Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 12: Being Present

My dreams for this month are coming true. Slowing down and connecting my family has been a natural bi-product. I read this could happen and wondered how changing what we spent would translate into changing how we felt, but lo and behold, it's happening. This is super gratifying for me because so much of life feels like shots in the dark, whether it be parenting choices or financial planning. I feel I never know where my arrows land; if my efforts were effective or a complete miss. The idea of measurable goals makes me crazy because nothing I do is measurable. There are no annual reports or employee evaluations. The egocentric feedback of six-year-olds isn't terribly reliable. So to be able to see a difference that happened because of something I'm doing (with my amazing husband) is something akin to say, euphoria. 

I imagine you asking, because I'm still asking, How? And before I answer that, I should qualify. We chose a month where our schedule was naturally emptier (especially prior to my mom breaking her wrists). No major projects, no trips, no "the weather's turned cold and my kids have no pants!"  That being said, I feel certain we've crazed through past "emptier" months. 

Taking extra shopping errands out of the equation has made a difference, but the bigger difference is the vacation from the goal of wise acquiring. I don't consider myself a spontaneous shopper. (I was six months ago, so if you are, there's seriously hope.) Now I prefer to avoid the fun side of Super Targets so I'm not lured in by the new colors of clothes, dish towels, gift bags, and lamps. But even frugality gets stressful, trying to figure out when to make my planned purchases to spend as little as possible. Running all over town to find deals - it all saps me. For thirty days, I'm free to exist - gliding along, using what we have.  

Pondering tonight, what I really don't want to end are the moments when I'm present and enjoying myself even though very little's "happening." Four of the cousins are interacting and I smile inside. I say something funny to Brian and we laugh. Now, this is weird for me. I'm a production-oriented person. I love to finish a project and struggle to enjoy the process. 

If nothing's getting accomplished, I'm not having fun. If I didn't accomplish anything today, I'm tempted to feel badly about myself. Probably why God sent Brian my way. Divine intervention was necessary to get me to take a break. And realize life and joy comes from people, not crossing off my To Dos. This month? I've actually skipped sweeping floors to read. After all, when I do clean, they will be just as clean as if I'd cleaned them every day, right? Anyone?

Total spent: 0.00
Fun money total: 10.51


  1. lol, I often skip sweeping the floors to read. I can relate to your feeling badly unless you've crossed off all the things on your To DO list too. I am a very conflicted personality: Melancholy Phlegmatic. Which means I am a laid back, uptight person. Ha!

  2. I'm melancholy-choleric so i'm an uptight, uptight person. ;)