Desert Sand Mica

Whatever, just crash it Bob...

10.21.2003's a bitch

Too many things to do, and I'm too distracted to get any of them done. I am going to list some books, because Mark asked me to. He doesn't come right out and ask me to do very much at all, so I know he felt like it really needed to get done. I still feel like I'm recuperating from being up all night on Sunday, but I have certainly slept enough to get caught up on my sleep already.

I did do some running around and then watched the Phil-e-meister. Very good today, about couples and people in money trouble. As always, one quote stuck out in my mind.

"It's a very peaceful feeling to know you are paying all your bills on time, and living within your means."

Something I have only experienced in the last couple of years, and it's true that it is a peaceful feeling. It seemed that for all my life I was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and spending my paycheck the day it arrived. I never saved any money, and had no emergency plan. I paid myself first (in toys) and paid my bills last. Now everything is paid on time, I have no revolving debt, no car payment, a full refrigerator, and my lights are on. And money to spare. And considering how little income we have in this house, that's nothing short of a miracle.

For the last 15 years or so of my life my first thought in the morning was always a feeling of dread about money. That's one of the most nauseating feelings, ever. "How am I going to pay the phone bill?" "I can't pay for car insurance this month because I have to pay my credit cards that I didn't pay last month." "I wonder if my mom will loan me money for utilities".

I can attribute most of my progress to Mark. Debt is not in his vocabulary. Late payments are not in the realm of his reality. He pushed and pushed and pushed me to get my shit paid off - at the expense of a lot of other things I was used to. It's amazing how much money we (all of us) nickel and dime away. Dinner out, a magazine, toys for the kids. The entire two years I lived in my apartment I literally bought nothing that wasn't absolutely necessary. Every extra penny went to my debts.

If was excruciating. But oh my goodness, the feeling I have now is literally "priceless".

And, I attribute some of my progress to my mom, though she probably doesn't even realize it.

Very soon after I was separated, I found myself in a minor money pinch and asked her for a loan. Very small, I think it was $150. I'd asked her many many times for loans before. Always small amounts, to just tide me over. Well this time she said no.


We had a huge fight, and didn't speak to each other for over two years, even though we live less than 5 minutes apart and had in the past spoken nearly every day.

I don't know if her intention was to force me to fend for myself, but that's exactly what happened. I realized it was not my family's obligation to get me over the financial humps. I was in my 30's for goodness sakes! It wasn't like I was a college student newly out of the house.

I resented her for a little while, but soon realized that I would never get anywhere while leaning on her. I had to quit a job that I loved and get a job that paid better. A job I didn't like and was overqualified for, but kept me afloat. Essentially, the job that got me out of debt. And now that times are good, I can work on getting the job I've always wanted, and be done with struggling.

I suppose it's a maturity thing, to realize that the people kicking you out of the house and kicking you in the ass are doing it for your own good. I know a lot of folks are in the boat I was in, and I hope they can dig their way out, too. I know it's hard. It wouldn't feel so damn good when it's over if it was easy.

So now here I am getting ready to embark on a totally different career. Money be damned, I will be making a difference.

The happiest thing I can think of is that I will never ever push papers for someone else. I'll never be in charge of ordering copy paper. I'll never type labels for file folders. And I'll never wear pantyhose or highheels to work again!


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