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January has been a month of hard choices.
We took the time to calculate exactly how much we would need to make in order to pay off all of our debt in 2018- it is still a lot- around $40,000.
Basically, we have to live off of one salary and throw the rest to debt. Since we already know that we don’t have that much wiggle room and we’ve cut back as much as we are willing to, that means we need to work our butts off.
We both have to bring in $1000 extra a month. My huband hit the mark. I didn’t even come close.
So, to the chopping block, we went. My oils– gone (I can still buy the necessities, just no monthly purchases). The blog-gone (temporarily, which is why I am posting this four months later).
Anything that was taking up time or money and not bringing any in, or wasn’t 100% necessary, was chopped.
This time of reevaluating what really matters has trickled over fomr finances into my personal life. I have really been craving work life balance. Being the (audio) book worm that I am, I started searching the library for answers.
I have spent the month with a quote from “Manage your Time to Reduce Your Stress” by Rita Emmett. I can’t remember exactly how the quote goes, it’s along the lines of “If your life doesn’t line up with your priorities, it will lead you to dis-ease.”
She means discomfort, yes, but also actual disease.
Halfway through the month I had my first, and hopefully last, vertigo attack. Granted, vertigo isn’t serious, but it felt serious. Watching the world spin around me without knowing why while I was home alone with my toddler shouted loud and clear that health and life are fragile.
Health is something we take for granted, while we have it, but it isn’t promised to anyone. If I were to lose my health tomorrow, I would 100% regret all the time I have spent working instead of loving on my family.
Life is not about achievements. It is about people, relationships. Life is not measured in quantity- it is measured by quality.
The other quote/tip from “I Know How She Does It” by Laura Vanderkam that has also gotten under my skin is to be present.
In her book, she studies successful mothers (women who earn $100,000 or more a year and have at least one child). She analyzes what these women do with their time and then summarizes it into actionable tips for us mortal mothers still fguring it all out ;).
Out of all of Vanderkam’s wonderful ideas, the one that has stuck with me is to just be present.
So often, I was home, but only physically. My mind was tangled up in freelance applications, unresolved issues at work, blogging, dinner plans, the friends I keep forgetting to call, etc.
I was here, but not present. Physically, I was playing with my son but I was not actively participating. I was spending time with my family but resenting each moment because I felt like I should be working.
No wonder I ended up feeling sea sick on dry land…I was a whirlwind of misplaced priorities.
Defining What Matters
So, my goal for February is to get life back in order. To place my time where my heart is. First faith, then family and let everything else fall into place from there.
If I work extra, it needs to come with a guaranteed return. I need to take care of my family and enjoy them first. Life is too precious to spend it doing anything else.
Even though we didn’t meet our goal through our own blood sweat and tears, we are able to use Christmas money to make up for the difference.
Yet another reminder that God provides if you step back and let Him. I wonder how many times I am going to have to learn that before I get it?
Are you feeling some dis-ease in your life? Are you struggling to be fully present? Take a break, cut out the fluff and find your answers. Life is too short to spend it living for things that don’t truly matter.
I am a free spirit who learned to use creativity as a key to success in chasing after debt freedom. I am a mom, lover of all things DIY, a little bit of a treehugger and modern-day hippy and an encourager to the core. If you need a little inspiration for your debt free journey, you’ve come to the right place.