In the flurry of recent changes, I haven’t taken much time for tea with The Earl of late. Change is good, but change is overwhelming too. In the matter of a few months, we have turned our schedules and priorities on their heads. Turned them upside down. Made a one eighty. Tossed convention out the door. Made some bold moves. Ok!!! You get the point, right? Over the summer, we decided to work harder to get out of debt faster than the minimum payments will allow. As a homeschooling family on a single income, we just don’t have that much wiggle room in the ole budget to pay down much of anything. So, my husband picked up some side work to add to the 6 days he already works regularly. He works 6:30 to 3:00 at his day job Monday to Friday and then 6 or 7 hours on Sunday afternoon. Add to that washing the windows at our local hospital and all their associated buildings, filling in for a friend cleaning a school at night, and stripping and rewaxing a floor. We sold some things too. All told, many weeks he worked about 80 hours. We saw him for maybe half an hour or an hour a day. I did not choose to meet The Earl to chat during all these shenanigans. I chose to aim for survival and we did just that. During this time of upheaval and stress, I participated in an E-course on downsizing. We did greatly reduce our possessions, although we have more layers to peel back and clean up. Throughout this time of horror, my children and I thought we would die without our guy around. It was truly horrible. With the big window job finally done, sitting at the table staring at our finances with that big fat paycheck in hand, all I could think of was how can I buy my husbands time back for myself and our children??? In the end, we did reduce our debt, but we stashed part of that money. And we bought him back. Yes, you read that right. We bought him back. This is our first week having him back, and while it is an adjustment, it is an awesome one. I began the downsizing course desperate for a tiny house of my own and ended it buying my husbands time and energy back instead. He is still working 6 days a week. But now he leaves at 5pm and gets home around 11pm most days. He brought me coffee in bed this morning. He helped our son with his reading today. He helped him begin building a wooden box to hold his treasures. He made our daughter breakfast and showed her how to plane wood. And debt? Whatever. It will get paid in time. Some extra work now and then will be ok. Not sure that the extra money will go right to the debt though. Maybe it will buy a piece of land. Maybe it will take us on an adventure. Who knows. I do know for certain that time is the most precious thing we have right now. Time with our children while they are here in our care. We can never buy that back. In the end, I am learning to downsize future regrets and to supersize life where ever we end up. Stay tuned. I’m just getting started.