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Friday, February 3, 2012

Choosing Happy

January can be a tough month.  
The crash after the joy of Christmas along with the dark and usually cold of winter are hard on many people.  Some people also have clinical depression to add to the mix.
I've been reading many such stories on-line lately.
With the help of our mid-January escape down south I have managed to avoid such a slump.

I am aiming for the opposite by working extremely hard at being content.  
Last Thursday evening I came home from work all fired up about trying to devise ways of making some extra cash.  My January cheque was a bit lean because of our holiday and February being February will also result in slightly lower pay.  I was freaking out a bit.   I have not had a raise in four and half years with little chance of one anytime soon, Trevor's likelihood of any kind of increase is very slim as well.
So I was fretting: 
What about summer? Summer is even worse because my place of works closes for the weekends and I loose about 5 shifts?  (when you work as little as I do it is significant)  How are we going to afford to do anything beyond live?  Like improve the yard?  What about the few things left to complete in our basement?  What about traveling?  It took us a year to save for the holiday we just went on and that took a lot of scrimping and scraping.  What about...What about...?

We hashed it out for a few minutes with no grand brain waves beyond me working more and winning the lottery, and we know how likely that is.  Than I said...
wait for it....
it's very profound...

"Maybe we just need to sit back and be okay with where we are at for the next four years until Sawyer is in school."
I mulled that over for a day and than embraced that thought and claimed it.  It was a huge proverbial weight-lifting-off-my-shoulders kind of realization.  We are NOT suffering financially - or anywhere!.  While we are far from wealthy we eat well, we have a great house, we can still afford a few "extras" here and there, and our bills are getting paid.  We are blessed with a fantastic marriage, awesome healthy kids and families, a super country and the list could go on. 
Really, I do not need a thing.  It's all 'want' fed by a largely materialistic society.  Yes I knew all this before but I didn't truly believe it.
I feel as if being content with where you are at is not the norm.

I don't believe there is anything wrong with aiming for higher goals and achieving more or having nice things and doing fun activities.  It is just that our life doesn't make more possible without the sacrifice of me going back to work full time.  Trevor and I both decided that we want to be there for our kids whenever possible.

I'm not exactly sure what this new-found goal of contentment will look like.  It certainly won't mean staying at home with the lights off and only eating bread with water in order to conserve money and energy.
I think it will entail consciously choosing to not yearn for what I don't have and opting to enjoy what I do have. 

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