The Upswing of Rock Bottom


rockbottomHave you ever had that realization that you must have hit the true rock bottom, the all time low for your life as you know it? The moment where you realize that if this path continues, you will cease existence as you know it? I think at one time or another we all find ourselves in a situation much like that. I believe that a true “rock bottom” can look different for different people. Mine was not what I expected. Life took a very drastic turn for me and I was barely holding on. It has been a true life-changing, utterly altering, shockingly amazing journey that I have been walking.

My life has always had its ups and downs, whose doesn’t? I never thought that what happened to me would happen. That sounds so cliche. Every time I hear someone utter those words, I think, “but life happens to us all, what makes you think you are excluded?” I never realized until this past September, what it really meant. When someone says that they didn’t think the experience or situation would happen to them, they were truly blind to the reality that the possibility existed and was lying so close to them that it was waiting to strike. In September I was blind.

I couldn’t understand how this could be happening. I said to my mother “I tried so hard to make sure this didn’t happen…” What I didn’t realize until a bit later was that by trying to ensure these events didn’t happen, the ones that shook me to the core of my being and punched a hole so wide that I didn’t think it would heal but fully thought it would be the end, I actually had a hand in making it all come true.

It takes a lot to look at your life and the events surrounding you, the turmoil, shame, hurt, sorrow, pain, all of it, that it will either make or break you. I chose that I would not let this end me. I vowed that I would survive and I would be better for it. I would learn from this.

Had it not been for a very important person in my life giving me a virtual smack and a sudden wake up call that I was sliding fast toward a life that wasn’t worth living, that I realized I had to make some changes. Time to put the big girl pants on and quit wallowing in the hurt and pain and start making something out of it. You know the old saying, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade.

God Rock

I started the journey toward self healing and self helping. Struggling to grip back on to everything in my life that I had worked so hard to build. I knew that I didn’t want to lose those things for good. I had to make a choice, I had to decide that I was worth it and the people I loved were worth it too.

Its not easy and I believe that it will be an ever changing, continuously rolling tide that will only grow with each sunrise and sunset. But I am looking forward to how beautiful those sunrises and sunsets will be each day, each moment, shining a God given grace, love and mercy on me, lighting up the path that awaits my next steps on a journey that I am proud to be walking.

I will forever be sad that it took my rock bottom for me to wake up. I can not change anything that has happened. I can only look to the future that will be waiting for my next moment.

Rock-bottom1

 

 

The Countdown Starts NOW


I met with my financial adviser – yes broke people need a financial adviser. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be broke! –  this weekend and at the time I was feeling pretty low all in all. I left the meeting – 3 hours later – feeling energized. I HAD A PLAN!

640px-Straitjacket-rear

Being in debt is a horrible, worse than ball and chain feeling. I feel like the bad magician who is in a straight jacket with chains and padlocks tied around me submerged in a water tank with the clock ticking. The bad magician freaks out, swallows tons of water and just short of drowning is saved by his trusty team of people who love him but yet needed to let him learn from his experiences. That is what debt feels like. Thankfully my trusty team of people who love me are some dear friends who are more family than anything and have been there for me always. This is who my financial adviser is.

Month over month I had been feeling like no matter what I did, I wasn’t making headway. I have known about the Dave Ramsey Baby Step plan for a few years at this point. I tried it once or twice on my own and did ok, but never actually did what I was supposed to. I knew intellectually what was needed but emotionally I couldn’t commit. k9530611

Have you ever heard of a hope sheet? I had not. A Hope sheet is a date/task oriented sheet where you list what it is you hope to accomplish by what date you hope to accomplish it by. This is my plan and my light at the end of the tunnel. After going through my hope sheet I have a reason, a plan, a how to and what not to do – this was the cataclysmic smack in the face I needed.

By following my plan and my monthly budget I can do this! My budget is broken down into two 14 day time spans. The baby step, of the baby step, of the baby step is how I see it. Baby Step 1 is to have a Baby Emergency Fund (BEF) of $1,000.00 as quickly as possible. Baby Step 2 is to pay off all debt. My debt consists of $51,523.00. How did I get here? Oh yeah, I have a me and a they problem. The “they” would be my children who don’t like to hear “no” and who have fully learned that if they bug, pester and annoy the snot out of me, they will probably get their way. The “me” problem – is partially what I just said and partially because I still fight the “I want what I want when I want it” child inside.

So where do the baby steps of the baby steps come in? How does my 14 day time span fit into all of this? Its much easier to think about controlling the me and they problem in this 14 days than it is to consider fixing it completely. Fixing it completely starts to make me think about that magician. Knowing that I just have to get through the next 14 days with a tad bit more control makes it so much easier! Isn’t this what addicts do? One day at a time…..

Well, here I am, taking control and saying NO MORE! I am going to get gazelle intense and outrun my predator to survive this meal. I will worry about the next feeding time when its feeding time. If I follow my hope sheet and my budget, I have a plan to be funded in my BEF by July 15, 2015. I also have a plan to be debt free – all $51,000 – by March 15, 2018! That is 2 years and 9 months from right now!

I                 CAN                        DO                            THIS!!!!!

Why My Children Declared War and How I’m Going To Win


please_fire_me_pm-thumb-270x270

Well, as you know, I’m in this age of discovery. Finding who I am means I get to find out who everyone around me is to. This includes my 3 children.

Oh how I love my children. They are full of, well, they are my babies. I still see them as the babies they were but reality has another thing for me to see. Reality is they have sword like tongues, eyes that burn holes in anything they look at and voices that will break glass. Oh, you’ve met them too? Thankfully my youngest doesn’t have all of these traits yet and well, I am hoping to ward off this virus before it grips her too.

I have been playing this awesome game with the kids – Risk – the board game. And it has taught me a few things about war. In order to win, you do have to have the enemy surrounded or cornered. You then have to gather your forces and attack in one fell swoop. If you back off and let them have a turn they will catch on and could annihilate you. These lessons are so going to come in handy!

stock-photo-mother-and-son-tug-of-war-55220533

The War Tactics

At any moment I could be blind sided and walk right into a full blown battle. I carry my weapons close to my side at all times – Headphones, Cell Phone, Witty-No-Nonsense-Eye-Rolling-Lip-Busting Attitude. I suggest that if you currently do not own these items, you obtain them immediately!

The Enemy

Sun Tzu (The Art of War) is absolutely correct on so many things! “You must not fight too open with the enemy or you will teach him all your art of war” “Tactics without strategy is the noise before the defeat”, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”. All good things to remember in this battle I am preparing for.

Knowing my enemy is the first step to conquering them. I have learned, they need materialistic things to survive. They do not join forces with their own kind. It appears that electronics feed them and make them stronger. Physical labor or activity is their cryptonite. Embarrassment is the second best weapon to use against them, it will cripple them in an instant. They also have a keen sense of manipulation tactics that are almost greater than any I have seen. Attempting to reason with them is the signature on your own death certificate.

The Preemptive Strike

When you have been threatened by the enemy forces it is imperative that you gather your forces and carry out your preemptive strike. The intent is to keep the enemy from gaining ground and continuing their threats. A good thing to remember is that you will have several battles, don’t use all your strategies and tactics in each battle or they will learn your ways.

The Ongoing Battles

The reality here is that the battles will be many and while some are rather quick and fizzle out nicely, others may drag on. At times you may feel like you are in the running for a World War 3 competition. This is when it is necessary to review the art of war, your battle tactics and maybe even discuss with your allies the latest battles and your current plan of attack. You have to recharge so you can continue to keep the upper hand.

images (1)

The Winning Defeat

This is something that you will begin to recognize as you will win small battles along the way. The enemy will appear to be shrinking as they walk. At times, the enemy may also appear to take on the role of a grateful child, this one is shocking but when its sincere you will know. (Do not let their manipulation skills get the better of you here.) There will be family gatherings at which they are smiling and laughing, again, you can not appear shocked. You will know that you have won the final battle when they actually are asking for your advice, talking with you about personal matters, showing affection to you and other family members, and asking permission. All of these events will be regular and ongoing with little to no intertwining of attitude. It is at this point that you can pull back your forces and while you will never put your artillery and weapons on the shelf to collect dust, you can at this point at least not have them in front of you at all times.

So while I am currently in the stage of ongoing battles, I am fully confident that I will win – after all, I was a teenager once too.

Homesteading Happiness

Learning. Growing. Doing.

JUMP FOR JOY Photo Project

sharing the joy of the human spirit in mid air around the world

onbeinga30something

Stories and memories at 30-something. Because some of this is really worth remembering.

Alyce in Wonderland

A Glimpse Through The Looking Glass Of My Life