Thursday, August 22, 2019

Weird, but good!

Something was different today, and it took me most of the day to figure out what.

It was usually around the 22nd of the month that payment on my line of credit was due. And this month - for the first time in years! - I had no payment to make! Woohoo! It was strange and wonderful, and weird but good - oh, so good!

In case you haven't heard yet...

  I ' M   D E B T   F R E E ! ! !


Monday, August 5, 2019

#86 - Get out of debt

The last few years of paying off my debt has been a L-O-N-G journey and a hard journey. I am slightly ashamed to say that although I dug this hole of debt all by myself, I really wanted (and was half hoping, half expecting) someone else would get me out of it. Now that's mature thinking, isn't it?

Once I finally decided this was my mess to clean up and really leaned into it, I began to see my situation change. I am incredibly pleased to say I finished paying off my debt in 19 months!

Was it easy? Certainly not. Was it fun? Definitely not. Was it worth it? Oh yes!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

T-2 Weeks 'til I'm Debt Free!

I almost can't believe it! In two weeks - when I get paid at the end of this month - I will be debt free! It feels so good and so freeing to know my remaining debt total is under $1,000. There truly is light at the end of the tunnel! I can do this!

This last year and a half since I decided to push through and get rid of my debt has been challenging to say the least. I have fought, cried and wanted to give up so many times. My debt battle has taught me patience, perseverance, strength and endurance - all of which I thought I had (and maybe did), but I have grown stronger in each of these areas.

I encourage everyone to take charge of their future by dealing with their past, whether this means financially, emotionally, physically, etc. Having debt is living life in the past - you are paying for what you've already consumed or experienced - and saving is planning for the future. Using a car analogy, do you want to live your life looking through the rear-view mirror (debt) or looking through the windshield (saving and planning)? I choose the windshield. I hope you do too.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Hope springs eternal...

Have you always known what you wanted to be when you grew up? Perhaps you've had a long-range life or career goal to work towards? If so, good for you!

I've always been intrigued by different career options, but I've never had a clear direction. As a young child, I want to be a clown (to make people laugh) and a firefighter (to help people). As a teen, I was all over the map with my interests. I wanted to be a pilot. Who didn't when you watched Danger Bay every day? I wanted to be an interior decorator - until I found out you needed strong math skills. Archeology would be fun too, but how do you train for that? I wanted to make crafts and sell them, but there was no way to make enough of a living doing that. I thought about cleaning houses, but that was shot down for financial reasons as well. Oh, and I wanted to be a florist too.

Throughout my 20s and 30s, I tried my hand at various things. While it was helpful to rule out what I didn't want to pursue, the dots still weren't coming together for me.

Fast forward to my 40s where I've gotten closer to figuring out what to pursue. I've looked into a number of things including studying history, becoming a library technician, and even training to be an editor. However, none of these were still quite right.

You've heard the saying, "Can't see the forest for the trees"? When you are too close to a situation, you need to step back and get a little perspective. If you look at things one at a time, you might not realize that branches of separate "trees" go together to make a "forest."

Well, in hindsight, I see that's exactly what I had been doing. Here are my "trees":

  • Words
  • Proofreading
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Editing
  • Fact-checking
  • Paraphrasing
  • Reading
  • Word puzzles/games
  • Blogging
  • Research
  • Transcription
  • My job at Hansard
  • And probably much more!

Enter God. All it took was a few words: "I created you to be a writer."

I was shocked and amazed, happy and relieved! After 25 years of being an adult, I finally knew what it was God had created me to be! Writing was my forest, and I honestly could not see it for all those trees - the bits and pieces I enjoyed.

Talk about hope! I have so many options now! I can write about whatever and whoever I want wherever and whenever. This brings so much freedom! Wow.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Happy Un-birthday to me...

I'm 45½ today! Happy Un-birthday to me!

To celebrate, I thought I'd tidy up my '40 Things & More' list a tad. It was getting hard for me to read, so it must be difficult for you too! I have removed all of the completed items from my first 40 Things. That's better, hey?

The '40 Things & More' List!

6. Start running again.
8. Read a classic novel.
10. Do up a will.
11. Complete one of my cross-stitch projects.
14. Take a self-defense class/course.
17. Give blood regularly.
26. Simplify some area of my life that needs simplifying.
27. Learn how to change a tire on a vehicle.
29. Learn more about Canadian history.
31. Learn to play the guitar.
34. Visit the observatory at the Science Centre.
41. Attend a Regina Red Sox baseball game.
42. Visit Saskatchewan's only lighthouse.
43. Run a 5K.
44. Visit the Great Sandhills in Saskatchewan.
45. Visit a Canadian province or territory I haven't been to before.
46. Attend the annual kite festival in Swift Current.

47. Visit a major US city I haven't been to before.
48. Watch a sunrise.
49. Try another activity that's new to me.

50. It's a surprise (even to me!) - I'll know it when the opportunity presents itself.
51. Take a ballroom dancing class.
52. Watch an old black & white movie I haven't seen before.
53. Experience a WARM birthday!
54. Experience a WARM Christmas! (not necessarily in the same year as the previous item)
55. Attend the annual Dickens' Village Festival in Carlyle.
56. See the polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.
57. Visit the east coast of Canada.
58. Jump out of an airplane! (in tandem, of course!)
59. Experience a 4th of July in the United States.
60. Visit a US National Park I haven't been to before.
61. Write a book.
62. Watch the Rose Bowl Parade in person.
63. Attend a spring training baseball game.
64. Buy something at an auction.
65. Drive part of Route 66.
66. Attend the tulip festival in Ottawa.
67. See the Great Wall of China.
68. Visit Disneyland or Disney World.
69. See a lavender field in bloom.
70. Attend a ballet.
71. Live overseas!
72. Visit Laycock, England.
73. Get published (e.g. magazine article).
74. Attend a Remembrance Day service/ceremony.
75. Visit the Grand Canyon.
76. Learn Spanish.
77. Take a river cruise on the Rhine River and see castles along the way.
78. Learn Latin.
79. Visit an orphanage.
80. Learn to play handbells/play in a handbell choir.
81. Go curling!
82. Go ice fishing.
83. Attend a NHL game.
84. Play crokicurl.
85. Go dog sledding!
86. Get out of debt.
87. Take a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia, Turkey!
88. Take a flying lesson!
89. Visit the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.
90. Visit a continent I haven't been to before.

I have also decided not to add any more items for a while. I need to make a greater dent in the current 90 Things first.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A Big Fat Glimmer of Hope!


I got paid this morning and for the first time in far too long, I had more in my bank account than what I owed! It was only a $30 difference, but wow, what an encouragement to see that!

My debt-free journey is finally almost complete. Three more months should do it! Very soon I will be able to say, "I'm debt free!!!"

Saturday, February 9, 2019

#52 - Watch an old black & white movie I haven't seen before

I knew when I added this item to my list there was only one that would fit the bill - the movie largely hailed as the greatest film of all time: Citizen Kane.

I have enjoyed watching old movies since I was a teenager, which is when I first heard about Citizen Kane. For some reason, I put off watching this movie for 30 years; however, I am very glad to have finally watched it. In fact, I'd say I got more out of the film now (at this point in my life) than I probably would have years ago. It's almost like watching It's a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol and feeling relief afterwards knowing you still have time to change the trajectory of your life.

For me, Citizen Kane was a hard movie to get into at first - perhaps because the pieces didn't seem to fit together. Give it time though. You'll be hooked before you know it, and I bet you'll end with a "wow" as the final scene of the movie plays out too!

If Citizen Kane is a movie that intrigues you, I encourage you to watch it through for yourself and not just read the reviews with spoiler alerts or view the final scene of the movie on Google or YouTube and think, "Okay, so what's the big deal?"

I believe each person who watches this movie can relate to the life of Charles Foster Kane, and maybe that's what draws you in and makes this film so great and relatable. Along that same line, what's your "rosebud"? Have you dealt with it or is it still affecting you?

I'd sum up the movie this way: "And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?" - Mark 8:36