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Sometimes, $45 Buys Peace of Mind...

I'm a teacher. I know teachers don't make much; I knew it when I began teaching in '98. I never got into teaching for the paycheck. I want to make it clear that I am *not* complaining. I am a very fortunate person with a family who makes me laugh every day.  :)  I feel a huge gratitude to have a job that helps me feel as though I am making a difference in the world. Teachers have lean times like everyone else, and we have times that we are overcome by the goodness that comes from the world. That being said, today I want to tell you what a relief to be able to walk into a grocery store and spend an unbudgeted $45 without guilt. By the way, I know unbudgeted is not a word, but you know what I meant.

Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Well, here’s my journey to that $45: it is 3 weeks until Christmas, and the only people I've been shopping for are my kiddos. I have a little health issue, so I'm working half-time this year. The budget is key to keep away from the credit cards, since I've already given Citibank and Chase enough money. I took today off to attend health appointments. I was going to go to an appointment, then visit my own kiddos for lunch before the second appointment. I was pretty happy at the prospect of a day to myself, to tell the truth.

Instead, one kiddo was picked up sick from school yesterday, so she stayed home today. This morning, we ran out of oatmeal and peanut butter, aka little guy’s breakfast and lunch. No problem; grocery trip done after the appointment. Splurge and get a couple of foodie treats, spend extra $. An hour later, I have the unexpected someone-just-puked-and-it’s-cold-and-flu-season trip to the store. The kind of trip when the grocery store clerk asks, "What happened?"

There’s the $45. We never know when we will need it, but it bought me peace of mind knowing that I am able to walk in the grocery store and know that I’m able to buy whatever I needed without guilt. I don't feel like I should have spent it on new tires, or my health insurance, or a visit to my therapist. Even better, I didn't feel any post-purchase remorse for my morning splurges. Nutella is essential, right? After taking a sick day (which I feel fortunate to have), visiting the doctor, buying essentials, and $45 bucks worth of carpet cleaner and disinfecting wipes, I still don’t have to worry about the grocery budget. I am one of the lucky ones. 

In our house, it seems that unexpected expenses are usually around $50, $200, and $400. It might be paying the deductible for an emergency room visit, or repairing the dryer (with a ton of help from Hubby and Dad!). Today, I feel thankful to have a job and a business that helps to absorb bumps in the road, and let me take the time I need to take care of my family, to disinfect the house – ick! and to take care of myself.

I know I haven’t been blogging much lately. My depression was back, and I’ve spent the last month getting everything back on track. I’ve got additional support in place – including a light therapy machine! I am enjoying it so far, and it definitely isn’t hurting anything. I’ll fill you in another time. Thanks for listening, y’all.

Just a little more, then I'm through - promise. I wanted to give a huge hug to the teacher-blogging community. I'm feeling the love, and it helps so much to connect with all of you, both near and far. I'm already planning for Vegas in July, to see y'all again with a ton of hugs! <3  Thanks!

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