Thursday, January 28, 2010

Climbing out

Have you ever been in a pit? You know, one of those times in your life where all you see around you is dirt and mud and muck? I feel like we've (our little family) been in a financial pit for the last two and a half years. And through no great skill of our own, I feel like, kind of, sort of, maybe (I don't want to jinx it, after all) we're climbing out. It seems like tiny steps are appearing out of the mud and muck and if we're just smart enough to step on them, rather than jump onto them and promptly jump back down into the muck, we might eventually find ourselves climbing out of this mess.

I have learned though, that these steps are only so supportive and we need to treat lightly upon them so we don't crash through them (they're only piles of dirt). This is sometimes difficult to navigate, this idea of responsibly using what is being provided without crashing through like the proverbial bull in the proverbial china shop.

Morgan read recently that due to economic hardships the world over, they (you know, the elusive "they") are calling this the Humble Age. For us, that couldn't be a more apt description. Two and a half years ago we were flying high. We had enough money to provide for our basic needs and enough left over to allow us to do pretty much whatever we wanted. We had two fully financed, brand new, under warranty cars and house we owned (HA!) and the knowledge that we could spend whatever we wanted this week because next week, another paycheck was a-comin' in. Back then, in my mind, people who didn't have those things, probably didn't work as hard as we did, or maybe they weren't as smart as we were. Or maybe they were experiencing a run of bad luck. Most likely they were just irresponsible. The me of today laughs at the me of three years ago. HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAH! And I just want to say to her, "you stupid, stupid, arrogant little twit. Just you wait, you will be humbled and humbled BIG TIME."

Its different for us now. We live more modestly. Our cars aren't financed nor are they under warranty but they get us around reliably. Our house isn't our own, but it keeps the rain off our beds. We can afford our necessities but very little else and I can tell you what it is like to support a family while living at or under the poverty level. We've struggled and, at times, we've dug ourselves deeper into our pit but I can easily tell you I'm prouder of who we are today than who we were three years ago.

We are, I would say, cautiously optimistic. We'll take these little steps that are appearing out of the dirt and carefully, cautiously, step out into, hopefully, the sunlight.

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