Big thanks to the commenters on the previous post. I try to keep my whining to a minimum, but I was just overwhelmed yesterday by vehicular concerns. Of course, they wouldn't have affected me as strongly if I didn't always have monetary concerns anyway. I admittedly worry way more than any normal person should. I've got to figure out a way to roll with life's little challenges better, otherwise it'll be death by ulcer for this blogger.
Anyway, after a sleepless night I'm feeling a bit better. The van only needed a battery. Still a steep $120 hit to the wallet, but it could have been worse and I'm thankful that the vehicle that transports wife and kids is back to good. I'll call a dealership where I used to work about mine and see if they think it's clutch related. If so, it might still be under warranty from a previous fix. If it's not that, then maybe it's the battery or the alternator. I can deal with that as well. And if I can't afford the fix immediately, a friend at work who lives near me is happy to be my ride for a week or so.
The only real drag for me is that we just aren't better prepared for these little setbacks. I'm almost forty, I've been in the workforce for almost twenty years, and I don't feel like I've got much to show for it. If my family wasn't so awesome, maybe I wouldn't stress about it so much. But I couldn't have married a more patient and loving woman. She's all kinds of perfect and I want her to have an easier life. Of course, it is what it is and we both continue to work full-time, raise the kids, and barely see each other as we keep kicking around trying to pay the bills and keep the family safe, smart, and strong.
We'll make it. I'd rather have the love than the money rather than the other way around. And thanks again to my friends who read and comment here. You're all invaluable.