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We were just interviewed by NPR.

We had the pleasure of being interviewed on Saturday by Uri Berliner.

Doby Photography/NPR
He oversees coverage of business and the economy for NPR.

Amazewife and I both felt nervous. We had:

  1. Never been interviewed before, and
  2. have been NPR nerds for a long time.

One of Amazewife's colleagues from her time at the Daily Nebraskan works for NPR. She had followed our struggle and pitched our experience to Uri as a story idea.

He arrived at our home around 10 AM. We exchanged pleasantries. He explained what to expect. We asked where he'd like to sit.

The interview begins

We pulled up a chair so he could sit in front of us. He wore Studio Monitor headphones and held a digital recorder attached to a long, hand-held microphone. We sat down on our brown couch, situated in front of and facing away from our large living-room window.

We dove in.

He asked about why we did it. What motivated us. What was the moment when we decided to get out of debt. Tell me about your schedule. You worked how many jobs? But what about time with the kids? I read your blog. I found it entertaining. Is it a blog or a diary? This one part stuck out to me, Meredith, could you read this here...

Then he stopped. His gaze focused on something outside.

"Sorry," he said. He gestured toward the window. "Your neighbor. Leaf blower."

We hadn't noticed it before. But Uri did, with his giant headphones and microphone.

Our neighbor across the street - having been done mowing for a while - was now blowing grass clippings away from his immaculate walkways. The drone of his motor stuck out against the relative quiet in our home.

We explained that our neighbor was always very good with his yard.

"I can tell," Uri said, smiling. "It looks great. He should relax. Take a break."

"Yeah, maybe," AW and I agreed. We turned around to look out the window.

And there, in our wonderful, simple living room, with Uri Berliner, we watched our neighbor clear his walkways of grass clippings, hoping with every pause that we had heard the last of the blower. And stop he did, eventually.

Reality check

It was comical and really humanized the whole affair for me. I realized at that moment - and later, when he was getting ambient recordings - that this was real. We were being interviewed for something where the presentation of our own voices was important.

I don't have a lot of specifics about the podcast. Sounds like it is still a work in progress. Shoot, it might not even come to light. I'm grateful for the interview, no matter what. It served as a reality check. It helped me see with more clarity the peace that this process has brought in to my life. It also helped us dive into how much we did to get out of debt.

Uri asked toward the end if we would be willing to answer questions on the podcast from others who find themselves in similar situations. We said we would love to.

Others who struggle

Which brings me to the point I wanted to touch on:

You.

No, not you. I'm not talking to you. You are happy with your debt, consumer and otherwise. Or maybe you know it's kind of a mess, but are content carrying a balance on whatever you want. My experience and encouragement provides you no service or benefit. In fact, it challenges your way of life as less than optimal. I support your right to live that way, but I am not talking to you.

I'm talking to you. You're the person that is sick and tired of it. And you know what 'it' is. You're tired of the money fights. The depression. The feeling of being trapped. You're tired of feeling like you're waiting for the next shoe to drop. Like you have to hide your purchases from spouses, children or loved ones.

You couldn't handle an emergency expense over $500, or less. You have a negative net worth, and a positive net worth is beyond your reach because you think you are worthless in general. You want out, but don't know how to get there. Yes, you.

My beautiful wife and I were there. We're not anymore. We found the way out, and want to share it with you. We're on our way on the journey and we're making steps and can help.

That's a big reason why we wanted to do the interview. We are living proof that things are possible and worth it, although they may be very difficult.

Please contact us on Facebook. If you know us personally, send us a Facebook message. Or an email. Or call us. Text us. Wutevs. We want to answer your questions and get you in touch with resources that can help you like they have helped us.

Financial peace is about more than just money. We want you to experience what we mean. Then, who knows. Maybe you'll get to listen to your neighbor doing yardwork with the reporter sitting in your living room, too.

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