Due to my current job related anxieties (see my post here if you don't know what I'm talking about) I've been thinking a lot the past few days about paring down our lives. I look around my house and I see so much stuff that I never use, never need, and never even think about. And I spent my hard earned money on this junk. Hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars of our money over the course of our marriage.
Ok, so I'm probably the junk-buying culprit. I know. It's something I've been needing to work on.
At any rate, I need to stop spending money on stupid junk we don't need. But it's the "American Dream," right? To buy whatever we want that we don't need, whenever we want to. I've totally bought into this way of thinking, and it's honestly brought nothing but problems. I have bought stuff when we didn't have the extra money to buy it (I mean this is really going to be an ongoing battle. I almost did it again this morning), I have bought stuff we didn't need just because I was feeling stressed out or depressed. How much have I sabotaged our savings account?
Sometimes I think I don't want to know.
But with the very real possibility of a job change/pay cut coming down the pipes, I am re-evaluating.
The sad thing is that I have a really hard time deciding what is a luxury, and what is a necessity after years and years of just buying what I want, when I want it. I look at our netflix bill and think "it's not even $10 a month, how much of a difference is that going to make?" But we've been paying for Netflix for about 4 years now. That's hundreds of dollars. Netflix is not a necessity. I mean, that's just one example, but really, I know there is so much more that we can cut out. After all of these years though, it really is hard to decide what we really can't live without.
I just keep thinking to myself, why the heck have I bought into the lie that being able to buy whatever I want will make me happy? I think this is the case a lot of time regardless of the cost to our savings account, our ability to pay bills, or stay out of debt. What is wrong with me?
Now I'm sitting here in a house full of stuff, lots of it without a home or permanent place (re- a permanent mess), and I'm more anxious than I am happy. Anxious that I have bills to pay, a baby to raise, and a house that is a complete mess. And for what? For STUFF?
Oh man. I just feel like there is so much that I need to change. So much that I need to work on and so many priorities that I have got to switch around. I need to be so much more grateful for what I have than I am, and I want to stop wishing for more and more in the way of material possessions. I want to be done with the American dream. I want what is real and intangible.
A relaxed day with my family
Home-cooked meals and no rushing around
Food in our bellies, a roof over our heads, and a healthy family.
Friends and a community of people around us that we can support, and will support us.
Faith that is real, vibrant, and alive
These are the things that matter, and this is what I want to focus on.
That's just my two cents worth. =)
This -------> is what is important.