Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Upside Of The Financial Downturn

Everyone has to make their own life choices and those choices can (and should) change as all the pieces that make up your life change. There is no sense in looking back and wishing you had "known better" (or known what was to come). Being able to look back and know you were doing the best you could, given all your life circumstances (maturity included), can give you the freedom to move forward.


Haley said...

Boy, I go away for a week and I come back and find you all healthy and full of perspective! Nice!

I think it's great that you can see the other side of the stuff that's been going down finance-wise. It's all about gratitude for that which really matters (and I'm so happy that Kid is doing so well!) and a healthy dose of perspective.

I've been catching up on your videos -- I've missed them!

Supermom said...

I have come to tell myself how thankful I am for everything that we already have. I tell the kids that they have a roof over their head, clothes to wear and food to eat.

I hate that we have a car payment. Both cars were paid off and then we trade one in for a mini van. We had to have one though.

Thank you for today. I hope we weren't too much. I also want to thank you again for lunch. I never expected you to feed us. :)

I hope you have a wonderful afternoon.

G in Berlin said...

As you were vlogging I was putzing about cleaning things in my area just as you generally do. You have my sympathy and my empathy because we were in just that situation (but with a downward spiral). From the minute I went on maternity leave we were eating savings, or accruing debt (I call it dissavings) and when we decided that I would stay home after our second it put us in an end game that required drastic action. For us, that meant taking a tour in a foreign country while our single income both increased and while we were able to pay down our debt in a country that, although it has higher taxes, also has greatly increased benefits for families and women.
In particular, for us, the ability to have a great apartment in the center of a great city (not NY, but a decent substitute for what we pay) and get a great education (and subsidized pre-school) for the kids meant a huge increase in our quality of life. Lack of decent education with a low housing payment (and controlled price healthcare that's income dependent) makes a huge difference to ordinary people.
If you can, perhaps not private for a few years is possible? For us, in our old place, schools were decent until grade 3, at which point everyone needed to go private or move. Often the lower grades are much better? And a few years may make a great difference for you?
(Sorry for the length of comment- I'm really feeling your situation.)

Mary Poppins said...

well said, mrs. f. lots of good stuff in there to think about. i love how you talked about the timing of everything and how needs/focus/priorities shift according to stages in life. i'm glad you're at a point where you can handle all that's come your way. thank goodness kid's well and you're not dealing with her health on top of everything else. again, some great reminders and life lessons. thanks for sharing.

Mrs Furious said...

Yes I'm doing better. Much less pain but still sore and tired. It'll just take time I guess.
This is my first week really doing full days with Baby and it is exhausting!

You trip looked fantastic!

We were glad to have you all! Kid was disappointed she missed "the baby" and wanted me to tell her everything about her... how old she was, how chubby her cheeks were... it was really cute.

Oh comments are never too long...
Yes I wouldn't mind getting her in a "free" school but the process is really difficult here... which is how she ended up in the private school to begin with. In Feb I will go to the meetings and apply and hope we get a spot at a desirable school. There is a charter school right down the street that would be great. We just moved to late to get a spot. Now, unfortunately, she'll be in 1st and there will be a lottery IF a spot opens up at all. The rest of the city schools are magnet programs and you have to apply as well. I'm going to see about the outlying suburbs (still our county) and see if we can apply there... it might be easier to get in.
Of course now she has friends and is happy (and we just made her move away from her friends in MI!) so I'm hoping we can make it work. We'll see. I think the reverse happens here and a lot of private schools see a big drop off around 3 grade when kids finally get a spot at the public school their parents applied to. It's whacky. Of course I'm hoping we won't be here in 2 years...
Which adds another wrinkle.

ah thanks.
I'll try calling you tomorrow!

Elizabeth said...

hey, I know this isn't the random question post, but you got me curious. If you weren't going to have two kids what changed your mind?
And are Kid's eye issues related to the (former!) epilepsy? If I'm prying, feel free to ignore!

Mrs Furious said...

re: eyes and Epilepsy... that has never been completely ruled out (or in) by the different specialists. Our new neurologist was open to more of an idea that things may have been all related. Who knows. She had a weird terrible virus (after she had glasses) that had no symptoms but a dangerously high fever for a week straight. She was in and out of the hospital and they never could figure it out. After that she got a cataract (extremely unusual to develop one in childhood without eye trauma) and then later had her seizures. She has a spot in her brain that is slightly unusual which could have caused the seizures. The viral infection could have been at play. But no one knows. Her other vision problems were just congenital.

As for the one kid... originally I wanted 2-3. But I was so in love with Ruby that I was completely fulfilled. We were happy and she was a good easy temperment for us. We enjoyed outings and travel with the ease of one kid. It was a really hard choice. Plus the parenting choices I have made are demanding and exhausting and I believe in them... so to have more meant repeating all that and once Ruby was older and I wasn't nursing her or sleeping with her it was hard to think about starting over. Having said all that having Charlotte was the best decision we could have made. If Ruby had had her seizure 2 months earlier we would not have had more kids. But I was already pregnant so we carried on.

katieo said...

-Yes- on the looking back. We had a (little) cash surplus about two months ago when I was feeling a lot crappier. It was almost exclusively spent on carryout and strange foods that I was craving. During that time we went from eating out once or twice a month to a couple of nights a week. Do I wish I had that money now? of course. But looking back would I actually have changed a thing? no way.

Mrs Furious said...

well I've been thinking and thinking and thinking and I just had to find a way to view this in as positive a light as I can. And instead of missing what we can't have or wishing we had (oh not gotten stainless appliances but had gotten black... had homeschooled instead of private school... had NOT GONE ICE SKATING) not done something, I just needed to give myself room to say that we made the best decision for that time. And that we should not just "let it go" but enjoy the memories of having had the option to make those choices. All you can do is live in the moment and that is what we did and what we must do now. It's allowed me not to feel stupid... if that makes sense. Because we were absolutely not strong enough to work this hard at this then... and now we are. So that's a blessing.

Marie said...

As I've said, we are in about the same situation as you describe... And, while I would much rather be living the "good life", I really do appreciate that we are struggling. It makes me more grateful for all the things we DO have, and it makes me (happy, proud?? not sure of the right word here..) that we CAN still pull together and make it, and I think it has made our marriage stronger as well because we really depend on each other now. So while I would be very happy if we weren't so tight, at the same time I think we would miss out on a lot more by HAVING the money..kwim?

And plus, anyone with grown kids (which we will eventually be) HAS to have the story on how "when we were younger, we made it by only eating mac n cheese/spaghetti/ramon noodles EVERY night" story to tell...(hey-at least thats the story my mom used to tell us while we were whining for some expensive thing!)

s potter thomas said...

marie, and Mrs F, i have two grown children, (Ashlea 23, and Andrew 21 1/2) and while they were little 3 & 2 we were eating mac and cheese with fish sticks and a vegi of some kind, we ate a-lot of meatloaf, so much so my son who was about 3 1/2 at the time said "Is this all women know how to make is MEATLOAF!!" That was such a crack up to me and Ashlea! ( I was a single mom because I divorced their dad when they were 3 and 19 months) ( he turned out to be a jerk!) So yes when you don't have the money you just make do with what you can! They never went hungry and I had money to take them to fast food once in a while because I worked and I also got some child support (not much though!) when I got re-married things got a-lot different. We had money we never did before! We had a nice car! (we always had pos cars before!) and they are both in college and we have a 10 year old and an 8 year old who are spoiled to death!! They have gameboys, every video gaming system and games! They got D.S.'s for Christmas and then they just got flip video cameras! OYE I am making Monsters! I think it has something to do with all we didn't have when Ash and Andrew were young!? I don't know what does Mrs. Furious think?

Mr Furious said...

My only big regret of the last year or two was taking the (modest) surplus from the sale of our house and applying it towards points on our new mortgage. It was stupid if we only stay here a few years...and we could have paid for the appliances up front, instead of having that 12 month financing looming over us.

Of course, had we known the appliances didn't convey with the house...

I also occasionally wonder if we should have rented instead of buying, but I do LOVE our house, I just feel like we bought at exactly the wrong time.

Mr Furious said...

Of course we also didn't know I'd lose my freelance work...or that Lowes bill'd be history by now.

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