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Epiphany

Ah, the joys of riding the bus. You get lots of leisure time, between waiting for a bus & the actual ride itself, you get plenty of time to think. It certainly has its pros & cons. Some days it's all you can do to focus on the pros, like today for example: I'm getting stuff done, *and* saving wear/tear on my car.

But it's hard, especially when the cons include: ugly, stinky people (no, there's no excuse for that in the year 2004!), coughing/sneezing people, loud, disruptive, rude people, people with inappropriate behavior, the weather's cold and windy and rainy, and you have to abide by someone else's schedule, not your own.

I've made up my mind though, I've got to make some adjustments to my lifestyle, because of my car. One of those adjustments is taking the bus, instead of using my car to run my errands, and get things done. It sucks -- but it could be worse.

For example, I could be one of those people who doesn't have the fortitude to ride out the tough times, in order to have a brighter future. Lord knows, I've spent enough years making that mistake: giving in to selfish impulses, just to get the immediate gratification, and now I'm paying for it.

Or, I could be one of those people who honestly believes that having use of my own car is the *ONLY* form of transportation I'm good enough to use, and then I'd be sucked into thinking I have to spend vast amounts of money on keeping that car running. Thankfully, I'm not too good to take the bus, otherwise I'd be miserable most of the time.

Somehow, some way, I've got to tough this out. It seems like I keep saying, "Only one more year, only one more year, this will be the year I get it together and can afford better wheels..." but I keep on derailing my own train, too, and I have no one but myself to blame for the money I spent, which I could very well have chosen to save. And didn't.

However, I've been a lot better about sticking to my goal this year: the light is dim at the end of this tunnel, but I am beginning to see it. It's really not my eyes, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, not let myself get off track (well, not TOO much), and soon I will be there.

My dad was right all along, it turns out. Being in debt *IS* a lot like being in prison! Your own, personal, self-made prison. Having everything paid for... now that is a freedom worth suffering a little bit for.

It's a tough pill to swallow, thinking about getting through this winter by taking the bus to do everything I usually use my car to accomplish, but I figure, the less I drive my car, the longer I can drag out what's left of it (w/o getting into expensive repairs which I can't afford anyway). Not only that, but if I can get through the *winter* by taking the bus, spring, summer and fall should be a piece of cake! And who knows, if I stick to my budget wisely, I might be able to get some of those repairs done before NEXT winter.

This might sound very downtrodden, but I am actually quite hopeful under it all. This test of my will should build character, and discourage me from spending money I should be saving. What more could you ask for?

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