Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dream Translation

Last night, I had a dream that my jeep was rusted out and literally falling apart piece by piece as I drove it down the road... It was very strange... I'm driving along, and all of a sudden the bumper rusted and fell off. I stop, and put it in the back of the jeep and keep going. Then, the muffler rusted and fell off, so I picked that up. Then, as I'm about to get back in, the step on the driver's side rusted & fell off. I picked it up, and as I was putting it in the back with the other stuff, I looked and the whole side of the jeep was red/rusty. I just remember thinking... "Damn, it's not even paid off yet!"

What does that mean?? I very seldom remember my dreams, so I was curious to find out what it may have ment. So, I Googled it:

According to the Dream Dictionary: To dream of rust on articles, old pieces of tin, or iron, is significant of depression of your surroundings. Sickness, decline in fortune and false friends are filling your sphere.

Dream Symbols: Rust = Threat of cancer

As some of you know, I did have cancer once before. I had a very stressful, trying time in my life. I was married and my marriage was very bad for a couple of years. I firmly believe that all of the negative energy and stress in my life directly [helped] cause my body to react with cancer. I have been cancer-free for over 3 years now, but of course it's return is always in the back of my mind. That being said, the Dream Symbol of Rust did kind of freak me out when I read it.

This just reinforces my decision to liberate my life: Sell our belongings and live in a camper for a while. If it does not work out, Chuck and I can always decide to go ahead and rent a place, but I think it's worth a shot at lowering some of our bills before doing that.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We're Going Camping

If I were to call you and say to you, "Friend, I have 2 weeks of vacation, so Chuck and I have decided to go camping." Your response to me would probably be something about asking me where... and I would mention some local State Park that you've never heard of... We would discuss things like borrowing a cooler from someone for our food, sleeping bags, lanterns, the mosquitoes and sunscreen... you may even offer your family's favorite campfire food recipe... It would all be a lovely discussion about communing with nature, and people we care about. The conversation may eventually change course to stories about when you went camping as a kid, or maybe plans you have to take your own kids camping this summer. It is a nice pleasant conversation, and there's no reason for you to look down your nose at me for going camping for a couple of weeks. Going camping does not qualify me as having "lost my mind."

Now, allow me to adjust our phone call just slightly. Instead of a couple of weeks, I actually say a couple of months. Instead of vacation, I tell you that we are still planning to go to work every day. Instead of staying in a state park, I mention that we would be asking different friends if we could park the camper in their yard for a few nights at a time. Instead of paying rent for a home that we can't afford, I tell you that we plan to sell everything that is not sentimental to us, and to get a small storage unit for the few things we have that are worth something.

Does our conversation still end nicely? Or have you by now begun judging us? Are you still my friend, offering recipes, or are you chiding me for my life's decisions?

How about if I add yet another aspect to our rocky conversation. Perhaps I tell you that we've been consumed with unhappiness and depression for the past three years because we don't go out and spend any money on our own happiness, if there are important bills due. Maybe I could explain to you that we have actually stopped paying any bills that we don't HAVE to pay in order to pay rent and buy groceries. Finally, I continue to explain to you that we am unable to pay rent once again, and are facing the same decisions right now that caused us to leave Jacksonville... If we continue on the path we're on, we could be facing eviction in a couple of months.

Do you change your tune, and try to be more empathetic, or do you continue to berate me and tell me how I'm stupid and doing the wrong thing? Everyone has their own opinion of things that they can tolerate. Perhaps living in a pop-up camper for a few months is not an option for you. For me, it's no big deal because I'm not afraid of "roughing it."

To me, living in a camper is an opportunity to take my life back. Maybe I should explain to you how we have been living. Maybe I should I tell you that we are literally in the situation that if we are invited to a party, we could not go because we can not afford the gas it takes to get across town. What if I tell you that when we leave work on Friday afternoon, we go home and literally do not leave my house most weekends for fear of spending any money on gas, or God forbid, the dollar menu at some fast-food chain. If we were to do that, it would cause the rent check to bounce because there is literally NO cushion in there for things like that.

Do you still judge me? Or do you think I am exaggerating? Do you think this is a plea for attention? If you answer yes to any of these things, then perhaps I should think twice before calling you and discussing my life with you. Chuck and I are doing what we feel is going to HELP OURSELVES get out of the situation we are in. I'm sorry you don't approve. As the saying goes... "If you're not for me, you're against me." All I ever needed was support and encouragement. Someone to answer the phone and listen to me when I vent. I do not need someone telling me how stupid I am.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Things are Gonna Get Easier.

I loved this, and had to share

"The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." ~Unknown
I loved this, and had to share.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Experiment in Human Goodness.

Wow, I seem to have opened the flood gates here. Let me set a few questions straight...

1. Chuck and I both have full time jobs. We are not unemployed and will have money coming in. If anything ever happened that we do not have a place to stay "that night" we do still have the option of staying with his family or in a hotel. We are not "on the street."

2. This is a radical decision that we have put a lot of thought into. The life that we have been living for the past three years has been unhappy, depressing, and frankly, we have not been able to have a real relationship because of it. So far, nothing that we have tried has worked. I have taken 2nd jobs in the past, but it's only helped for a little while because $100 here and $150 there can only do so much. We have bigger fish to fry, and we intend to do so.

3. I do appreciate all the calls of concern, but again, this is not a cry for pity or sympathy. Please do  not call me with "there must be some other way." Believe me, if there were, we would have found it by now. We are two intelligent, able-bodied adults, and between us, I believe we can form a thought every now and then. (Sorry about the sarcasm, but my last two phone calls were riddled with it.)

4. Finally, I would like to re-iterate that we will NOT be sleeping in our vehicles, or on a park bench in a snowstorm... unless that is our express decision to do so.

We do have options...
We will have our cell phones...
We will still have income...
We will still have food...
We will still have family/friends...
We are not dying...
We are not boozers begging for change on the side of the intersection.
We are two people that are making a radical change to make radical differences in our lives.
We are thinking "out of the box."

I would like to take this time to express my appreciation to the people that have called today and expressed their love and concern! Calls like this show me that this is something that is possible.

Think of it as an Experiment in Human Goodness.

Minimum Payment Hell

Ok, so Chuck and I are stuck in "Minimum Payment Hell" and there seems to be no escape. I have several bills left over from my divorce, plus my (already re-financed) vehicle payment, insurance, and a lawyer to repair the child support damage that I am still paying for (if you don't know that story, ask me another time). Because of these bills, and living in the middle of nowhere (with a gas-guzzling-machine that I REFUSE to get rid of), we are barely able to make ends meet. When ends do finally meet at the end of the month, we spend what little we have left to buy a handful of groceries and pray it gets us buy until we can do it all over again. No, this is NOT a sympathy ploy, and no, we do NOT want people to send money! This is just the basis for explaining WHY we've developed The Plan.

I've tried for part-time jobs, but after spending a lot of time applying everywhere online, and then spending valuable Saturdays applying in person to everywhere that I could think of, I finally gave up. I began noticing that I'm older than a lot of the MANAGERS in those places (if one more teeny-bopper-hostess-girl calls me Ma'am and looks down her nose at me, I promise, I'll break her face...). Eventually, I sensed my own hostility and decided to call it a day and go home.

We've looked everywhere that we could think of for an appropriate home (and we have lowered our standards a LOT) in order to save money through rent. But, once we pay a deposit on the house, and more on utilities, gas/trucks/food for moving, etc., then we're not really going to be any better off than before. So, we gave up on that angle.

So, Chuck and I have decided to sell off pretty much everything we own, and live off of the kindness of others for several months. By saving $700/month in rent, plus utilities, we are hoping to pay down/or pay off some of these bills! We do have a tent, and some other things that will make this slightly less of a challenge. He has a sister and his parents in this area that we may stay with. Otherwise, this will be an interesting experience.

Occassionally, we may splurge and get an inexpensive hotel room, but otherwise, we will be nomads.



(Don't freak out, Mom. It will be ok.)

I'm not going to lie. The whole prospect scares the hell out of me. I do look forward to getting rid of bills. Not always knowing where we will be "a week from today" will be a whole other story.
Right now, we are going to be working on selling everything we can, and putting the rest in a very small storage unit. Carley will be spending a couple of weeks with us towards the end of July, and when she goes home on July 31st, we move out.

That being said, we will be looking for friends to let us stay at their home or camp in their back yard for a couple of days (or even weeks) at a time. We are willing to house-sit as well, if anyone is going out of town. We are respectful and respectable. We are honest and hard working. Please pass the word around to anyone that lives within an hour's drive from where we currently live! Thank you!