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Posts Tagged ‘tightening your belt’

The check engine light has been on in my car for over a month. Finally, last week, I got it into the local Ford dealership to get it looked at. Turns out, a secondary air injection pump, or some such piece of machinery, somehow got water in it. This caused the pump to fail as well as the connection to it. Apparently, this is very rare. Leave it to me. Though it’s still running, if left to it’s own devices it will eventually have me by the side of the road calling AAA. It’s a 2009, so not just driven off the showroom floor. Though it has good mileage, it’s still an older model (sort of like me), but very reliable thus far (again, like me). All in all over the years, it hasn’t caused us or now me much grief. I guess, if leaning on the grateful side of things, I’ll have to be happy with that. On the “aw crap” side of things, it is going to cost $1,000 and change to make it well again. Sigh. I do not want to have to buy a new vehicle at this juncture with the prices soaring, so better this outlay now, than a monthly payment in my near future.

I’m thinking seriously about getting a printing press and printing out some twenties in my basement to carry me through the lean times. Just kidding, I don’t have a basement. I had to take out a loan to gas up my car over the weekend. I put up my bocce ball set as collateral. I’m beginning to think it’s time for Boo, the Queen of cats, to be considering employment. She’s been cruising along on her good looks far too long in this relationship.

Employment will most definitely be next on my check list for this “why not” year. Truthfully, it’s less of a “why not” and more of a “you better”. Money is flying out of my account lately, with little returning to the nest (egg). I try to live in the moment and not worry about it too much, but sometimes even the moment catches up with me. The other day, I went for a ride with a friend of mine around the area. We drove up an old rural road to take a look at a historical house located at the top. On the way down, we passed by three small white houses on the property. One, looked to be not much bigger than my shed out back. Signs of someone living there were evident. There were curtains in the windows, the smallest one had a bike leaning against the railing, and the last one, before we reached the highway (the most interesting to my mind,) had a huge bush out front. The bush, was brightly decorated with someone’s colored cotton underwear. There were at least a dozen pairs of lady’s drawers scattered about the shrub drying in the sunshine. It was obvious by the size of the dwelling there wasn’t a washer and dryer tucked inside, so this, apparently was what the owner of the lingerie had come up with to take care of the situation. There, but for the grace of God, go I. Had to give her some credit, would never have thought of it myself.

I have mentioned many times I have had more than enough money in my life at times, and at other times not enough. After years of yo-yo experimentation, I have to say I prefer the former. I don’t need an obscene amount of money in my bank account, and thus far that check has never arrived in the mail for me to consider it, but enough of a cushion to sleep well at night. In this “why not” year I am open to abundance in my world. When younger, I used to think having a little cash in the bank was neither one way or the other in terms of contentment. I certainly never married for money, which is reflected is my current monetary status. But, I have to admit, these days, as I creep up the ladder, I have begun to think about it a little more seriously. Not marrying for money! I would never do that. However, giving serious thought to generating more income to cover my expenses down the road.

Last week, I had breakfast out with a friend at a small restaurant downtown, popular with the local people. Good food, excellent coffee, and home town ambiance. The owner, a lovely woman I would guess around sixty, was waiting on tables. While ordering my Eggs Benedict, we struck up a conversation. Like many restaurant owners, staffing has become a serious problem for her since the Pandemic darkened our doors. I mentioned I used to own a restaurant, and by the end of the meal she was sitting next to me telling me about her experience. The table next to me was being cleared by a man appearing to be easily in his late eighties. Seeing my eyes looking in his direction, she explained he had been on the street when he first came to her seeking employment. Reminders of how close we all can be (in the lower 99%) to finding ourselves in an unfortunate situation.

For me, I am being careful not to be so cavalier with my spending. There is a difference between “need” and “want”. Truly, there is little other than the basics like food, clothing and shelter I need. The want list is far longer and mostly includes traveling, but nothing I can’t live without. Before moving here, I had half my possessions packed in boxes for months prior to selling my house. I was surprised to note, I didn’t miss most of what was packed at all during that time. Shows you how much surplus we drag along with us on our journeys.

I have downsized twice since 2013 and don’t feel mistreated. If anything, there is less to clean and to worry about. Check the “fine with me” box on this.

Someone told me once during a retreat, “always remember there is someone in the world who would look at your life and consider it abundant”. That being said, I work hard and looking at what wonderful gifts I have, and not what is missing from my plate. I don’t always succeed, but that is the direction I am headed.

Have a rich and abundant day.

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