Life is Short
If you’ve been following my vague tweets you have probably surmised that it’s been a rough week for Mr. Beach Life and me. Mr. Beach Life’s granny passed away on Tuesday after almost a week in the hospital. We spent the day in the hospital with her on Sunday. Nearly the whole family was able to make it for a visit which we all think made Granny happy. Mr. Beach Life and I came home that night since we had to work this week, but planned on going back Tuesday after we got off work. We got a call Monday night that made us think that we needed to get back as soon as we could.
We got to the hospital at about 10:30pm (after almost running out of gas on a stretch of the highway with no gas stations-I was just so concerned with getting to the hospital I forgot to fill up before we left town!) and spent a very cold and sleepless night on the floor keeping vigil beside Granny’s bed.
The next morning the doctor thankfully approved Granny’s transfer to the hospice wing, where she could have her dog with her. As soon as she got settled the dog was brought in. He got up on the bed with her, licked her face and then plopped right down on her like he would do at home. Granny passed away a few minutes later surrounded by her family and cuddling with her dog.
Granny’s death has me thinking about my own mortality in a way that my mom’s never did. It could be because I am older now (31, versus 25 when my mom died.) and have already been concerned that I am “wasting” time. It also could be because after my mom died, I was responsible for everything-the cremation, calling people, settling the estate. There was just so much to do. This time there is nothing for me to do except to be a comfort to anyone I can.
Importance of Wills
Last summer I put my rental property into a trust. Most of my accounts have a beneficiary named. But if Mr. Beach Life and I were to die at the same time, there is no written down, legal instructions for what to do with our house. I don’t have a will that specifies what happens to my possessions. Most of them are valuable only to me-but there some things that have monetary value that might be better given to people/organizations rather than just donated to Goodwill or Habitat. Mr. Beach Life and I need to sit down and figure our shit out. A will is on the docket for this summer.
Health and Aging
I started my IRA when my best friend told me she and her husband weren’t going to have kids. Already planning on staying childless, I knew there probably wasn’t going to be someone in the younger generation that I could count on to either care for me or oversee my care. So, I started saving. I am amazed at how much my IRA has grown in the past 5 years, especially since I wasn’t able to start maxing it out until 3 years ago. I am confidently I will have enough month to month money to live on when I retire, but who knows if I will ever have enough for care.
One of the best things I can do is be active and stay active. If I am fortunate enough to live to my old age, then what is going to end up getting me is not being active and not having hobbies.
I started the keto diet back in March or April and have had some great sucess losing weight with it, though I don’t think my nutrition was optimal. This past week I have reverted back to the worst of my pre-keto eating-french fries, nachos, donuts, pizza, beer. While those foods are perfectly fine in moderation, I have learned that 1. I have no self control and 2. I feel better when I don’t indulge that way.
Step 1 is to go back to a modified keto diet. I need to be eating more vegetables. Step 2 is to make sure I am making my steps every day and doing some kind of exercise most days of the week. Left to my own devices I will eat fried food, drink beer and sit on my butt. I have a lot of life I still want to live, and I need to remember to take better care of myself.
The other huge thing occupying my mind is that I don’t see my family nearly enough. I mean, most of the time they drive me crazy, but I love them and one day there won’t be the option to see them.
Recently, I had decided to visit my aunt and uncle for two shorter visits each year instead of one longer one, but already that doesn’t seem satisfactory. I haven’t seen my godmother or her husband for almost two years and they live a 5 hour drive away! And this doesn’t even include figuring out how to see Mr. Beach Life’s family more often. We’ve tried convincing them to move to our town but so far no one has taken us up on it.
I don’t know how to arrange my life so that we can see all our loved ones whenever we want. Well, I mean, I kind of do. It involves not having a job, since I don’t get enough PTO to do the little visiting we are able to arrange (I usually end up taking unpaid time off during the holidays.)
First step is to get the renovation finished (we were supposed to have finished it last weekend but then Granny…) We only have a little bit left to spend on finishing it up, but once we have a fully functional kitchen I think we’ll be able to let go of some of the conveniences we’ve allowed ourselves. And also have a little more sanity, which should make frugal living easier.
Then, it’s to get back on track with spending less money, saving more money and clearing out the house. That is about as far as I can get with my planning. But it’s a start.
Onto the Numbers
$2.19- Coffee at work
$45.43- Ate dinner out (earned some SBs through Swagbucks Local)
$21.09- Filled up the tank
$2.67- On the road donuts
$62.44- Taco Johns for the family waiting at the hospital
$11.24- Starbucks for the family at the hospital
$29.75- Drinks with Mr. BL’s sister after the hospital (I left a $10 tip since we took up a table for so long)
$25.21- Filled up the tank
$48.70- Dinner out
$18.28- Gas bill
$34.22- New bathing suit
$50- Reloaded my Starbucks card
$40.28- Treated Mr. Beach Life and sister’s to two rounds of drinks after Granny passed. I pretended she was there to tell us the story of how her dad would have a beer in the basement after work before he could be “civilized.” Granny always hated when Mr. BL and I would drink 😉
$291.38 is from Granny being in the hospital.
Not too bad, considering. I felt so helpless in the hospital. I knew there was literally nothing I could do for Granny except be there. But, I could feed everyone. So I tried to bring back food to the hospital so everyone ate. The biggest life lesson my mom taught me was to feed people in times of crisis.
The funeral is tomorrow, and we are going to try to stay until Tuesday night. There’s no internet at Granny’s so it might be silent around here for awhile more.
Have a happy holiday weekend, everyone!