Sorry to my loyal readers (all four of you) that I have not posted anything in a while. I've been busy with work, family, and the whole Occupy movement that I hope is a step toward real change on the horizon (I'd even be happy to admit that it began with the Tea Party movement (which really had more in common with the Occupy movement at it's genesis than you may think, but that's another post altogether...)).
I am posting today because today is a very special day. In January I posted my resolutions for the year, the primary of which was to pay down our debt. In a post titled 2011 Resolutions, I set some other general goals for the year, maintaining paying down our debt as the priority.
I am only mildly disappointed to say that I did not really make a lot of progress on most things this year. The summer was short and the garden did not do well. The weather also kept me from getting out to hike, run, or go backpacking nearly as much as I intended. My writing/music projects had to be shelved as my job changed dramatically in April, consuming my creative energies (though it turned out to not be a bad thing as I had expected). I was able to go on one elk hunting excursion, but did not do any other hunting this year. I did not brew any beer, learn cheese making or baking. I don't think I can ever spend enough time with my son.
I did get a little work done on our 1969 VW bus -- a late resolution that I do not believe I posted about -- but even that was modest progress at best. I also got a food mill after I learned that Coinstar will trade coins for Amazon.com certificates at no charge. The food mill has been great for processing food and canning!
I am only mildly disappointed by all of this because of what we did today.
Today we made the final payment on our last debt! The only thing we owe is our current rent, utilities, etc. We have severed all ties with every corporate bank and own our entire lives outright. For myself, personally, it is probably the first time since the mid-eighties that I can say that.
In January, when I said we were going to focus on paying down our debt this year I thought, "How great would it be to be out of debt by the end of the year?" Of course, I did not think it was realistic. As we cut our household budget and committed every dime we could spare to our highest interest debt first, and then the next one, and then the next one, at one point my wife and I started saying -- extremely optimistically but consistently -- "If we keep this up, we'll have everything paid off before Thanksgiving!"
Thanksgiving is three days away. We have paid off our debt. All of it.
As I sit here now writing this I can not express the sense of amazement that I have. Remember that saying about what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it? As a tone-deaf kid who knowingly committed to "a life of poverty and obscurity" at age 15, wanting to one day "make a living as a musician" and having done exactly that for the past decade, I am beginning to think there might be something to it.
From now on I'm dreaming BIG!