to accomplish by dieting, by getting down to a "perfect number" I really just wanted to be able to go run in a 4th of July 5k, or go on a hiking date without sweating through my clothes AND his.  And so I just started eating what I wanted.  And after A LOT of BINGEING on what I had held out as taboo for YEARS, if I had to tell you what I wanted to eat right now I'd say "eh, I don't know, I'm not really hungry right now."  If you asked me that question a year and a half ago I would have given you a three page double sided list.

So when I started asking myself I wanted from my money it was pretty simple.  I wanted to be comfortable.  I didn't want to be scared.  I wanted to know that if I popped a tire I could get it fixed, that if I needed to call a plumber I could.  I also wanted to enjoy myself and spend my money on things that mattered to me--vacations or a nice dinner out with friends.  Simple things.  Not the 25 bags I had in my closet or the spur of the moment purchases when I had a bad day.  

I told myself I could have whatever I wanted.  What I really wanted.  And now my monthly budget is a way of keeping track that I'm doing just that.

And I haven't heard from Princess Pity or the Honorable Judge McJudgey since.


Living on the Spit said...

You and the alter egos make a lot of sense!!! This is one of the reasons why I can not go a day without reading your blog.

I too, stopped dieting and have lost going on 12 pounds...but that is because I stopped eating at restaurants as much too...two birds, one stome kinda thing.

I knew you would clap your hands in approval.

I wish we lived close by...we could get into a lotta trouble having great fun.

You know...I have a thing for hand bags!!! {{Wink..Wink}}

How goes it with creepy quiet guy?


Molly said...

This post was a lot of fun! Bravo for silencing the judge and the princess and having fun with your life.

Fabulously Broke said...

Ditto on that. I learned how to see a budget as being freeing rather than restrictive.. and life changed :)

Lys said...

Congrats! While I have gone off the budgeting band wagon, I'm slowly getting back on...

Great post!