Monday, February 20, 2012

A Stupid Post (In the grand scheme of things)

Some Superficial and Slightly Narcissistic Vents
Hey, I'm allowed to just whine a little. I'm acknowledging that in the "long run", these things don't matter. My cranky Dutch grandfather would put things in perspective nicely when he would say (in his cantankerous way), "Does this really matter to your eternal salvation?" When we think of all the daily things that annoy us or anger us, many of them do not matter in the eternal scheme of things. 

However, sometimes "in the moment", it helps to just air frustrations and get them off our chest.

The first one is stupid, I'll admit. It's also not as serious as the latter, but this one is easier to start with.

For those of you outside hell (I mean, Arizona), Arizona passed a kooky law (as they always do) that our licenses don't expire until we're 65 or something like that. Therefore, that is the reason photos need to be updated.

That aside, you may be thinking, "so?" Pay your $12.00 and go down there and get your new photo taken!

Well, I'll tell you why I have a problem with this. I had my license photo taken in August 1999 and it was actually a good picture. That's a rarity in itself. I should have bought a lottery ticket that day. This was also taken in the SUMMER when it's about 180 degrees and after I was working all day. That only added to the "miracle picture" factor.

Two, this was taken before I had KIDS. Therefore, we had a nice picture without the effects that bearing children does to our bodies, and in my case, my face. It wasn't evident in the 1999 Drivers License photo because I hadn't had these lovely babies yet! (Mikelle was born about a year after this photo was taken).

Also, in the last 12 years or so, some good photos were taken and some bad photos were taken.  However, THIS photo was always with me, and I wasn't embarrassed when I had to hand it to a cop (about 2 or 3 times I had to do that in the last 12 years) or when writing a check, or trying to get passed security at an airport, or every other reason we needed to show our ID. 

I also have issues with aging.  Some people are okay with it.  I'm not. 

I'd also like to know when I went from being called "just a pup" by a co-worker to realizing many of my fellow teacher co-workers (at both schools I taught at) were YOUNGER than me.

My issues with age aren't the only factor. My weight is as well. I'm down 30 pounds since last July, but I still have 15-17 to go. That may not seem like much, but I've been in the same 5-pound plateau since Christmas.  My weight is not cooperating with the downward direction. My weight also likes to hang out in my face. Therefore, getting rid of the last 15-17 is a BIG deal when it comes to a crappy license photo. The photo above in 1999 is definitely a good 15 pounds lighter to where I am today. 

There is also a hard dose of reality that will be thrown in my face (no pun intended) when I see the new picture and compare it to the one above. Over the last 12 years, the changes happened gradually. Some happened faster than others (like what pregnancy does to your body), but still not as shocking as what a 1999 picture will look like compared to a 2012 one.

So there you have it with my first "stupid vent".

Unless you're living under a rock, it's clear we're in such a bad recession that I'm sure many aspects of it would qualify for a Depression.  However, no one wants to call it that.  It would freak people out. 

We've been rather lucky.  Chris has kept his job and even received some raises and promotions. I don't work now, but I quit my job voluntarily. 

I have my fingers crossed because I'm hoping we've been blessed with some insulation from this recession's effects because we went through our own recession hell during the first half of the 00's. From 2000-2004, Chris was unemployed four different times.We lived off my student loans and some income from a good friend of ours who used Chris's tech expertise to work on a special project. Without those two factors, I don't know how we would have made it through. We were also blessed that despite the horrible economic downturn, Chris's industry was facing, I was still able to attend and finish my Bachelors degree. The second half of 2004, things turned around for us.

However, in the big crash of 2008 that killed the rest of the country's economy, our area of the country was hit hard by the recession along with Nevada, Florida, Michigan and some other key areas. Our house has gone down 100K in value. We still owe that amount in our mortgage (the amount before the 100K bit it!).

We just received 2012 and 2013 "Property Notice of Valuation" and our house is projected to go down another 6K in 2013.

I read a news story last week that indicated that Phoenix-Mesa was one of the areas recovering. I feel like the end of that promising article should have had a big "KIDDING!" at the end of it.  I'm not going to get my hopes up from any other news story that says the same BS, because going down 6K certainly doesn't indicate that.  So much for the little grain of hope!

When the big crash happened in 2008, I knew it was going to be a tough ride. However, now I'm starting to get angry. Chris's commute is killing him. We went to Wickenburg just last weekend. Yes, our land is still there. We attended Gold Rush Days, and we visited a co-worker of Chris who lives not far from our land. I am more impatient to move and settle in a location more favorable for Chris's commute. He's been doing this 180-mile commute (4 days a week) for 7 years now. His age is starting to be a factor. He's exhausted, and he knows he can do his job much better if he didn't have such a killer commute. 

Some bit of good news:  Our Wickenburg property is showing a 16K increase in value for 2013. That will be a good thing when it comes to being able to build our house. However, with the bad news of our current home being so dire, I really wonder how long down the road it's really going to be before we can get our house started out there.  We can't rent our home out here, because our mortgage payment is higher than what we could charge in rent.

Yes, I realize people have suffered and are suffering much worse than we are. I'm just frustrated and now I feel better for voicing it a little.

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