It’s Hard to Feel Rich When Stuff Happens, But Try Anyway

By | June 2, 2015

Have you ever felt like you were having a prolonged state of bad luck? That’s how the last month has been for me. Instead of feeling rich and frugal, I felt poor and cheap.  First it was the wrist on my dominant hand. I hurt it somehow and it was so inflamed I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t type. Nor could I use it for daily activities or during weight bearing activities at the gym. My productivity plummeted and I felt like all of the forward momentum I had been making on many levels just fell off of a cliff into an abyss.

I was especially tortured by not being able to type because I feared losing the discipline that I worked so hard (and took so long) to gain. I was feeling low and my normally bright, shiny lens was cloudy and gray. I was given an ultimatum to rest my wrist and with that external dictate, was able to let stuff go and concentrate on things I could do. I started feeling positive again, remembering that there are many doors and all of that good stuff.  My wrist started feeling better and I planned to dip a toe (or in this case a thumb) back in the water again within a week. But first there was a holiday weekend to enjoy (Memorial Day) with my husband B and friends, being thankful.  It seemed perfect.

I wish that was the end because we did have a wonderful time. We also came home to a basement filled with an inch of water. What?! Where did this come from? It’s been dry as a bone dry here. No rain. We hadn’t used our washing machine in a few days. There was no liquid on the wall that could signal a broken dishwasher (that already happened a few years ago). We found the source. The basement shower had backed up. NO!

We vacuumed the water and cleaned the floor. We then did a test. I went to the second floor and flushed the toilet. You guessed it. The basement shower backed up again. So B tried to snake it. Nasty, stinky business that was. No luck. We called our plumber who would come out the next morning. In the meantime we shut off the water for the night because we feared the water softener would cycle and with nowhere to drain, flood the basement again. Forgive the TMI but of course you know that I never had to pee so badly in my life as I had to the night without water to flush with.

Our plumber arrived and fixed the problem. He did so by way of tearing down an entire wall of cabinets that were put up by the previous owners partly as a cosmetic cover for the pipes. He snaked the pipes. Total cost? $1100.

Because it was a sewage backup we then had to bring in remediation specialists. Immediately. On a holiday weekend. They cleaned, tested and continued with the tear down. Linoleum and carpet was pulled up. Mold was found on a wall, so part of that was cut away and removed. Their final cost? $2600. B and I were cranky all day, but every time we passed each other we stopped and kissed. That helped a lot.


I cried because I felt like I can never just have a smooth period. There is always something good seemingly followed by something bad. I mean, I had been so gung-ho about my “Spring Clean Dash for Cash,” where I planned to make $3000 selling our stuff. That money is already gone before we made it because our insurance deductible is $2500. Sigh.

B and I were exhausted from dealing with this and trying to prepare for our upcoming yard sale (which we moved from 5/23 to 5/30). The house was a catastrophe with yard sale stuff all over. Then B said this to me. “We’re not moving backward. We’re moving forward. We just got a push.”

You know what? He was right! Once again it’s all how you look at it. What looked like a huge setback is actually an opportunity. Luckily our claim was covered so for the price of our deductible – $2500, we can makeover our entire basement, which was last remodeled in the early 1980’s. The plumbing has been fixed and basement had been remediated. We’ll be able to repair the wall, paint, replace the cabinets, replace the linoleum, and the carpet.

Not only that, but WHEN we hit the $3000 “sell our stuff” goal, we’ll have made back our deductible, which means this will virtually be free of charge! Maybe that’s a weird way to look at it. And ask me how I feel when it comes time to renew our homeowners’ insurance.

It’s not how we saw ourselves using our spring clean money, but we’ve adjusted and it’s just as good and I’m feeling rich again. Plus, making $583.74 from our yard sale this past weekend didn’t hurt. 🙂 There’s no real moral to the story. The only message is to keep working for that positive, rich feeling. No matter how hard it is. It’s there. It can be brought to the surface. It’s so worth it.

Have you had periods like this? Let me know!


Okay, your turn! PLEASE share your awesomeness. I really wanna know.