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More Big Changes…


All of my kids are home. Grandmama is moving into an assisted living facility.

History Buff is still working full time. And Sea Cadet is actively looking for work while on leave from Americorp. (He believes he will have a full time job in the next week or so with the local EMS. *crossing finger) And we are getting tons of together time. Tons!

Princess has started online schooling along with an online drivers ed course. We are waiting to hear from Gymnast school, but we are pretty certain they are going online as well. (Technically, this is their originally scheduled spring break.)

As anticipated, work has been a bit wonky…clients have cut hours and tightened their belts but there are requests for new proposals coming every day. I’m spending equal parts of my day working and marketing.

Overall, I am just enjoying this time though. Having all the kids together, cooking and trying new recipes, and now that Grandmama is moving, I have much more latitude in my schedule.

Handling the Change in Life

We are working on establishing routines and boundaries for this new normal. Other than the bathroom, no one really has any privacy, so practicing patience and grace has become a running mantra. We’ve settled into everyone fending for themselves for breakfast and lunch and then I cook one big meal a day.

Still have some rearranging to do as Sea Cadet is technically living in the middle of my office and Gymnast doesn’t have a dedicated work space for when school starts back. But we know where there’s a will, there’s a way. And after our time of living in the tiny 900 square foot apartment with two bedrooms, and then in the camper with essentially no rooms, living in an 1100 square foot house with a good size yard is like heaven.

On the financial front, we are still living on last month’s income so no big changes there and haven’t had to look at savings. But it sure feels good to have it!

We are not spending any money to speak of…not going anywhere so no gas (Grandmama lives a mile from us,) we have picked up take out once when it was just Princess and I, otherwise we are eating at home and we are well stocked on everything else. We are all healthy so far. But I have also stocked up on the recommended medications should any of get sick.

How are you doing? What are your biggest joys with this new way of life? What are your biggest challenges? If you could use some support in this time, I am happy to jump on a call and brainstorm together in ways you can evolve your business or homeschool your kids…(You can book a Strategy Call using this link.)


Gaining Perspective During Dark Times


Gaining Perspective

What a week, amiright? I can’t believe how much COVID-19 has changed our world since I last posted: our kids are out of school until late April, we’ve added “social distancing” to our family vernacular, and as of today our business is closed for probably three long weeks.

What. A. Week.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus wasn’t the only thing turning our lives upside down.

You see, I spent the last week thinking I might have cancer.

Because of my family’s health history, I’ve started doing pretty extensive breast cancer screenings each year. Last week I found out a recent MRI found two “areas of concern”—one on my breast, one on my liver.?? It took 8 days of cycling through worry, hope, faith, acceptance, freakout, and peace to gratefully get the final all-clear—nothing malignant. Just some imperfect tissue and a hemangioma.

If you think I bawled with relief to have this be all over, you’re right.

One unexpected perk from this short-but-meaningful experience was gaining perspective. Petty problems, worrying about things out of my control, and even caring about our dented van seemed less worth my worry. I had moments when I thought, “I’m sure this isn’t cancer. They’re just being cautious and thorough.” But then 10 minutes later I’d think, “But what if it’s bad? What if??”

That would make me cry. Hard.

Never in front of my kids, and not to my mom or sisters (we’ve had more than enough worrying about cancer). Honestly, I didn’t cry that my turn on earth could be almost over, but I did cry for my darling babies. My sweet husband. My family that could have to go through loss again.

It got dark sometimes, ya’ll.

But even when it went dark, I was amazed at how it would lead to light.

Clarity. I started to realize what I love and value most. Things that have been on my bucket list for decades started to fade in importance. I realized so much of what I spend my time doing just isn’t essential to me. So much of my time is spent on things that matter way too little.

I happened to be in the middle of rereading Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie,” a book I love and read every few years. I find it to be very grounding. It’s the true story of a young man interviewing a beloved professor at the end of the old man’s life.

One thing Morrie emphasized repeatedly is the importance of love. He said, “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” Relationships—family and friends—are what he valued most. He also kept telling Mitch, “When you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

I don’t mean to sound like my week of fretting was the same as this wise man’s losing battle with ALS, but I definitely learned a bit of how I want to live last week.

I know this has been a frightening last few weeks. We’re worried about love ones, our economy, and our personal finances. I know it’s easy to be overcome with anxiety, because, well, that’s how I usually roll.

But I hope I don’t forget the perspective I gained last week.

I hope I remember my family, God, love, friends, helping people, nature, chocolate-covered confections… these are what I care about. I’m overwhelmed by all this sudden COVID-19-induced family time, but I’m also grateful for it. As we were driving home from learning it wasn’t breast cancer, I was drunk on relief. Just ask my patient husband. I kept sobbing in the car about how love is what matters. I couldn’t help it. People are what matters. “LOVE IS LOVE AND IT’S SO IMPORTANT, BABE!”

Morrie said, “Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

I know this is a debt blog, and times like this do emphasize the importance of good finances. We are feeling grateful for emergency funds, and dreaming of the day when we don’t have any debt to bog us down.

But during these strange times I think it’s good for all of us to not forget what matters. Let’s look for the good, focus on what we can control, help whomever we can, and find a way to enjoy the time we have together.

I’m with Beks… We got this.

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