This past month, at the closing of one of the strangest years any of us has ever lived through, I was still trying so hard to get an inkling, to grasp even the vaguest sense of the whole year: what it was for me and my family financially (the subject of this blog), and what it was for us broadly, beyond money into our community and our nation and our human-being. …
Doing okay in a very not-okay way
Happy Halfway through the Holidays and Almost Through 2020! What have we learned?
My own circumstances improved as the world we knew collapsed
Remember when we used to write letters to our future selves? Warning, giving advice, reflecting on the adventure that lay ahead?
This letter is not that.
This letter is written in reverse. It’s from your future self, two years more or less from the day a roof leak led you to start blogging your financial despair and recovery. Maybe there is a warning here. The warning might be: Life comes at you fast. Or Be careful what you wish for.
What have I learned, this me of the future? …
So I embarked on this crazy project a few years ago, to read every book in my house (still at it).
The first book took me two weeks to finish.
The next one took about a week.
The third one, I devoured in three days. I started filling notebooks and underlining quotes and scribbling ideas in the margins. Just like my mom used to do.
Beautiful as they were, these books I was reading back then were not what you would call pleasure books. They led not to escape but to confrontation. I’m not knocking escape, mind you. …
Here is all I know about the day my mother left:
I wasn’t alive. For as long as I could remember, the family had told hilarious stories of hijinks and mayhem that did not involve me. They always went something like this:
Older sister: Mom, Dad, remember that time when we had all those jars of pennies, and we counted the pennies, and there were so many that we had enough for all four of us go to Six Flags together?
Mom: Of course!
Dad: That was so fun!
Older brother: Haha, yeah!
Me: When was that? I don’t remember. …
During COVID-19, I think about my mother every day. She was essential. She would have been there for other people.
NOTE: My mother passed away many years ago, but not a day of the pandemic goes by that my heart does not go out to nurses, and their families.
My mother was a nurse, and it defined her life. She fought her parents to become one, put herself through school without their money. They believed nursing was beneath her. All those bedpans. All that blood and stink. …
When “Back to School” is not what you dreamed of, at least your books can be
I can’t get around the sadness of this back-to-school season, let alone the ongoing fear and occasional fits of rage. Why are we here now? Some of us are grounded; others of us forced to risk our lives to put food on the table and put our kids at risk for school. What do our kids make of all this? …
Suddenly, THE job appeared. Life won’t be the same again.
Guys. I got a job.
Not just any job, but A Really Great Amazing Job. One that satisfies so many things I’ve been trying for:
I’m pinching myself.
Tiny Changes Make a Big Difference
It’s been a year since I started to document my long, slow climb out of debt. Looking back on the year’s posts, I’ve pulled out some of the key lessons for kicking your own debt to the curb. Let’s take a look.
When you first begin to address your debt, take a time-out to assess and change your habits.