Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Vacation High Wears Off

I received a strange phone call yesterday from the guy who is supposed to be buying my car, asking me all sorts of questions and asking me to make false claims to the DMV.  Well, I have been around long enough to know trouble when I hear it and so I will be collecting my car from the repair shop and selling it as scrap to one of the local junk yards instead of selling it to Dufus.  I am done with other people's nonsense and I told myself that if just one instance came up of this guy acting the fool, I would run in the other direction.  Dufus, you are buying a 10 year old car with a bad transmission.  What is it that you want for $1000 exactly?  You are not paying me enough money for me to allow you to get on my nerves!!  It is also not my fault that your marriage failed, that you never see your kids, that you have made bad choices in abundance, that you smoked a batch of bad drugs and have the brain damage to prove it, and that life's a bitch and then you die!  *sigh


The spouse has gone back to work today after a lovely vacation and 3 weeks off.  He was none too happy about the prospect but we agreed that somehow we have got to work through the next 3 years in order to get where we want to be.  We have been back from the UK for a week now and, as we both knew it would, depression began to sink in yesterday afternoon as the high from our international hijinks began to quickly wear off ... to be replaced with the hard reality of living in a place we both absolutely detest.  ("What if we've already died and are living in hell?!" ~ Me)

Life has seemed to become 'shorter'.  After visiting our family and friends in the UK and seeing how much more 'mature' (lol) we are looking ~ well, some of us but not all of us ~ the seemingly endless inability to do exactly what we want to do when we want to do it is catching up.  The pressure is building and I know it's gonna explode in some manner.  In the grand scheme, 3 years is not that long of a time to wait until the spouse can retire but to us right now, it's an eternity.  It's 3 more years of watching our precious time on this planet circle the drain.  This is what one gets when one spends every single f*cking cent with no regard for the future, always thinking that one is going to be young and always thinking that one has 'all this time'.  I bear much of the responsibility for this current sorry state of affairs and I am regretful beyond belief.

If I could only have one more chance.  One more chance.  That's all I would need.  One more chance to make some good money.  I'm not asking for BIG greedy money either.  Just enough money to live on for as long as we are alive, enough to enable us to do the things we'd like to do before we die, enough money to enable us to help those people and those causes around us that we'd like to help.  I'm not looking to set the world on fire but I would like to rediscover that sense of purpose that I used to have and which I took for granted because I always had it.

These days, I have lost that sense of purpose and I have felt this way for the past 3 years.  I need back that sense of feeling .... useful .... because I am drifting.  I have too much time on my hands and too much time to wish for something I can't have right now. 

Freedom of choice.  It does not exist for us right now.  Will it ever?  Because I have been a total fiscal idiot, I have sacrificed our freedom of choice at the altar of Mai Tais, fast cars, useless big houses and other white elephants too numerous to list.  If I thought too long and too hard about what has been frittered away over the years, between what could've been and what is, of what exactly it is that has been sacrificed in the name of consumerism and hoarding over the years, then I would get in the bed and not get out of it.

Ah well.  It has been a very enjoyable month, this May of 2012.  We will have to coast to the end of 2015 on the fumes, dog willing.


Tanner said...

It is pretty hard. One thinks of TOO many things, often many depressing ones, after a vacation. But really, don't undermind the actual event. You're casting too much of a shadow on a very good experience, and you may end up killing it. I know, because I do the exact same thing. You may not get back to where you were, and you can't turn back time to stop yourself. But you're you right now. And happiness/enjoyment does not always have to cost money, or be another list on the future to-do list. Chose to enjoy now.

Michelle P said...

I hate people like that! We had to deal with a similar person when we sold our last car.

The Quest said...

@Tanner ~ I know that wallowing in regret is useless but I sure do wish I COULD turn back time! Living here in the desert is just another reminder of the mistakes we have made. We really need to move on but I take your point ~ we have to find a way to accentuate the positive and enjoy each day for as long as we have to live here.

@Michelle P ~ My motto in life has always been along the lines of "If it don't fit, don't force it" LOL meaning that if transactions go smoothly then great, but if they don't then don't push it. Unfortunately, I haven't always lived up to this credo and have flat out ignored it many, many times. The result has generally always been drama and headaches. Now, today, I am living by this belief and didn't hesitate to go fetch my car with a tow truck. I know that I did the right thing rather than fool around with some unstable guy who would absolutely have come back to haunt me in the future with some complaint or other!

Donna Freedman said...

If only moving on were that simple....! But you already know that you MUST do it. Constantly beating yourself up over what you did, vs. what you now think/know you should have done, will drive you mad.
The next three years are not to be "gotten through." They are to be lived. Please try hard not to waste too much of that time on regret. Instead, resolve to learn from the mistakes. It sounds as though you already know that, but I expect you'll need to post some reminders to yourself in order to stay on track.

Donna Freedman said...

Quest: Please contact me as soon as possible at Donna (underscore) Freedman (at) hotmail (dot) com. As in, right away please.

The Quest said...

@Donna ~ I never could've guessed just how much of a chain reaction my financial stupidity has ended up causing within my family. Despite the fact that I 'got smart' in May 2007, my financial meltdown at that time continues to meltdown today. That is my biggest regret of all because this whole situation represents time that I/we cannot get back, things we cannot do and attitudes/bad feeling that can't be changed. I cannot really express the magnitude of it all in terms of relationship damage and loss because the rabbit hole goes much deeper than I have described here. The total frittering of hundreds of thousands of dollars on crap just eats away at me but the bigger cost lies in having done everything wrong.

JHKEnergy said...

Hi Quest, this is an interesting blog and a thought provoking, if not somewhat depressing, entry.

You talk about a lot of bad choices and a lot of foreseeably bad results. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. What are you doing differently?

You say "If you could only have one more chance..." What would you do with that chance? What would you do different?

Might I suggest that the key to financial independence is not to trade time for money and try to save your way to financial security.

The key is to generate long-term cash flow that uses the power of leverage and comes in month after month even if you are on vacation visiting elderly relatives.

Here is your "One More Chance..." to do something different. www.jhkenergy.biz.

Let's see if you WILL do something different. Or, will you continue to lament the things you've done wrong in the past.

Stacy said...

I don't see anywhere that it says you will retire, which leads me to thinking that you are not employed. Get a job any job, a minimum wage job if necessary. Start part time, watch the neighbors children, clean peoples houses. Granted I do not know your back story, but take action, now. Don't get sucked in by those get rich quick schemes that JHK energy talks about, but get a real job even if it's at McDonalds.

Will said...

I posted on GRS too, but I wanted to make sure you saw it.

Three years ago my wife was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and we had an eye opening moment in regard to our personal finances. We had spent and spent and bought tons of junk we didn't need. For a long time when we started turning things around I felt a tremendous amount of guilt and regret about our previous decisions.

The further I get out from the day we started to turn the tide on our debt the better I feel that we did something instead of letting things continue as they were. I am sure I will feel some twinges of regret from time to time for awhile, but eventually it won't matter anymore.

When I think that we could not only be 3 years behind where we are today, but 3 years in the other direction I just feel a tremendous amount of relief.

Good luck!

The Quest said...

@Stacy ~ When my 6-figure job went south because of the financial crisis, that's exactly what I did: cleaned houses. I set up a website and marketed all over the place. I had to keep money coming in and I just moved from a desk job to hard physical labor. I was fine with working my tuchus off daily, after all I had a family to support, but what I didn't bargain for was the absolute soul destroying boredom and pointlessness of it all. I did what I had to do but it killed me mentally and sure didn't help my depression. I did it for a while but then gradually cut back and finally quit. I was able to quit because we had scaled our lives down so much that we are able to live on one income now.

@Will ~ I did see your comment on GRS (and replied to it) but thanks for posting here too. You are right ~ looking back and realizing the positive changes that one has made are a cause for personal celebration. You made changes in your life and the changes are proving to be beneficial for you and your wife. Well done :)

Will said...

@Quest - Sorry for the delay in my response, but I have slowly been reading back through your archive from the start. Man, you have been through a lot! I can definitely see a tremendous amount of progress between the start of your posting and now. You should be very happy with the progress you've made. Ignore the haters, sometimes screaming out to the world can be very therapeutic (and educational/informative for those who choose to listen!).

The Quest said...

@Will ~ One thing I have learned in this life is that one can't please everyone! I knew that some readers would support me and others would lambast me and that's OK. It goes with the territory. However, I hope that my past serves as a cautionary tale to others, especially other hoarders out there who are collecting without a care for the future.
Thanks for your support :)

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