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Wednesday! Wednesday! Wednesday!

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I heard from Steve in Saturday’s mail.  Thank GOD he contacted an attorney and had him draft the divorce decree.  It is all in order and I emailed the attorney within 30 minutes of receiving the draft.  I had his email because I once had to email him to apologize that Steve wasn’t paying his fees!  Talk about embarrassing!  Steve used this lawyer to divorce his first wife and then to respond to his ex-wife’s motion for custody of the boys.  The lawyer was owed $1700 but it simply was not important to Steve, he stuck his head in the sand and didn’t pay the guy.  I expressed that given that I would see this man at the courthouse, it would be appropriate to PAY THE BILL.  That was another huge fight and while part of me really wanted to pay it myself, I also knew better.  So, I emailed and told him I’d have the info he needed to him by the end of the weekend and asked if the divorce could be final before Thanksgiving.  He responded saying that if Steve could meet him downtown on Wednesday, he is available and it can be finalized.  So, let’s see if this goes and I’ll be divorced on Wednesday!  Happy Thanksgiving!

A couple of things to respond to the flurry of comments to my gym membership.  Many of you commented on my lack of candor–that I wasn’t being sincere.  I can’t begin to tell you how sad that makes me because I pride myself in being open and honest.  However, I can see now that when I was holding back it was because I was living with a man who did not want light cast on the shadows.  This had gotten so bad that I didn’t even realize I was subconsciously filtering things b/c if I crossed a line (that was ill-defined by him, but definitely existed), I paid a price.  I am not making excuses but am sharing that I was in an abusive relationship and did things to cope that impacted my blogging.  I was still pretty open and certainly did not lie but yes, filtering was necessary.  All I can do is share that I am now aware of that coping mechanism in both my blog life and my life in general and will work to unlearn those skills.

So, please just give me a break.  If three months from now you still think I am filtering, then stop reading.  I’m not going to be like Tricia or Beks because I am not Tricia or Beks.  If that is what you looking for, by all means find a blog that fits your needs.  While I will provide more details on my finances, I’m not going to have every post be about numbers.   That simply is not who I am nor who I care to be.  I am living life while undoing a mess.  Period.  Take it or leave it but practice kindness!  We will all be better served.


28 Comments

  • Reply Alexandria |

    Crossing my fingers for you!!

    I was thinking after one of your recent posts that you are lucky not to be in a state with a longer waiting period for divorce. UGH!

    • Reply Claire |

      Yes! And a reader shared that she has to be separated for 12 months before she can even file for divorce!! We have no legal separation period in Texas. Just have to live in the county for 90 days, the state for six months and you can file. Then it takes just 60 days to be able to finalize. Another reason to “GOD BLESS TEXAS!” 😉

  • Reply Vicki |

    Claire – first of all, there is no judgement here. You need to do what you feel best so that you can move forward. And I can relate. Been there, doing that. Just remember, one day at a time.

  • Reply Connie |

    I enjoy reading your blog and have read Blogging Away Debt for years. Thank God you’re not Tricia or Beks. Had the blog continued in their vein, I would no longer be reading it. While I don’t always agree with your choices, I really enjoy that you aren’t neurotic or obsessive, both qualities that I think your predecessors possessed in spades. Keep up the good work.

    • Reply Claire |

      LOL Connie! I hope to find balance in all that I do. I haven’t been good at that in this life but I am getting better. The reality is that readers of this blog will have to be patient and read about many stumbles along the way. I’ll get there though and the victory will be that much sweeter for me and all regular readers! Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply sandra J |

    I think you got hit WAY too hard about your gym membership. We all have different priorities period. Some can proceed faster some slower toward our goals – we have to choose what works for us. You are in a very stressful situation right now – for many reasons. Do what you can, period. I, for one, appreciate the information on your personal life (for my own reasons) and appreciate what you are able to share with us (a bunch of nosey, and at time, critical strangers!)

    • Reply Claire |

      Thanks Sandra! I also benefit from sharing. It keeps me honest and real and keep debt reduction in the forefront of my brain. I am very capable of shoving it to the dark corners of my brain and not dealing with it. Although it requires fortitude to withstand the attacks–the benefits of blogging far outweigh the costs.

  • Reply adam |

    sorry about the rough comments claire, maybe indicative of some pent up feelings of some. when one person broke the silence, everyone else poured on.

    i would readily admit i’ve also been tempted to question your resolve to get out of debt, but i’ve been trying to cut you some slack during this difficult time. I would encourage you not to completely dismiss the comments but see if there’s any value you can glean from them. i would agree that you have made some amazing budget changes (haircut, grocery, cable, selling the car) but also agree that you justify some spending decisions that get you further from debt-free rather than closer.

    when the proceedings are over and things have settled down, it might be worth re-examining your goals, and writing a post, maybe a New Year’s post, to communicate your goals for 2013. Then everyone can rally around your goals and hold you accountable to what you want for your journey, instead of what they think your journey should be.

    I also agree that posting specific spending and budget numbers, while very vulnerable and scary, could be enlightening as readers can compare their experiences and say how they’ve tackled similar challenges – I’d encourage you to consider it. While I’m sure it will invite some criticism, it might also get people more engaged with specific items that you are doing great on or that are holding you up.

    good luck.

    • Reply Claire |

      Adam! I was just thinking the other day that we hadn’t heard from you (and Margot). I’m glad you are still out there and I appreciate your input. I do hope and pray that I am single by January 1, 2013 so that I can indeed take this advice on 2013 goal sharing. I am giving thought to how I want to report my monthly spending. I think I’d like to do it weekly but also don’t want to over commit and then fail. I’m working through it though and hope to have a plan soon. Thanks again.

  • Reply Nikki |

    I hope that you’ll get your divorce finalized soon! I am happy to see that you are able to think on your feet suring this tough time. It must have been harder to try to reduce debt as a team where the two main people were not on the same page financially. Hopefully once everything is done and he is completely out of your life you can go full steam ahead to attack your debt faster. To bigger and better things in 2013!

    • Reply Claire |

      Nikki,
      I had NO idea just how hard it was until he left! LOL! Everything was a battle with this man. EVERYTHING. Now I see smooth sailing on my debt reduction because I am not fighting someone on basic stuff. Thanks for the comment.

  • Reply Tracey |

    Hi Claire, first time poster, and I just wanted to say that I really enjoy and appreciate your blog and your approach. I am in the middle of a separation, and I need to wait 12 months before I can file for divorce. Grrr. I was married to a chronic spender, and as part of our settlement, and in order that he not ask for an equalization payment for my pension, I have 106,000 of unsecured debt to pay off by myself. I’ve paid off $6000 since July and I have a pretty good income but it’s going to take me a few years to do it. I have a plan that I can live with, and included in that is a yoga membership and one reasonable trip a year. I need that to keep sane and to not turn into an extremely bitter, angry person. Yes, like you I could pay it off quicker and I accept that I am paying unnecessary interest but I will not, will NOT as an example, re-use paper towel and pee in a jar to conserve water because I’m ‘serious’ about paying my debt off. That’s not a life, and I think that asking someone to live so rigidly (and put their children through that) is unreasonable. Just because this is a Debt pay down blog doesn’t mean that you have to do it someone else’s way to be successful. Frankly I think you’re really doing a great job and I enjoy reading about you and your progress. It’s a big world out there nd if some of yhe readers don’t like how you’re doing it, they are free to find somewhere else to read.

    • Reply Claire |

      Thank you for being brave and sharing this information. I hope you find that just the sharing of it is helpful. I am so very sorry that you have to be separated so long before being able to file for divorce! That is adding difficulty on top of difficulty. Thanks for the laugh about re-using paper towels and peeing in a jar!!! That made me laugh out loud!

  • Reply Wren |

    Well said, Claire. At first, when I read that you were adding a gym membership, I questioned the move. But, after thinking about it a bit, and considering how we’ve handled our debt payoff, I think you’re doing just fine.

    I firmly believe in paying off debt. I also know that if you don’t have a little fun now and then, and feel like you can enjoy life in a way that fits you, then paying off debt is useless. Yes, we want to live debt free, but we still need to live now, as well. Mental health wins, in my book.

    Also, good luck on the divorce. I hope it all goes well tomorrow. 😀

    • Reply Claire |

      Thanks Wren. I thank you for taking some time to think about my gym membership before rushing to judgment.

  • Reply Janelle C. |

    Hi Claire,

    Personally, I think you are doing just fine. If you weren’t going through a divorce and all that comes with that, I’d probably give you some slack for the gym membership. But, since you and your kids are in a time of change, I think $24.99 a month is a pretty cheap stress reliever.

    On the same note, I have more issues with debit cards being used with no plan, trips that weren’t necesary, and numbers not being posted. I do wish on those fronts you were more transparent, but like you said, this is your journey. I’d just like to see more weekly numbers, even if they include the cost of a gym!

  • Reply debthaven |

    Claire I think you are doing great too!

    I’m guessing you probably paid that $24.99 MANY times over in fast food or eating out before you started getting more serious about your debt.

    It is a journey, not a destination, and everybody needs to move at their own pace. If the debt was going up rather than down, I might have more sympathy with the “naysayers”. But, it continues to go down, despite Claire’s “poor” decisions.

    Plus, I’m guessing it may well go down significantly once the divorce is final.

    It’s hard enough to tackle $100K in consumer debt and blog about it in public, let alone take up home cooking, start two new income streams (even if I’m not a big fan of the Pampered Chef idea lol) AND keep one’s grace and humor in the face of a very unexpected and rather public divorce.

    • Reply Claire |

      Thanks debthaven! I am so happy to no longer be giving money to someone in a drive-thru window and taking food like a seagull! That is such a success I owe to this blog b/c I was truly a fast food junkie before this!

  • Reply Russ Thornton |

    Just found your blog, Claire, and happy to have stumbled across it.

    I think your desire to share your journey and create some accountability for yourself and give others the opportunity to support you deserves to be applauded.

    Some will support you while others will criticize. Just keep being yourself and take things a day at a time.

    Look forward to keeping up with you and your goal to reduce debt

    • Reply Claire |

      Thanks for reading and commenting Russ! The accountability of the blog is critical for me right now. It is what has kept me from falling off of the wagon. The thought to just quit the blog has crossed my mind more than once but I will not quit. I have too much to gain and too much to offer to quit.

  • Reply Erika W. |

    I did stop reading you for a while but I am now back and solidly behind you. Your honesty is very obvious–including your admitting of occasional “dishonesty”!

    I always had my doubts about the first two bloggers–butter not melting in their mouths.

    I was widowed not divorced but left with a pile of unknown debts and other problems I had known nothing of. I was still paying off the debts when I re-married 2 years later. My new (now 36 years married) husband and I went back to grad. School with my 2 teenagers alongside of us and I can relate to a great deal of your log. Ihopethat you will continue with it until everything is straight and good in your life.

    One great bonus: my 2 now middle-aged children live frugally and happily. My daughter and her husband went into service jobs working together and I know that her tough financially
    Upbringing made her a wonderful and careful person.

  • Reply Cissy |

    I think I made a mistake when you came in as the new blogger. I assumed that you had the same mindset as the first two bloggers, primarily because they were identical in their approach towards debt elimination. I assumed this site had a “type,” and the next blogger chosen would fit that type. I have read your posts with that type in mind, and have been very frustrated by your insistence on going against my preconceived notions.

    But I think I get it now. And now that I’ve adjusted my mindset, I can follow along on YOUR journey. I think there will still be times when I read something that makes me slap my forehead and will want to add my two cents, but I will do so with respect and, like most (sadly, not all) commenters, with a true desire to help.

    And in that vein- I think the idea to establish goals was a good one. Posting all of your various balances every week or month may not be your thing, but showing measurable progress towards a few specific goals (i.e., emergency fund at 1000 by February 5th) would do a lot to show there is some level of a plan.

    • Reply Cissy |

      BTW- I am sorry if I’ve ever seemed judgmental in my comments. I may receive the power to judge others when I finally achieve complete perfection, but I am a good 6-8 months away from there. So in the meantime I need to keep off those very tempting pedestals.

      🙂

    • Reply Claire |

      Hi Cissy. Thanks for the comment. I definitely hope to get to a point where I can share goals like you mention here. I did do that at some point a few months into this process but obviously the whole darn thing was derailed by my marriage failing. I anticipate being able to do just this in the coming months with the understanding (for myself more than anyone) that goals are often derailed by life! I will stay the course but also have to give myself a break! I do read every single comment made and do not immediately dismiss even the meanest of the mean. Sometimes I stop reading and come back to it later when I can be more open minded (for example, when they start with things like “your ability to rationalize your spending is epic” (or words to that effect) about finding something of VALUE in the comment. I am very good at finding the good in people (and in people’s comments) and while that has certainly not worked in my personal life (finding good in people that really aren’t very good), I like to think that a reader’s comment always has SOME value to me in this process! 🙂 Thanks again!

So, what do you think ?