A FEW THOUGHTS ON GRATITUDE AND PRIVILEGE
June 11, 2015Follow Networthy on Twitter
I’ve been slack on my posts here on Networthy for the past couple of weeks. Mainly this is because my husband and I got The Sore Throat of Doom and Stabbing and More Doom, which basically knocked us flat.
But I’m back in the saddle today because an event today got me thinking how freaking lucky I am.
Just yesterday I got an email from my dad, letting me know that he was planning a visit to his brother, my uncle, outside of Chicago for the Fourth of July weekend. I’ve never been able to spend as much time as I’d like to have with my dad’s side of the family because they live in the midwest and I’ve spent my whole life on the east coast. And they’ve never had the chance to meet my husband! So, without even really thinking about it, I wrote back and said, “Can I come?”
Twenty four hours later, I’d bought plane tickets and arranged travel and requested time off from work.
Even a year ago, I couldn’t have made that kind of snap decision. Or, I could have, but it would have been a decision based on, “Is it okay to put this on a credit card,” whereas now the question is “Is this worth spending my travel savings?” It’s much easier to say yes when, not only am I not wondering about how much extra I’ll pay in interest on the purchase, but I have a designated travel fund!
Life is so different on this side of credit card debt.
Sure, I still have plenty of loans that I’m paying - see: Net Worth Zero and Proud of It - but I can now make day to day purchases without worrying about whether I’m going to have spend even more months and years paying off my cards. I know that I can pay my balances in full every month.
I am so lucky. Yes, I’ve worked hard and diligently saved money and made loan payments, but there’s a lot of luck and privilege in this too. I’m lucky that I have a job that provides me with enough income to make choices about my money. I’m lucky that my parents helped to go to college so that I could be qualified for this job. I’m lucky that my husband and I both can take paid vacation days. I’m lucky that I have always functioned as half of a dual-income household, because I met my husband so young. I am lucky to not have experienced any medical emergencies that could of driven me into medical debt or caused me to be unable to do my job.
While I’m at it, here’s a few more things that I took totally for granted in the last few weeks that are actually amazing:
I have medical insurance that made it possible for me to go to multiple doctor’s appointments while I was sick without having to decide whether I could afford to receive care.
A few weeks ago I noticed that my car’s brake pedal was vibrating. I brought it to the mechanic and it turned out to need new brake pads and rotors. I told the mechanic to make the repair without even hesitating. I was not faced with the choice between going into debt or driving an unsafe vehicle.
- I am a white, cis, straight, english-speaking person in America. I benefit every day (unfortunately) from these totally random parts of my make-up in ways that I will almost never consciously see or feel.
Alright, I’m getting pretty broad on this topic now. Just wanted to get my thoughts down on paper.
As basic bitches say on Facebook: #blessed.