Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Roller Coasters

Is there a barometer to measure "where I should be" in my life right now? I somehow feel there is and I am terribly afraid I'm not measuring up.

Had all gone "according to plan", my house would have been paid off seven years ago, my RRSP and pension savings would have been inflated by compound interest and regular contributions and I may just have had that "three month emergency plan" saved by now.

I should be looking at retirement and thinking of all the different options I may have once a full-time job is no longer a full-time requirement. I simply could be looking into the future feeling like I HAVE some options.

I have none of the above. I can't see my way through and beyond the bleak financial pit of despair I have created for myself and by myself. "Working forever" seems to be my only viable option and I am not feeling like I am capable of working past this week most of the time.

When I think of describing "where I am at" in this road map of my life, I am almost embarrassed. "I AM HERE", the same place I was eighteen years ago. I haven't moved forward. I've thrown the dice and moved ahead but like a game of snakes and ladders, I feel like I just keep hitting those darn "snakes" and slip down to the start gate again.

I have enjoyed the game up until the last short while. I think the turning point may have been when I tried to pull myself up and out of the "snake pit" and tried working outside of my home. When that little experiment failed so completely and fully, I hunkered down into survival mode and have been simply paying the bills ever since.

My dancing days are over. My whimsical vacations are in the past. There is no room to dream within this small little life I have created. Then when I do manage to get a two day weekend, I fritter it away sleeping and running a "Gilmore Girls Marathon".

I need to crunch some numbers. I need to find a way of having more money left over at the end of the bills. I need to pay off debt and free up some room to believe that I was not placed on this earth simply to accumulate debt and trust that my life insurance will pay it off when I die.

The trouble with that is, that I really don't want to work any harder than I am currently working. I want to downsize my life, my debt load, my responsibilities and everything I do. I want to work less, move less, pay less, do less but I really don't want to give anything up or do anything extra in order to accomplish this feat.

When I made the move to "become a mom" in lieu of chasing my financial freedom, I did it with the best of intents. I had no regrets because I chose to focus my energy on being present, raising my family, stop counting pennies and start collecting memories instead.

It was good while it lasted.

I now have three adult children and I am back at the beginning line. I have the rest of my life ahead of me. A quiet little life that I have "built" which does not exist outside of my safe little existence within this heavily mortgaged home.

I'm feeling a little bit nervous. I could sell everything and start from "zero" again. But at this age and stage of my life? If I thought changing careers at age fifty was a roller coaster ride I never want to revisit, I highly doubt "starting from scratch" is the answer to my current dilemma.

I can't look too far ahead. I feel like I'm at the tip of that roller coaster without knowing what lies beyond what I can see. There isn't a view. It is wide open and empty space.

I must simply trust that the track is laid and no matter how thrilling and chilling the descent may be, I am still on a track that I laid myself.

I have so much. I have safety and security within my life, my family and my home. This "track" is solid. It is not going anywhere. I just don't think I will be climbing any new hills any time soon.

This roller coaster ride isn't as scary as it was at one time. It is so much of a tamer ride than some of the previous "rides" of my life. It's okay. The track is solid. It's strong enough to hold me. It's just that I know this "track" hasn't been inspected for a while. I'm relying heavily on faith that it all works out in the end. If it hasn't worked out yet, it is not yet the end.

Why was this very same quote not as reassuring as it once was?

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