It's true. I know I haven't written in almost a month, but I've been busy. In an effort to pay down my ugly Sallie Mae debt, I've been frequenting the county library instead of buying books. This has been a great thing for me because I learned that the public library has recipe books! I love it. Going to the library helps me hit at least three of my goals (save money, read more, cook new recipes).
So what have I done this month? Well, I've been trying out a new recipe each week. This month I've made:
*chicken divan in my crockpot
*chicken soy sauce in the crock
*pasta and shrimp recipe
*a Rachel Ray sammich bake
and this week I'm making a breaded chicken pasta situation courtesy of Ray Ray.
I must say that the new year started out kinda crummy. On the 1st, I went to my Dad's house to clean out my closets, and I found that one of my student loan bills had not been transferred to my new address. That loan added a hefty $7500 to my outstanding debt, and I was really broken hearted about it. However, I've been doing a lot of research, and I started reading Total Money Makeover. The hubs and I have to discuss this situation, but we could pay down almost $50,000 to $13,000 by September.
On a whole, I have to say that I am much more content than I was in the fall (minus this whole mystery loan that showed up). I feel like I'm finally enjoying my job, and I'm finding cheaper ways to occupy by time instead of constantly shopping (which made a dent in my pocket last summer). and I'm finding as I near the end of my first year on the 1001 day trip that some of my goals have changed. For example, even though I'd still love to take a cruise, I feel that cruising would be financially irresponsible given my goal to pay off my student loan debt. I think the old me would have said "screw it! You work hard! You deserve a cruise!" But the new me says "pay off this debt and then instead of taking a short 3 day cruise you can take a long 10 day cruise."
And I got accepted to grad school because of this list which is fantastic! But now I have to pay for it, which means getting a full set of china isn't really high on my list of priorities at this moment.
So what should I do? Should I update my 1001 list to include my new goals or should I just "fail" this list?
I've thought about it, and this list is supposed to encourage me to live my best life. I don't want to be a slave to the list, and I don't want the list to make me feel like a failure. Honestly, I feel content with my life. When I started the list, I felt like something was missing. Now I feel thankful. I have a fantastic husband, a great job, a soon to be master's degree, a new house. I think I used to feel entitled to these things, but I'm starting to learn that having a full life starts with me. I can choose my attitude. If I work hard, then I can go on vacation. If I am a friend to someone, then they will be a friend to me in return. And I think I knew all of this before. I was taught all of this on some level, but putting it into action is difficult when you've spent 18 odd years as a dependent and you've suddenly been pushed into the big, scary world.
So I think I'll make new goals. Maybe 25 goals for this year. and I'll post them and tell you about them as I proceed. You. Whoever you are.
Happy New Year, friends.