Sunday, June 8, 2008

Time and Money, Money and Time

Part of the struggle I go through, on my road to financial stability is the push and pull between the various aspects of our lives. I want to be out of debt and to stay out of it. But I also want to work on landscaping our yard at our rural home, getting rid of the weeds and planting nice grass, some more flowers and veggies.

I want to do more interior renovations, such as laying down laminate flooring in the living room and master bedroom, painting more walls, moving the furniture back into the bedroom and then doing just a little decorating in the living room. Honestly, the previous owner’s behemoth of a couch needs to go! But I also need to get someone in to reattach the gas line to the fireplace, to service the 40 year old furnace and to repair a small leak under the sink and an intermittent back up of water there.

Then there’s the house in the city. I need to tile the foyer and I’m desperate for the renovation of my bathroom (financially a joint venture between myself and my kids).

But everything costs money. I don’t have enough coming in right now and we’re already in debt. I’m still rebuilding my $1,000 emergency fund after replacing part of the roof. And our DC starts school in the fall. We’ve applied for a tuition reduction but haven’t heard back on it yet. I want to work towards my dream of both lavender and wine and to save for our retirement in about 15 years time.

This is why “miscellaneous” is such a good label for my life. I’m all over the place and I feel like I’m not getting anywhere as a result. But if I only pick one area and focus on it nothing else will get done. The two things that are holding everything up are lack of money and lack of time. I usually only have Thursday nights and Sundays to do any projects. Some projects only require time. Those are things like painting, using paint we’ve already bought, or unpacking boxes. Others require an outlay of some kind first.

An example of that would be the foyer. Originally, I planned to only tile a small area in front of the door and run the engineered wood across the rest of the area. When I installed the Dricore I realized that the concrete floor wasn’t level there so I decided to tile that whole area instead. I have to buy enough Ditra to cover the additional area to be tiled and rent a drill attachment that will mix up the thinset the day I actually do the tiling. I figure it will take an entire Sunday to do and then it will have to be grouted after the thinset has totally dried. In terms of my available time, that means I won’t be grouting until at least the following Thursday evening and possibly not until the Sunday. So the whole project takes about a week in terms of disruption of the area but can’t be started until I have both the money and a free Sunday.

Once the tiling is finished I can move the secretary desk back into place near the front door and I can build and place the small wardrobe I bought from IKEA at least 3 months ago. It will go beside the door to the storage room and hold our jackets. I would never have thought it would take this long to get the foyer tiled but that’s the reality of my life. The earliest I will have time to do it is not next Sunday, but the following one.

Anyway, what I want to take away from my time alone is the feeling of peace and the reduction of my stress level. All of the things that need to be done will happen in their own time, not necessarily when I plan and obsess for them to happen. I will have the life I want, debt free, stress free and with beauty. May it happen, as we say, bimheira v’yameinu, speedily in our day.

I’m off now to have a lovely Shavuot. I’ll be back to post again late Tuesday night or Wednesday.

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