After charging myself into a credit card hole after the dot-com bust, I’ve been living a life of self-denial for the past four years. In 2009, I was trying to save up for a trip, while having both my salary reduced and no holiday bonus to pad the income. This year, I dumped all the stock I owned of my former employer and split part of my savings into a relocation fund. I also have another account which I used as my emergency trip fund.

Tickets to Hawai"i are expensive on any day, but when you have to get one at a moment’s notice, it costs a huge chunk of change. So I kept this account above $1K for as much as possible.

Well, it came in handy this past month, and now the emergency has passed.

I find myself thinking about getting things I’ve been putting off because I never knew when I had to tap that fund. I’ve got a 10-year-old copy of Microsoft Office that needs upgrading. I would mind getting a TiVo compatible with my LCD TV. I’ve been meaning to learn Flex, and I could probably think about getting a smart phone.

It feels weird.

My dad has traditionally served as a symbolic obstacle between me and things I want out of my life, mainly because he was less symbolic about it when I was younger. I put off a lot of little things because I was waiting for my dad to die. Now that he’s gone, I can start thinking about those things again.

And still I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.