Last Thursday we made the October payment to our debt management plan. After hanging up the phone, I leaned back in the chair to let the gravity of the payment sink in. To be honest with you, my bottom lip trembled a little bit as tears started to form in the corners of my closed eyelids.
With our 52nd payment, the amount of debt that we have repaid through our debt management program has hit the mark of $100,000.
Sitting in a conference room at work with the door closed, I couldn’t quite figure out the exact reason behind my flood of emotion.
Maybe it was the milestone of the number. It’s such an unbelievable number. I’ve told our story countless times, and each time there’s a voice in my head laughing, reminding me how absurd this sentence sounds: “We racked up $109,000 in credit card debt.”
Maybe it’s because with four months to go the end finally feels real. For the last four plus years Vonnie and I have just been trying to get in a rhythm. It’s taken a lot of work. A LOT of work to get to where we are with our communication and budget system. It’s been much like fighting your way against the wind in a driving snowstorm. You just tuck your head into your chest and keep moving forward. You know that over time you will get to your destination, but all you can do is look down at your feet and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
Maybe I never thought we’d ever be here, with the finish line in full sight. We started this journey because our hand was forced. In July of 2009 we knew we had to do something, and this debt management program that we had never heard of sounded a lot better than bankruptcy. But did we actually believe that we could make a payment of $2489 each month until it was gone?
Maybe it’s because while we’re staring downhill at the finish line of our debt management program, I realize that it’s not really the end, but a new beginning. We won’t be completely free of our credit card debt, as there were lines of credit that we could not enroll into our plan. But when February 28th arrives, we have a very large chunk of money each month that no longer HAS to be paid to our program. A beginning of a life where we no longer have to worry about whether an unexpected expense will put us into crisis mode. A life where instead of just paying for the financial indiscretions of the first thirteen years of our marriage, we can work to pay off our remaining debt, but still apply some of our funds to building wealth.
Maybe it was a combination of all of these things. What I do know is that as I wrote this post, I had to stop a few times because tears kept forming in the corner of my eyes. I thought to myself that it must be because the gravity of our payment hasn’t fully sunk in just yet.
Or maybe these damned tears keep forming because it actually has.