Over the last couple years, the wife and I have been working on improving our lives and it shows.
We’ve been on one cruise together. It was just her and I and we had planned on going in 2009. However, we continually had issues getting the money together and kept having to bump the cruise to the next year. We were still living paycheck-to-paycheck and had to shift money around constantly to make sure the bills got paid. Our credit was horrible, we weren’t saving anything, and we had a number of outstanding debts where we’d constantly receive mail and phone calls. We’d sometimes have to reschedule dinner with family friends because we simply couldn’t afford to go out that night. We were finally able to go on our cruise in April of 2013.
We’ve learned how to manage our money and have paid all our outstanding debts. However, I now get phone calls from debt collectors looking for family members and more mail from people wanting to loan me money. Do we own our own house yet? Sadly, no, but we’re planning to after our children are out of Elementary school (the school is too amazing to risk them being elsewhere). The wife has a new truck and I’m planning on getting a new car at the beginning of next year (not just a new car, but the ‘what I want to get’ car) – something that was impossible to imagine less than five years ago.
Last year around November, I called my travel agent (Maria – Passages Travel @ (540) 636-1402, let her know I sent you) and scheduled a trip for September 2016. I didn’t make my first payment until sometime in April when we got back our tax return. Then, I made a plan to pay it off in time. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep to my schedule 100% and had to make some larger lump sum payments near the end. BUT I DID IT! The most surprising part is that it didn’t cause a huge strain on us to do so, because I make my plans so conservatively now. We actually get to go on the date we planned and not have to bump the cruise a year. Plus, this time we’re going with kids and my mother-in-law. In 2009, we were unable to go as planned with just two people in one cabin, now we’re on time with five people in two cabins! WTF!!! So now, I’m watching Lonely Island’s “On a boat” and getting very excited for our cruise.
In other news, I’m continuing to prep the software side of my arcade machine and beginning to make plans for the build. The kids are excited to help built the machine and I’m thinking of putting in shelves in the front to hold the video game systems from the basement. Basically, this arcade machine will be an arcade/entertainment system all-in-one. That will free up the space under the mounted TV in the basement and clean-up the look of the room overall. Very exciting! (I really enjoy when things are neat and tidy)
Lastly, I received probably one of the nicest compliments the other day. I was out at free poker and I recognized a woman that I hadn’t seen since HS. When, I asked her if she was the same person that I knew in HS she said that it was in fact her and said “Yes, Chuckie, it’s me from drama” and followed up with, “you look the exact same as last time I saw you” – HOLY CRAP that’s awesome! I told her it was good that she didn’t see me a couple months ago then because I’d been working to lose weight. 😀 The very next day, I went to a restaurant for lunch and the host hadn’t seen me in months. He immediately told me I look good and I’d obviously lost weight. AWESOME!
So, all in all, everything has been going well and I’ll continue to work hard and do what I can to continually improve our lives. I’m very blessed to have a job that I love doing work that I love. I’m very blessed to have a wonderful family. I’m very blessed to finally be motivated to improve my health and I’m very blessed to have the friends that I have in my life.
Gotta keep this momentum going!
UPDATE – and I forgot to mention that I was online yesterday and I saw Phantom of the Opera was going to playing at the Kennedy Center and I decided to get tickets because the wife and I wanted to see that show and wanted someday to get dressed up and see an opera at the Kennedy Center (it will be my first in-person Opera). Again, something I previously would have had to plan far in advance. I surprised her by saying nothing and just posting it to her Facebook account. 🙂