Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When Life Gets Hard

     So what do you do when you feel hatred sneaking up in your heart? When bitterness silently steals your happiness? Well, I should know because this pretty much sums up my 2014. It was a toughie. If I'm being honest, making it to January 1st felt like a marathon where I finished last. 2014 was one nasty, school yard bully of a year. Why? Because I allowed myself to hold on to grudges and those grudges turned into dark clouds that followed me around every day. Don't worry, I wasn't trying to jump off any buildings, but life did get blurry for awhile and I struggled with trying to find myself. 
     The WORST thing about holding grudges is that the person(s) who hurt you so deeply has NO IDEA. They are just living life without a care in the world while you wake up every morning with the weight of the world on your shoulders. And you guys. That weight is so heavy

     So how do you do it? How do you move on from this? Can you recover? Obviously on January 1st I didn't magically wake up and find all the hatred and bitterness had been left in the previous year. But I did make a commitment to stop allowing these old wounds to continue to hurt me. How? I have no idea. I'm going to need a lot of help from my Savior. I'm also grateful to know I have a kind husband who is always around to hug me tight when I get lose sight of my commitment and a sensitive dog who oh so grossly sweetly licks away my tears when they sneak out of my eyes.

    It's hard to hurt so deeply and never hear the words we all learned at an early age- I'm sorry. But then again, when you're years in and you still haven't gotten that apology, it probably means it took the wrong train and got lost along the way. Aka- IT AINT COMING. I am going to try so hard in this new year to accept the apologies I never got. 

     Friends. Life gets hard. There are so many beautiful, happy moments and I am so grateful for those. But unfortunately we also have to endure the not so happy ones, too. You know the days I'm talking about. Those days where the worst mistake you make is getting on social media to find out that everyone else has it going on except you. Or those days when you've watched Netflix for so long the "Do you want to continue?" button pops up and you just yell at the Tv-ITS MY LIFE I CAN DO WHAT I WANT. Or when your favorite dog rings his potty bell seven times in one hour and you're suddenly considering putting him up for adoption. The days you look in the washer and realize you've forgotten a load of wet clothes in there for a good week now and it smells so bad you're wondering if they are going to get out and walk themselves to the dryer. Or even the days when you find yourself crying out of nowhere because you have allowed bitterness to sneak in and steal away your happiness.

     The weight of the world is heavy. But I know that I do not have to carry it alone. In this new year I am choosing joy over everything else. I am weeding out all the hatred and bitterness that snuck into my life.  I choose light. I choose forgiveness. I choose joy. Will you? 

     "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Financial Goals 2015

   I was kind of nervous to write this post because talking about money is such a personal matter, but I feel like if I throw this all out into the universe it will make me accountable for something. Justin and I spent two weeks in Florida for Christmas and then a long weekend in Indiana to wrap our vacation up. If you do the math you will see we spent a total of 53 hours in the car together. In those 53 hours we only had two fights, and both of them were about whose turn it was to drive. Since we survived and are still married I consider it to be a very successful trip. :p We basically had a LOT of time to talk about personal and financial goals for our family in 2015.   

 When we lived in Florida we did ok, but we kind of just wandered around aimlessly with no real goals or aspirations. We ate out almost everyday and bought stupid stuff. Our savings account was almost non existent if I'm just being honest. When Justin was offered a job in Boston his paychecks were a lot more than we were used to and we decided it was time to start being a little more grown up with our finances. We celebrated financial milestones and we were really proud of ourselves! However we still haven't learned how to tell ourselves "No". I think it may be even harder now because frankly, we don't have to. For example, we live right behind a super nice outdoor mall with great shops and restaurants. If I want a new pair of jeans, I don't even hesitate to walk across the street and spend $80 on a new pair. If we run out of soap in our bathrooms, right across the street I go to Bath and Body Works to spend $30 on soap for every bathroom and kitchen. And I never sweat it because I know we have the money to do those things. But here is where my thinking has shifted recently. I don't want to do those things anymore. I want to learn to tell myself NO. To be content with what I have and for that to be enough.   
 I am so proud for the amount of growing up we have done together as husband and wife, and I'm also proud of the financial milestones we've hit, but I want more. I LOVE the quote Dave Ramsey uses "the status symbol of choice is a paid off mortgage" I so want that to be us. I feel like it is easy to get in a rut when it comes to finances. We have a set amount of money we save every month, and even though we could save more-we don't. Instead we eat out, buy whatever the heck we want but don't need, and don't think twice about it. Well until now. Thank god we don't have any serious debt. No student loans, credit cards, etc. We have one car loan, but we hope to have that paid off in the next year or two. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really don't want to be a slave to my stuff. As much as I have been pining over the latest Kate Spade purse and leather watch to match, I know those cutsey items won't be going with me to Heaven.   
 Justin and I hope to start a family in the future (very far away future, sorry Karen) and they will always be our main priority. I want to be able to explore the world and show them all it has to offer, put them in nice schools and teach them the true value of money because I honestly know it. I don't want our kids wrapped up in the latest and greatest, "Tommy has these shoes so I really have to have them too!" I want to live a happy, comfortable life without the stress of having things we will always be in debt to.   
 So this new year comes a fresh start and a chance for me to learn the true meaning of NO. I am really excited because we have just started Dave Ramsey's envelope system and I cannot wait to see how it goes. I have a feeling Justin may have to talk me off a couple of bridges and pry a couple of purses out of my hands every once in a while, but I am super pumped about the future. We have a couple of pretty big moments coming up this year and we can't wait to tackle them hand in hand with a new outlook on our finances.

2015 Financial Goals
  • Don't be a slave to stuff. Pass up that designer purse that is only a fraction of the price at TJ Maxx. Stop trying to justify it by previous statement. :p
  • Save more by spending less. The envelope system is going to be tough, but so worth it. 
  • Get creative with date nights to cut costs down.
  • Less drive-thru trips. My wallet and tummy will thank me for this.
  • Collect moments, not things. 

Sounds reasonable enough, right? I will be honest, I'm a little nervous. I really hope I don't fail miserably. I'm already getting a little depressed thinking about not going to the mall to buy Welly socks to match my Hunter Boots. Well I can, but it will take me a few weeks to save my "pocket money" from this envelope system to do so. haha! Do you have any goals this year?