I was surprised to find out that our weekend’s announcement was meet with a little bitterness from some folks. Though the majority of the folks we shared our news with were proud and congratulatory I received a few responses that indirectly accused us of being nothing short of ungrateful. Sadly one of these was from a relative of all people, feeling the need to point out the “assistance” we’ve received.
I’m nothing, but human. I also take things too seriously and easily get defensive – so here you go.
First to clarify – yes, we received a big boon to our goals by being offered a place to live rent free for the last year while I dealt with a hard pregnancy, and we went through career changes. By the time we moved last year into this arrangement we’d already paid off about 50% of our debt and had a plan, a plan that would have worked even if we were paying more for daycare and paying rent – it might have taken an extra year, but it was achievable. However, every penny that has paid every bill – debt related or not – was earned directly by my husband or myself; we received no assistance to pay our bills – I’ve never even been on unemployment though I spent over 6 months of those two years without an income -, but rather we accepted ‘assistance’ to avoid additional ones.
I don’t know about you, but I see a difference there; but, as I said I get easily defensive.
Second – Since I was apparently too excited with the news and was to eager to just share the basics of our debt free journey; please let me now thank the academy in no particular order-
- Thank you to authors like Duane Elgin, Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez – your books provided my first peak at what the good life is.
- Thank you to every employer we’ve had… ever. Thank you for employing us and keeping us employed.
- Thank you God for getting me through the rough times – I truly believe I’m not given more than I can handle and surprised when that amount is more than I thought.
- Thank you to our friends who understand why we choose to have less and say no to the things the believe are necessary.
- Thank you to blog friends who’ve dealt with my rough times whether through passive aggressive comments or complete silence. You guys are awesome.
- Thank you to Ravelry friends who’ve given me wonderful support over the last couple months via the Simple Living discussion forum.
- Thank you forever and ever to our families who support us- whether in the form of a pat on the back or a place to live has truly allowed us to meet our goals.
- Thank you to my husband who trusted me with the bank account and was accepting of every time I said “Not till next week, monthly or year”.
- Thank you to our parents who gave us strong work ethics and determination and set wonderful examples. I’m proud that they made us make our own way in life. I’m proud that my parents told me at 15 that if I wanted money to spend I had to earn it, that at the age of 18 that if I wanted an education that I had to pay for it, that at the age of 25 that my wedding would mean more if it came out of my pocket.
- And the biggest thank you (other than the big man up there!) currently goes to my parents and grandparents for sacrificing their time and their home to help their children and grandchild. I can only hope that I’m able to express a fraction of my gratitude before I die and I hope that I search out as many opportunities as possible to pay your kindness forward.
If I’ve forgotten anyone this time around it is not intentional and I’m thankful for everyone who’s aided my family in any way, shape or form. Before I go, I’ll leave you with two bits of wisdom this weekend has shown me:
“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” – Aristotle