gratitude journal 10-17-12

  1. I’m glad an old high school friend of mine got a good job. He’s worked hard to turn his life around, and he’s faced some pretty significant roadblocks in doing so. I’m really proud of him, and I’m glad he found the inner strength to keep trying.
  2. I’m glad my professor won an award I nominated her for. My current institution of higher learning was doing a thing where we could nominate a teacher who positively affected our lives, worldview, and learning. I nominated a professor from the college I earned my AA at, and from her FB post, it appears she won the award. That’s pretty cool.
  3. I’m glad this afternoon was sunny and bright. It was quite uplifting. “Sunbreaks,” they call them here. What a funny word.
  4. I’m glad we were able to purchase an AAA membership. Not only do we get discounts, and I’m protected from my own forgetfulness and tendency to lock my keys in the car, but we get free towing up to 100 miles. So we finally removed Tobiah’s car from our driveway and towed it to an autoshop — a situation all of us are quite relieved about.
  5. Speaking of auto shops, I’m glad we don’t live in the house-money-pit anymore, because now when our car breaks down we can afford to fix it. Sure, we had a hiccup or two right after moving here, what with crazy neighbor and broken jaws, but here’s the thing: Away from that house, and away from insane small-town energy prices, once John healed and went back to work, we were able to live even on the reduced income (from fewer hours) he was earning. And once he went back to his usual hours, we were able to start accruing a small amount of savings from paycheck to paycheck. And now that I’m working, too, we’re able to afford to do things like fix our cars when they break down instead of walking everywhere or begging reluctant family/ friends for rides. I mean, living in the house was horrific decline in financial circumstances that started out deceptively slow — it looked manageable, and it wasn’t until we were mired in mortgage and medical debt and actively drawing on John’s retirement just to have food on the table that we realized how bad it was. Once the foreclosure and the bankruptcy went through and we were able to move to a rental duplex with rent and utilities that aren’t subject to the whims of interest rate swaps and refinancing, it became so much easier to breathe, to save, to live. Buying a house was the dumbest damn thing we ever did, even a piece of shit house in a back alley in a small town in a flood zone. You’d think a house like that would have an affordable mortgage, but oh hell no. Not in this world.

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