Monday, April 16, 2018

Trying to stay positive

I don't really know how to start this one, so I'll just come right out and say that the oncoming depression that I've felt lurking in the shadows for the last couple of months -- which I had been doing a pretty good job of keeping at bay -- has finally caught up to me... hence the no new blog posts for over a week now.

I might've been able to hold it off for a little longer, but a few recent events have lowered my defenses, enabling the depression to set in.

Without going into any details, two weeks ago I got some bad news in regards to my finances, which will directly affect my monthly budget that I have for spending on hobby related things, namely collecting. While the prospect of now having about 50% less per month to spend on my hobbies was initially hard to take in, I did accept it within a couple of days, and was starting to come up with ways to get around these new limitations... but then last week I got another kick to the groin, when I found that this matter was going to be worse than I initially thought.

So now I'm looking at having less than 50% of what I normally have to spend each month on hobby related items, it will now likely be around 35% of what it has been for the last couple of years... and that's a pretty big decrease.

I hate to bemoan about this too much, as I know that other people, for one reason or another, have to reduce their monthly spending all the time... but for me it's going to be a very difficult adjustment, as collecting is really all that I have, I mean really, it's all that I am.

Since this problem will not be getting better anytime soon, I've already started looking for, and found, a number of things to sell in order to give me some extra spending money, which will help during these first few months, but after that, well... I guess I'll have to wait and see.

And if that wasn't bad enough, I got some more bad news yesterday. It's unrelated to the money issue, and it's suckiness shouldn't extend past this week, but it will make this entire week feel like it's going to take a month to get through. And I'm being especially vague about this thing, because it's something that I'm really not comfortable discussing here on the blog.

Oh, and apparently I'm in need of two root canals. I suspected that I might be in need of one, but not two! I do have dental insurance, so that will help with the financial part, but insurance is going to help alleviate the stress and anxiety that will be brought on from my fear of blood, pain, and dentists!

Because of this funk that I've been in, I also forgot all about a comic book show in Bowling Green that I had been looking forward to for the last couple of months, well technically I did remember it yesterday, which conveniently was... one day after the show was held. I really wanted to go to thin one too, as it's been the only one that I've found within a couple of hours drive of me, that had free admission, all the other one's that I have found cost $10-$20 to get in -- even if I wasn't in the midst of money woes -- I wouldn't pay that kind of sum just to get through the entrance. And of course one could say that there's always next year, but next year is an awfully long ways away.

So all in all, things have not been going well. I don't think I've done anything bad to anyone lately, so this must be some wicked old karma finally catching up to me.

I know that people don't necessarily like to read these kinds of posts, and I certainly don't like to write them, but I do feel slightly better having done so, if only because it at least lets everyone know why my blog posts have been, and might continue to be, somewhat sporadic.

On an unrelated note too, I just wanted to say that I was saddened to hear of Art Bell's passing the other day. I fell asleep to the sound of his voice for so many years, and I mean that as an absolute compliment. He truly was a pioneer, and I think that it's safe to say that they're won't ever be another one like him. I am very grateful to him for the many years of entertainment that provided, and I wish him all best on the rest of his journey.


Thanks for taking moment to look at my page.

46 comments:

  1. Hang in there...Blogging is great therapy and none of us judge here!

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    1. It is somewhat therapeutic, and it's good thing that people don't seem to judge, because if they did, I probably wouldn't have to many people coming around.

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  2. Sorry to hear things have been tough for you lately. I hope things start going your way again soon.

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  3. Sending good vibes your way buddy!

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    1. Thank you, I'll take all the good vibes I can get right now :)

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    1. Thank you, Angus! I am trying to.

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  5. I'm afraid I'm certainly not the person to tell you how to stay positive, but we're out here, we're on your side, and we're hoping for the best for you.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Brett! And I completely understand about not being able to tell someone how to stay positive... as it's not something that I'm really capable of either.

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  6. "I mean really, it's all that I am"

    WRONG!!!!!

    Trust me, you are much more than that.

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    1. I guess you're probably right, but it just doesn't seem like it most of the time.

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  7. Depression sucks, and financial stresses are good at exacerbating it, especially when they impact your hobbies. If you need someone to bounce thoughts off of, you can send me an e-mail. I'll be sending a package your way soon.

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    1. Thanks for the offer, Raz! I might just take you up on it sometime, as I know that you're pretty familiar with this sort of thing too. A package wasn't necessary, but I'd be lying if I said that it won't be greatly appreciated :)

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  8. After valleys often come a peak, and here's hoping one is heading your way soon. Sometimes just maintaining one's own collection is peaceful in and of itself -- I did it quite often many years ago when I didn't have very much to spend on the hobby. Hang tough, my friend.

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    1. Thanks Nick! Leave it to you to say something poetic. And I will have to start learning to appreciate what I have a little more.

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  9. Stay strong, one step at a time.

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    1. Thank you, Shawn! Now I feel a bad for complaining about such things, what with knowing about a lot of things that you're dealing with a daily basis... which are certainly worse than anything that I am going through.

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  10. Something unexpected happened to me yesterday, on top of some other things, so I relate completely to how you're feeling. As it applies to the hobby, I will just be focusing on what I have and enjoying it. There are quite a few projects I want to start. I won't have much new incoming, so I'm looking at it as my chance to work on the things I want to do. I'll be here reading. Please take care of yourself and do what's best for you.

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    1. Well, I hope you're unexpected thing wasn't negative in nature. Like you, I too have some projects that I would like to start, and I still plan to, they'll just be a little slower going now... and will probably take a little longer to try and complete.

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  11. Hope things get better for you soon. I've had my fair share of down times both mentally and financially... but thankfully I had a solid support system around me to help me get through the tough times. Hopefully you do too. If not, you have us in the hobby.

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    1. I appreciate the sentiments, Fuji! I really only have one person around me in real life, so I might have to look more towards my blog friends for support.

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    2. That's what we're here for. Seriously... I've had my fair of financial struggles... and I'm not a stranger to anxiety... so if you need support... I'm here for ya.

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    3. Thank you for the offer :)

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  12. You are much more than your collection my friend. Stay strong!

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    1. Thank you, that does seem to be the overall consensus.

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    1. Thank you, I do very much appreciate those positive thoughts :)

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  14. This too shall pass... sending you positive vibes for better days ahead!

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    1. I hope you're right! And thank you for the vibes :)

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  15. Hang tough and stay strong. Things are bound to get better. After having a root canal one afternoon, I decided to go to Subway and pick up something to eat for dinner. When I went to order my sandwich, I wasn't really thinking about the root canal or how much novocaine was injected. I spoke and it sounded like I was "challenged". I had to explain to the employees and the few patrons within that I had just had this root canal procedure done. At least that stopped the gawkers from looking my way. Now I'm finally home eating my sandwich and about half way through when I look down at my roll and see a lot of the color red on it. Thinking that's strange, I investigate more into it. Come to find out, I was so numb from all the novocaine that I was actually eating the inside of my mouth along with my sandwich. I don't know if there's a moral to this story but, more of something to watch out for.
    Take great care Jon. Lots of people are rooting for you.

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    1. Thank you, Marc! I will definitely try to remember to not eat the inside of my mouth. Your story had me a little worried there for a minute, as I thought you were going to say that you bit off part of your tongue or something. And I have had a root canal before, but it was done by a much better dentist (on the other side of the country), so that's why the prospect of having these two is a little more scary.

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  16. Hang in there bud. Hope things take a turn for the better soon

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    1. Thanks, Mark! I always appreciate your support.

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  17. I'm sorry it took me a while to read this, but I wanted to read your post when I wasn't distracted by my own issues. Financial stress is awful, and I can understand why you'd choose to be vague about it. All I can say is that you're not alone, and you will get through this. I hope it helped you to unburden a bit of this here on your blog, writing can be cathartic in times like these. Also, I hope you're able to find happiness and enjoyment in some part of your life, collecting or otherwise, even if you can't spend as much on cards.

    "collecting is really all that I have, I mean really, it's all that I am." I know this feeling all too well. Sometimes I think it's the only reason to wake up in the morning. But Jeff and Matt are right.

    Stay strong, Jon. You'll get through this.

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    1. It did help a little to write about it, and all supportive comments helped too, as it's nice to know that such people actually do stop by and read my little blog.

      Part of me knows that they're right, but as you probably know, it can often be hard to admit/remember.

      And I think you were spot on about the whole "needing a support group" thing that you mentioned in your comments section, as a lot of us bloggers seem to be predisposed to feeling blue... it kind of makes one wonder why that it is?

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  18. Jon, I missed your post the other day. Just seeing it now. I'm sorry you have to deal with this. I know all too well what it's like to have a huge cutback on the hobby budget. Hit that in 2007 and it's gotten worse as time has gone on and the medicine I need to stay alive has gone up. But you know what? It's actually made me a better collector. I actually take the time to appreciate what I am able to get now... before, everything was about aquiring. Not appreciating what I already had. Now, that's not true...I appreciate both what I add new and what I collected from 1988-07 much more. I've used the time I would have spent in the past on looking for more cards to documenting what I already have, both scans and tracking in Excel and on the Trading Card Database. (I used to get two or more hobby boxes a week, plus repacks on average every two or three days. Now, I do on average two hobby boxes a year, and one repack every three or four months if that much, my last NBA repack was in 2016)

    Maybe you can do the same sort of thing...even if you aren't adding much, you might now find the time to tackle a project you haven't had time for before.

    I know far too much about being depressed than I'd like as well, and like you, I feel that collecting things defines me. I don't see that as a bad thing per se, but it is a little challenging because in many cases happiness is dictated by outside forces you have little or no control over. And when you can't collect...where does that leave you? It's a question I don't really have any answers for, but I have thought about extensively especially as I had to give up what used to be my #1 hobby.

    I don't know if my experiences help you any, but I hope they can somehow. If nothing else, I am proof that you can spend $30 a month or less on average and still have a lot of fun in the hobby.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a well thought out comment, Billy!

      I think only time will tell how well that I handle this setback, but I do hope that, like you mentioned, I can try and start some new projects with the stuff that I already have... or at least be able to learn to take the time to appreciate what I have a little more.

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  19. I'm sorry that you're having a hard time.

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  20. Lots of well wishes and what not, but on the root canal front I had one done a few years ago. No issues or nothing was pretty numb but just what I like to do is take some motrin or something like that before hand gives me piece of mind that when I come out of it I won't be feeling much pain.

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    1. I'll have to keep that in mind. I have never taken Motrin before, but if it helps...

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  21. Jon, it's been ten days since you posted. I've been wrapped up in work and only now catching up on my favorite reads. This means you must be one of those bloggers I most enjoy which in turn means you're automatically more than a collector. You're a writer, a thinker, a tender and kind-hearted soul. You're humorous, loyal, a friend - and I could go on but I know these things about you from reading your blog. I hope the root canal is all healed up now and that you are on a better path today. If not, that's ok too. Life is living in the moment. "What I have now is enough." It's also "this too, shall pass." When you are in those darker places remember that foremost but always remember it's ok to be who you are 'right now.' Be well.

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    1. Julie, I don't if all those things are true or not, but they sure sound nice... and if I was ever the sort to try online dating, I would certainly copy and paste them into my profile :)

      I haven't had either of the root canals yet, and as of right now, I don't have them scheduled... mostly because of the fear factor.

      Thanks for all the kind words, believe it or not, they do help.

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  22. I'm reading this late. This last year has been tough for me both physically and financially so I really do sympathize. One way I coped was to bargain shop on ebay. Even on a minuscule budget I found some satisfaction in the hunt and the wins. Hang in there.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling too, hopefully things will start improving sooner than later.

      I already play the bargain hunting game on eBay to some degree, but I will have to start doing it more often/getting better at it. It can be very tough trying to find the deals though, what with all the people on there and all.

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