I’m feeling pretty blessed at the moment. Normally, I hate using that word, but it’s shorter than saying, “Gee, the Universe seems to really be on my side lately.” That does seem to be the general flow, though.
It started out with helping my friend to sell a house. He was kind and generous enough to share his commission by purchasing a new computer for me, since my old one was about to die. Yes, I am typing right now on an HP Pavilion that can kick a gaming desktop’s ass. It’s glorious. Not one single crash, no matter how many GIMP images I have open at one time. My old one crapped out at 30 files; I have yet to reach this one’s limit. There’s also the advantage that the wrist area doesn’t reach 200 degrees Celcius while my wrists are resting on it. Also, I have yet to burn my fingertips. Yes, a few more months of using that old one, and I’m pretty sure I could become a professional thief, as I would have no fingerprints. Best of all, it is dead silent. I can’t hear it make even so much as a hum.
Then at the beginning of the month, I opened my bank account to find a large sum of unexpected money. The source? My ex-husband’s tax return. Until he’s fully caught up from the $28,000 he owed us in back support (he’s down to about $23,000 now), every year at tax time, we get a lovely surprise. It’s actually kinda nice to have all that back support, as it is currently paying for his children’s college educations. This particular windfall went directly onto our highest interest credit card. That left us with a still pretty hefty balance, but it was a good chunk.
While I was in Connecticut, I opened my bank account to find ANOTHER large sum of unexpected money. A VERY large sum. I immediately called the source to verify that it was really mine, before I spent it. Sure enough, it really did belong to me!! That went right onto that same high interest credit card. That left us with a very small balance that I was able to pay off on the next regular payday. YES! I have a credit card with a $0 balance!! I did the happy dance for days. Paying that off gave me a high that shopping never has. I discovered that getting out of debt is way more pleasurable than getting into it.
After that discovery, I worked out our 19 month plan. We are going to be out of debt by December, 2013. Period. I don’t care if that means I have to sell plasma, I am paying off every one of the cards that are left, and then they are going to collect dust in the corner. I want to move to New England, and Ron refuses to move from this house until we are out of debt. DEAL!
A few mornings ago, a tree fell on our house. Seriously. The giant tree in our front yard split in half, literally pulled out of the ground, and fell on our house. Fortunately, that tree was right near our curb. Fortunately, our roof is three years old and in very good shape. Fortunately, only the soft flowy branchy stuff hit the house. The actual trunk only reached our porch. We called our insurance company, and they explained about how much our deductible is, then said they would send someone out to look at the roof, and would have a couple of arborists that they use give us a call. Fortunately, I waited but didn’t get any calls (they did call, but I generally don’t answer phone numbers I don’t recognize). Fortunately, I belong to Angie’s List. So I looked up tree trimmers and found “A Best Tree Service.” They were here within an hour, and gave me an estimate that was less than half what everyone who saw the tree said it would cost to remove it. Plus, their estimate including removing the entire tree, not just the part that fell. It had to be done…having a tree fall on your house is bad. Having a tree fall on your neighbor’s car…well, that’s just a whole can of worms that we really wanted to avoid. Since they were the only ones who returned my call and promptly showed up with the super low estimate, we shook hands, they did a fabulous job of removing my tree, I wrote them a check, and they were on their merry little way. The entire process was about three hours. I was a very happy homeowner.
Yesterday, the roofer from the insurance company came out and gave our roof his professional blessing, and said nothing was so damaged that it needed to be repaired. Woo hoo! That meant the tree service, which was drastically less than our deductible, was our only cost. Yay!! Even better, I paid cash for the tree service. No additional credit card debt required!
Two days ago, I noticed that Aubrey had posted, “Happy Days!!” on her facebook wall. When I asked her what that was for, she said she’d heard back from Mount Holyoke, and they extended her leave so that she can return in fall of 2013. YES!!!!! So she gets another year of incubation before we toss her out of the nest again. This time, though, her heart is not broken, she understands that she HAS to take her meds, she will live off campus so she doesn’t have to worry about cross contamination of gluten in her food, and she will have a car. Plus, the plan is for us to live relatively nearby so she has a support system, and we will notice if she starts to crash again.
On top of all of this, I finally got my bathroom shelves into place, so my bathroom looks a million times better, cleaner, and bigger. I’ve managed to work 15 minutes a day on clearing my office/craft room/bedroom space, and it is finally starting to look like a room in a normal house, not like an episode of Hoarders. Papers are getting filed, craft supplies are getting organized, and this room slowly continues to become my happy place. The cleaner it gets, the happier a place it is.
However, while all those material things are lovely (not that Aubrey’s deferral is materialistic), the best thing about my life lately is I have discovered that I really don’t have to take anyone’s crap. When a relative kept making nasty, thinly veiled insults about me and my children, instead of escalating, I put them in my facebook restricted list. Now they can’t complain that I deleted them, they likely won’t notice that they aren’t seeing any posts from me, and I don’t have to read their shit. When a “friend” accused me of sexually abusing my daughter for taking boudoir photos of her, and said that I shouldn’t encourage Aubrey’s interest in Burlesque dancing as I was leading her down the path to a career in pornography, she also went into the restricted list.
Aubrey is almsot 19, not 9. All of the photos were artistically tasteful (I took them, not some creepy internet guy). Aubrey is extremely conservative in her daily dress, and beyond conservative in her personal life, although she is equally liberal in her political choices. More than anything, Aubrey is a dancer like I am a writer. It’s not just that she loves to dance; it is who she IS. It is her identity. So if she wanted to study pole dancing, I would still freakin’ support her in that choice. Personally, I don’t consider Burlesque to be any worse than ballet or jazz, or any other dance form. Yes, it is sexy, but so is belly dancing, and this friend let her daughter take belly dancing lessons when she was only 15. I didn’t accuse HER of leading her daughter down the path to a career in porn. Aubrey voiced her desire to take Burlesque dance lessons after watching Chicago. Last time I checked, Chicago did not qualify as a porn flick, and neither Catherine Zeta-Jones nor Rene Zellweger are porn stars.
The facebook restricted list is like cyber-Siberia, and it is freakin’ awesome. It’s the best way to distance people who you can’t really delete, but with whom you don’t really want to share your personal life, nor see theirs. However, if they want to delete me, they are completely free to do so.
So I have not just been cleaning up my craft room. I’m cleaning up my life, clearing the dust, decluttering all the negativity and bitchiness, and getting happier every day. Life is good…I just had to choose to make it that way.
“Well, my friends give me purple flowers and orange tea,
and goosedown spinning quilts and torquoise chairs.
We greet one another in a wild profusion of words
and wave farewell amidst the wonderment of air.
In the laughing times we know we are lucky.
In the quiet times we know that we are blessed and we will not be alone.” – Arrival by Dar Williams