Tuesday, March 10, 2015

It Is Not about the Money. Or the Dress.

I would not have expected it to be something as trivial as a dress and $20 that pushed me over the edge, but that is in fact what did it.

My best friend from college is getting married (in France! How cool is that?) and I am of course going to her wedding. I need a dress, and I don't need to spend a lot of time and emotional energy traipsing around the mall trying on dresses, so I decided to buy one via eShakti. I've bought a couple of skirts from them, and really liked them. I love being able to customize the fit so that my clothes actually FIT. It is awesome.

So anyway, I clicked around on the site and found a dress that I think will be good for the wedding (this one, if you're curious, except in a brighter green that is apparently now sold out). I got Mr. Snarky to help me take the gazillion measurements I needed, and then... my browser froze. So I tried again in a different browser, and then... I logged in with the wrong email address and couldn't use the $20 off coupon I had.

And then I lost it.

A little while later, after literally crying in my beer for awhile, I successfully completed my order, complete with the $20 savings, and the dress is now being made.

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I'm not really sure why the dress and the $20 pushed me over the edge. We are being a bit more careful with our money right now, since we're hoping to add a room on to our house, and that is a major expense. But even so, $20 wouldn't sway things one way or the other.

Perhaps it is because I really wanted to take advantage of the "buy two, get one free" offer eShakti was also running and get this really cool rabbit dress I had my eye on and that is now also apparently gone (but here is a tank top in the same fabric). I decided against it, because we are being more careful with our money right now and I don't need another dress. But that bothers me, because the reason we have to be more careful with our money in order to do the renovation is that I quit my job last year. Contracting is going well, but not well enough to replace my former income right now, and the other things I'm doing aren't bringing in much money yet.

So perhaps the reason I fell to pieces over a dress and $20 was that I'm a bit stressed about my career choices right now. I'm in the process of ramping up my networking efforts and hope to find another contract soon. I in fact am waiting to hear about one small one. I'm also working hard to set my other efforts up for success, but even if everything I'm trying works (and it won't), it will be quite awhile before I see any monetary fruits of this effort.

I don't think it was the money, or even the extra effort I'm putting into work right now, that pushed me over the edge, though. I honestly think it was the uncertainty. You see, we are waiting to find out whether or not we're going to owe a lot of taxes. Last year was quite unusual in several ways, and we truly have no idea how it is going to work out. We should hear back from our accountant by the end of this week.

But we can't decide about the renovations until we hear about the taxes.

And we can't decide whether or not Mr. Snarky gets to come with me to the wedding in France until we know whether we're doing a renovation.

And we can't figure out what, if anything, we're doing for a family summer vacation this year until we know if Mr. Snarky is coming to France (and whether we're doing the renovation).

And we can't figure out a summer camp schedule and register for our camps until we know what we're doing for summer vacation.

And we need to get the camp registrations in ASAP, because Pumpkin wants to go to a couple of the popular camps.

We also need to decide when we're going to move Petunia from day care to camp (or perhaps straight to school).

And aaaaaaahhhhhh.... so much uncertainty!

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Anyway, I'm back to trying to ignore the uncertainty tonight. Our accountant has told us he'll have our taxes done by Friday, so we'll get to figure everything out soon. I've also regained some of my usual perspective about how none of these problems are actually bad.

Still, this has been an interesting experience- I was not previously aware that I am so sensitive to uncertainty. What about you? What sort of thing pushes you over the edge?

20 comments:

  1. I remember having a complete money fit over a cooler. I... really needed some perspective that day.

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  2. Zenmoo10:50 PM

    Oh I am awful with uncertainty. I'm ENTJ (borderline INTJ) - my job & basic personality are all about getting & evaluating information and making a decision. I got my husband to do a Myers-Briggs the other day because I couldn't figure out what he'd be. Turns out he is ISFP. I went - oh, yes, it's the P aspect of your personality that drives me nuts! I'm currently waiting for him to organise what he is doing work wise after April so I can organise going back to work. He's all 'oh it'll work out, I might do this or that or maybe this'... I have a hard time not clocking him because I can't plan my life until he sorts his work contracts out. And y'know - childcare! My Hours! School pick up & drop off! Finances! So much to organise! NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO KEEP YOUR OPTIONS OPEN!!! mAKE A PLAN! YOU CAN ALWAYS CHANGE PLANS BUT NOTHING CAN HAPPEN UNTIL YOU HAVE A PLAN!

    Yes. I'm a bit stressed. That may have been my melt down right there. In general though, his easygoing nature tempers my excesses of organising but sometimes!

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    1. This is totally my "J" talking, but sometimes I think "Ps" freeload on the planning and detail-oriented nature of those of us who like to nail things down. We are, after all, better at it. But if the "P" in your life had to make his own childcare arrangements based on his hours he'd probably learn about the upside of planning....

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    2. Zenmoo3:27 AM

      We may have had that "discussion" - see also: "if you want to do fun stuff on the weekend, then it needs to be planned in advance. I refuse to attempt unplanned activities with an infant & 5 year old. It is too stressful"

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    3. Zenmoo3:31 AM

      Also, to be fair to my P, some (but not all) of his contracts depend on the whim of Health Department HR. I don't think he's started a job yet with a contract actually fully in place. Also: apparently it is not necessary to actually pay people for a couple of months if you're health drpt HR. Hmph.

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    4. This is really neither here nor there about anything, and I'm commenting so late that maybe no one will ever see this, but... Js are only more detail-oriented for certain values of the word "detail."

      In reality, Ps tend to see a ton more detail than Js. So much detail! And get overwhelmed by it, and not want to make a decision or come down on an opinion that disregards any important (and compared to how it looks to a J, they're all important!) detail (to greater or lesser degrees, depending on how well adjusted the P is, how much pressure is on this decision, how much time the P has had to get familiar with the subject matter...). Js are the ones who talk in black and white.

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  3. When, 12 years ago, I became the breadwinner for our family (my husband took redundancy and decided to be a SAHD for a while - he still is), I was surprised at how stressful I found it. I had always expected to support myself. I hadn't expected to support 2 (then 3) people other than myself.

    That led me to take only three months maternity leave my second pregnancy (in Australia we were entitled to up to 12 months unpaid at the time, now some of it is paid too). I still regret that, more for my own sake, rather than the kids' sake. So it wasn't a quick blowout of stress, more a build up, but I still find it fascinating how tough it was, and it gave me more sympathy than I had previously for those new dads who insist on working harder than ever when their babies are born.

    But over the edge... usually lack of sleep is the actual cause. It could be pretty much any trigger once I haven't had enough sleep.

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  4. I don't like uncertainty either.

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  5. oh yes. nothing, NOTHING puts me over the edge like uncertainty. I felt my chest tightening just reading your list of uncertainties. I am also stressing about how much we owe in taxes, and the stress is keeping me from insisting we sit down and DO THEM. its a self-inflicted vicious cycle.

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  6. I'm all for serendipity in small things like, "which movie will we see tonight?" or "what's for dinner?"

    But, I can't stand uncertainty about major life issues and money.

    The hardest adjustment I had to make when I learned that I had a serious chronic disease is the uncertainty it puts into my plans. I never know if I will be well enough to do something I planned. What I hate is people who put extra stress on my life and health, which
    prevent me from doing the things that matter to me.

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  7. I'm a J too (ESTJ) and I HATE UNCERTAINTY! I seriously can't stand it. I prefer to have "bad news" and then make a plan to deal with it, than the not knowing.

    Also, that dress is very, very pretty - are you going to model and get Mr Snarky to take a pic for the blog? :)

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  8. Money definitely buys more choices! We're mulling over a few financial-related decisions and it's hard when you are on a tight budget.

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  9. When I do Myers Briggs I'm always on the P/J boundary because, like badmomgoodmom, I'm all for serendipity in my free/fun time but I like things going according to plan with important things.

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    1. According to cognition step theory as I understand it (especially as I've read about it on alittlebitofpersonality.com), that makes a lot of sense for a P in particular -- the cognition step that makes action plans is third or last out of four in the cognition process, for Ps. Speaking *very* generally that makes Ps worse at planning, because not everything goes through one's entire cognition process, and so you do your first steps more often, and are better at them. And enjoy them more than the steps at the end. Again, speaking very generally. BUT. Important matters will definitely get the full weight of the full process, maybe even cycled through a few times. People also tend to be most sensitive and defensive of their last steps. At the very least, by the time a P has really planned out something important? They're invested in it. And want it to go according to plan.

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  10. I hate uncertainty, too =(

    (Hope that you feel more in control, soon!)

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  11. I hate uncertainty, too =(

    (Hope that you feel more in control, soon!)

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  12. Thanks for the support, everyone!

    Both Mr. Snarky and I are planners. Some of our friends laugh at the amount of organization in our lives... but it makes us happy. Where we differ is in our risk tolerance. I have very low tolerance for physical risks (you'll never find me skydiving, for instance) but a higher tolerance for some financial risks. He is the exact opposite. Since our current decisions are all about financial risks, this makes things interesting.

    @Marcia- I'll try to get one of my trademark headless photos in the dress and post it!

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  13. Uncertainty can be maddening! I think you're doing very well under the circumstances, and I'm sure everything will turn out well. I had to comment on your blog title though... Every time I've read it, the song Price Tag by Jessie J goes through my head. You know, "It's not about the money, money, money... Just want to make the world dance, forget about the price tag." So, thank you!

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  14. Hoo boy!! Uncertainty is bad enough, but that sort of domino effect uncertainty definitely drives me up the wall. And kids summer plans are always a trigger in that sense; because they have to be planned way in advance to be able to get in, usually before anything else in life is figured out. Glad you got the dress; The wedding sounds like fun. And lots off best wishes for everything else working out. You have more well-wishers than you know. and we are rooting for you!! :-)

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  15. Elodie6:30 PM

    Uncertainty and ambiguity IS really hard. Really really hard. I've been through some fairly hard things in my life, but nothing has been as hard as times with lots of uncertainty. It's extremely emotionally draining, physically draining, and leaves me prone to flares of temper over little things like....$20 on a dress, (Especially because I'm already annoyed by all the games retailers play - if you buy it today, it's $20, next Tuesday it's $40, or vice versa). I've unfortunately gotten lots and lots of practice with uncertainty in the last several years...and, seriously, it's been harder for than both parents having cancer, and a few other not-so-fun things. One thing that helps me is making small goals: the big picture stuff I have little control over, but, I can make small goals for things that can be accomplished in a 2-3 month period - fitness goals, reading goals, planning time to see friends. It also helps me just to acknowledge that living with uncertainty is a constant stress, and that is is not a luxury to take time for massage, friends, good nourishing food. I hope when you get your taxes back you can get things to fall in place and start planning.

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