Life’s Inconveniences Schools Me a Lesson

Sigh. I lost my wallet.

I cannot afford this right now, that’s the truth.

It’s been a pretty shitty lesson to learn. I just found out yesterday when I was cleaning up. “Hmm, the cycling bag’s awful light.”

So, it’s gone.*

I’m angry at myself a million different ways this morning, since whose fault could it be besides mine? It could have been stolen, I was at a party, but who knows. I had about $80 cash in it, which NEVER happens with me, since I’m a $20-40 walking-around cash kinda gal.

But in my pissy angst about this all, and the desperate frustration I feel about it, I’ve been trying to do my seeing-the-other-side thing, too. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in a bad, bad mood this morning, but I’m trying to give myself something to hold onto when I climb out of this probably later today.

It’s ironic I should lose my identification. I last got it two years ago, shortly after I began my whole Project Steff Lifechanging thing. My driver’s license photo was me at my fattest, receiving it made me realize losing weight wasn’t what I WANTED to do anymore, it was what I NEEDED to do.**

This morning is my second anniversary of the day a month before, when I’d decided to move in that direction. I had a lose plan, but receiving that ID in the mail, WHEW… that was all the urgency my new plan needed.

Year three of Project Steff begins today — not just because I need to start the new ID process, but because it’s really the second anniversary of August 24th, 2007, when I quit my job and said YES to living life again.  Having to get new identification could be construed as some kind of realizing of a new sense of self, if I want to use it as that.

But what this weekend really probably means to me is that I need  to do the two things I’ve been avoiding. One, I’ve been letting myself drink a lot this summer. I’m not getting drunk every day, but I’ve been having two glasses of wine pretty much every day for 8-10 weeks, and I don’t usually drink as much as people might guess. I sure as hell wasn’t last year — I drank very little, it’s part of how I lost so much weight, and it’s why I’ve lost none this summer.***

It’s stupid, drinking this much. It’s bad for my health, it’s bad for my mental game. It’s just stupid. That I was drinking a LOT the night I lost my wallet, that’s what brings the element of bitter disappointment in myself to the forefront here. I’m pretty eaten up about it.

I think booze just distracts me. Too much too often and I might not be writing as much (ahem) and, without the writing, I become distracted in general anyhow. Throw additional booze into the mix and I lose my focus in general. I don’t have to be a daily drunk for alcohol to affect my life.

The other thing it makes more urgent is the need for a serious financial plan. This is something I’ve had on the backburner for a really long time. It seems ironic to do financial “planning” when the finances seem more vapour-like than real.

The general life plan for this week, actually, was to set out financial intentions and get a plan on the go there, even before the Wallet Thing happened. It just crystallises my need to finally get real about the numbers.

It’s one thing to go through month after month and get your bills paid at the minimum, but it’s another to have a plan of attack to change that in-and-out money cycle.

Sigh. That I can’t afford to lose my wallet this week, and will likely be forced to cancel a dinner party, is fitting.

When it comes to things Of the Self that one can lose, the most symbolic of identity would indeed be our wallet. This symbolic loss of self — with the fatty driver’s license photo that was THE REASON I began all this massive weightloss — is conjuring some interesting moments of reflection for me.

At least I’m given something else to ponder after SOME of the dumb-ass wallet-replacement work I’ll need to do this morning.

So that’s the thing, I guess. This shit happens to all of us, where we’re a little less than our best self sometimes, and things go sideways awhile. And it’s OKAY to be bitter and pissed off. It’s ALL RIGHT to feel like you’ve bent over and took it from a vengeful god. That’s O-K-A-Y, and don’t let anyone tell you that embracing the mood for an evening is wrong. It’s not, it’s human. But don’t stay there. You have to look for these little lessons that can be learned, delve for hidden meanings, look for symbolism, try to act as if it’s a roadsign telling you the direction you need to move in.

That I should lose my wallet in the week I’ve got to reclaim myself and re-focus my goals, having blown my first two years of my five-year plan outta the ballpark? WELL… if I can’t extract some symbolism from that, I’d have to be a fucking moron.

Fortunately, I’ve read a philosophy book or two. Academiageek, for the win.

*Still waiting to hear back from the party hostess, but my hope is low. Everywhere else, fail.

**Showed the driver’s license to a new friend last week. It was two years ago. Her jaw dropped, she said I looked 10 years younger NOW than I did in that photo. Better food and activity, for the win. Here’s to looking healthy.

***Being able to maintain my weight in the face of how much I’ve been drinking, though, is a pretty life-changing new thing for me, too — I’m no longer scared about being social or having a life meaning I have to gain my weight back, since I lost my weight in social isolation. Knowing that? Priceless.