Chapter 3: Debt Delusions (Part 4)
Posted by Gail | Filed under Money Rules
I put the bowl of salad in front of Paula and sat facing her. “So what do I do now?” she asked.
“That’s easy,” I said matter-of-factly. “You have to make a debt repayment plan, and you may have to find a way to make more money. Hang on a second, I have something for you to read.” I pushed away from the table and leaned over the kitchen counter where I had a copy of Money Rules printed for editing. “Here,” I said, fishing out several pages and handing them to her. “Read these while we eat.”
Rule #9: Calculate Your Own Debt Repayment Plan
Rule #255: Make More Money
We ate in silence while Paula read. After we finished, I cleared the dishes, packed the dishwasher and put on the kettle. “Tea?” I asked.
“No,” she said slowly, still reading. “Just a glass of water. Put some scotch in it.” I laughed, filled a glass with ice cubes and cold water and sat it beside her. Her eyes tracked back and forth across the page as she took in the rules. Then she looked up at me. “I have some RRSPs I could cash to pay off some of this debt,” she said. I reached into my stack and pulled out some more pages. “Crap!” she exclaimed as I handed them to her. “Wrong again eh?”
Rule #93: Do NOT Cash in Registered Savings to Pay Down Debt
“Okay,” she said. “I get what I have to do now. There’s no easy way out. I just have to do it. This is going to be hard.”
“Yes it is,” I agreed, “but so worthwhile. You’re going to dig yourself out of the hole and then you’re going to never do this again, right?”
She nodded, gathering up her pages, her handbag and the jacket she’d thrown over the back of her chair. “Can I call you if I have questions?”
“You know you can,” I said, as I hugged her goodbye. Paula walked down the path from my front door to her car. I called after her. “Remember how lucky you are!” She got in her car and waved at me, backed out of the driveway and headed off to fight her dragons.
I sat in the chair by my front door to watch the birds squabbling over the food I’d put out for them earlier. I thought about how lucky I was. And I thought about how lucky Paula was.
Sometimes when the caca hits the fan it’s hard to think about how lucky we are. Sad children, sickness, divorce, unemployment, a financial hiccup, any of life’s challenges can make you feel lower than the belly of a snake. But focusing on what’s not working in our lives won’t get us to a better place.
I hoped Paula would remember to count her blessings. Sure, she might not have as much money as she wished she did and maybe she wished she didn’t have to spend so much money getting rid of her debt, but she has a good job, which is better than a lot of other folks around the world. And her mortgage payment, as hefty as it might be, means she has a home of her own.
There will always be times when we get frustrated, even angry at our circumstances. There’s a Dr. Seuss book called, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Here’s a quote: “When you think things are bad,?when you feel sour and blue, ?when you start to get mad…?You should do what I do!? Just tell yourself, Duckie, you’re really quite lucky!”
Counting your blessings before you fall asleep or when you first wake up in the morning is another way to focus on how lucky you are. What better way to pull positive energy into your life than saying thank you for the gifts you’ve been given?