Sunday, August 11, 2013

Butting In...We Probably Should Do It More Often

(I wrote this the third week of July and forgot to post it.)

This morning, I received an e-mail from a friend who was lovingly "butting in". I informed a group of my friends yesterday about my 13 year old nephew searching for pornography in my home. I was past livid. I was "turnt up"! I was extremely upset with my nephew because I could not believe that he would betray our trust, lie to us about his actions, and also defy our rules. The thing that hurt me the most really was the lying. My husband walked in on my nephew as he was watching porn on a system that we put in his room so that he could enjoy playing games and watching movies that we had approved for him. I was upset with myself because I kept meaning to turn on the parental controls, and I just kept forgetting or was too tired to concern myself with it. He had only been with us for three days at this point, and all he talked about was World War II and asked to go to the bookstore. I've always thought of my nephew as a little nerd, but he is still a 13 year old nerd whose face and new height show the signs of puberty. This is not how this trip was supposed to go.

Monday night, Dan came into the living room with the power supply for the XBox, and I knew, but I thought it had to be something else. I was right. I was so upset that I was shaking. My nephew was being beaten within an inch of his life in my head after I heard Dan tell me what happened. I told him to come out, and I asked him what did he do. He lied and said "I ain't do nothing." This put fuel on my already sky high flame. I yelled at this point. I was trying to avoid it, but it was happening. At that point, I informed him to take a shower and go to bed. We did a search and found out that he had actually searched for porn the first night he was in our home. It was the very same day that the rules were laid down and broken within a matter of hours. I often stood up for him when others thought he was lying, and every time we found out he was telling the truth. I know why he lied, but that didn't make things better. I sobbed because I felt like I had failed my parents in being a responsible guardian for him and that I had failed to protect him from this. I know he had already done this before but still. Children should not have access to the vices of this world as easily as they do to a candy store, and I didn't do my part in preventing this.

While talking to my friends about this, their sentiments seemed to be in line with mine. Shock, anger, disappointment and a need to ensure our freedom by not killing pubescent people. However, one friend expressed another sentiment to me this morning. It was about ensuring that children just don't have a fear of parents, but ensuring that they have a fear of God. She informed me how living under the iron fist of her parents led her to go "buckwild" when she went off to college. On her own, she was able to do whatever she wanted to do and didn't need to worry about fearing her parents. This is a story that I was familiar with in regards to other people. It's not uncommon to hear about college students going crazy when they leave the eyes of their parents. At the end of her e-mail, she apologized if I thought it was butting in, but she needed to say something. I agree with her. It's why she is in my life. I appreciate people who feel that they need to add a different perspective to a situation because many times we don't look at how our actions fully impact others. I e-mailed her back and thanked her for her words of advice. I informed her that although I almost killed my nephew, I stayed away from him because...well, I was going to KILL HIM!!! I also didn't want to say anything that was too hurtful given that he's been through a lot in his short life, and it wasn't going to be productive.

That night, Dan explained to him that the trip was over. He was on punishment. Dan was patient and he waited until my nephew finally admitted what he did and was fully honest about it as well. My nephew has since continued to lie about things that we have caught him doing. He attempted to go into our bedroom closet to get his book about the presidents, but he didn't know that we had put tape and tissue on the door to tell if he attempted to get into the closet. Also he's pretty weak, so he was unable to move the heavy hamper that we had placed behind the door as well as a second barrier. Yes, we will be those type of parents. The tissue was torn on Tuesday, and our line of trust was broken again. Since Monday, we have spent quite a bit of time discussing the importance of telling the truth. Last night we had a breakthrough because he came clean about a lot things that he had been keeping as a secrets. Most of his secrets really aren't secrets. I mentioned earlier that my nephew has gone through a lot in his short life, and he informed us about how those things have impacted him. I'm not sure if he needs a clinical therapist, but he definitely needs to talk to someone. It'll take time, but we'll be patient and get him to where he needs to be.

To wrap all of this up, butting in isn't always a bad thing. If more people butted in, lives may be saved, mistakes avoided, and lives could be transformed. Most people shy away from saying anything because they don't want to offend someone or convince themselves that it isn't their business. I think we always need to be respectful when giving unsolicited advice, but we have a responsibility to help each other be great people.

Thanks Love for butting in. It is appreciated.  

Onward to Baby Step 4!

Team Watkins, aka Debt Slayers 2013, is moving onward to Baby Step 4. So what is Baby Step 4? Well, here are the Baby Steps:

Baby Step 1- $1,000 saved for emergency fund
Baby Step 2- Debt snowball (Get out of debt plan)
Baby Step 3- Save 3 to 6 months living expenses
Baby Step 4- Save 15% of your income for retirement
Baby Step 5- Save for kids' college
Baby Step 6- Pay off the mortgage
Baby Step 7- Build wealth and give

The Baby Steps are simple enough on paper. It's a logical progression/plan to try and ensure a strong financial future, but it's not easy at first. I've written before about how behavior modification is key to this program. It's actually key to achieving most things in life. We wouldn't be able to get to Baby Step 4 if we hadn't gotten our stuff together and started acting like adults with out money. Because we got it together, I feel confident in our financial future even on one income.

As of late, I have been wanting to take out a credit card and CHARGE!!! I've been buying a lot of unplanned stuff that was needed after we moved, so August's budget has been a bust. Since it's been a bust, my mind has been like, eh what's another $20? It's another $20 is what it is! However, I know the ramifications of those actions, and we are on Baby Step 4 looking towards buying a home soon. We had our monthly budget meeting, and now we are back on track. It's just goes to show that the plan is not fool proof. It's not perfect because we're not perfect. However, I don't have to use my credit cards to get the things I need and want. We just come up with a plan for it.

For the first time ever, we may max out our Roth IRA's. I've always wanted to do it, so now I don't know what to do with myself. I'm quite eager to see if we can do it by April 2014. Oh the things that I get excited about now. Maxing out Roth's, babies, and Heath Bar ice cream! Lol.

- Faithwalking for Life

I Am Happy

I was riding down the road today with my Daniel, and it hit me.... I am happy. I've not been this happy in years. I really don't think I've been this happy since my wedding day (10/12/08). I have been happy about things, people, events, but I have not been happy. I am unemployed and awaiting an appointment on Wednesday to see if I need surgery, and I am happy. I woke up on August 5th, and I was a little depressed because for the first time in nearly four years, I didn't have a job. I listened to the phone calls of many who were trying to have what I had, and I walked away from it. For what? I walked away from it for the day that I could wake up and be happy about a future filled with so much unknown but also so many possibilities. It feels amazing.

Will I succumb to fear about my endless possibilities but somewhat unknown future? Probably. However, I know that although those feelings may be natural, they are not real. Faith is real. Fear is just a way to keep my false self alive, and that heiffah must die. Lol.

Be well. Be happy.

Sharing is Caring

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs