Monday, June 15, 2009

Play Ball!

Our new home (even my pessimistic side has now grudgingly allowed me to start referring to the Athens house as such... we removed all conditions and are now in full contract, with less than two weeks to go until closing) is growing larger and larger in our minds, but along with that comes a sense of sadness at moving out of my parents' home.

Thankfully, we still have several trips/events planned together, the most recent one of which was an early Father's Day celebration with a 3-day trip up to Cleveland to watch 3 Indians games.

The weather was great, the only precipitation being bird droppings. Apparently with the relocation and development of some areas of Cleveland, the gulls had nowhere to go but the stadium and so they are now swarming in numbers. The Indians can't be too upset though because one of the gulls helped them win last week when a line drive hit it in the tenth inning, causing the centerfielder to miss the ball and the Indians runner to score the winning run!

We loyally held up our sign to support the South Korean member of the Indians, Shin-soo Choo. He's batting in the coveted cleanup position for the Indians and is perhaps their most adored player. Unfortunately, he's also 27 years old and South Korean law mandates that every male serve in the army for over 2 years before they are 30 and so it's uncertain how things will work out for him. It probably doesn't help that North Korea is being more rascally than ever with their nuclear threats.

Back at "home" (quite the relative term for Joo and I), we were actually living in yet another house for awhile... doing some housesitting for our neighbors the Norviels. Most of our time was spent either crunching out translations with our dual laptops, watching HGTV- the home channel- for new ideas, playing a few old Nintendo games like Super Mario Brothers, or pondering how we could prevent the increasingly-withering pansies from dying.

We walked over to our garden every day too, where the fruits of our labors were beginning to show. Here is our first pepper peeping out, followed by a full bucketful of ripe lettuce.

I was more than happy to clean the chainsaw off and do some muscle work in the yard- too much translating can tend to get tedious, mostly because of staring at the computer screen for hours each day.
Here, Mom enjoys the Showalter Spa after a long morning of gardening...

We got a bit more mock parenting practice too when we met Justin and his kids at the park.
In more karmic news, they say that your past failures/weaknesses tend to circle around (even though they may look differently) so that you must confront them over and over throughout your life until you can eventually overcome them. For me, one of these since childhood has been disorganization. This can cause more problems than you might realize, especially when highly important things suddenly vanish when they are most needed. With Joo and I both being rather messy, we've gotten along fine in this arena other than spending a couple hours each week looking for the cell phone or car keys. But then, a week ago, I was carrying too much cash in my wallet (a rare occurrence) and so I put $150 in a nondescript envelope on the floor along with an assortment of other random objects. And then of course, forgot about it. Since I had neglected to tell Joo about this, she had no idea the next day when she cleaned our room. After the trash had gone, it suddenly hit me that the envelope was gone and so we tore the room apart looking for it, while Joo was convinced she had thrown it away, despite how careful she had been while cleaning.
It's hard to describe the frustration we felt. It goes back to a prophecy that JooYeon received from a fortuneteller in Korea who foretold that she would never be able to save money because she had a figurative "hole in her pocket." For a long time, she simply resigned herself to this fate and didn't even try to save, but after we dated for awhile, we began budgeting tightly and all of that turned around. Since then, Joo has done an incredible job of living very cheaply with me, all the more important as we are on the verge of buying our first home, considering having children, I'll be earning very low wages with grad school, etc.
So, this was much more than a loss of $150... it symbolized months and even years of working so hard and disciplining ourselves, making sacrifices at key times, and then seemingly throwing it all away with my simple act of carelessness. It felt like I had failed Joo- she had respected me by joining in on a budgeting craze- and then I had disrespected her by literally throwing away our hard earned money. It really wasn't the money itself- if we had only known that it had gone to at least a semi-decent cause, it wouldn't have been bad at all. Even losing it on the street, we could hope that someone who needed it more had picked it up. But just throwing it in the trash where it would deteriorate in a landfill... ugh...
Eventually, after much agony and regret, I took a load of laundry up to the washer and found the lost money. We rejoiced, but we also spent a lot of time reflecting on the whole situation - not just on how to stay organized and prevent it from ever happening again - but also about our approach to struggles, regret, blame, communication, etc. Just for fun, why don't you try telling your spouse today that you accidentally lost $150 and see how they react!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment