Do you know what it feels like to be stuck in a rut? Every day seems the same and the Joy Meter is reading empty. I hate when I get stuck like this. It is a gnawing feeling in my gut and an emptiness in my mind. I go through the motions of living but in reality I am just trying to get through each and every day. I think that in order to get out of the rut, we have to do something different. We have to step out of our comfort zones and take a small step in the direction we want to be going.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be something huge but it has to be out of character. It has to be something that makes you think, feel, believe just a little bit differently than you do when stuck in the rut.
Growing up in the 1970’s as Child #8 out of 9 meant I was always one of the “little kids”, always one of the youngest. When my whole family gathered, I always sat at the kids table, always got booted off of the couch for someone older, always wore the hand-me-down clothes. I spent my childhood wishing I was older – like a teenager! I wanted to go out at night with my siblings, I wanted to stay up late eating ice cream with Mother Fran, I wanted to babysit the neighbor kids to earn a little spending money. I seriously remember thinking “when I’m big, I am going to eat cake and ice cream for breakfast”! I knew how to dream BIG.
Those of us who call ourselves frugal have different ways of trying to reach our goal of not spending money foolishly. We have different ideas of what that means and different reasons for choosing to save vs spend money.
The definition of frugal according to Merriam Webster Dictionary is: “careful about spending money or using things when you do not need to : using money or supplies in a very careful way”. For me, being frugal means I don’t spend money foolishly. I plan my large expenditures carefully and save money in advance to pay for them in cash. If I do use credit, I always pay my bills in full each month. I hate to spend money on interest and late fees; it makes me feel squeamish to say the least.
Today I want to look back at 2017 to see how I did reaching my goals. I have talked about goals in the past and how reviewing them regularly helps me to stay on track. Half way thru 2017, I did a review of my progress and asked the smart ass question “Are Your Goals Useless?”
In that post, I state “on New Year’s Eve, many of us make a big deal about creating resolutions to make changes in our lives. Resolutions, goals, intentions are pretty much useless unless you take the time to review your progress, identify your barriers and develop action plans.”
This is the year-end review of my 2017 goals to see whether they were met, addressed, abandoned, or simply not prioritized. It is proof that I follow my own advice regarding not simply making meaningless goals.
The holidays are over and winter stretches ahead like a long, dark, daunting tunnel with only 1 exit. I can choose to keep my head low, plod along muttering about the arctic cold and wind or I can sit back and enjoy the warmth of the fireplace and the good company I keep. I remind myself frequently that my perspective on any given situation makes all of the difference. If my perspective does not keep me on the path I have chosen then it is time to change it!
Work has been slow for the last week which is no big deal, however I have to stop myself from getting anxious about an upcoming tiny paycheck. When I don’t work a typical 9-5 gig it is easy to lose focus, forget why I work per diem instead of harnessing the security of a full-time job.
Oh my goodness it is COLD outside. Not just a little cold. Not zip up your jacket and grab a hat cold. Nope, old man winter has taken up residence in Central New York. Going outdoors, unprepared can take your breath away.
I bundled up the other day to walk Fenway. I had long johns, jeans, a long sleeve shirt, my heaviest sweater, a winter vest and a heavy jacket. I had a neck warmer with a hat attached and another hat plus my hood. I had winter gloves on my hands and 2 pairs of socks under my winter boots. The weather app on my phone said it was 1 degree with a real feel of -13. I was so bundled, I could hardly move.