Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hashem handed us a financial life preserver and a death warning.

First of all, everybody, thank you for your blessings, your comments, and your good wishes.  I started moderating the comments (and I have received them all via e-mail, but I have been unable time-wise to login and approve them).  Sorry for not posting them online sooner.

Interestingly enough, with the exception of those of you who know my true identity, I am happy to say that I have been logging into blogger via JonDo which I paid for a 1-year subscription (it wasn't expensive) anonymously so that the evil Google empire (obviously I'm kidding somewhat) doesn't link my IP address on the Frumpter account to the Google address I use with my real identity. 

Anyway, regarding the last post, all job opportunities and document review projects slipped through our fingers.  It was a horrifying feeling relying for so long on the coming of projects which never came.  So we slipped closer and closer to breaking point -- we've never dug so low into our reserves to the point that we literally had only a few hundred dollars left in the bank account and then kazaam!

We literally were days before hitting bottom before Hashem kicked in to everyone's surprise.  After the project in 12/2009 (right before NY bar review), we lost unemployment because the unemployment office claimed that I quit the project when I said it ended.  I appealed the decision and continued filing for unemployment all the way until 3/2010, even though not one penny was paid to us.  To our surprise, last week we won the hearing and this morning, unemployment paid us all the backpay since 12/2009 to the tune of $7,000!  On top of that, I e-filed taxes last week, and to my surprise, we didn't owe taxes, but were getting a refund of $1,000 federal and almost $800 from the state.  Putting this all together, this is exactly what we needed to pay off our credit card bills and keep us running for another few months.

On a sad note, I had a physical from the doctor and the blood-work showed some anomalies which made the doctor come to the conclusion that I'm running head first into having a stroke or a heart attack imminently unless I make some drastic life changes TODAY.  So I started going to the gym almost daily and I bought a Vita-Mix blender and an EasyGreen Mikrofarm automatic sprouting machine.  We're going to start growing and eating superfoods and vegetables, and we're moving to a RAW diet.  I was 205 lbs. in 2005 when I spent the summer in China, and now I'm 251 almost five years later (and after almost four years of marriage).  It can't be that hard to get back down so my lab work returns to normal.

So in sum, Hashem handed us a financial life preserver and a death warning if I don't get into shape.  I'm still unemployed and am looking for work.  I'm not receiving unemployment anymore (it has run out), but because of my recent work a few months back, I'm eligible for employment in the state I worked (which is around $200 less per week) which I applied for and am waiting for now as we speak.  My rent has increased as of May an ADDITIONAL $200/month and we have just a few months of survival money left.  I got some health food equipment and am making changes in my lifestyle with regard to diet and exercise.  I am waiting the results from the February NY Bar Exam and I have to pass character & fitness before I'm admitted so I can't practice any law until I've cleared those hurdles.  I am still determined to start my own patent practice, but it'll be difficult giving up the security of unemployment, but as of now I'm not receiving any and if I do, it's much less than I received in my previous state.

In other words, we're still alive, still kicking, still making it financially.  Our home (metaphorically) is still in order, and my wife and I B"H still have shalom bayis in the home.  We spend a lot of time with the 3 kids, and I'm asking Hashem every day for a job and strength so that I can keep a daily and weekly seder and learning schedule.  I haven't written the Lubavicher Rebbe yet about the health condition; I'll get to that as soon as I can.


Anonymous said...

I knew G-d would come through for you. From what I have read you are a very hard working and religous person. I had no doubt that you would and will be fine. But just in case I said your name at misheberach (at least blog name).
Shalom Aleichem to you and you mishpucha,

Rae Macklyn said...

Please conduct full and complete research prior to diving full-on into a 100% raw diet...not all vital nutrients can be obtained from strictly adhering to one, and you will eventually kill yourself on it unless you adhere to strict supplementation practices. I *definitely* would advise that you do not place the children on this diet at all.

Ahuva said...

Zoe, I'm glad to hear that things are going better for you. I can't help but wonder if there are more ways that you can cut back on your spending. While generally a good investment, you don't *need* a Vita-Mix in order to keep a raw diet. You *definitely* don't need a fancy automatic sprouting machine. I dated a raw food vegan for a while, so I know. You also don't need a gym membership. Don't get me wrong, I think gyms are great, but if the money isn't there... then the money isn't there. Google "isometric exercise," for example. I know a guy who would walk to and from the grocery store and use the groceries as "weights" while he exercised. He got a pretty good workout from it. The easiest (and cheapest) way to exercise is to get out of your car and start walking!

You got your financial life preserver. Now it's your job to stretch that money for *as long as possible* until you get some sort of regular paycheck coming in. It is up to you to either use this bracha wisely or let it run out quickly.

Zoe Strickman said...

@Anonymous, as much as it would mean a lot to me for you to say my name at a misheberach, I can't share it because I keep this blog strictly anonymous. Thank you though. Hashem zol shun zayn giben a beracha tzo alle de yiddim azoy dayn beracha tzu mir.

@Rae, the benefits of being religious is that we eat meat and other foods regularly, so being a vegan doesn't exactly work in my opinion (although people find ways to do it, I won't). We're just going to add a bunch of good stuff to our diet and take away lots of the bad sugar, flour, etc.

@Ahuva, your words are always words of wisdom and I take them seriously. You don't "need" any of this, but this time around, I want to do things right. The Vita-Mix happened because we burned out our blender a few days before and so we actually needed to get a blender anyway. I bought the automatic sprouter because I've sprouted for years before without one and I stopped because I kept forgetting to water them, and after shabbos I often lost batches to mold because I couldn't water them on shabbos. This time I wanted to do it right. And I have a good lifetime membership at a gym that I use. I don't pay hundreds or thousands each year, and I actually usually do some walking outside without a gym. What I have is good enough for me. Lastly, I *will* stretch it for as long as possible. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Zoe:

I had the same issue that I put on a lot of weight after I got married (that is what 3 good meals a day does!) and i lost most of it by going on the Harvy Diamond - Fit for Life diet.

The reality is that any diet will work as long as you cut back on your calorie intake. You need a lot less then you think espsialy if you are not doing physicl work.

Rae Macklyn said...

Thank you for the clarification; based upon your post however, I assumed that you were going all-out for a completely raw diet. Though I don't know the ins and outs of your religion, I would hope that any reasonable entities among organized religions would be willing to accommodate the healthiest requirements for survival for its members with regard to their particular health circumstances. Any religion which would not be permissible is likely nothing more than a faddish cult.