So, Annie gave up naps, and it's thrown me for quite the loop. When do I blog?? I have yet to answer this question! Sorry about the apparent lack of a Mental Monday...it may be a Mental Friday (if you are good). My friend Hillary asked me yesterday how I balance it all. Training, cleaning, cooking, child raising. I was very flattered, because that must mean that somebody sees me as having it all together. Ha! But then I thought a little bit and realized that yes, I do keep it togheter, quite well given my circumstances sometimes. However, I also thought about my mom friends who work and train (Michelle, Lindsay). Now they REALLY have it together!
As I thought about it and wrote up a detailed brain dump response I realized that besides all the help and support I get, a big reason I can keep all the balls in the air is due to our levels of consumption. We have made A LOT of changes over the past two years and EVERY single one of them has added value to our life. Each change we made was made one at a time. We would take one step in what we thought was a forward direction and then we would look around cautiously. We would assess, run the numbers, and slowly would realize that we had created a little more time for ourselves, or a few more resources. With that time, or those resources, we would have the clarity to look for the next step.
The downsizing that we went through as a family started with the need to get into a smaller residence so we could afford for me to stay home. Hence the move from a 2,400 square feet home to a 1,000 square foot apartment in July 2006. It was out of need but it freed up commuting time, and mortgage money. We felt a little more freedom. We then further realized that we were wasting money, earth's resources, and time on the two trucks we owned and downsized to ONE reliable used Subaru in February 2007. Then came the de-junking of the garage to try to fit the new (to us) car into it. Lots of craigslisting, lots of passing along no longer used STUFF to those who could use it (boy did that warm our hearts and clean our garage at the same time). Some stuff moved from the garage up to the apartment, so then the apartment needed de-junking...more craigslisting, more warm fuzzy feelings. We sold our wine cellar to a guy who was using it to hibernate his turtles! I still think about those happy hibernating turtles all the time. I cleaned out my closet and donated or gave away all the clothes that were too small or too big. It felt so good to be able to give away clothing that others could use. A big Ah-hah moment for us was realizing that rather than keeping something because we MAY use it again, we got more pleasure out of giving it away or selling it cheaply to someone we knew was going to use it. Stuff started flying from our home after that realization. Major Ah-Hah.
Lastly came the de-junking of our finances in December 2007. Troy and I wanted to have the money to do what made us genuinely happy and therefore our monthly expenses had to be lowered. All the frivolous spending had to go out the window. Our debt needed to go, our Credit Cards needed to be cut up, we needed to find a way to be financially secure for the rest of lives, we consulted many a overview, testimonials and review of lexington law for credit repair. To have a purpose with our money and FIRST and FOREMOST to make sure that the people we give our money to (through our purchases) are the kinds of people that do the right thing with it. This was a major ah-hah and has made our marriage so much stronger. In order to pay off our debts rapidly, save properly for future prosperity, and finance our passions, we now live on less that half of what Troy brings home. But, we are now truly rich!
So what did all of this de-junking and simplifying do for us? It changed our lifestyle and it created TIME. Time for each other, time for projects, time to sit and talk, time for play, time to exercise. You see, both your TIME and your MONEY are an opportunity. You have the opportunity to spend your time doing what you love, and rather than seeing our purchases as just spending money to get what we want, we see it as putting our money into the hands of people who will use it responsibly and in a manner consistent with our values. Your money is an opportunity to share your finances with others who share your values. For us, this is the golden ticket!