The Quicksand Story

Our story through the quicksand of our own financial crisis

Archive for the category “Karen’s Point of View”

Regrouping

As I sit here writing on my new computer I am so thankful for the path I have walked with my family. Though it has not been easy it has changed us in a way that I can never look at people and the events in this world the same way. Though unfortunately many people go through difficulty and come out of it with disdain for others and the willingness to go to any length to benefit themselves. There are fewer that will take their experience and help others.

That is what I am attempting to do here. Help others.  By telling my story and the thoughts and feelings I have experienced through it all I am letting others know they are not alone. I am giving hope to others who are in the thick of their own crisis that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I order to do this I must relive my experiences in order to write them down and record them for the blog and the book. This in itself may seem innocent and in many ways it is but it is also energetically draining on me. It is not always easy to relive in our memories experiences that drained us completely the first time around.

What I have done this Holiday season was recharge my batteries. I have taken a break so that I can move forward in this project with out the negativity of the memories creeping into my present life and negatively affect me now. I want to thank you for your patience in this short time while I regrouped and prepared to bring you more stories in this new year.

Thank you for following me and the stories I bring to you. I look at my life and I am amazed at what has truly happened to me. You really can’t make this shit up.

Here is to an amazing 2012 and may all the positive energy in the world be at your fingertips.

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Holiday Reflections

So my computer has broken this week and it has been both a frustrating experience and a wonderful one. Without a computer to do my work I have only been able to check emails and the rest of my time has been spent preparing for Christmas. My week has been filled with baking cookies, pulling out our decorations, Christmas music and of course the joy on my children’s faces as this holiday season unfolds before them. These are memories that they will have for the rest of their lives.

That brings me to my subject. As I sit here writing on a borrowed computer I am thinking of all of the Christmases in the past, both the good ones and the not so easy ones. No matter how challenging the time before Christmas was it always had a way of working out for the best. It was as if the excitement of the holidays was infectious from the children. Their optimism was never-failing; Santa was never going to skip their home for Christmas. It is the law of intention to its core; the deep, unwavering belief that leads to success.

Just believe and it will happen. Children do it every year. Why can’t we as adults participate in this as well?

During this season is it possible to put aside all of our worldly stress and fear to capture some of the magic we felt as children?

How were we going to make that Christmas magic happen for our children? I had to make a choice to move away from the fear surrounding the season and just live in the moment like our children do. I used to find that by concentrating on the children and their excitement and their activities I could focus less on how we were going to afford the food and the gifts, by doing this, the season became something else for me. Joyful.

As adults, let’s look to our children for their example of what this Holiday season means. Let’s live vicariously through our children to bring peace to ourselves, and through our positive energy spread the joy and peace to others.

Relapses

Like any recovery there are times where some days are more difficult than others. It is how you overcome those challenges that matter. Let’s take yesterday. There is no reason I should have had a bad day yet I did. What didn’t help this day is the fact that not only was Paul feeding into the energy but the kids were to. Where ever I turned I was facing negativity. Though I find I am good at buffering negativity from my life when everyone around me is feeding off it than I find I fall into the trap.

So back to my bad day; I need to look at it in the big picture, It’s okay to have a bad day as long as I don’t feed into it. So what do I do now?  Bad days are the most important days to baby yourself.  Watch a movie, read a book, disconnect from it somehow. Lick your emotional wounds and then move on.  Sometime talking about it helps too, just find a way to let the energy go.

Let me tell you why my day is bad.  I am feeling beaten up.  Paul goes to work at 6:30 in the morning and doesn’t come home until 6:00 or 6:30 at night.  He is inundated with work to do, not only his own but others as well so this leaves him tired and grouchy.  We are one of the few people I know who make a good salary yet can’t get a mortgage, and are subsequently forced to rent a home.  We also in making a good living somehow barely manage to make ends meet. Some weeks this is more difficult to do than others because of the cyclical nature of bills it always ends up that they are all due at around the same time.  The end of the month and the beginning of the month are always the most stressful. This is where my bad day comes from.  I am tired of making a good living but never able to set money aside, I am tired of having to rent a home rather than owning, I am tired of having to pay more for my bills because my credit is not stellar. I am tired of feeling behind on everything.

Now I’m going to turn this thinking around: I am thankful I have enough food to put on my table, while eating a full meal myself. I know that it always gets more difficult before a big break comes, so this bad day must mean a really good day is around the corner.  I am thankful that I can pay all of my bills; there are many people out there who can’t. I am thankful I have a home to live in because there are many people who are living on the street or in hotels.  I am thankful for this opportunity to help others by telling my story.

I am okay with what has happened to us as long as I can make something good come out of it.  I am thankful to everyone who helps me with this mission.

The Best Intentions

The lessons I learned growing up were all about making sure you pay your bills and be a good citizen.  These are great values to have and teach children.  As a child, we need to learn right and wrong and it is all very black and white.  Life, however, is all shades of grey.

When I married Paul he was very wealthy, and we decided to purchase a home that was a little larger in a different town.  At the time we thought we could afford this home.  It was larger than any home I had ever lived in and I was very proud of it.  On the contrary, all I ever heard from my parents was that this house was too much for kids our age.  My parents felt we were living beyond our means, it didn’t start that way but it ended that way.

When our income fell, I couldn’t tell them that.  I would call my mother and talk about the struggles of being home with the children and the question of what our financial plans and means would always come up.  My parents were trying to help but the focus was always on what I didn’t have and what I couldn’t get. I wanted to talk to them but they pushed me away by constantly judging what decisions we were making.

I wasn’t practicing at that time to be home for the boys.  My parents strongly disagreed with this.  They were pushing me to work.  At the time, I felt they were looking for the doctor in the family and not what would make me happy.  I wanted to be there for the boys, and didn’t want anyone else raising them.  Raising my own children was and still is very important to me.  The phone would ring constantly with people wanting to be paid.  Creditors would call 5, 6 and 7 times a day, every day including Sundays.  I was inundated with trying to buffer this stress from the boys and dealing with the creditors harassing us.  This would go on for years to come.

All I wanted was a safe place to go, to talk about how I was feeling.  I couldn’t talk to Paul, he was unreachable.  I couldn’t talk to my friends because I was afraid of how we would be judged.  I couldn’t talk to my family because they were so concerned with telling me what I was doing wrong that they did not leave a door open for me to safely vent my feelings.  Those were very lonely years for me.

It was at this point that I began to feel the effects of negative thoughts so intensely.  It would be a few years more before I learned to separate myself from the negativity in order to move beyond.

I can only control myself and my own reactions I can’t control anything or anyone else.  That is one of the most valuable lessons I have learned from my life.

Cranberry Cornbread Dressing

Well Thanksgiving has past and we are now all back to our normal lives.  I have had some people ask me for my stuffing recipe so here goes.  Enjoy.  The most expensive item on this list is the cranberries.  Everything else is very economical especially if you shop a sale.  The sausage can be frozen if you find it on sale and want to buy it in advance.

Cornbread Cranberry Dressing

1 package of sausage, the kind in the little roll you find by the hot dogs.

1 package of Cornbread mix

1 package of Pepperidge Farms Herb Stuffing

2 Celery Stalks, chopped.  Even the leafy part.

1 Medium Onion, chopped

1 package of dried Cranberries

½ c white wine

Make the cornbread according to directions and set aside. When cool enough to handle, dice in medium-sized chunks.  It will fall apart, that is okay.

Cook the entire package of sausage on medium high, breaking it up as you go so it is in small pieces when fully cooked.  Drain the fat and set it aside.   Turn the heat to medium and add Olive Oil to the pan to cook the onions and celery until soft.  Once they are cooked add white wine to the pan to get all of the yummy good stuff off the bottom of the pan.  Add the cranberries at the last-minute to heat up in the wine and veggie mixture.

In a large bowl add all the ingredients together mixing gently to preserve the cornbread.  Everything is all cooked so taste it and add salt and pepper if needed.  Just try to not eat the whole thing before dinner.  I know it’s difficult not to.  As you cook your turkey add some of the turkey juices to the dressing and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.  Broth will work too if you are not cooking a turkey with it.  I also serve this with a pork roast.

Enjoy.

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