Wednesday, February 3, 2010


A classmate of mine recently paid their last student loan payment. Because I haven't thought of the concept of a student loan for so long now, over 10 years, the news stunned me. I recovered quick and congratulated them on a great job.

This news hit home as we were in the same class and have both been out in the work force for over 10 years. It was the sheer length of time that blew me away. I have a very hard time with the concept of a monthly payment for that long. Especially when added to other common monthly payments such as a car, a house, utilities, savings, etc.

It isn't that I didn't have students loans. I did. Probably not as much as they do but enough to take 10 years should I have allowed it. In Canada, back in my student time, banks amortized loans for 10 years. I understand that 15 year terms are available now. When I found out that my monthly payments were going to be $900 a month for 10 years, I freaked out and pushed myself to get it paid off in 1 1/2 years.

Even then, I could not stand monthly payments. I also have never amortized a house for longer than 9 years. And I find myself feeling very impatient for the next 3 years or so of mortgage payments to be over even though technically they are D's payments and not mine. I'm just putting in extra because I cannot stand to see it.

Gail Vax-Oxlade's post earlier in the week gave 2 quotes I copied into my day timer to remind myself that I need not have to rush so. Rushing things in the past and present have contributed to my stress levels and burn out. It isn't something I would honestly recommend. I'm afraid I must have some version of a obsessive compulsive disorder -- Some force that propels me to extreme, sometimes self defeating measures.

Whatever it is, it's not easy to change and I have worked very hard to dig it out of myself over the years, once I realized that most people do not approach debt like I do and perhaps are happier for it. I'm very glad D is as laid back as he is because it helps me to swing back towards the middle of the road. It is no accident I call myself Middle Way as a reminder of where I would like to be on things like this.


  1. Still not sure I completely grasp the Middle Way concept...for the dense readers out there (me), could you give a more explicit definition?

  2. @ The Executioner;

    I would not consider you dense at all, far from it!

    Middle Way is a Buddhist concept of how to live. I learned about it in a world religions elective course during university and the idea has stayed with me since.

    It is about living a life where one is conscious of the polaries in our thinking and being and learning to balance them without taking either extreme too seriously or being overly attached to the outcome as if it is all there is that is important/true. Being overly attached can be a root cause of suffering.

    Here is a link to a good article about it, if you are interested in reading more.

  3. Hi
    I had to have a little, but very affectionate, chuckle when you said about working very hard not to stress, obsess etc. Sounds like you could obsess about not obsessing if you aren't careful!
    Can you tell I am feeling better today!

  4. Hi Lizzie!

    I am glad you are feeling better! You are right though, I don't want to find myself obsessing over not obsessing!

    Sometimes asking too many questions to myself creates issues that wasn't even there to begin with.

    Need to learn to turn my brain off when it starts going like that!