Life or Debt

I can’t sleep. It’s an issue that has gone from comical to disheartening. My husband and I both have issues with telling the other no. So, when it’s time for us to both get some sleep we stay up instead to watch more television. Inevitably, he falls asleep before 2am and I’m left with, my nightly dose of what I believe are medications to help me sleep, insomnia. Last night was going to be different, I was sure of it. I’d put in a few hours of work and was deliberate in logging off of the computer by around 10:30pm. With my hubby still ironing in the living room, I curled up in bed and continued to entertain the thought of starting to read a novel. It has been months since I’ve picked up a book and I feel the longing, the calling of the comfort that I used to feel while reading a good book.

Instead, I grabbed the remote and watched television. It wasn’t too long before my husband was in the bed beside me and we were watching television together. It’s a bit of an addiction, really. We have X1 from Xfinity and quite honestly, there’s always something to watch. After watching Veep and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver we watched an episode of Bar Rescue and then when I should’ve turned off the television and follow my husband into slumber, I still wasn’t tired. I tuned into what has become one of my favorite shows, Life or Debt with Victor Antonio. Parts of me enjoy the show because my hope is that I’ll get to that magical moment, that breakthrough that I need for us to take more seriously getting ourselves out of debt.

And so, here’s the reality, about half of our monthly income goes to paying off debt. And as much as I wish that I could say that we’re making some real headway, we’re not. In most instances we pay the minimum payments because that’s all that I think that we can afford. And although we’ve started to curb the way we spend, namely going out to eat, tonight’s episode of the show really made me call into question why in the world we haven’t been more aggressive about it. I think about how long it will take us to pay it down and then I think about how much older my husband is that I am. I don’t want for us to have the weight of so much debt in 10 years when he’s 62! I know that it’s so easy to get discouraged. I’ve made spreadsheets and routinely analyze the information and then feel discouraged all over again. I can tell you to the penny how much we’re in debt. You’d think that that number alone would be enough of a reality check, but somehow it’s not.

I’m confident that’s a big reason why I just can’t sleep. My mind keeps thinking about what can and needs to be done to climb the arduous debt hill. Arguably, there are any number of creature comforts that we can do without and yet, I’m paralyzed to pull the trigger. It makes it that much harder to enjoy life, to enjoy living in a place that I love, with the man who I love. Baby steps. Everything in life is a series of baby steps. And like a baby, we often stumble. Our actions and inactions got us here. And I don’t share my husband’s optimism that somehow he’ll beat the odds and win the lottery. Sure, that’s everyone’s pipe dream. But I want to get out of debt the right way, the realistic way. I hate that this is where we are, but it is. Until we fully embrace and accept that this isn’t going to get better without real action, we are destined to continue in this losing cycle.

With the day now dawning I’m starting to feel weary. I hope that sleep comes to claim me but that I don’t sleep the entire day away. I sit here, in awe of the beauty of the early morning and try to rest my mind. One day at a time, that’s all I can do. One step in front of the other, one moment to the next.

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