Monday, January 18, 2010

question 2.

Continuing my new year's introspection . . .
What was an unexpected joy for you in 2009? an unexpected obstacle?

An unexpected joy for me was a notable inheritance from my birthmom. Not kajillions, but notable for me - it's all relative, right [no pun intended!]? Her husband of 25 years had given me her wedding ring following her funeral, and it was quite a gift [though oddly, even though it's platinum and I haven't had eczema since I was a teen, I experience an eczema flareup in-between my fingers whenever I try to wear it ... hmmm] - so I was surprised by a call from her trust company letting me know they were working to settle her estate and eventually, it was going to be split 50/50 between her husband and me, her only child. It wrapped up late summer, and the cash portion of it graced my bank account by November - enough to pay off a big chunk of debt, buy some items we've been putting off and enjoy a comfortable Christmas. I understand money can't buy happiness, but it can help give you a little room to breathe. This posthumous gift from my birthmom was an unexpected, yet utterly unsurprising extension of her amazing generosity and unconditional love.

An unexpected obstacle was also financial [funny how these things seem intertwined, eh?] - for the first time in seven years of successful fulltime freelancing, I went completely unpaid by clients for a couple of months, despite several outstanding invoices totaling several thousand dollars. This period of forced [and again, relative] frugality happened just before my inheritance cash turned up, and was terrifically stressful. For an upper-middle-class family, we were treacherously close to having to just start charging everyday necessities, like groceries and prescriptions. I'm still not sure what universal message I was intended to glean from last autumn's "rags-to-riches" microcosm ... but I suspect it has to do with money management and gratitude.

And you? Unexpected joys or obstacles of 2009? Do share.

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