“We may not have a lot, but we have plenty.”
This has been my mantra for a few months now. As predicted by some BAD readers, Princess has definitely been exposed to the “rich and fancy” lifestyle some of the kids at her private school experience on a day to day basis. Thankfully, she has a good head on her shoulders and we have had lots of money and priority talks over the last few years that it hasn’t turned her head too much. But there are definitely occasions where I can tell it gets to her.
I am learning that the key to my “financial freedom” is contentment. In creating and living a life I love and truly enjoy, I am far less suspect to be so focused on the next…
By that I mean, in the past, I was always focused and working towards the next experience, the next trip, the next big thing…all which is entailed spending money, sometimes lots of it.
And by being content and present in a life I love, I don’t feel the draw of so many of the pitfalls I dealt with, or failed to deal with before. I do not feel the need to “shop” or “compete” or “keep up.”
I am happy with our rental house and the home we have made out of it. It’s not fancy or in a great neighborhood, but it’s solid and reliable, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We have privacy and a yard. And have just enough room for us.
I love my job. And especially on cold winter days, getting to work in my recliner, under a blanket with my warm fuzzy socks on. My clients’ work and lives are fascinating and varied. And as much as I miss all our travel, I am getting to help them plan some amazing trips, so maybe someday, I will be in that place again. But for now, can live vicariously through them and get the satisfaction of a job well done.
The kids are happy and thriving. History Buff has finally completed high school and is preparing to begin college while continuing to work part time. It sounds like he will be following in Sea Cadet’s footsteps and spending a year with Americorp. (Not writing that in stone as he seems to change his plans every couple of days, but he is making plans.)
Princess is doing amazing at her new school. Captain of the volleyball team, now a cheerleader and headed to her first dance this weekend. She is chomping at the bit and continuing to prove trustworthy and what a good she has on her shoulders.
Gymnast has decided to come for Christmas after all and will land Christmas night. I haven’t seen him since the end of the July, so his week and a half visit is much needed. But he seems to be thriving with his dad and is now wrestling on the high school team.
Sea Cadet is loving his experience with Americorps and has truly gotten to do some amazing things. He’s made noises about doing a second year. But again, who knows what he will decide when it comes to the end of his commitment (in May-ish.)
All This Leads To
Maybe it’s that the kids are older and more independent. Perhaps it’s the significant change in our activity levels. Maybe it’s that I’m cooking more and enjoying trying new recipes. Maybe it’s just finally getting tired of all the stress that financial mess gave me, and finally making big changes and learning to say no.
But the contentment I feel in my life now, well, it’s had the biggest affect on my money. And my ability to hold on to it longer. Save it. Make better long term choices.
In business, I’ve always been told to work a job, you don’t need a vacation from. That is what I’m doing. And the same principle applies to life. And that’s what I’m doing there too. It’s been life altering, more than any budget or game or challenge that I’ve done before.