All posts tagged Money

When Life Feels Too Much

Published January 24, 2019 by Malia

I woke up at 4 a.m. this morning, and it took me until 9:30 a.m. to drag myself out of bed.  I’m struggling right now.  And it occurs to me that I’m probably not the only one.

If you are…

-Trying to figure out how you’re going to pay bills with money you don’t have

-Rationing your meds because even if you do have insurance, you can’t afford refills

-Eating as little as possible, cause groceries are an expense you can’t really afford right now

-Feeling strangled by your debts

-Stressed out because you keep trying to do things the right way, and life just keeps knocking you down

-A payment or more behind on your mortgage and/or bills

-Terrified your utilities are going to get turned off

-Wondering how you’re going to buy diapers

-Exhausted by your school loans

-Questioning how far your car can get on less than a quarter of a tank of gas

-Going through something I haven’t listed

-Feeling overwhelmed by everything, and considering just giving up

Then, let me say, you’re not alone.  I know there are a ton of people struggling right now. Please, don’t give up.  Eventually, things will get better.  I know that sounds like an empty platitude, but I’ve been down this road before, and I know that things will turn around.

If you’re genuinely considering ending it all, please reach out for help.  Call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  If talking on the phone isn’t your comfort zone, text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

And if you’re in a season of life where things are going along pretty smoothly, please be willing to be there for those around you who are having a rough time.




This too shall pass…it may pass like a kidney stone…but it will pass

Published April 23, 2017 by Malia

“Tragedy is when I cut my finger.  Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”  Mel Brooks

“I don’t think you can take anymore bad news.” the boy informed me when he got home on Thursday night.

“You’re probably right, but you can’t say something like that and not tell me what happened.”

Turned out that he’d blown a tire that afternoon.  As I sat there, taking in the latest bit of bad news in our life, there was this little voice in the back of my head that muttered something about, “One day you’ll look back on this and laugh.”  However, laughter wasn’t exactly forthcoming in that moment.  Instead, I sat there doing math and trying not to cry.

We’d barely been scraping by this month, but I knew that with the paychecks being deposited on Friday, we’d finally be able to pay the mortgage, and have just a little left over to finally be ahead instead of facing the red.  Now, that little was going to cover replacing tires.

Now, before I continue, I feel I should make an interjection here.  I realize that over that over the last several months, the few times I have blogged, it’s been stressed, depressed writing.  I’ve just been stuck.  Completely overwhelmed and terrified of what bad news each day is going to bring.  The thing is, I know that the more I focus on feeling crapped on, the more crapped on I’m going to feel.  So, I’m making a point to try to not focus on the bad, and I’m going to try to find the good and the funny/absurd.

And back to the story…

Thankfully, we did have just enough to cover the mortgage and the tires.  However, I am trying very hard not to freak out right now, because I have zero idea of how we’re going to pay our electric bill that’s also due this week.  I dream of a day when we can pay all of our bills on time every month.  I know that we’re nearing that day, because we’ve already made great progress since the end of last year when we couldn’t pay anything.  So, that’s a happy thought.

And despite the stress, and the fear, we’re okay.  The boy and I are together, holding on tight to each other and to Jesus.

And if we do end up living down by the river, at least we’ve got a van.

They’re NOT Just Like Us

Published July 29, 2016 by Malia

Okay, guys, bear with me.  I’m about to break my rule about not talking about politics.  And for the record, let me just say, I have not yet decided who I’m voting for, and even when I do decide, it’s my personal decision, and it’s my choice not to share it with the entire world.

I’m not a fan of politics.  I hate that politics bring out the absolute worst in people, and just seem to stir up so much hate and anger.  However, there’s something about politics that just really, REALLY annoys me…

Celebrity Supporters

What’s a celebrity supporter, you ask?  It’s anyone famous, or kinda famous who steps up and says, “I’m voting for so and so, and you should too because I’m just like you.  I’m a hard working, red-blooded American who only wants what’s best for this country; and this candidate shares all of our core values and beliefs.”

What’s absolutely amazing to me is that people would rather listen to a celebrity tell them how to vote, instead of actually sitting down and educating themselves about the candidate in question.

The thing is, no matter what the magazines may tell us, celebrities are NOT just like us.  It doesn’t matter how many times they’re photographed wearing yoga pants or getting Starbucks or walking their dogs.  The truth of the matter is, they live in a very different world than most of the rest of us.

Don’t believe me?  Here’s a few examples:

-This year’s Oscar nominee’s received a gift bag valued at $232,000 (Harper’s Bazaar).  Sure, it wasn’t sanctioned by the Academy, but that didn’t stop the nominees from receiving it.  Maybe it’s just me, but that number seems mind boggling for a “goodie bag.”  To put that in perspective, with that much money, I could pay off our mortgage, car, my student loans, and have a bit left over to give my parents to help pay down their mortgage.  To even make that much money, I would have had to work nearly twelve years at my last job to make that much money.

-Think about the last time you got a hair cut.  How many hundreds of dollars was it?  Yup, while you may pay between $15-$35 for a haircut, there are celebrities paying $350 and up for a cut that every stylist in America hopes they can recreate when an obsessed fan comes in wanting to look just like their favorite star.  (Forbes)

-What did you spend on your wedding?  Probably at least a couple thousand, right?  Even the most expensive weddings I know of, among my peer group, didn’t top $60,000 (and yes, even that number seems super high to me).  However, when celebrities get married, it’s not unusual for that price to jump into the millions.  (USA Today)

Are celebrities bad people because they have this kind of money?  No, not at all.  Having lots of money has little to do with what kind of person you are.  It’s how you choose to spend that money that reveals what your true nature is.

The point I’m trying to make is that these people don’t live a life that’s anything like that of the “average” American.  Now, I can appreciate that celebrities have quite a bit of power.  They can send out a tweet saying that the best tacos in the world are at a pretty unknown bar in Dallas, and not only will their millions of followers let all of their followers know, but the previously unknown bar will suddenly be famous.  And even if their tacos suck, most will never admit it because their favorite celebrity made the claim of best, and they just know that the celebrity couldn’t possibly be wrong.  With that kind of power, what politician wouldn’t want a celebrity in their corner, tweeting to the masses that their candidate is the one with true vision for the future?

So, here’s the deal, as we head into the next few months of this insane political circus, famous people are just people.  Meryl Streep is a very talented actress.  Willie Robertson is a successful businessman with an entertaining “reality” show.  Patton Oswalt is a entertaining comedian (and perfect narrator for The Goldbergs).  Wil Wheaton was in Star Trek: Next Generation and has been a pretty positive supporter of nerds and geeks.  Mike Tyson is a former boxer.  Mark Ruffalo makes an awesome Hulk.  Chuck Norris has a very specific set of skills, and it’s been said his tears cure cancer (but, sadly, he never cries).  Okay, the list could go on and on, but I’ll spare all of you.

Celebrities are people.  Most of them are rich people.  They’re people with their own opinions.  Guess what…you’re a person with your own mind.  It’s okay to listen to the celebrities, but don’t make your decisions based on what they tell you.  Research for yourself what is actually true, and in November go to the polls and vote.  Vote for what you believe is right.  Not what someone, using 160 characters, told you to believe.

Clothe thyself, I beseech thee.

Published August 28, 2013 by Malia

Okay, I’ll be honest, I had to Google the spelling of the  word “thyself” because I wasn’t sure if it was considered one word or two, and then I had to look up the phrase, “I beseech thee,” and within seconds I wrote the title to this.  I’m aware I probably completely misused those words, but it’s after midnight, so I lack the ability to care that much.  Also, heads up, I’m about to go on a bit of a rant.

Can I ask an honest question?  Is basic modesty such a bad thing?  I’m not talking about, “Oh hey, I won this award, I won’t shove it in everyone’s face.”  I’m talking about, “Oh hey, this outfit leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination, maybe I should supplement it with a bra or something,” or, “Oh hey, maybe I should think twice before doing this dance that looks like I’m acting out sex positions on national television.”

I’m old school, I admit it.  I don’t think we all need to be running around in nun’s habits, but I do wish there would be a bit of a return to wearing clothing that doesn’t spell out every single bump, wrinkle, bit of flab, and nipple for everyone to see.  Yes, no matter what we female folks wear, guys are going to get ideas; but is it really necessary to add to what they’re already imagining.  Sure, we’re not responsible for the thoughts that pop into their heads, but I think we do have a smidge of responsibility to not add to what’s already in their head.  The sluttier a girl dresses, the more permission she’s giving to a guy to come and have a look.  Guys’ brains are naturally wired to automatically see things that turn them on so that they can go off and perform the act that creates more guys whose brains are wired that way.  It’s part of nature.  If it wasn’t, they would advertise ladies’ underwear the same way Fruit of the Loom advertises guy underwear (this isn’t an original thought, I saw a picture on Pinterest depicting this).  We girls don’t need to see some hot chick in underwear to want to buy it (ok, well maybe some girls do).  No, that advertising is used so that girl’s have a clue about what makes a guy tick.  (And since most of us don’t look like or have a body like Heidi Klum, that advertising does nothing but make us girls feel insecure and inadequate). So yes, guys are responsible for their thoughts and the choices they make as to what they continue to think on, but for those guys who are trying to think pure thoughts about us ladies, let’s not add to their difficulty.

Y’know, it’s completely possible to dress classy, without looking like you should be standing on a street corner selling yourself.  Even if you’re a bit on the hefty side (like me), more and more styles are cropping up that allow us to look lovely without looking skanky (or like we’ve been poured into the outfit).  Plus, if you don’t mind waiting until the end of the season, you can hit pretty fantastic sales on stuff that would otherwise break the bank.

Also, I’ve been thinking.  These girls that get their start doing Disney channel stuff probably are making at least a little money off the programs, and if the program is over, there are probably some royalties involved.  Now, I understand that most of these girls want to move on with their careers and not forever be associated with those “good girl” roles they had.  However, they’re still will to accept the money from the royalties of those “good girl” roles.  Here’s an idea, there should be something in their contract that states that it’s fine if they decide to break free of that “good girl, role model” role; but if they do, all future royalty payments and any money from any merchandise, that continues to be made, will be donated to charities that support young men and women making wise life choices and working to succeed at making something of themselves.  It’s only fair.

Rant over.

Little Miracles

Published August 12, 2012 by Malia

Let me start this by saying that I’m not looking to get into any sort of religious or theological debate.  The point of this blog is to share what’s going on in my life, random thoughts I’m having, and things I’m entertained by.  I am a Christian, and so this post is about that.

These last few weeks since my Grampa died have been kind of hard.  Half of me has been questioning whether or not I’m really doing the right thing going back to ND to school.  500 miles is an expensive bit of a trip, and I can’t get home very quickly in case of family emergency.  The other half has been feeling that I finally see clearly what it is I’m supposed to do with my life.  The last three weeks I’ve been feeling really discouraged, and even kind of terrified of what this school year is going to entail.  I’m finally, FINALLY committing to a major, and for the first time I’m really starting to obsess over how I’m going to succeed.  I’ve not felt this way in ten years, it’s kind of refreshing.  Something else I’ve been discouraged about is the price of gas.  While it’s not in the $4/gallon range yet, it’s steadily creeping that direction.  I’ve been saving most of this summer, but I’ve really been feeling consumed with worry about whether or not I was going to have enough saved to have a cushion in case gas prices suddenly shoots up even higher.  I’ve had a specific amount I’ve had in my head, but I wasn’t really praying about it.  I realized late last week that while I’ll probably have almost enough, I’ll really be on the line of having enough, and there’s no way I’m going to be able to make enough to achieve what I’d like to have.  (I should note here, that I wasn’t able to actually get a legit summer job, so I’ve been doing some online data work that pays pennies, and while I did have one pet sitting job, the one I do every summer never materialized.  So, it’s been a challenge.)  Even though I’ve been fraught with worry, I’ve not mentioned it to anyone.  I’m not good at asking for help, or admitting that I may need it.  Especially, when I know how tough times are for everyone.

This morning, at the end of church service, there was a time of prayer for all the students and teachers heading back to school.  I was stubborn, and didn’t go up.  To my surprise, one of the ladies came over and prayed for me.  When prayer time was over, she told me that for the last three weeks I’d really been on her mind, that she sensed I was really discouraged, and she’d been praying for that to lift, and for me to be encouraged.  Then, she handed me a check and told me it was a little bit to help me out.  Later, after church, I looked at the check, and about fell over.  It was exactly, to the cent, what I’ve been needing.  It really was a gift.  I feel so blessed, and less terrified and discouraged.

So, here’s to committing and succeeding.  I’m going back to ND.