You think about it all the time. You scrutinize over numbers. You fantasize about the future. If you’re in debt, it is at the very center of your universe. There is no avoiding it.
Paying off debt is exhausting.
While we personal finance bloggers sometimes like to glamorize paying debt off with pretty charts and progress posts (Hell, I do it), it is really exhausting.
A lady I am working with (who is only doing a temp fill-in) asked me over lunch one day how I have the time to ”do it”. ”Do what?” I asked. ” Make your lunch everyday?”. She proceeded to ask me about my day-to-day life. Making assumptions like I must have a cleaning lady to help or my house must be in perma-disaster mode. She, as a fellow mom, who was embarking in the work-force full time for the first time in a long time, couldn’t understand how I do it everyday when she, after only two weeks, was barely treading water.
She knows I’m a full-time working mom and wife and to her the fact that I can manage those two alone without going bat-shit crazy is amazing to her. She has no idea how hard I’m busting my balls to pay off debt too and anyone in the same situation knows exactly just how exhausting that is.
If only she knew the endurance I have developed. The tenacity to work my ass off.
Her view of my life is the easy part. She has no idea I stay up late at night and spend any free time on weekends working on my blog and freelance posts. For fear of blowing her mind to pieces of what a woman with a fire lit under her ass might do, I won’t tell her either 😉
But if I did try and explain how I do it all I don’t know that I could. Something just snapped inside me one day and there was zero looking back. We were going to deal with it and that was that. No one can tell you what to do, until you get to that point, you likely won’t be successful in your endeavors. Over time you build an endurance level when it comes to work that to others make you look like a maniac when in reality, you working that hard is worth it. I almost never get a lunch break, I told the receptionist my usual one-hour break was too much so over time she has shortened it to the point that 75% of the time I inhale food between patients and move on with my day. Before this endurance level I would be spitting fire if she didn’t give me at least a 45 minute break. Sleep is a luxury that I don’t get often. Small child aside, if I went to bed at a reasonable hour, her 5:30-6am wake-up time wouldn’t bother me but I stay up much later than I should writing posts just like this because I have to (and want to).
When you want something bad enough, debt gone, saving goal achieved, weight loss, you make it happen. The truth is, there is no secret formulation. You find a spark within you that you didn’t know was there and sustain yourself on the fuel for however long necessary.
I remind myself daily why I’m doing this and for me, my daughter’s smiling face is enough 🙂