Furlough, Please Go Away!

Well, it’s officially day 10 of the government being shut down according to the news.  In my book, I’m not counting the days, I’m measuring my sanity!  Today I’m approaching the end of another week of trying to find things to keep my mind occupied, the end of another week of tidying up around the house, the end of another week of not being paid, and the end of another week of dealing with a stressors that I’d prefer to not have to deal with.  The furlough was all good on day 1…it was cool then because I was in need of a day off to rest and catch up on things around the house and get refocused, but now, I’m OVER it!  It wasn’t supposed to last this long.  I’m trying to find the lessons and blessings in this extended period of time that I have home, but it’s getting harder by the day.  The only emotion I can seem to muster up is anger…I’m angry that our elected officials seek to hold the federal workforce captive over their political differences.  Every single day, I work with people who have political and philosophical differences, yet we figure out a way to work together…it’s not always easy, but we manage to do it.  Why? Because if we don’t, we will not have a job.  We have to play fair for the good of the American people.  Unfortunately, it seems that the same rules don’t apply to our elected officials.

Rather than work together for the good of the people they serve, these individuals are making innocent people suffer.  I am in no way suggesting that the Affordable Health Care Act is perfect, nor am I suggesting that the government doesn’t waste money because it certainly does.  Here’s the thing…issues with the federal government began long before President Obama took office and will continue after his term ends!  That holds true for every president that preceded him, and will remain true for every president that follows.  My issue is that our elected officials are allowing their philosophical differences to harm innocent bystanders.  Federal employees have not received a cost of living pay increase in 3 years, yet, the last time I checked, my living expenses have continued to increase all 3 of those years.  Rent is higher, gas is higher, groceries are higher.  The truth is there are so many federal workers who live paycheck to paycheck, who can’t afford to be out of work.  So this afternoon…I think I will write another letter to my congressman to encourage him to consider his constituents and not his own personal agenda.  Let’s put this furlough to an end!

Thank God for Groceries!

Welp…it’s day 4 of the federal government shutdown and I’m so over it!

Last week, I was content with having a day or two off…it would give me a chance to get a few things done around the house, and catch up on some missed appointments.  But…this shutdown is lingering on a bit too long now…I’m starting to get bored and I’m not looking forward to getting a reduced paycheck!  I need to Congress to get it together real soon!  This week, I’ve gone to the dentist, I’ve gotten the oil changed in my car…I’ve done laundry, I’ve baked, I’ve planned my Thanksgiving dinner meal, I’ve spent some time reading…the only thing left is a trip to the gym (I’ve been intentionally avoiding that!).

Despite my frustration about not being at work (because I absolutely LOVE my new job), I’ve decided to find the small things to be grateful for in this particular moment.  For me, one of the blessings in this situation is that I have enough groceries for weeks in my house!  It just so happens that when I was grocery shopping a couple of weeks ago, there were a number of things that were on sale, so I picked up more food than usual.  (Rarely do I spend more than $30 at the grocery store in a single week.)  Over time, I’ve learned to adapt and be conscious of how I spend my money on groceries…for the most part, I only buy food that’s on sale, I purchase larger packages of meat, split it up, and freeze smaller packs that can be used across several weeks, I eat beans, I buy frozen vegetables, and I force myself to stick to these rules.  Until the shutdown, I didn’t really think much of my grocery shopping habits, but now that I have to be overly conscious of my spending at least for the next few weeks, I’m grateful that I’ve been so crazy with my shopping habits.  Folks laugh at me when I say I eat whatever meat is on sale…my friends at church tease me all the time about eating beans, but I’m so glad I’m content with both of these scenarios now.  It’s paying off in the long run.

So, today I’m thankful that God has given me enough food to survive this little storm of life.  It’s the small stuff that makes me smile!

Until next time…