What a freaking week we’ve had this week; it seems like (for me at least) I couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a new problem or issue of some kind, and always one that would throw a wrench into our future plans, one way or another. I guess this is where the old saying “When the going get’s tough, the tough go drinking” probably comes in, and boy-oh-boy, do I understand how that feels! Fortunately, we’ve waited a few days to act on that sage advice, but being Friday I’m confident that we may finally imbibe one or two (or ten) Heinekens; and if today continues like the rest of the week, we may even need get started on “Alberta Time”… if you know what I mean!
And sure, while most of it all is just “Life Stuff” – you know, things that just need a little bit of sucking up and a wee bit of “Ant Philosophy” to get through, a couple of the items have serious price tags attached to them; price tags that are so large, they are threatening to slowdown our runaway train of debt repayment, which, with us being on a tight fiscal plan, majorly sucks big time. Here’s the rundown of crap we’ve had thrown at us this week, and need to deal with pronto:
1. Van Insurance/ Home Owners Insurance: Okay, to be fair I knew these were coming, and knew it would make things extra tight for a few months since (combined) they total about $1,100; so I could bitch and complain, but they are what they are. However being “in the hole” does make me personally sensitive to any other kinds of obstacles or disruptions to my plans. So when the mercury began to fall this past week, it appeared to have started a pattern of shitty, crappy things to come our way…
2. Cold, Winter Weather: Bad weather? What’s the deal? Okay, to be fair, it’s only making the list since (being so cold) it meant I had to drive Tristan to school 2 days this week, (65 km round trip each way) which eats a good hour and a half out of my work day – time which needs to be made up at the other end which then cuts into my personal & family time. Oh, and then there was that other day (Day #3) when it was so cold, shitty and miserable with sleet, snow and black ice that we didn’t even make it half way to school before turning around and coming home. Even worse, this particular scary drive highlighted problem #3…
3. Busted Van: During that perilous & death-defying journey, the trusty mode of transportation (our beautiful and areodynamic handicapped van) demonstrated a major need for repair! Instead if safely navigating the roads with the precision of the Millennium Falcon, instead I found myself slithering and swimming all over the road like a drunk wolf eel. This made me realize that the steering in the van had become really loose, very dangerous and hard to control; something that wasn’t ever apparent driving in non-winter conditions. And after proudly pontificating in this blog (here) about when something’s wrong with the van I just “fix it” because, let’s face it, I can afford to and should stop being such a baby about it all, has made me feel frickin’ transparent in one fell swoop; in other words, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t follow my own advice! Still reeling from this foolish declaration, I took the van in to the service centre to get a quote for the work, and get one I did… to the tune of over $1,000! Yep, during a time when I’m eating two of my main meals each week at the Costco sample stations, my van needs $1K+ worth of mechanical love… could it get any worse?
4. Busted Washing Machine: It turns out it could! The same day our I got the quote, our washing machine decided to pack it in! Unbelievable! Along with our dryer held together with duct tape (No, seriously, it’s HELD TOGETHER WITH DUCT TAPE) I’m wondering WTF is going on? Being they non-mechanical type, the best I could do was to start pricing out new units, since with ours being around 8 years old they may have run their course. It turns out that we’re looking at around $2,000 all in to replace them both. After pulling it out and examining it, Paula (being the mechanical one ) figures the problem is the drainage pump is broken, and needs replacing – something she can do. (Our Relationship: I cook, clean and pour cocktails, she fixes stuff) Being financially impaired at this point, we’ve decided to roll the dice and buy an new (non-refundable) pump for around $90- and see (and hope and pray and pray some more) this will fix the problem; if it doesn’t, it looks like we’ll have two options: (a) don’t wash clothes for 6 months, or (b) suck it up and fork over the green. Ugh!
So that’s what we are coping with this week, as far as our finances go. It’s a tough nut, and (barring any additional unforeseen circumstances) could set us back 2 – 3 months in our debt repayment plan, which to be honest, isn’t really THAT bad; it’s just that when you (like us) have firm goals, and sacrifice to achieve them, these road bumps can be tough to handle at times.
But handle them we do, and move forward, especially if we stop to consider the alternative: Uninsured vehicles and homes are bad enough, but what about unsafe vehicles (to transport our loved ones) and busted down washing machines that leak into the downstairs neighbours kitchen? If left unattended either (or both) would create massive problems on their own, let alone without insurance to cover the cost of repairs and damage… put it like that, and maybe it’s not so bad after all. It seems that life does go on; it’s just a little bit safer and assuring after a wee bit of action and sacrifice on our part to make it so.
Now that I know this, I’ll patiently wait for cocktail hour – but may also have to have one less, and probably a local beer rather than an import. And with that bit of wisdom, I’ll bid a “Happy Friday” to Everyone! Be safe and have fun this weekend!
Readers: Have you ever had any big “Road Blocks” thrown up in your way when working hard to achieve a goal? What did you do to overcome them? Please let us know in the comments below.