Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trials, Tribulations, and Trailers

A couple weeks ago, I promised Emily I would not eat out again until we become financially free (that is, our passive income from investments is greater than our living expenses). She was not hounding me about eating out at all. I made this promise to myself as much as to her because I truly believe that our money can be better spent. We work for probably a full three months out of the year just to pay for the interest on a loan attached to the house we live in. Take away Emily’s income as we are about to, and I work for six months out of the year—for debt. So instead of directing my money toward reducing my debt and increasing my peace of mind, I’ve been making semi-weekly trips to Taco Bell, In n’ Out, Eriberto’s, and Chik-fil-A for a satisfaction that departs in less time than it took to obtain it.

Anyway, tonight, as I was out driving around at 10:30, it really hit me what I did: I promised my wife I would not eat out again—for a VERY LONG TIME. I was at the gas station getting gas, and I had to go inside to get a receipt. I walked around the store looking for something yummy. I saw Suzi-Qs, Doritos, Naked juice, sandwiches, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and lots of other good stuff. But there was a little white angel on my right shoulder telling me that if I bought anything to eat in this gas station I would be worse than unsatisfied. I would be guilty. I walked out of the store not really wanting to. I still felt as though I were pulling myself away from what I wanted—where I wanted to be. But I had made a determination that I was not going to life in this manner. I was not going to live on expensive, sugar-filled, synthetic foods when my gut told me to. And even though my gut and my tongue were telling me to give in, my mind, my spirit, and my wallet were all crying for relief from the excesses of the past.

Back out on the road, I headed toward my destination when I realized I was driving past the street on which I would turn if I wanted to get some Taco Bell. This time, I really thought. Those two crunchy tostada shells filled with soft cheese, beans, and tomatoes all covered in sauce were calling my name. I thought how I had really made an error in promising to myself and my wife such an unrealistic change of behavior over such a long term in my life, and if I were to simply go to Taco Bell and pick up six dollars’ worth of food, I wouldn’t be so great a sinner. I mean really...I might not be financially free for another three, five, ten years? Am I REALLY not going to eat at Taco Bell for ten years? Then I thought how everything I had just thought was nothing but justification fed to me by the little brown and grey angel of death on my left shoulder. (I wouldn’t tarnish the reputation of black by describing evil with it because black is the color of the life-giving soil) My money, my health, my freedom, my prosperity, my peace are all tied to the decisions I make on a daily basis. The decision to eat food not produced by me or bought from the grocery store is a decision that leads to other expenditures and perpetuates the cycle of vanity and incontinence in my life.

I am going to keep this promise.

I brought home my truck today. I just need a hitch on my car, and I’m going to get that within a couple weeks. U-haul has to order the hitch that fits on my car, and it should take 7-10 business days to come in. Once that comes in and I get the hitch and wiring installed, I’ll be in business! Anyone need to move?

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