So, I just got off the phone with a very dear friend who has been in my life for about 14 years now. We started being friends shortly after Joel and I got married--in fact they were our first "couple friends." Time being what it is, we've drifted apart some, and we just spent the last 2 hours on the phone catching up on the past 2 years. Even though we haven't lived more than 20 minutes apart during that time, we just haven't been close on a daily basis. It was nice to touch base with her again, to get a snapshot view of my life right now as we talked.
I have to remind myself when I get caught up in feelings of desperation (are we EVER going to get out of debt? Will I EVER get the career I want out of writing and scrapbooking and papercrafting and paper art? Will my 3 year old EVER eat anything more than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets? Will the house EVER be relatively clean and clutter free on a daily basis? And so on...) that my life is SIGNIFICANTLY different than it was ten years ago. Ten years ago I was going to school and managing apartments. Joel was working weekend graveyard at HP and thinking about going to school--and maybe he had a class or two--I don't really remember. We had one child, a very precocious one year old. I worried about school assignments, daycare for my baby, finding time with my husband, handling difficult tenants and empty apartments. I know we were busy with church. We were pretty broke.
Now, We're still pretty broke, but with better cars, nicer furniture, and we can pay for things like cable, a mortgage, taekwondo for H and J, a Trendwest membership for fun family vacations, this very nice HP laptop, my very nice HP Photosmart 945 Digital camera, and so on. We live pretty comfortably, all in all. We can meet our monthly obligations and still have some left over. Our marriage is still pretty strong, our kids are polite and well-behaved and well-liked. Things are good for us.
In ten years my daughter will be 21 and most likely not living with us any more. My baby will be nearly 13. I will have had the opportunity to work full-time (once the baby is in school all day, that is the plan to reduce our debt) and hopefully our debt will be gone and we'll have a comfortable retirement savings in place. That's my lesson for the day--start planning your financial future now! But enough of that soapbox.
My point is, ten years is a SHORT long time. Much will change, and while I KNOW I'll have new things to worry about, most of the things I worry about now won't be issues any more. I just have to remember to take a break from my worries and enjoy the now.
And that's the other side.