Money is always something that requires thought and consideration. If you have lots of money, how are you going to spend it. If you don't have any, how are you going to get some.
Lance and I have been very fortunate with our finances. We both came into the marriage with some money in savings and we both worked hard our first year of marriage to see that savings grow. We lived in cheap apartments, drove vehicles that were falling apart, and got our furniture from the DI. But we didn't care. We were happier scrimping and living cheap to keep our money in the bank.
Fast forward a few years, and we are have both graduated, moved to a new part of the state, replaced both of our vehicles with newer ones, and we are home owners. Oh, and on top of all of that, we have two kids. Most people would say that we are doing pretty good.
And we are.
I truly realize how blessed we are, yet I often get trapped in the unsatisfied stage and wanting more. In fact, it happens on a daily basis. Every time I walk outside, I wish I could go buy those bricks that I want to landscape my yard. Every time I walk into the living room, I wish we could hire someone to install a light so we might actually see. Every time a movie comes out that Lance really wants to see, I wish we didn't have to make ourselves wait 9 months before it was out in Redbox.
I know....I know. This is me being envious, greedy, and not grateful for what I have. The thing is, I love our house. I could see us living here happily for a very long time. And while there any many things that I would love to change/update, I can also be happy with it the way it is. One of the things I have realized, is that certain things don't have a lot of effect on me. Whether my kitchen is slightly outdated or brand new and beautiful, it has little effect on my overall happiness. If we were to spend $10,000 upgrading our bathrooms, my life wouldn't suddenly be perfect. I don't want to live in a huge mansion . I don't need to drive brand new, top of the line cars. I don't want to be rich. We have our basic needs covered, but sometimes I wish we could afford some of our wants.
I simply wish I could do some of the things I want, without it always being such a big deal. I want to have enough money that my kids can play sports, dance, or do whatever activities they want. I want Lance and I to be able to go on a date without worrying about how much dinner will cost and if we can afford a babysitter. I want to not have panic attacks when we have to go to the doctors because we are so sick. I want to do things that help us enjoy life, not just live it.
Deciding how to spend our money is the hardest and most stressful thing in my life. Part of me wants to pay off our vehicles, but a part of me likes having a lot in savings in case of emergency. Part of me says we need to put our money toward food storage and get our year supply built up. But another part of me is so tired and worn down and wants nothing more than to escape our lives and go enjoy a vacation. And I'm always so torn that I can never decide what to do, so we do nothing.
Money doesn't make me happy. Things do not make me happy. I have lived on both ends of the spectrum from being in a home financially well off to practically being homeless. And I can honestly say that most of my happiest and best memories are from the years when we had hit the bottom. It about changing your attitude and your perspective. It's about serving others and not always being so self-centered. Most days I am capable of doing just that. I can see how blessed I am and how fortunate my situation is. I can look at all the problems with my house and shrug them off, knowing we will get to them someday. I can convince myself that having our yard landscaped isn't going to fix all of our problems and make us any happier.
But every once in a while, it is difficult for me to focus on the good and I am left feeling very unsatisfied with my life. I get so caught up in all my projects that I want to do, then get upset or depressed when we don't have the funds to do them. I am sure that Satan would love nothing more than to make me feel like we didn't have enough. To make me want the things of the world enough that I leave my kids to go find a job so we can afford those little extras. To make me constantly in a state of unrest and never feeling content.
It is a constant struggle and one that I am sure will never go away. But I will keep trying my best to appreciate the good and not get so caught up in what we are lacking.