Friday, August 17, 2007

Burn, Baby, Burn

I got a letter from my mortgage company that sufficient funds had been received to pay off my mortgage. Since I've worked toward this goal for the last fifteen years, it really was no surprise. But. I gotta tell you, it's an amazing feeling unlike any other.

I am a woman of substance! A true property owner in all senses of the word. Okay. I own a couple of lots of bare land and some cemetery plots, but just knowing that I'll never make another mortgage payment on my house and dirt is liberating!

I took some advice to heart about paying extra on your principle and put every extra dime into it. When a bonus or windfall happened, it went toward the house. I've put off projects, purchases and have learned to live well within my means and very much under what the pundits call 'the poverty line'. And I feel rich!

There's something to say for simplifying, whether by virtue or by circumstance. You find that you can do without so many things - especially those 'necessities'. You develop a sense of ingenuity and creativity and the grace and beauty that come with things hand made and vistas that are free for the looking.

It's also taught me to laugh up my sleeve at pretencion. I've been pitied for my state of particular poverty - I prefer the word Spartan. I've had those with higher incomes than mine tell me that I needed to buy this or that because it would make a better impression, or sell my home to move 'up' to something more swanky. Bullshit.

Same said apostles of spending are struggling with debt overload, credit card interest rates that make the balances impossible to pay off in their lifetimes. Me? I don't care if my shoes of choice are comfy Florida Ballet Slippers - the ubiquitous flip-flops or zories. I'm wearing clothes so long out of fashion that they're about to come back IN again. But the best thing is the lack of detritus related to my day to day needs. I look around and there's very little that has to do with my daily doings.

Yes. I have the world's biggest clutter of fabrics, trims, mannequins and machines from my business of 20 years in costuming and design, but those are rapidly becoming liquidated and gone because I've retired from that. Once all the business is out of the house, I'll truly have very little me. Then I can create, build, buy just ONE good piece at a time, invest in art and pay for a redux on my 100 year old Victorian girl splinter and nail at a time!

I don't do credit cards. I have debit cards so I can deal with robotic banking and business concerns that don't recognize cash as tinder. So. Here I sit on this end of life and I'm free and clear! And it feels that way in my spirit as well.

My 60th b'day was kind of a magical touchstone of sorts. I haven't quite wrapped my mind about what happened, but it has something to do with TRUE freedom. The mortgage being paid off is just gravy!

I've heard people talk about having a mortgage burning party. You really don't get one in this state, just a satisfaction of mortgage and a note at the credit bureaus that you're done. Don't know that I'd burn it anyway. It represents a road map that got me here. So. I'll have a bonfire out in back by the river later on in the Fall when we can all sit outside without the mosquitoes carrying us off. I'll burn logs instead.

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