Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Paying Off Debt

I came by some extra cash recently.  It's kind of an interesting story, maybe I'll tell it later, but for now, how I came by it isn't really important.  I have some extra money, which is a real rarity for me, and had to decide what to do with it.

Funny how you can think your basic needs are pretty much met, and then you get some extra cash, and suddenly you come up with a really long list of things you want/need to buy.  Way more than you can possible purchase with whatever amount of money you have.  And it wouldn't matter how much you have, either.  If it was $1,000, suddenly you'd have a list of far more than that.  If it was $5,000, you'd have a list of more than that.  People are greedy, I think.  We always want more.  I try really hard not to, but still...

Anyway.  After I'd discarded the ideas of going on a shopping spree and taking a vacation (well, it's fun to dream, isn't it?), I decided to purchase a few items I really do need and to pay off some debt.  I was nearly debt-free until last fall when I had to have extensive dental work done.  I now have a Mastercard and a Care Credit account to pay off.  Last month I paid a little more than the minimum payment due on my Mastercard and realized that about half of what I paid was just going to interest.  Oy.

But I also owe my mother some money.   A couple years ago, when she was still speaking to me, she loaned me and Mike some money to put a new transmission in my car.  She put it on a credit card (because my credit sucked then, at least it's a little better now; back then I would not have been able to charge my dental work myself) and Mike and I agreed to make the monthly payment.  Which was just $30 a month.  Well, you know how many months it takes to pay off a transmission at $30 a month?  Yeah.

So as of this month, I still owed a little over $400.

I decide to use some of my  new-found cash to pay off that debt.  It might have made more sense, financially, to pay off the credit card with the ridiculously high interest rate.  But emotionally, even spiritually, it made more sense to pay off the loan from my mother.  Because it keeps me tied to her.  It keeps me connected to her every month when I write that check and address that envelope.

And I knew it was the right decision because I felt such a lightness when I came to it.

I thought about writing her a letter to include with that check.  But I didn't know what to say and I felt like writing that letter would take a lot of time and energy and I wanted to do it now.  I wanted to send the check and sever that tie.

But there was a song that came to mind while I was writing out the check, so I wrote down some of the lyrics and sent that with the check.

" You cannot measure what it takes to mend a withered heart.
They'll tell you at the onset everybody does their part.
I did my best to follow the calling of my soul.
But it's like that first guitar I played,
at the center is a hole,
at the center is a longing
that I cannot understand...

But if music be a boulder, let me carry it a long while.
Let it turn into a feather, let it brush against my smile.
Let the life be somewhat settled with the life that song has made.
Let there be nothing I am longing for in some plan I may have made,
in some story quickly written during a long forgotten time..."

I don't know if the lyrics will mean anything to my mother.  But it doesn't really matter.  I've let go of something.  That's what's important.

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