Yesterday was another remarkably productive day, notwithstanding the phone interview with Social Security, followed immediately afterward by the monthly support staff meeting.
The woman at Social Security was informative and kind. I typed all sorts of notes into a Word document and later emailed it to myself at home. I’m to apply for Medicare Part A when I turn 65, and I’ve calendared that. She also informed me that since I was married to the children’s father for more than 10 years, I might be want to file for divorced-spouse benefits prior to filing as Beloved’s widow; it might be equivalent to what I would get from Beloved. (Currently there is about a $300 difference between the benefits.) She says that it is perfectly legal and appropriate, and that many ex-wives do that, even if they have remarried.
I will do what makes the most sense financially when that time comes. It would take nothing away from what the children’s father draws from Social Security. And the very-human part of me thinks that it might be a good karma cleansing activity, considering how much unpaid child support there was. If I decide to file on the children’s father’s account, I would need my original marriage certificate and original or certified divorce papers, both of which I have.
I cancelled Beloved’s subscription to the newspaper via email before leaving for work and got a lovely, old-fashioned response from one of their customer service representatives. There is another $29 a month, found.
I called Squishy on the drive home to see if he might be available to come disconnect the cable box and hook the air rave to the router. He was, and they both came over, and we had a nice if brief visit. Mel’s mom had a sudden emergency at home: her refrigerator gave up the ghost and started spouting water all over the kitchen.
Whatever did we do before cell phones?
So now I can take the cable box back and cancel the land line as well. That alone will save me another $110 a month, and if I tether the computer to my smart phone and stop paying for internet, that would be another $60 saved ($70 on internet, less a $10 increase on my portion of Firstborn’s family plan for my cell phone service). That’s nearly $250 a month back into my cash flow, plus the $400 I am now saving on benefits at work.
I am in no danger of having to eat cat food. I am simply retrenching so that I am not tied down to services I no longer need. I have lived hand to mouth for much of my adult life, and those skills are quite useful at present. $600 a month equals over $7,000 a year saved and turned to another use, whether it be emergency savings or debt reduction or some combination of both.
I want to be debt-free again. I want that more than anything else of a temporal nature. I want to be living where Heaven needs me to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing. And until we get the estate settled, I’m not sure I can trust myself to receive or understand the right answers as far as that is concerned. Nevertheless, I am content to make a little progress on all fronts, every day, until the peace in my temporal affairs is as clear and sure as the spiritual and emotional peace which I already feel.
I am so blessed. I know that Beloved has not forgotten me, that the connection remains and will only get stronger with time. I am still waiting to hear back from Salt Lake on the sealing cancellation, but I have enough on my plate for today, and I will just deal with today’s portion and not worry about tomorrow’s.
Happy Valentines Day, everyone. I am taking half a sleeve of Thin Mints to work, in order to celebrate enthusiastically but (somewhat) sensibly.
Edited to add that the financial changes I am making are in no way to be construed as a criticism of Beloved’s financial priorities. He was passionate about football and cooking, so it made perfect sense for him to subscribe to cable TV. He used a prepaid cell phone, which he used chiefly as an electronic address book. He made most of his phone calls on the land line and did not text. At all. And he certainly never criticized me for what I have been spending on my own cell phone each month for unlimited this and that. My job has encouraged me to embrace technology; he was far from being a Luddite. What worked for us, two months ago, no longer works for me. And so I am making changes.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!