Friday, July 20, 2007

Wake-up call #84351

Like many people, I check my horoscope. I don't always check it daily, and I usually check it at night so that I can reflect on how my day went then decide how close the horoscope was. Most days it ranges from "close" to "dead spot on". A lot of days it makes me giggle with how close it comes and sometimes I wonder if my day would have gone any better (or if/how it would have been different) had I read the email that delivers my horoscope earlier in the day.

I opened that email this morning because yesterday just sucked and shattered a whole lot of eggs in my various baskets. After checking yesterday's email this morning I decided I needed to know what today's said, because had I read yesterday's email yesterday morning I would have been better prepared and then my brain wouldn't have exploded quite so much yesterday afternoon. (*deep breath*)

The horoscope comes with a general look at the day and then the more traditional sun sign reading.

Today's Outlook: The Moon in peaceful Libra today helps us smooth over the rough edges as we strive for harmony, especially after the challenges we faced yesterday. Fortunately, we get some common sense from energetic Mars, now stabilized in practical Taurus. But Mars forms a dynamic sextile with crazy Uranus, adding fuel to the determined engine of progress. Although we may be very unconventional, we can be brilliant as innovative breakthroughs come easily.

Sagittarius (Nov 22 - Dec 21):You might be very optimistic, believing that anything is possible. Still, you must remember that the real world does have practical limitations based upon immutable physical laws. Nevertheless, you can pull off some amazing stunts by bending the rules. Pushing the limits can help you to achieve the maximum effect.

So, yeah. Sort of a little nudge from the Universe that reinforces the idea that we'll be ok. Just what I needed this morning.

So yesterday? Yeah. A. went to the dentist yesterday. Wait, back track a bit. A. went to the dentist Wednesday afternoon. Not having been in a while, he needed to have some deep cleaning done. That is, he needed to have that scraping/scaling thing done where they dig under the gum line and scraaaaaaape gunk off the lower parts of the teeth. He was given an estimate/price sheet sort of paper that put the insurance adjusted prices at not quite $200. No biggie. That's why I have a dental fund going, right?

He set the appointment for that for yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. From what he said, he's sitting in the chair with "bamboo shoots under [his] gums" and they hand him the new estimate/price sheet... with a whopping grand total of $971.89.

That doesn't even touch the crown work he needs done.

Apparently he had some pretty deep pockets (what is he? a chipmunk??) and they decided they needed to pack those pockets with antibiotics... at $89 per pocket.

He did manage to talk them into delaying a couple of the things they wanted to do to him, so the bill yesterday was for $611.93... but he has to go back in 4 - 6 weeks to get the rest done, and there's still crown work looming in the future.

Needless to say, my brain went *pop* when he got home. Had it been me, I'd have left the pockets antibiotic free, paid the $200ish dollars out of the dental fund and since we put $100 each month into the dental fund, just gone back once a month to get another one done. Or, more likely, just avoided the dentist again until I had the money saved up. But that's me, and I'm the idiot with a temporary crown that's just about 6 years old (it was put in at the beginning of August 2001; company I was working for sold the division I was in right after 9/11, only the new owner(s) didn't want to keep the employees so I lost my job and I lost my dental insurance. I had to cancel the appointment I had in November to have the crown put in and I've not been in a position since that time to get it taken care of).

So yesterday afternoon my brain was going 'splodey. In a bad way. I sent him to buy his lottery tickets and a pack of cigarettes for me, even though I stopped smoking almost two years ago.

Four chain-smoked cigarettes later I was ok again. Yes, this is a bad hit for us financially. No, this isn't the best time ever for it to hit. Yes, it could have come at a much worse time. Yes, it completely zeroes out the dental fund I'd been building - the bulk of which was earmarked for K.'s braces. And yes, it either completely zeroes out our emergency fund or the money we've been putting aside for the last few months for a down payment on a house. And yes, there's still the roughly $500 more we have to come up with in 4 - 6 weeks, and then the additional $750 or so for the crown work that really should be taken care of as soon as possible.

But things could be worse. They could be much, much worse. And this morning I've been reminded that God doesn't allow us to be burdened with more than we can carry and he made me the way I am for a reason.

I can't fix this situation, but I can make sure we get through it.

Yes, things will be tight - almost painfully tight - for the next few months, maybe even the next year and my family may actually have to watch some of the nearly 400 movies/seasons of television shows we own rather than going to the movies or picking up stuff from BlockBuster. No, we may not actually be able to swing a house at the end of the new lease (July 2008) like we had planned. Yes, I will have to put off the dental work that I need done. Yes, I may even have to delay K.'s dental visit for a few months. No, I have no idea how I'll deal with her birthday since all the "extra" money I was setting aside will vanish for a while. And no, I don't even know how I'll deal with christmas. Yet.

But things could have been worse. Much, much worse. We've crawled out from bigger hits than this intact. And really, when I step back and look at the whole big picture, I needed this to happen. I've been lax with the budgeting in the last two months. We've been very indulgent with whims and desires lately, partly to make up for last decade. This little incident is the Universe's way of telling me "Ok, kitten, play time is over. Get back to work, get back on track. Find the balance."

So, yeah, things will be tough for a while again, but because of this situation I've realized where some holes in my budget are, and I've realized that we have more "extra" money than I thought, and if I can caress the budget just right, we may just end up better off by the time this ordeal is over.

And those cigarettes I sent him after last night? They're gone. I don't need them today. I haven't needed them since the end of the fourth one last night.

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