What can a ride to the crack house and a trip home for the holidays have in common? Well, let's see...
Staying grounded during the holidays is difficult for most everyone. Financial stressors, substance abuse issues (yours or someone else's) or a history of trauma can only exacerbate the problem. Add to that the fact that old family roles kick in during family gatherings and well-adjusted, normally sane people suddenly find themselves acting like 5 year olds. How do you maintain your peace of mind and stay balanced?
What would happen if everyone just decided not to exchange presents any longer? Would the Earth spin off its axis?
Are Americans suffering from "abuse syndrome"?
I thought putting myself on a budget would be painful. But I found quite the opposite to be true. When I put myself on a budget I found that I really liked being in control of my money. I felt less out of control. I felt less incompetent. I felt better about myself and about my ability to control myself. I also like knowing there was excess money in savings if I needed it. There was also the day at the grocery store when the card reader denied my debit card. "Uh, no", I thought. "That's just incorrect. There is plenty of money in that account." And I was right. It was a glitch in the system.
When gasoline hit $4.00/gallon I resolved to walk more and drive less. I started to take the bus to work (which burns natural gas instead of petroleum products - an added bonus for the ozone). I started to walk across the street to the pharmacy and down the block to the grocery store. I started to run a mile with my dog instead of driving to the gym to "work out". I walked to the video store rather than driving two blocks. What happened?