After the excitement of getting engaged and deciding it was time to get my health under control (remember, this is 11 years ago; those of you who know me know that I’m still not all the way there, so don’t hold your breath), there was still the grinding climb out of the financial depths.
In February, 2007, I wrote that I had paid off another $2,100 ($2,110, to be exact) of debt, bringing the total to almost, but not quite, $25,000. It seemed an insurmountable task to get it all paid off, and in February (which is somewhat snowy in DC), I referred to it as “it’s just a long, dark, trudge in the snow.”
One of the other posts in that time listed my legal fees for the previous few years:
2003 $59,722 2004 $12,093 2005 $8,981 2006 $4,057
Ouch. Just… ouch. And that’s only the financial pain. The emotional damage and recovery was a whole lot worse.
One of the 2006 legal fees was for a rewrite of my will to take my ex out of it. When Rich and I got married, I rewrote it again to include him and his boys. Now we’re doing a third rewrite — appropriate to actually living together and the situation that creates. For anyone who thinks a will is for the far future, stop. Your will is best written as a document for what you do if you die next week, then updated when circumstances change.
As February shifted into March (almost always a positive change in my world), I finally reached $25,000 in debt paid off — only $324,318 to go. At the time, I was projecting that it would take about 22 years to finish paying off my debts. As it turns out, in spite of twists and turns, it got paid off in 2017, just before my 50th birthday. So only 10 years. I had a lot of help, though.
There was nothing extraordinary that I did in those two months to get out of debt. It was just that I kept doing what I could. There were — and will be in this retelling of the story — many times like that, when I just kept trying to do what I needed to do. Little by little, it got done.