A Day Off and Expenses Pile On

As B wrote about yesterday, we’re going to be a bit “selfish” and go on a vacation that’s just for us.  It’s quite overdue.  While being a parent is important, it shouldn’t be your entire identity.  If you pursue being a parent to such a degree that you forget about being a couple with your spouse or being an individual, you’ll wake up one day to find your marriage in shambles and/or your life without any purpose (aside from your kids).  We don’t want our lives to head down this path, so we’re going to make time for us.

Sometimes, though, people just need time to themselves to decompress.  In summers past, B has either worked (in which case NHL was in daycare) or NHL got sent to a summer camp for some portion of the day.  This year, for a variety of reasons, NHL and JSL were with B every day… all day, every day.  By the end of some days, I think B would have welcomed the arrival of men in white coats coming to bring her to a nice, padded room.

Saturday, B broke down.  The boys (as seems to happen far too frequently) were being pains and she couldn’t take anymore.  We discussed matters and I offered to take the boys out for the day on Sunday.  (It was too late to take them out that day and NHL was being sent to him room so taking him out would be rewarding bad behavior.  Besides, Saturday is Shabbat and I don’t drive that day.)

Sunday, I got the boys ready and out we went.  We ran a few errands, did some grocery shopping and went out to lunch.  Meanwhile, B stayed home and did laundry.  No, this wasn’t an adventure out of the house, but it was quiet.  The bicker-free time helped her unwind and de-stress.

Of course, the stress levels weren’t helped by the universe sending more expenses our way.  The new HD TV is working fine and a coworker managed to repair my laptop for free, but this past week three new expenses cropped up.  First, B’s car needed some expensive (but necessary) repairs.  Then, on Friday, I went to mow the lawn.  I pulled the starter cord (which has been broken for a year now, but I’ve jury-rigged to avoid repair costs) and nothing happened.  The motor revved, but didn’t “catch” and start up.

I tried a few more times, priming the engine more, adding more gas.  Nothing seemed to help.  I sighed and put the mower away thinking we’d need to spend about $200 on a new mower.  (This one is just 7 years old.)  Luckily, I was able to fix it yesterday after having purchased a new spark plug (and spark plug wrench) for about $7.50.  Thank you, Sears!

Then, Sunday morning, as I was making breakfast, our microwave went.  It didn’t just stop working though, it began emitting blue lightning inside of it.  No, we didn’t put any metal inside.  It was sparking all on it’s own.  Needless to say, we shut it off and unplugged it.  Thankfully, B’s parents have a microwave they can give us. 

We dodged those last two expenses, but at times it seems like the Universe keeps sending stress our way just as we manage to shed the old stress.  That Disney vacation can’t get here soon enough.