Where to begin my story? I could dramatically begin at my beginning, forty-four years ago when I was born, but I believe we have too much drama in our lives... So I will begin a mere five years ago.
Five years ago I was married and the mother of two incredible boys. Our family was complete with our two sweet, sweet black labs.
Five years ago I was living in a home with an appraised value of $640,000.00. The home was over 6,500 square feet, five bedrooms, four bathrooms, in ground swimming pool and an enormous mortgage. I wasn't overly concerned about my mortgage payment because my home was still worth more than my mortgage balance and we had a low rate. My husband was employed making about $90,000 a year and I just signed my latest contract at nearly $100,000. We looked good on the outside and I felt "ok" on the inside.
Five years ago, I was very busy. I was a mother, professional, wife, occasional friend, dog owner... and the list goes on.. I knew I spent too much time away from home and I compensated. I compensated in ways like buying my kids amazing gifts (and I was the best gift giver), taking my kids on amazing vacations, hiring someone to help me keep my amazing 6,500 square foot home clean, sending my amazing dogs out to be cleaned, clipped and returned, and I also compensated myself with amazing things usually to help me with more stress than I knew what to do with. I think my husband was buying amazing things as well.. but I was too busy to pay much attention.
Five years ago, my family had health insurance. I never thought twice about taking my kids to the doctor when needed or buying prescriptions.
Five years ago, going to the grocery store was a chore. I hated going and resented the time I spent in the store. I usually spent over $200 on each trip to the store even though my family ate out as much or more than we ate at home. I didn't cut coupons and rarely bought store brands.
Five years ago, I bought things I needed, things I didn't need, things that made my life easier, things that made my life harder, things that looked good, things that were trendy, things, things, things. I decided my kids were old enough for me to trade in our mini-van for a sleek BMW. We even had enough left over for my husband to buy his dream Harly Davidson Fatboy.
Five years ago, I noticed gas prices but I didn't obsess about them. I am pretty sure the cost of a gallon of gas didn't dictate my travel plans or automobile choice. I certainly didn't spend time trying to find the station with the lowest gas price. When I needed gas, I stopped, bought gas, got a diet coke and drove. I enjoyed driving alone because I could listen to my ipod with all of the music from my "going out days", the music I didn't want my kids to know I listened to, I could day dream a little, and relax. There were times when I even drove past my home for an extra fifteen minutes of alone time.
Five years ago, we owned a Mexican Time Share. I couldn't even report how many times we visited Mexico, but it was beautiful and the memories will last a lifetime. We also owned a Disney Time Share. I will admit, Walt Disney World in Florida is my favorite place in the world. I have taken my boys to Disney World numerous times where some of my best memories occurred. We travelled. My boys have visited many places, taken cruises, and even spent nearly a month in Hawaii.
Five years ago, I donated both money and time to charities and helped local families in need. I especially enjoyed helping during the holidays. My main concern were kids in need.
Five years ago, I paid my bills and had a near perfect credit score.
Well... Life has changed... but, Life goes on. Explanation to come.