Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thank you

Thanks to my PF for the (mostly) kind words and encouragement about our graduation trip for DS. Honestly, I expected more of a thrashing. That so many of you are understanding was an unexpected blessing.

I was a bit taken aback by the comment: "This is by far, the most ridiculous excuse for 'I just wanted to' I've ever heard." I wasn't sure whether the writer doubted my story or whether she just didn't like our decision. Doesn't matter, I guess.

When I started writing that post, I was sitting in a hospital room while DS endured yet another round of tests. That his health is my "excuse" is spot-on. If we wait until we are out of debt to take him to Broadway - his dream - chances are he won't get to go because chances are he won't be here.

The commenter is also correct that going is not the "responsible" thing to do. We are deeply, deeply in debt. But I know that if we put everything on hold until we dig out - which is going to take years no matter what - we will fail. We will get discouraged and worn down and give up. I read a post by one of you recently (I apologize for not remembering who or where) about balance. And that's it exactly. All of us has to find some balance in our lives. For us, we have to balance a determination to get out of debt with not putting our life on hold. We live pretty simply under our current plan. We very rarely eat out. We stay home a lot. We don't buy new clothes. Or shoes. Or toys. We drive older, paid-for cars. In short, we are paying attention. We have made cutbacks. We do think about every penny we spend. But we also still have cable. And we are taking our son on a trip. That's the balance that works for us.

We are not incurring new debt with this trip. True, we could use the money to buy down the debt we have, but we've made a choice. Broadway tickets are discounted because of the wheelchair. I'm not going to one of the shows because of the cost. We're driving, so we will bring our own snacks, drinks and breakfast food. We will eat out once a day - a mid-afternoon dinner. (Thanks SAK for the restaurant suggestion!) DS tires easily so we won't be going non-stop. We'll be spending a fair amount of time in the room to recharge. We are making conscious decisions about every dollar, which is a huge improvement over years past.

I'm proud of what we've done in the past year. The ticker is still moving in the right direction, albeit slowly. We didn't get into this mess overnight. And we won't get out that quickly, either.

But in the meantime, we'll continue to seek that balance that will keep us on track.

Blessings,
Sarah

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6 comments:

  1. Sorry that you had such a mean commenter. I went back, and that person is one of those that hides under some name unlinked to who they really are. They sound a bit spiteful, and there were better ways to present her point. I would like to see ANY mother exchange memories with a child who may not get a similar chance, with saving money. What are you saving for? You got in debt, and you're working to get out of debt for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. Not just to be out of the bank's radars. Life should not be put in hold while you pay debt, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a fool. When are you going on your trip? Would be awesome if it was at the same time I'm going to NY, because I could work out some hotel deals for you...

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  2. Thanks, Tanner, for the kind words. We're going to be there last weekend of this month. Staying at the Doubletree. I spent a lot of time looking at hotel choices. We were limited by the need for an accessible room with two beds and a roll-in shower in the theater district. Got a pretty good deal, as far as that goes. Thanks again ;)

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  3. Not the responsible thing to do?? Honey, sometimes we GET to be irresponsible regardless of what anyone else has to say about it!! If irresponsible means creating lifelong memories with your son, then you have my permission to be irresponsible!

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  4. Actually you ARE being responsible. Family comes first. Always. And all other things come after that. Obviously you don't want to waste your money on buying each incarnation of the iPad or something like that for each kid or taking them to McDonalds each and every day just because they want it, but if someone in your family has a serious or fatal illness, the things you can do to make their life better now is definitely worth spending your money on while you still can. When my mom was dying I went to see her but not as often as I should have because I was worried about paying for gas (it was a six hour trip and I was usually broke). If I could do it again, I would have been there once a week, no matter what gas costs, because my time with her was so limited. So you go girl!

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  5. PF bloggers need extra thick skins. You got 21 comments and only one of them disagreed with how you lived your life. Embrace the twenty that agreed with you! It's your debt, your life and your money. Do what you want with it - and you're right about going in the right direction and balance. Much love to you and your family.

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  6. I think it's awesome what you are doing. You are being responsible and that commenter has no business critizing until they have walked in your shoes. Make those memories, they are important.

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