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  • FIRST POST
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    • 5,637Posts
    • 28,980Thanks
    AlexLK
    Renovations and Repayments.
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    Renovations and Repayments. 8th Mar 15 at 11:07 PM
    Hello and welcome to visitors familiar with my journey thus far and are surprised to see me on such a sensible board and a further warm welcome to the new faces wondering what they've let themselves in for.

    Let me begin by clarifying a few points: the first one is I am not sure whether I'm actually serious or not about clearing my mortgage and the second is the fact my house needs quite a bit of work doing to it. This work I do myself and in the time my wife and I have lived in the house we've learnt all kinds of new skills. The current project involves renewing the windows and I am making the frames myself, two are done and I'm pleased to say look great.

    I plan to use this mortgage free (how very grown up) diary to document the renovations and my savings activities, out of which overpayments may or may not be made. However, I am fully committed to long term saving and making as much money as possible. A long term goal of mine is to add to the BTL portfolio I shall one day inherit and am already becoming more involved in which is perhaps a good reason to pay my mortgage off and make my current property into an investment.

    Aside from the recent interest in moneysaving I have a four year old son, run my own company, play and teach the violin and piano whilst studying for my own interest. Oh and don't mention the cars.

    Those familiar with my debt-free diary will know I'm not exactly great at record keeping but am trying to improve, so please don't expect the detailed financial updates others seem to put on here. To kick things off, I suppose I ought to confess the mortgage debt is a total of circa 185,000 and I have no real timescale or plan in mind to pay it off.

    Sorry if this is not a particularly articulate introduction, as I seem to be at a loss how to tailor it to both those who've read my debt free diary and to new readers frequenting mortgage free.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
Page 138
    • Dansmam
    • By Dansmam 15th Mar 17, 12:28 AM
    • 509 Posts
    • 1,748 Thanks
    Dansmam
    Father will be on his best behaviour, I'm sure! Already he's thanked me for the opportunity to talk to others about the old days and has made me promise to invite him to speak about the old days to a class of my own one day if his health doesn't deteriorate. He has a lot of respect for teachers. [/QUOTE]

    😉 Way to go Alex. It's all working out for you and yours and you're sounding so happy I have a slight dampness about the lower eyelid. It may of course be a seasonal cold or such 😆
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 15th Mar 17, 12:31 AM
    • 873 Posts
    • 1,994 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    I suppose I already know the course is going to be dominated by 21 year old girls (I'm training in primary)
    Originally posted by AlexLK

    I think you might be surprised! A good friend of mine has just retrained in primary at 35, and my uncle did his PGCE at 50 and is now teaching maths after decades in business.

    A lot of the younger ones who want to go into primary will do the 4 year BEd I expect.

    I could never have contemplated teaching kids, I've just not got the temperament for it! I do absolutely love teaching student nurses though, its a fantastic feeling to see them do well and use the knowledge and skills they've got from you. I really do hope you enjoy the course, wherever it leads!
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 15th Mar 17, 11:16 PM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    Total Grocery Spend: 155/>450.
    Surplus Money: 0/750. Mrs K and I need to discuss.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 13/31.
    Meditation: 13/31. Only doing the one minute meditation as and when at the moment.
    One new recipe per week: 2/4.
    Read three books: 0/3. Not doing well with this.
    3 Things for Thursday: 1. Get up and ready for school / work without rushing around, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Try another youtube meditation (determined to do this at some point). Same as Monday as I've not really got anywhere with any of the targets as I've been really busy. Plus, I need to send some documents.

    We had a meal out tonight. Had a good time apart from I've had a headache so bad this evening that I feel quite sick. Really hope I don't have this tomorrow as I have to go to volunteer school to listen to not only the good violinists but the beginner ones.

    My parents apologised for their selfishness this evening. Father did really well and provided an engaging, informative and entertaining talk. The children seemed to love the clockwork locomotives most of all. When father went, the class teacher asked me if he spoke to me about the old days much. At the point of saying "yes", she said I was lucky and she bet I really enjoyed hearing about it. I said something along the lines of well, not when he's calling saying there's an emergency, only to be told when I'm there that he remembers the registration plate of a car he had 50 years ago.

    Mrs K and I really need to discuss our finances for the month to see how much we can put to one side for the bathroom. It's looking good so far but we've yet to discuss the actual amount. Don't seem to have much time at the moment. Not sure if it's a time management issue or just that we're trying to fit too much into each day. Tomorrow is my son's parents evening and my wife is coming too; she decided she wanted to.

    Father will be on his best behaviour, I'm sure! Already he's thanked me for the opportunity to talk to others about the old days and has made me promise to invite him to speak about the old days to a class of my own one day if his health doesn't deteriorate. He has a lot of respect for teachers.
    Originally posted by Dansmam
    😉 Way to go Alex. It's all working out for you and yours and you're sounding so happy I have a slight dampness about the lower eyelid. It may of course be a seasonal cold or such 😆[/QUOTE]



    Things do seem to be going well at the moment.

    I think you might be surprised! A good friend of mine has just retrained in primary at 35, and my uncle did his PGCE at 50 and is now teaching maths after decades in business.

    A lot of the younger ones who want to go into primary will do the 4 year BEd I expect.

    I could never have contemplated teaching kids, I've just not got the temperament for it! I do absolutely love teaching student nurses though, its a fantastic feeling to see them do well and use the knowledge and skills they've got from you. I really do hope you enjoy the course, wherever it leads!
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Thank you, Red Squirrel.

    You may be right re. the BEd. To be honest, it doesn't really matter to me who happens to be on my course. I can't say I care if I'm the only one over 30 or if everyone else is female.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 16th Mar 17, 11:14 PM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    Total Grocery Spend: 175/>450. Doing very well with this.
    Surplus Money: 750/750. We're on track with this.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 14/31.
    Meditation: 14/31.
    One new recipe per week: 2/4. Need to come up with something for next week. Any suggestions? Maman, yours are usually good.
    Read three books: 0/3. Hardly finding any time to read.
    3 Things for Friday: 1. Get up and ready for school / work without rushing around, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Switch off for an hour - relax.

    3 Things for Thursday: 1. Get up and ready for school / work without rushing around, 2. Find three things to smile about, 1. My wife came to the parents evening with me, 2. The headache had gone by this morning, 3. I had a good night's sleep. 3. Try another youtube meditation (determined to do this at some point) Tried one for negative thoughts. Felt myself slipping into the default of being negative about my life this evening, so searched for a guided meditation rather than thinking about everything I've done 'wrong'.. Same as Monday as I've not really got anywhere with any of the targets as I've been really busy. Busy today too but had a little more time. Plus, I need to send some documents.Still need to do this. Tomorrow is a quiet day.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 17th Mar 17, 9:40 PM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    Total Grocery Spend: 175/>450. Doing very well with this.
    Surplus Money: 750/750. We're on track with this.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 15/31.
    Meditation: 15/31.
    One new recipe per week: 2/4. Need to come up with something for next week. Any suggestions? Maman, yours are usually good.
    Read three books: 0/3. Hardly finding any time to read.
    3 Things for Saturday: 1. Try to have a relaxing day, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Do the negative thoughts meditation again.

    3 Things for Friday: 1. Get up and ready for school / work without rushing around, This went well today. 2. Find three things to smile about, 1. Son has decided he wants to swap the LR Defender for a Ferrari Testarossa when he is 17 (saw one the other day). I told him he better forget having a life, get working at my cousin's everyday for the next 11 years and become best friends with my parents. He said a red Spitfire would do instead. , 2. Met my wife for lunch, 3. I didn't feel bad telling my son I won't just give him anything he wants, did tell him an 80's Ferrari shows questionable taste at best though. 3. Switch off for an hour - relax.Turned into a 10 hour day of being out of the house.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 17th Mar 17, 11:03 PM
    • 5,610 Posts
    • 38,444 Thanks
    newgirly
    He has a good eye for cars Alex, 80's is the new 60's isn't it?
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 38,545 / 10,784 paid so far

    Mortgage 49,452 4 years 10 months left. Total owed 69,512 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weightwatchers target - 29.5 lb start date 11/5/17 so far 5.5lb lost
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 18th Mar 17, 11:40 PM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    Total Grocery Spend: 175/>450. Doing very well with this.
    Surplus Money: 750/750. We're on track with this.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 15/31. Failed miserably yesterday.
    Meditation: 16/31.
    One new recipe per week: 2/4. Need to come up with something for next week. Any suggestions? Maman, yours are usually good.
    Read three books: 0/3. Hardly finding any time to read.
    3 Things for Sunday: 1. Try to have a relaxing day, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Do the negative thoughts meditation again.

    Not had a good day, today. Been feeling very negative about the house and about my life in general.

    He has a good eye for cars Alex, 80's is the new 60's isn't it?
    Originally posted by newgirly
    I'm not a big fan of 80's cars, to be honest.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 19th Mar 17, 8:58 AM
    • 5,610 Posts
    • 38,444 Thanks
    newgirly
    Please read your march targets Alex, you have reason to feel pleased about those

    I would expect nothing less from you Alex, I'm just sad you have gone through your teenage years not lusting after a nice juicy Capri or a golf gti convertible, or a fiesta xr2i
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 38,545 / 10,784 paid so far

    Mortgage 49,452 4 years 10 months left. Total owed 69,512 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weightwatchers target - 29.5 lb start date 11/5/17 so far 5.5lb lost
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 19th Mar 17, 9:51 PM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    Total Grocery Spend: 175/>450. NEED to go food shopping tomorrow.
    Surplus Money: 750/750. We're on track with this.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 16/31. Managed to go to bed at a sensible time but couldn't sleep.
    Meditation: 17/31.
    One new recipe per week: 3/4.
    Read three books: 0/3. Hardly finding any time to read.
    3 Things for Monday: 1. Go food shopping, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Do the negative thoughts meditation again.

    3 Things for Sunday: 1. Try to have a relaxing day, This just doesn't seem to be happening at the moment.2. Find three things to smile about, 1. Enjoyed a drive out, 2. Dog refusing to give my wife the ball before dropping it by my feet, 3. Managed to make an excellent dinner from things left over in the fridge.3. Do the negative thoughts meditation again Going to do this before I go to bed.

    Saw my brother-in-law and his family today. Wife's brother was not very nice to her (they used to be very close) and she's been very upset since. To cut a long story short, my wife confided in him around Christmas and he didn't like her actions which led to my son and I temporarily leaving. I can see him going back to not liking me very much after telling him it was our choice to give the marriage another go and that is a choice I am so far pleased I made. He likes to interfere in other people's lives and tell them what (he believes) is the "right" thing to do. Wife has been struggling with guilt from some of her past actions recently and this has really knocked her down.

    We did manage to talk about the bathroom project this evening, though and I am coming around to Mrs K's way of thinking as it would be nice to have some of the more modern features, thinking practically. Our target is to have the job completed this summer.

    Please read your march targets Alex, you have reason to feel pleased about those

    I would expect nothing less from you Alex, I'm just sad you have gone through your teenage years not lusting after a nice juicy Capri or a golf gti convertible, or a fiesta xr2i
    Originally posted by newgirly
    Thanks, NG. I am pleased with the March targets, in general.

    I don't mind Capris but wouldn't part with money for one. My son seems to be getting his taste in cars from my wife. We met at a classic car show, I turned up in the GT6, she had a BMW E30 325i. Being young and stupid, she won dinner in a street race ... am quite surprised to this day that she waited for me, to be honest. She keeps talking about getting either an E30 325i Mtec2 in red, an E36 M3 coupe in techno violet purple or a Z4M... our son seems to like all of the above. I'd rather go for the delinquent's choice of the 60's: a Jaguar Mk.2 3.8 MOD.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 19th Mar 17, 10:20 PM
    • 5,610 Posts
    • 38,444 Thanks
    newgirly
    You do both have very different taste in cars
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 38,545 / 10,784 paid so far

    Mortgage 49,452 4 years 10 months left. Total owed 69,512 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weightwatchers target - 29.5 lb start date 11/5/17 so far 5.5lb lost
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 19th Mar 17, 10:46 PM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    She also likes old British cars and enjoys driving them. These days she drives the GT6 more than I do. I'll admit I have enjoyed driving the BMWs she's had over the years, it's just the image I don't like. Everyone wants to race you (or they did 7-10 years ago) and the police are far too interested. I recall drifting an MGB around a roundabout during my misspent youth and getting a thumbs up from a policeman... doing that in a BMW would have probably led to losing my licence. Mrs K could get away with it. Last BMW we sold was a Z3 2.8i which was great fun, would recommend, especially to someone not too mechanically minded and with a garage space awaiting.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 20th Mar 17, 7:47 AM
    • 5,610 Posts
    • 38,444 Thanks
    newgirly
    Have you been stalking me Alex! A z3 (2.0l though) has just gone up for sale two days ago in the road next to ours, a 1997 black with a new hood for 2k in good condition - not my cup of tea but dh would like it, I very nearly took a walk to have a proper look but stayed strong
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 38,545 / 10,784 paid so far

    Mortgage 49,452 4 years 10 months left. Total owed 69,512 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weightwatchers target - 29.5 lb start date 11/5/17 so far 5.5lb lost
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 9:57 AM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I think the 2.0ltr is a 4 cylinder. I'll ask Mrs K and report back. 6 cylinder BMW engines are lovely, if you've not had a car with a BMW 6 pot from the 90s-00s I'd definitely recommend it.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 20th Mar 17, 12:25 PM
    • 7,419 Posts
    • 16,286 Thanks
    heartbreak_star
    I'm really enjoying reading your posts Alex. I think it's only natural that you'll have up days and down days - after a bit of bullying at work I was feeling rather negative myself - but at the end of the day life plods on and we all do our best. Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law being a pain though!

    Take care of you and yours

    HBS x
    I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

    #JC4PM
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 6:15 PM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I'm really enjoying reading your posts Alex. I think it's only natural that you'll have up days and down days - after a bit of bullying at work I was feeling rather negative myself - but at the end of the day life plods on and we all do our best. Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law being a pain though!

    Take care of you and yours

    HBS x
    Originally posted by heartbreak_star
    Sorry to hear about the bullying. Some people just do not seem to be able to grow beyond petty insults.

    I am starting to think you're right about everyone doing their best. I don't think any of us deliberately set out to do badly in life, though sometimes we just aren't equipped to cope at that particular time or things happen which lead us down the wrong path. Saw an old schoolfriend today. He's had a lot of problems mainly related to using cocaine: only after losing his wife, family and being on the verge of losing his career and home has he decided enough is enough. I don't think he ever set out for such troubles to be a part of his life. Mind, if whilst we've been on the subject of BMWs recently, he has a new 430d which costs c.400 per month but is really struggling to pay his mortgage. I only found out the car was a contract lease after telling him to sell it and get a bit more financially secure. Yes, I've learnt something from this place.

    Mrs K isn't in a good place after yesterday. My wife is usually a really good sleeper but was up at 1.30am last night. Managed to get her back to sleep with one of the youtube meditations ... they do seem to work.

    Somehow I've managed to become the sane, rational one with the advice to give. Now that really is a scary thought.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • kelpie35
    • By kelpie35 20th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    • 1,393 Posts
    • 4,293 Thanks
    kelpie35
    Somehow I've managed to become the sane, rational one with the advice to give. Now that really is a scary thought.

    You talk yourself down Alex, you have so much to offer people. You are such a kind, caring and honest person.

    Hope your wife feels better today, at least she has the love of you and her son.

    Take care
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 20th Mar 17, 6:51 PM
    • 16,344 Posts
    • 106,972 Thanks
    gallygirl
    Somehow I've managed to become the sane, rational one with the advice to give. Now that really is a scary thought.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    . Sorry Mrs LK is suffering. A little bit of 'us against the world' may actually pull you all closer as a team and I'm sure she appreciates you telling him to butt out (though no doubt said much more eloquently ).

    BTW, the ospreys are returning and it was the 21st last year that Maya came back. Just looked on webcam and nest is empty - but I see they have 'tied' the nest together. Hmmm, not sure I agree with that.......
    Save
    Save
    Last edited by gallygirl; 20-03-2017 at 6:53 PM.
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    Mortgage Balance = 0
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 20th Mar 17, 8:21 PM
    • 5,610 Posts
    • 38,444 Thanks
    newgirly
    Stop trying to get me to buy cars Alex, mortgage first, cars second (usually)

    Heartbreak star I hope things improve at work for you
    MFW 21
    Target for 2017 38,545 / 10,784 paid so far

    Mortgage 49,452 4 years 10 months left. Total owed 69,512 planning to clear in 18 months
    Weightwatchers target - 29.5 lb start date 11/5/17 so far 5.5lb lost
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 11:31 PM
    • 5,637 Posts
    • 28,980 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    OSPREYS - CHECK. Son will be devastated if I keep forgeting, they come back and he misses following them until I remember.
    Total Grocery Spend: 210/>450. Don't seem to be able to spend my money ... What is wrong with me?
    Surplus Money: 750/750. Transferred to savings. I'll have to make a new signature as we have saved money in 2017. Wife did really well in January and February which gave us a good start. We're not overpaying anything this month (MFW, so should be. Yes, yes I know ) as we want to finally get the house completed and make it a family home rather than seeing as something to sell. My son loves it here, I suppose it's a bit more child friendly and less intimidating.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 17/31. Going to bed after this.
    Meditation: 18/31.
    One new recipe per week: 3/4.
    Read three books: 0/3. Have read tonight but not enough to finish the book. It's a dense text book about keeping marine aquariums and I'm finding it a bit hard going. Wife finished a book this evening.
    3 Things for Tuesday: 1. Be on time, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Get up in time to play some duets with my son before school.

    3 Things for Monday: 1. Go food shopping Done. , 2. Find three things to smile about, 1. Had an hour to relax, 2. Seen an old schoolfriend, 3. I seem to have become the sane, rational one giving advice. Yes, me. 3. Do the negative thoughts meditation again Done. Seemed to have personally succeeded in being a useful being today.

    Somehow I've managed to become the sane, rational one with the advice to give. Now that really is a scary thought.

    You talk yourself down Alex, you have so much to offer people. You are such a kind, caring and honest person.

    Hope your wife feels better today, at least she has the love of you and her son.

    Take care
    Originally posted by kelpie35
    Thank you. I am trying to be a better person in recent years.

    My wife is really struggling. She told me today that she thinks she did some of the things she did because she couldn't deal with other things that were happening. After our son went to bed, she spent an hour getting very upset. Seems it's my turn to look after her. We have counselling tomorrow and have talked about individually having counselling after we have stopped the couples counselling.

    . Sorry Mrs LK is suffering. A little bit of 'us against the world' may actually pull you all closer as a team and I'm sure she appreciates you telling him to butt out (though no doubt said much more eloquently ).

    BTW, the ospreys are returning and it was the 21st last year that Maya came back. Just looked on webcam and nest is empty - but I see they have 'tied' the nest together. Hmmm, not sure I agree with that.......
    Save
    Save
    Originally posted by gallygirl
    Tonight she told me she wants to be more involved with our family life (she is certainly trying to be) but is concerned that puts her in the "pathetic little wifey" category. I said I want nothing more than for us to be a team and her continued efforts only make me see her in a more positive light. Found myself saying the three of us are the most important people in our world. No, not my parents. My wife did appreciate how I handled things with my brother-in-law. I find him intolerable at times and I'm sure he's not as perfect as he tries to present himself to the rest of the world.

    Osprey reminder made. Seeing some things I need to do and targets to be reached everyday on here seems to be helping me to do the right thing a little more often... can't get away from it and seems to make me accountable. Hopefully that will transfer to actually PAYING DOWN THE MORTGAGE...

    Stop trying to get me to buy cars Alex, mortgage first, cars second (usually)

    Heartbreak star I hope things improve at work for you
    Originally posted by newgirly
    I gave someone that piece of advice today.
    Savings 2017: 2000. Overpayments 2017: 500.
    Saved 11,000 in 2015, 9,800 in 2016.
    From 32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 20th Mar 17, 11:58 PM
    • 873 Posts
    • 1,994 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    I said I want nothing more than for us to be a team and her continued efforts only make me see her in a more positive light. Found myself saying the three of us are the most important people in our world. No, not my parents. My wife did appreciate how I handled things with my brother-in-law.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Can I just say...

    Also, just to add...

    Lastly...

    Really pleased to read the above, especially the bolded. I'm so impressed with the way you've adjusted your way of thinking recently and delighted that you seem to be so much happier.

    (I promise I don't normally communicate in little smiley animations, but they seemed the most appropriate for this post!)
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