Friday, November 8, 2013

Making (Healthy) Comparisons

Do you ever make up elaborate conversations or situations in your head when you're doing something mundane like laundry or dishes?  Just me?  ok....  Sometimes it's imaginary comebacks to imagined insults (those are the best - I'm so witty and confident in my delusions.)  At better times it's beginnings of blog posts.  

During one of these episodes, I was thinking about us moving out of our house.  It's something that we've sort of dreamed about, an idea we've toyed with, something that could be a potential possibility in the next year or two.  Then I was thinking about how I would totally be sad and cry like a baby on the day we moved out (I know it will happen at some point, however many years it is).  

Then I got to thinking about how much I hated this house when we first moved in.  We liked it when we bought it, we could afford it - so we pulled the trigger.  Yet when we moved in, I let my general frustration with learning to be a grown-up color my view of the house.  Things that were older or needed upgrading made me so mad.  We kept running up against things you need as a homeowner that we just didn't have.

I was angry that there were things we needed, but mostly there were things we wanted but we couldn't afford.  I wanted to rush things - to have a perfect house with shiny, new things, having not yet realized that a house doesn't become a home overnight, especially with fresh-out-of-college kids at the helm.  

So in my laundry-time delusions I was thinking about how we just didn't have much money then.  Sure, we had both just gotten jobs with fancy salaries, but we quickly learned that money went fast when you had fun things like mortgages.

I just kept thinking that we just simply didn't make a lot of money, and that's where our unhappiness was rooted.  Then, something crazy hit me - I did the math... we actually bring in significantly less per month now than we did that first year.  Yet it feels like we have so, so much more.

When I compare the way we felt about our finances then, versus how we do now - it's such a world of difference.  We just didn't know how to manage our money or how to save or how to make what we did have go the furthest.  Mostly we knew wants, lots and lots of wants, and didn't know how to prioritize what mattered.  I know I've said it over and over here, but simple really is better.  It's been a journey, certainly, but we've grown so much over the past six years.  

I'm content where we are, and so grateful for that contentment.  


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