Good Week; Bad Week

The Arizona Cardinals winning the NFC Championship was phenomenal. Seeing Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th president was great. Feeling healthy and active is exceptional. Unfortunately, the week hasn’t been made of just those things. Some things are sucking the big one.

My mom refuses to be active. Hearing that she is getting weaker and unable to do much is hard to accept. My poor sister is feeling so down as she is the sibling taking care of Mom. There’s still hope that Mom can discover the will to do what needs to be done to get herself active again. We’re hoping.

The other bad thing? Budget cuts. Arizona is hurting badly. As an employee of the state of Arizona and working at one of the state universities I don’t expect much from our state legislature, especially now that Janet Napolitano left to take charge of the Homeland Security. We now have a governor who is liking many of the other conservative yahoos in our legislature: a tax cut aficionado and higher-education hater. The announced budget cuts to the state universities total $600 million over the next 18 months. Lovely.

Our department could have possibly survived those cuts with lots of belt-tightening, but what really hurts us is how we are funded. Most of the funding is based on a program from state sales taxes. Arizona’s economy is spiraling downwards and the projected funds are disappearing fast. To make ends meet we are voluntarily cutting our hours. So instead of a 40-hour a week paycheck, I’m now getting a 38-hour paycheck. We’re now hearing that we may have to do something more drastic. It could end up as a non-voluntary eight hours a week cut. Goodbye discretionary funds for fun.

If we have to do it, I can go back to scrimping again. It just pisses me off. I’ve been working hard at getting some old nasty debt paid off and I’m not close, but I’ve made tons of progress. Now I’ll have to cut back on the debt payments, which means a longer time frame to pay them off, and living without a large amount of savings. That’s all I want — more than $1000 in my savings. I want to put more towards retirement too. Of course, I’m lucky. I have $1000 in savings, a regular paycheck, a financial plan, and I’ve seen that debt go from five figures to four. There are no debt collectors calling at all hours, no maxed out credit cards, no children to clothe and feed (though the way I keep losing weight I’m going to need some funds for clothes in smaller sizes!).

Anyway, good week; bad week. I like the good, hate the bad, but life is more than just a lifetime of average weeks.

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