Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Am...

I am not rich.  I am not poor.  Somewhere right in the middle, I suppose.  I'm not going to lie, I have great hopes of one day being rich.  I have amazing credit, low interest rates, no consumer debt and I'm saving for the future - my kids weddings, missions, college and our retirement.  I often and mostly easily forego the things I want now for the payoff later of being rich someday.  My couches until recently were bought for $50 from a college apartment complex that was upgrading over 10 years ago.  Recently they were moved to the basement and upgraded to a friend's that she was getting rid of, an interesting shade of green but technically in better shape.  I have wanted white tight leather backed couches for at least 7 years.  I have had a set in my Amazon shopping cart for over a year, waiting....waiting...

I love my cars.  We have two ten year old Hondas, one Pilot and one Accord.  Both are great with gas mileage, notorious for lasting oodles of miles, economic in every sense of the word.  The Pilot, mainly my car, has 190,000+ miles on it.  It works great, runs great and meets my every need.  So despite my brother being a car salesman, one of my best friend's owning four car dealerships and living in the city with the world's largest auto auction and having lots of chances of upgrading - I have not.

Last month, while traveling to a remote area, my GPS took me on a "road".  After going about a mile down this dirt road, it further deteriorated to a river bed and hardly a 4-wheeler trail.  So bad in fact that I made a 20 point turn back around and determined to find a bigger road to get to the place I needed to go.   Along the way, I felt the bottom scrap and heard occasional heart breaking thumps despite trying to take it slow and find my way out of this predicament.  Each time I flinched praying nothing series was getting damaged.

Shortly after this experience the car started leaking oil, super annoying.  I was feeling pretty grateful though.  Surely, my super handy husband could fix an oil leak.  I was thanking my lucky stars.  After he looked it over, he determined that the leak was in a hard to get to place and likely would require dropping the transmission.  We took it to a shop that we have used for 7 years and love.  They know my husband is a "motorhead" and will often give us a second opinion or diagnostic for free if he can't figure it out on his own.  Today they did just that, confirming his suspicion and adding that they may even have to drop the engine too. 

They weren't interested in doing the work due to the scope and scale of the project and referred us to the dealership.  We were given a rough estimate of the work and a guess as to what the dealership would charge us, $3000.  Be still my flaming heart.  I was thinking like $300.  Yeah I'm not a car person.  My heart was broken, my spirit snapped.  I questioned why I keep sacrificing what I want when I feel like I end up never getting as far ahead as I want or think I should be able to.  I moped a bit, complained some, and tearfully explained my frustration to my husband when he got home and I related the quote.

Then something remarkable happened.  I remembered that we have the money to cover this in our savings, we have never even remotely been hungry, homeless or poor.  It may not be how I want to spend my money, but all of my choices have gotten me to the position where I am debt free and sporting cash for the repairs.  Then my VT's and friends came over.  I told my story once more, with less self pity this time.  They sympathized and related.  They had actually come bearing belated birthday gifts for me, a dozen doughnuts, caramels and an Amazon card.  I doubt it's going to be enough to cover the couches, but it was enough to change my attitude that final bit back around to my happy-go-lucky self.

I have a lot.  I have friends that I cherish, family who I adore and finances enough to cover what they must.  Both my husband and I have educations that will support us.  I have a husband who has never struggled to be employed and has done so successfully even with our passel of kids. I have the chance to stay home and raise these sweet little kiddos.  But best of all, I have this amazing attitude that refuses to be brought down by life's burdens most of the time.  I may have been in a funk for a few hours, but I am a fighter, indomitable.  And I guess of all the things I have, this is one of the best.  This is where my happiness and joy comes from.  I am a person who is grateful. 

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