Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What happened?

It's been awhile and there is good reason why . . .

So many things have happened -- have changed in my life. In late 2008, I found out that my older sister was fighting cancer. It was a shock to all of us. You have no idea what a terminal illness does to a family. It nearly destroyed her marriage, and it totally changed my sister and her husband's working life . . . so much so that she ended up living with me until her death in the September 2009.

Immediately, my goals had to change. That's what happens you know . . . LIFE. Between taking care of my sister, dealing with marital issues wrapped in grief and poignant goodbyes, keeping home life as "normal as possible" for my children and my family's shifting financial needs -- my plans for financial freedom had to be put aside.

Six months before her death, the house we were renting (which fit my family perfectly even with my sister and her husband living with us -- went up for sale. She was in no condition to move and we could not purchase a house big enough for all of us with only my husband's salary. Because you see, due to the housing bubble popping and the banking industry making the rules on lending nearly ridiculous (after their crazy credit party of the years previously) - the money I made from my contract work meant nothing. They wanted to see W-2's to even consider lending to us.

I had to quickly find a W-2 job.

By the great kindness of my landlord -- they offered us first dibs on the house. And the fact that the Lord truly provides -- because soon after that, I found a job with a salary that was large enough to purchase the house. We began the process of purchasing the house we were living in. It was a short-sale. So there was a lot of "hurry up and find financial documentation and send it to us now" and then wait . . . and wait.

By the end of September 2009 there were . . . funeral arrangements, a 9 to 5 job schedule, kids beginning school, and many other things in life that one has to adjust to . . . and I did it all in a numb kind of limbo. And ironically, two days after I buried my sister, we signed the documents to the house. After six months, the short sale finally went through. I had made a step toward one of my goals . . . and I didn't care.

During the time of my sister's sickness, I was often angry and frustrated. There was so much I could have done if I had the "financial freedom" that I had been previously fighting for. She could have had better health care, an easier time of it. I would have been able to care for her more than get a "job" and be absent 9-10 hours a day to make sure there was a roof over everyone's head. I could have afforded the best nurses and day-care providers to make her life much more comfortable. We may have been able to afford some type of "new treatment" that would have extended her life or maybe cured her. All this could have happened if I would have tried for and succeeded in gaining financial freedom sooner. Why did I wait?

LIFE. Because life keeps happening to me. And I end up doing what everyone else does. Set aside my goals to handle the problems of life, instead of making plans to continue my goals around life. Making those contingencies that will help me take the steps toward my goal, even when life happens.

It's been almost a year since my sister's death, a year into owning my new home, over a year since I began my new job . . . and I'm looking around, feeling uncomfortable, still feeling frustrated and angry. My restlessness has helped me realize that I'm ready to take on my challenge again. It's time to make things better. To add value to life.

So, if you don't mind. Let's continue this journey. Pull up your belts and tie your shoes . . . I'm ready to get back on the "wild ride" to financial freedom. Let's go.

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