Here I go again . . . talking about the thing that you aren’t supposed to talk about.
I can’t help myself. I received a letter in the mail that made my day week month. It began like this:
“Congratulations on the payoff of the mortgage loan referenced above. We have begun processing the release of the mortgage lien.“
Holy cow — we did it!!!!
Before anyone goes too crazy, the “mortgage loan referenced above” was our secondary mortgage – not the primary one. So, we still have a ways to go. But, with this letter, we achieved a HUGE milestone towards being debt free.
We encountered our fair share of roadblocks along the way. It was easy to get caught up watching (some of) my colleagues build new, pristinely decorated homes; make fancy dinners the norm; buy new cars every year; and take extravagant trips. And, for the first few years out of law school, I did a little myself. But, it just didn’t feel right. I was raised to be frugal – to wear things out – to purchase things only when needed.
[Case in point: I’ve had my eye on an amazing pair of Christian Louboutin heels for literally two years. The thing is that there’s really nothing wrong with my trusty ‘ol Nine West shoes. Sure, I’ve had them since I first started law firm job hunting seven years ago and I’ve had the heels replaced five times, but they still fit and look great so I can’t bring myself to buy new ones. Maybe someday… but, I digress…]
Why the push to be debt free? I want work to be optional. I don’t want to not work. In fact, I like working. I think I’m a better person and, someday, will be a better mom because I am independent and have a career. I just want it to feel optional. There’s something empowering about doing something not because you have to, but because you can – because you want to – because you get to.
I want to have a “get to” attitude about work and really mean it.
And, I want my family to enjoy the same freedom. Sometimes I feel like I can see Brad’s brain swirling with business ideas while he sits behind a computer for his “day job,” and nothing would make me happier than to see some of them come to fruition. I love that he shares the same goals and is equally dedicated (if not moreso) to making them a reality.
It recently occurred to me, though, that financial freedom doesn’t have to be a prerequisite to having a “get to” attitude. So, while we remain dedicated to our financial goals (and to not compromising quality of life too much to achieve them), I also want to get better about speaking in terms of getting to, rather than having to. You are officially on notice and have permission to knock some sense into me when I slip up. 🙂