Again, I find myself with a thousand ideas to write about… and yet nothing to write about. I find I cannot write unless I have properly processed an idea in my head. It may initially present itself on the surface of my consciousness, yet I dismiss it as not worthy. Not exciting. Doesn’t spark a creative fire.
Then it re-surfaces… and it’s better, but still not quite ready. So I toss it back into the churning waters of my mind again.
Lather, rinse, repeat as they say.
Over the weekend and leading to tonight I thought about writing about: work, our financial difficulties, my financial guardian angels, a WP challenge or a Daily Prompt, how I’m a different (better) mom now than I used to be (which is really too bad since my “children” are now adults)… but nothing sparked. I scanned my pictures for a jump off point… nothing sparked.
Finally, I wandered over to John Edward‘s site, and since I am a member of “The Five” logged in to look at my Tarot Card of the Day.
“Your financial or business affairs are in order and being successfully managed. This is all due to the efforts that you have put forth to accomplish your goals. A deserved rest or vacation is now possible.”
Well, then. I guess I’m going to talk about our financial difficulties and our financial guardian angels after all.
Well-acquainted readers may recall last year’s tax troubles. After that little fiasco, I adjusted my withholding higher so I would be better prepared this year. To be fair, it helped a little. This year’s fiasco was only half as bad as last year, but half as bad is still… bad.
Fortunately, I prepared the taxes early enough this year to be able to make arrangements. The decision was just, which solution to choose: Ask Uncle Sam for a payment plan? Quit one of my bookkeeping clients? Downsize our home?
After much agonizing and soul-searching and consulting with our angels… We are downsizing our home.
We have lived in our lovely four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath suburban home for sixteen years. We have effectively raised our children here. We thought we would “never move again.” It was our home to finish our lives in. There have been many, many happy memories here. Every holiday the yard is decorated; Christmas more than the others, but even on July 4th the flag is waving.
We’ve only just in the last several years managed to get the backyard into usable shape. But that cost us a home-equity line, plus a personal loan. Over the years we’ve refinanced the original mortgage twice, taking money out each time to pay down debt and “start over.” We are pros at starting over; we just never seem to finish. The credit card debt just rises back up again each time.
A few years ago, we finally buckled down and said “this is it.” We’re gonna get out of debt; live within our means. I took on the bookkeeping jobs; he started refereeing. We added roommates to our family. On the other hand, in our full-time work-lives, he hasn’t had a raise in four years and my pay has been cut (or diverted to benefits for which I didn’t used to have to pay). So the extra income only offset what we had lost, and then the self-employment taxes hit us hard. Instead of being out of debt, we are dog-paddling to exhaustion and still have the same mountain to climb when we get out of the water.
So, we’re leaving our home behind us and moving to the coast — we hope. Some place small and cozy, with just enough room for the occasional visiting adult child.
We’ll lower our housing costs and start negotiating with one credit card company at a time to reduce interest, pay off balances and close accounts.
We will live a different lifestyle. More homebody, less eating out. More planning, less spontaneity. Budgeting with a purpose. Hopefully, in three to five years, we can travel again; finally take the kids on an Alaskan cruise.
We feel good about our decision. We are grateful to our guardian angels helping us along the way. We are looking forward to a “simple” life.
I’m so glad the Tarot card agreed.