I am a poor man and of little worth, who is laboring in that art that God has given me in order to extend my life as long as possible. – Michelangelo
On New Years Day (2019), I wrote a post that I thought would be the beginning of a great journey and the start of this blog. Like most things I have done, I never finished what I started. That feels like it is about to change.
Although, what I wrote was an honest evaluation of where I stood, it never made it’s way to a blog, which was my first goal. However, what I did not realize at the time, was that the act of writing it down began a process to a new way of thinking. Subconsciously, I began to think about the issues I was facing, not even realizing, or aware, I had begun the journey to solving them.
What issues? Being poor. Not just in money, though that is certainly the case, but physically and most importantly spiritually. I am a broken man, but I refuse to stay that way any further.
Here is the post I wrote on New Years, that I am just posting today. Though it has been the beginning of healing for me, which I intend to document along the way, I hope you may find some value in it. If so, it has been well worth the trial:
Diary of a Poor Person
I have been poor my entire life. Mediocrity is what best describes me, if not, no different than anyone else. I am not special, nor do I have any special talents or skills. I mean, I probably do, but I have squandered my time. I am broke in the three most important areas of my life: the Spiritual, the Physical, and the Financial. Since it is a new year and new years are meant for making promises to myself I refuse to keep, I thought I would start this diary.
Starting with the least important – I have been broke financially my entire life. I did not do well in school and never learned anything about debt or the consequences of uncontrollable spending. I missed my twenties, where I should have been saving for later, and been wealthy later, instead I borrowed and spent, and I am still paying for it today.
Now in my mid-forties, I am putting together the pieces of what could have been. I spent my entire twenties in school. Not working, but in school. Not becoming a doctor, not even knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I did finish with a degree, but what a cost. Since I did not work, I borrowed heavily and found myself in debt to the tune of $150,000. It is incredibly easy to ignore this debt and defer, so guess what I still have today? This debt has stayed with me for 20 years and there is no end in sight.
When I married, my wife was in the same boat and had $20,000 of student loan debt with no degree. Yes, we still have the one as well.
We have a home and we owe $206,000. We have a second mortgage at $35,000. We have a consolidated loan at $25,000. We have $5,000 in credit card debt and 2 car loans at $4,000 and $3,000 respectively.
I do OK in work and currently make $67,000 a year. If I do not count food or gasoline for the car we make just enough a month to pay the minimum amounts due, including utilities. Of course, we must eat, so that is where credit cards have been useful, though detrimental.
The physical has not been much better. I have let myself go. Because I have lost control of my life, I have lost control of my weight. For most of my life I have been super skinny. I never developed good eating or exercising habits because I never felt the need. Once I hit forty that all changed. The weight it is coming on and is showing no signs of stopping. I am taller, so 240 pounds may not seem like much, but I really should be around 190. Eating out, which costs money, has been the biggest culprit, along with drinking soda. Too much soda. Also, I have lost all desire to walk outside, or get out of my office chair at work. I just sit and sit and sit. Working, driving, watching tv. All poor traits and all have contributed to my poor health.
Finally, and where it all began, the spiritual. This has been subtle because I go to church and I have read scriptures every day for the last 15 years. I should be good in this area, but if I am being honest with myself this is where my trouble began. Even though I go to church on a weekly basis and read every day, I am ignoring the big questions, I am just going through the motions. Do I really believe? Do I really want to know? Do I really want to tackle life, death, the afterlife? These are deep questions that I should be pursuing, instead I check mark boxes and call it good. That is not good enough and has led me to where I am today – poor.
This may come as a surprise, but I have never written down goals. I think of things that I would like to accomplish, but I never write them down or tell anyone. I am certain now that this is a poor person’s trait because I have not accomplished much of use in my lifetime. I start down a path and stop because I have not written it down and I have not kept the promise to myself. That is the reason I have started this blog. I want to focus on the three areas of my life that are vital to a healthy, meaningful life. I want to document my changes and see if that makes any difference. I want to see what, if any, progress I have made by the end of the month and year. I want a written trail of if this works or if I need to try a different path.
Goal number 1: Start a blog