I've had a few moments lately of immense appreciation for my current financial position. While my job might end in February (it's a pilot, after all) and my wages are reflective of my employer's not-for-profit status, I feel a sense of security that I haven't known in years...or ever really.
A few days ago as I was nearing the Y, I passed a garbage truck and the men who work so hard to dispose of our filth and waste. I looked at myself, dressed to sit in an office and interact with fellow professionals and clients, and I was flooded with gratitude for my education. I'm pretty sure the sanitary engineers are earning more per hour than I am right now, but my future is bright (and less odorous). I will be able to work many more years, multiply my skill set and increase my income. I'm so grateful to have a degree.
And just last night when the two young ones expressed a need for school supplies and Halloween accessories, I was able to readily agree. It wasn't until I'd been wandering around WalMart for far too long that I realized how not stressed I felt. And there was that flood of gratitude again. Just a few months ago (and for most of my tenure as a parent), additional expenses, especially of the surprise variety, could put me over the edge. I can't count the times in the last two years I've had to deny my kids a $10-something because the household budget was so tight. It's not like I'm throwing cash around now, but to be able to buy the boy a hat for his field trip was enormously satisfying.
So while it's more or less a joke that I always offer the same pat response when a co-worker asks how I'm doing, it's true. Livin' the dream, folks. I'm livin' the dream.