Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Stroke Survival: Budgeting Resources

Wow! I hate when that happens. I was writing my homesteading blog and came up with the idea for this blog. And then, BRAIN fart! It's gone!

It could be age. I am older. It could be CRAFT (can't remember a frigging thing). Or, it could be just because my strokes left me with brain damage. Let me go back and read my other post and maybe it will flash back into temporal remembrance. Humming the theme to Jeopardy.

Ah! There it is! I found it. Today, the topic is about budgeting resources. No, I'm not only going to talk about money (but that too), but time (yours and someone else's), energy, and space. While most of us knew what financial budgeting was prior to our strokes, a stroke, and living post-stroke entail new avenues of thought. It was a true SHTF (stuff hits the fan) event.We had to expand our resources into the vast unknown of no time limit to recovery. It could happen in that golden 30 - 60 days or it could be years...decades even.

I mean most of us were living our lives like nothing like this could happen to us, right? I know I was. Then BOOM! Everything changed. We take more pills than anyone should ever have to take. Our vocabulary has changed to include phrases like ischemic and hemorrhagic to name just a couple. Some of us have to rebuild our vocabulary (everyday stuff) from scratch, and we still haven't got it all back. We budget our word use to words that come easily to us or have to say many because we can't remember exactly what the word is. I'm in this corner now.

To top it all off, my comprehension is mush. I have to see the name of a character within three pages to remember who they are. This pretty well shuts down most fiction reading. Because I'm having to budget my words, it takes an immense amount of work to get my point across. Simply talking to another individual is exhausting. It also plays upon yours and the listener's patience. The more hurried I feel the longer it takes. 

Forget about simple math computations in my head. Now anything above single digit functions is history. I used to add multiple columns of triple digits in my head. Plus multiply and divide them too.

So I rarely read fiction anymore. Although, I did pick up a Harry Potter play that I had little trouble reading. Don't ask me how but it just made sense. I stick to single person nonfiction. Reading should be a pleasure, not something you have to work at. It saves me time and frustration. See I'm budgeting that too. If I have to read something more than three times to understand it, it is better left unread unless I have to.

Relearning how to do everything also causes frustration and wastes time if you do it too many times in a row. For me, cans will go sailing across the room while trying to open them too many times. My inner child breaks free in a major temper tantrum. Sometimes, you have no control over your inner child. Save time and energy. Limit your inner child tantrums. Nothing makes you feel more exhausted or wastes more time. The mess you make will be another chore you have to do.

I limit my attempts to three. After that whatever it is- is left for someone else to do. Or at least put it down and walk away. It will still be there in fifteen minutes after you've calmed down enough to try again. I DON'T ALWAYS PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH WITH THIS ONE.

The economy of space is another concept of budgeting I learned after my stroke. Changing a full-size bed is harder than a twin sized bed. Having a bed convert into a desk where I don't have to move too much was brilliant. You don't use your bed once you're awake. I don't even have to fix the bed if I don't want to. For me, I haven't had anything besides two cats sleeping with me for years. When I'm ready to sleep, I sleep. When I'm ready to work, I work. Because everything has a place on the bed or desk, space isn't wasted. There's less to clean up too. It's higher than most twin bed frames so getting off and on the bed is easier for me. I have had to close a kitty a time or two into the wall to get them off the bed. They weren't hurt and just learned when I said "off," they'd better get moving.  The Murphy bed is easy enough to move single handed.

Having less to clean conserves energy. I have found that since my strokes, it takes twice as much energy to do the same job as before. Coupled with the Chronic Fatigue I now suffer with, any energy savings is a plus. Cost wise, you knew I'd get around to the money part, didn't you? I spend more of my limited income on prescriptions. Before, I could take an additional job or two to cover the expense, but now that's a luxury. Cutting expenses any way I can is a necessity.

By reducing the stuff I had down to bare essentials, I rid myself of the cost of housing all those items. I needed clothes on my back. But the fancy suits, blouses, skirts, pants, and shoes (oh my God the shoes!) went to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. I needed my cold weather clothes...three sweatshirts and three sweaters. T-shirts (6), shorts(6), tank tops(6), two blouses, jeans (4), one cardigan, one pair of dress pants and two dresses is what I pared my wardrobe down to. Oh, yes, underwear 10 pairs, knee high socks, 12 pair, and three nightgowns was also in the saved pile. I'm actually happier with fewer choices. I have less to wash, dry and fold. It takes up one dresser instead of three closets. Even still, I could reduce my wardrobe even more if I wanted to. I think I wore my heavy quilted jacket only once this past winter, but I'll hang on to it.

Our household utilities can be pared down, but they are manageable. We produce 75% of our own vegetables. Animal feed is a necessary expense. They are also income producing so it balances out to zero at the end of the year. They are self-sustainable plus they feed us too at a  fraction of the cost of store-bought. For everything else, there are local farmers for meat and Zaycon Farm meats. Haven't heard of Zaycon before? They sell no hormone, no antibiotic meat products. We recently joined their Influencer program. Where we get a small percentage of anything others buy under our referral. It means free meat products for us with enough referrals. I recently got 36 lbs of pork sausage links and bacon for less than $2 a lb. A case of all beef hot dogs with no organ meat fillers was cheaper than a wholesale price. Yes, it takes freezer space or jar space if it's canned, but you can't beat the price. I'm currently waiting on enough points for their cases of beef roasts or steaks free. I'm currently saving double of what I did when using coupons. Now that's saying something because coupons saved me 65-85% each time I shopped.

Every penny saved is one more towards stroke recovery and living post stroke. Every moment saved is one you can spend on relearning something else or something new. Every inch of space freed is one less that you have to clean. Every ounce of energy saved allows you to feel at ease to enjoy your life. And that's the whole point, isn't it?

Nothing is impossible.


  1. I can just see you closing a cat into the bed.
    We should all learn to budget our time better. It's precious.

  2. {{{{hugs}}}} the "enclosed" cat made me laugh. I've had to make up beds with cats enclosed before. ;-)


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