Prudent Choices

Recently I came to the realization that I have made some prudent choices in my life that I’m now a little proud of. It wasn’t all prudence, there was some luck, but I had been thinking it was all luck and someone or something was helping me along.  I still think that’s a strong possibility but now I can really see how that Higher Power is in me; not a separate entity ‘up’ or ‘out’ there somewhere.

What got me thinking about it was a recent visit to my hairdresser. (For those of you who follow me regularly; yes, I went back to the bad hairdresser.) She asked me where I lived (again) and I told her how I bought a house with the settlement from my separation.  I had lived in an area with a much higher real estate value so I was able to buy a small house outright here.

“Oh,” she said, “I wish my girlfriend had done that. She got an apartment and spend all the money in a few years and now she’s living with some guy who’s no better than that husband.”

Phew! That could have been me.

My husband said ‘he would let me come back’ after two weeks of separation. I said not unless he goes to counselling. He promised he would ‘go in the spring’. I said I would move back after he went to counselling. Then he said he would buy me out: he was better off without me. He was going to re-mortgage our paid-off house and buy me out of our business that I had helped him build for 20 years.  I could have got a lawyer to destroy his life but I took his terms. His choice, I always thought.

However, I did have a family to take me in until I could get that settlement. At that time my niece and her husband were selling their winterized cottage near the beach with a good-sized yard. Since we had owned 2 1/2 acres of prime land and an apiary was able to buy this house outright.  It was all laid out for me. Or so I had been thinking.

One of the reasons I thought it was perfect for me was that it was hidden away and surrounded by trees: I needed privacy and the peace of nature. It had a good working wood stove which is what I wanted. My husband and I only had wood heat, which is a bit of a hardship, but I loved the dry warmth of it and was very adept at keeping a home fire. The house also had a propane furnace and a flushing toilet; both luxuries compared to my old house. In many ways, it was better!

Having firewood is almost a hobby for me. I love everything about it; buying it, stacking it, carrying it, burning and poking it.  It costs me about $400 per year but if I burned propane only it would be $400 a month easily. It’s great having both; I can have my furnace warm the house up in the morning and as I’m coming home from work. But most of the day the wood stove is burning.

My car; another lucky break. My sister’s best friend’s son sold me a great car for $1500, with snow tires, that is still running well. I had help from my family buying it. Because it was so cheap my insurance is minimal. I have my oil changed when the sticker tells me to, making that choice to keep it running as long as possible.

Okay, lots of luck here. But I’ve also seen legions of people who make terrible choices. They take the easy, fast way for short term pleasure. They get mad or drunk and ruin everything for themselves. They hold grudges that keep them estranged from their families.  They let others take advantage of them over and over again. So it ‘s not  all luck. Everyday we are faced with choices.

Somewhere inside of me, even though I was feeling so messed up and lost on the outside, there was a wise person making prudent choices for which I am so grateful for now. I have always felt a higher power was helping me along but now I see how that Higher Power is in me.

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