by | Oct 12, 2021


That is what I have left on my mortgage, to own my home outright.  I have spent so much time worrying about that number, watching as it slowly went down, refinancing to lower my monthly payments to make it more manageable.  Eight years ago, I didn’t have a job and had to move my daughter to private school to get her out of an unhealthy environment, the stress of looking at that number was even greater. I had now added the cost of private school tuition to my household budget that was already stretched thin.

I had reached the point in my divorce when I needed to either refinance the house in my name only or sell it.  Thankfully God was looking out for me and I found an amazing mortgage broker, one who only handles divorce cases, who worked his make and by the thinnest of margins found a mortgage for me.   I  qualified for an ARM and had two more years to find a job and refinance again.

Finding a job might sound easy but at the time my daughter was in the throws of her anxiety and was having daily panic attacks.  She was attending school in Newtown and I was making the daily trip to drive her to school and would wait for the call to come back to get her when she would have her attack.  Of course life is never easy and the timing of her attacks was unpredictable.  My phone and I were always attached.  I would swim with my phone in a ziplock bag at the end of the pool, available for me to check after every lap.  I started running on the treadmill because it was easier to have the phone with me.  My car took on many miles then from multiple trips back and forth to Newtown.  Finally the school told me that I needed to be within 15 minutes of school so I could pick her up quicker.  The trip from Doylestown to Newtown is at least 25 minutes so I started spending my days sitting in the Starbucks, just me and my phone, waiting.

Eventually, I had to make the choice of continuing to pay for private school tuition and being close to the school all day or move her back to public school.  My finances we telling me she had to move back.  After much testing and evaluations from the public school, she moved back and I could start focusing on the big number, the payoff amount, again.

Today, those days of Newtown are a distant but always present memory.  Probably my most memorable one was when school called to tell me it was time to pick my daughter up.  This time was different though.  See the school went on lockdown because a farmer across the street was shooting a gun.  Just the week prior, the school had an active shooter drill and my astute daughter was quick to realize this was not the same as the drill the week prior….bring on panic attack.  I was told if I didn’t arrive in 15 minutes, they were going to call 911.  Even my best driving skills couldn’t get me there in time so I met her in the hospital ER.  When I arrived and walked into the ER she was sitting in her bed eating a popsicle and gave a sweet “hello mommy” when I arrived.  I can’t explain my feelings that day, glad she was ok but so very angry that she had a popsicle and was totally fine.  I think I actually asked for a popsicle for myself.

Anyway, I have spent so much time focused on other things, other than my health and well being.  $135,549.67 continues to be at the front of my thinking now but for different reasons.  Now, I wonder if I will ever get the opportunity to pay that balance off and live a stress free, from finances at least, life into retirement.  I pray that I have many years ahead of me because there is still so much I want to do.  I have always wanted to use my experiences with my daughter and anxiety to help others.  TO be there for them when they need help and to be an war to listen.

I pray that I get that opportunity.



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