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.
Do you want to increase your happiness? There is more than enough to go around and it is free to make more and more. One could argue the supply of happiness is endless.
Then why are people so unhappy all of the time?
I think we live such busy, hectic lives that we are stressed out most of the time. We don’t spend time doing things we love and eventually we forget the joy we once derived from simple pleasures. We get caught up in daily chores, work, responsibilities, and commitments and forget to do the little things that bring us joy.
I would argue that if you want to increase your happiness, if you want to be a better person, if you want to be the best YOU possible; that it takes work. It takes some introspection and quiet time. But all of the time and effort is worth it once you can find ways to maximize your happiness, reduce your stress and spend time with the people who bring out the best in you.
With that in mind, here are 10 questions to get you thinking about what truly makes you happy. Continue reading “10 Happiness Questions”
Can you believe 2017 is half over? 6 months have flown by and it is time to do a formal check in to see how I am doing with the goals I set for myself back in January. I set some finance, health, happiness and relationship goals and now we will see if I am on track, need to get in gear or need to adjust them to fit my current situation. This is a critical step to ensure my goals are not simply words on a piece of paper or ideas in my head.
I like to write down my goals and keep them in my face so I don’t neglect them or forget about them. My Google Keep Page comes up every time I turn on my computer so that is where I jotted them down. I like that I can color code it and rearrange it and check things off when completed. Unfortunately I am not computer savvy enough to move it to this post so I will need to type it over!
I adopted my dog Fenway 8 years ago when she was just 4 months old. She has been with me through good times and bad and I love her like crazy. If she was in jeopardy, I would risk my life to save her.
Right now my Fenway is pretty ticked off at me. If she could tell you about it she would say I traumatized her this morning. I pulled her hair, dumped water on her, and about tackled her in my arms.
This morning my Fenway got a good brushing and a bath. She hates them both with a passion. Every time she hears the shower turn on she runs into her crate and curls up in a ball. When I try to entice her out she pulls away from me. I have had to learn to get everything set up when she isn’t paying attention, call her into the kitchen for a treat and then scoop her up in my arms and carry her to the tub. Did I mention she hates to be carried?
The thought popped into my head that sometimes doing the right thing hurts. But it still needs to be done.
One year ago I picked up a book at the library by Allisom Rimm titled The Joy of Strategy: A Business Plan for Life” The introduction begins with: “The joy of a life well lived – our work well done, our cherished ones well loved, our potential realized. Isn’t that what we’re all after? You don’t need to leave your dreams to chance. However achieving this most fundamental and often elusive goal doesn’t just happen. It requires a strategy. To create a meaningful plan, you need a structured approach that guides your through the process of defining what is most important to you and what you must do to get it. The world’s most successful businesses do this as a matter of course, and there is no more essential business than the business of your life”.
I read those words and got excited. I had already been doing a lot of soul searching and had a pretty good idea of what was important to me and the type of life I wanted to live. I had already gotten a taste of freedom by moving the lake and I wanted more! At that time, the life I so desperately wanted looked like this: