Friday, November 5, 2010

Where Will I Be in 20 - One - Three?

In 1995 we purchased our first home. A charming brick bungalo that definitely fell under the "they don't make 'em like they used to" category. As excited as you think I would have been to finally stop renting and move into my own cute little home, I was actually surprised to discover I had an allergy that I didn't even know existed. I discovered that I was allergic... to debt. Everyone would ask me how excited I was about buying a house and I would look at them like they were crazy. How could I be excited when I owed someone so much money?! So much money that it was going to take me 30 years to pay them back?

So naturally, when I later heard someone on the radio claim that anyone, ANYONE, could be totally debt free in 15 years, I was interested. Not interested enough to buy their product or their program, but interested enough to delve into the world of finance deep enought to figure out how to do it myself. We had three children at the time, three years old and younger, and only one car. I knew that car number two (and hence even MORE debt) was imminent. But I still full heartedly believed that anyone, ANYONE, could be totally debt free in 15 years. Once I was pretty sure I had figured out how to do it, because I'm me, I had to have a catchy slogan to go with it. "Debt Free in 20 -one -zero" didn't do anything for me, but "Debt Free in 20 -one - three" rhymed and kind of got me excited. (It also gave me an additional three year cushion, which sounded less strident to less-strident little me.)

Since then, my husband has been laid-off three times, we've moved clear across the country and back, bought and sold three houses, all of my kids have needed braces and I've had cancer. More than once that slogan, although never forgotten, was given the ol' que sara sara. Nice idea...but not gonna happen. So I thought...

Much to my surprise, even through all of those major detours, the debt free dream is not lost. We now find ourselves in the position to actually fulfill that goal and be totally and completely debt free in 20-1-3. No doubt, it is going to make for a tight three years, but do-able ones nonetheless.

Interestingly, I still remember where I was when I heard that radio broadcast. I was driving southbound on I-15, I had just passed through Bluffdale and was about to crest the point of the mountain. I find it fitting that I was going up hill, especially now as I recognize that not only has it been an uphill battle at times, but that these last three years will be the uphill-iest.

I'm not sure anything worthwhile is easy. The short quote says: "If you avoid difficult things, great things will avoid you." The long quote says: "Truth and untruth travel together, side by side. Light and darkness both offer themselves to the seeker after truth, one to bless, the other to destroy mankind. Whenever a man sets out to seek truth, he will for a time be overtaken by evil. No seeker after truth is, therefore, ever free from temptation, from evil power. This is an eternal law."

Believe me, ever since I became aware of how close we were to reaching our goal, my shopping lust, I mean list, has sky rocketed! I have the galloping green gimmies like no body's business! If only I were as allergic to debt now as I was then. Unfortunately, I have developed quite a tolerance. That mean old devil. He sure knows how to rope (or flaxen cord) us in. But I'm so close to the crest of that hill, I have to, ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO make it over...if for anything else than to prove to myself that I'm not a complete nincompoop.

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