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I spent a lot of time last year looking at my life, going over the things I was doing, and deciding what I really wanted and what I could afford to let go of. What I needed to change.

This year is the year of cleaning up. I will clean up my own messes.

When I left my wife three years ago, I created a ton of chaos in my life, most of it financial. I hadn’t gotten to the point where I could do anything about it. There was always a reason why I didn’t have to look at it yet. I was busy working, or I didn’t have any disposable income, or my child support was too high for me to do anything with what little money I did have.

Always something, right?

This year, I sat down and took a look at my life and all the things that I had up against me. I made a list of all the things that stood between me and being the successful, healthy, well-adjusted person that I want to be. It’s kind of a long list. I had tax debts due to math errors and bad paperwork. I had personal debts – not credit cards – but bank accounts and the like. Stupid debts. I had student loans in default. I had child support. When I had it all written out, it was all so entangled that I had to enlist help just to make sense of it all.

I called my dad.

He’s good at seeing things the way they really are, and he didn’t have the same attachment to all the problems that I did. The emotional attachments, the shame of having strewn wreckage over every part of my life. He helped me get it battered down to a set of steps. Now, I’m going through and plugging each of those steps into place.

My life is getting better, and I feel better for having actually taken the steps to make it be so. It’s a long path, and there’s a lot left to do, but this year, I will make the life that I want to be living.

This year, I will clean up my act.