We are thankful for so much in our life. Even during my husband's job loss.
The older I get, the healthier my respect is for all the good blessings we have in our life.
Instead of going after perfection, I celebrate that in a world where millions of things can go wrong, only a handful have—of which we are capable of dealing with (whether we initially feel that way or not).
Think about it—every step of your day is a moment where ten different things could go wrong. Waking up, commuting to work, picking up children, running errands, paying bills, delivering to your boss. But instead, when something goes wrong, it is generally an “accident”, or an “abnormality”, or otherwise completely not the norm.
The “norm” is typically a good place to be.
Almost a month has passed since Paul lost his job. While I could go on a diatribe about the negatives that came into our life because of this, I would much rather talk about the positives.
Our “I Am Thankful For List”
In the true spirit of Thanksgiving, I am going to list 5 recent situations from the past month that could have gone very badly but did not, or that came about because of new situations in our lives:
- Our Two Cars (Including One that is 10 Years Old) Passed Inspection: When you drive beater cars like I do, you typically see significant savings in vehicle ownership and use. But you will also have to make repairs that you wouldn’t need to on a newer vehicle. Paul’s vehicle is currently 6 years old, and mine is 10. Every year around inspection time I get a little worried about mine, just because it is older and has a large number of miles. I am happy to report that when we took our vehicles in to get inspected three weeks ago, there were only $100 in minor repairs that needed to occur (think broken taillight replacement, windshield wiper blades, and fixing a broken horn). Awesome!
- Paul’s GI Bill Benefits: Paul started college full-time this semester after leaving college almost ten years ago when, in the end of his sophomore year, he decided to join the military. We are both so grateful that the GI Bill pays for all of Paul’s tuition, a stipend for textbooks that covers a good chunk of the cost, and even supplies us with a housing stipend. This could not come at a better time!
- Quality Time Together + With a Visiting Guest: Now that I work from home and Paul is not working, we have enjoyed much more quality time together. In September and October, it felt like we hardly saw one another between me working really hard, Paul working full-time, going to classes Monday-Thursday nights, then both of us playing catch-up on the weekends. So this has been a delight! On top of that, my wonderful Aunt Anita came to town for the birthday that we both share together, and all three of us were able to spend lots of quality time together.
- Having a Health Savings Account (HSA) that We Get to Keep: It turns out that if you have a HSA and are laid off, you still get to keep the money in there (makes sense, as at least part of it is money diverted from our paycheck). The funds still need to be used for medical expenses, but as an added bonus, when you are laid off you can potentially use the funds to pay for health insurance premiums. More to come on our health insurance plan.
- Maxing Out our Roth IRAs as of the End of October: We didn’t plan for a layoff to occur with two months left in the year, but it worked out well for our retirement savings. Every year we max out both of our Roth IRAs (maximum contribution currently is $5,500 per account). I like to do this in ten months instead of 12 because the end of the year is typically a bit more expensive with the holidays and travel. It’s nice knowing that our max has been met, and also that we can’t physically put more in before the start of 2014 anyway.
See all of the wonderful blessings we’ve had? For these, we are most grateful.
I hope each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with lots of good cheer, quality time with the people you love, and delicious food!
What are you thankful for?