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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

what single thing would improve the quality of your life?


The Guardian has a standard series of questions it asks celebs in its ongoing feature The Q&A. This is one of them:

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

For me, it would be more time to relax and do anything other than work.


(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)


  • beccity98

    It’s going to sound materialistic, bu I swear it’s not: Financial freedom, or just plain more money. Seriously. I just realized that when we bought our house 6 years ago, we made almost 3x as much as we made this year. I have been fired twice and ‘let go’ once, not because I actually did anything wrong or because I don’t do my job well, because I do, but because I don’t fit in socially with my co-workers. I was told once to stop talking to my co-workers, and at a different job, they were making Lent into a contest, and I didn’t know what I should give up, and my co-workers suggested that I stop talking about my cats. I think someone is saying bad things about me when prospective employers call for a background check. So I have been forced to take a craptastic job at a department store for barely above minimum wage, and I was just scheduled for less than 8 hours for the entirety of next week. People ask my opinion on which expensive handbag they should buy, and I’m like, “That could buy me groceries for a month, but whatever. Take the blue one” I am stressed out and not eating, which is good, since it saves money on food, but bad, because I weigh about 100lbs. I have several health issues that I have been ignoring because I don’t have health insurance, like the fact that I may have broken my thumb, or maybe it’s a sprain, I seem to have circulation issues, haven’t had a new contact lens prescription in over 2 years, and just what does a breast lump feel like? My husband missed work 2 times this week because of some kind of digestive issue we can’t get diagnosed, and I hope it’s not some kind of food sensitivity like gluten, because that would be even more money.

    We live in SoCal, less than an hour from Disneyland, and haven’t been in years. The last movie we saw in theaters was Gravity, then Elysium before that, then Star Trek into Darkness. And I think only because we had tickets left over from LAST Christmas. I have to decide whether I want to go to my cousin’s wedding or my sister’s high school graduation, but still have no idea how to pay for either. I am 33, and my husband is 38, and we have been waiting to have kids until we’re more financially ready, which by this rate will be never. If we do have kids, we’ll have to remodel the main bathroom first, as the bathtub doesn’t work at all, and who puts a urinal in a house?!

    All that being said, my husband an I don’t fight about money. We’re pretty logical people and realize that fighting about it isn’t going to make more appear. Aside from my money stress, we’re happier than we were before, and I think it’s because my husband has become more involved in our church. Since then, everytime some unexpected bill has come up, we’ve also gotten an unexpected windfall. Like my husband was getting worried about the tires on my car, then I got rear-ended (barely) and the guy gave us just enough for new tires. Or someone has been anonymously sending us grocery store gift cards. Or we tithe, and my husband fixes a friend’s car, and he gives us the exact same amount we just tithed.

    I’m just stressed and depressed right now. I think I’ll get ready for work.

  • “FInancial freedom” is sort of encompassed in my “time to relax” thing.

    I figured everyone here was tired of hearing me complain about money. :-/

    I know it doesn’t help at all, but you’re far from alone. :-(

  • Yeah, it’s always more money and more time, right?
    But I’m lucky in that I’m financially stable enough for it not to be a pressing concern… so, time. A 36 hour day would be *great*, thank you.

  • Jurgan

    An acceptance letter from a graduate school.

  • LaSargenta

    I didn’t know one could be fired for not fitting in socially…I mean, unless someone’s doing aggressive shit to coworkers, you know, harassment.

    I’m very sorry to hear that and wish for better things for you.

  • LaSargenta

    More time, too.

  • More time for two things: 1. Spending time with my two girls (4 1/2 and 10 months) and 2. Watching and writing about more movies.

    Finding time for either is a challenge.

  • RogerBW

    I have time to do enough fun stuff to keep me happy (and my work is itself fun)… as long as I get myself organised to do it, so I think more self-discipline is what I’d really like. I’m trying blogging as a means to that, writing reviews of everything I read or watch, and it’s being interesting so far.

  • I want my health back. I’ve been dealing with some sort of chronic illness now for almost 10 years. Countless doctor visits, countless tests, countless medications, and nothing comes of it.
    I am in pain (sometimes really bad pain)pretty much 24/7. Some of it has an obvious source, like my lower back pain. The rest, like neck, chest, fingers, feet, legs, etc. have all gone undiagnosed.
    Several doctors have tossed Fibromyalgia at me, but I am incredibly skeptical. Seems to me that they say that when they run out of options.
    It’s hard to enjoy life when your health is shit. I make the best of it, of course, but it weighs on me.
    It’s also hard to explain my situation to people because there is no outward sign of my illness(besides losing weight, which is weird). I feel like people “forget” that I’m sick, and expect me to do things that I am no longer capable of. I hate having to explain myself over and over again. yes, even to my wife and son.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I’d read your blog.

    I’d probably argue with half of what you write, but I’d read it. :-)

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    If I had enough money that I didn’t have to work, I wouldn’t. But I’m kind of afraid of what I’d do instead.

    I wouldn’t mind working for a living if I knew I would make enough to realize the classical “American Dream” (house, savings, manageable debt, send the kids to college, retire). The saddest thing to me as that it wouldn’t take that much more, but it would still be about twice what I make now.

    For peace of mind in my day to day life, I’d like it if teenagers weren’t quite the way they are. That’s not much to ask, is it?

  • beccity98

    Oh, no, they found ‘real’ reasons. The first one (all at banks) I took a customer’s deposit and the check turned out to be a fake check. Even the unemployment interviewer sounded incredulous-“…and are you able to look at accounts at other banks?’ At job #2, my manager told me to take a deposit that I knew was going to bounce. Job #3 was a temp job, and the agency just called and said my assignment was over, but I knew the feeling in the air. I once had a different temp job, reviewing loan docs for signatures, and was let go from that for paying too much attention to detail, and they tried to deny me unemployment. The judge said you can’t deny someone unemployment benefits just because they aren’t going as fast as you wish they would.

    In other news, today my husband was offered a job at our church! We are going to think and pray on it. On one hand, we love our church, and he loves all the people he has met, and they pay 100% of the health insurance for him, on the other hand, it would pay just enough for our important bills (house, utilities, phone, car insurance) but not the rest, and not enough to get ahead and probably not enough for making babies.

  • RogerBW

    We’re down to half? Wow. (Actually you’ve been saying a bunch of stuff I agree with in the last few weeks…)
    blog.firedrake.org. Note that comments don’t get processed immediately.

  • Danielm80

    I tend to believe that, no matter how crazy or stubborn a person is, they’ll behave in a calm and reasonable manner if I just make a logical, intelligent argument. If I stopped believing that, the quality of my life would improve tremendously.

  • FormerlyKnownAsBill

    it would be grand if alcohol and tobacco didn’t have any negative effects on my health, but retained all of their positive qualities.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Finding a blog, just like this one, that discusses video games instead of movies. Most of them are like most movie sites: semi-literate, hyper-entitled fanboy whinging. I’d like to read and/or have a serious, intelligent discussion about the dangling unresolved plot threads in “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception”, but can’t find one that doesn’t make me want to claw my eyes out.

  • Danielm80

    I’d like it if we were allowed to clap between–or during–movements at classical concerts. If Eric Clapton plays a great guitar solo, the audience can applaud and shout things, but if Simone Dinnerstein plays a terrific Bach invention, we can’t let her know we liked it until twenty minutes later.

  • Right there with ya on this one, although it wouldn’t be anywhere near the top of my list of life “wants”.

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    My husband commutes 5 hours a day. I could say goodbye to that.

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