Friday, January 04, 2013
Bills. I'm sure you have some. (Sorry to start out with such a drag this New Year! But hear me out - this article may just be the optimism you need to have a great 2013.) I too have a few bills this year. More bills than I'd like, and certainly less savings than I had planned at the beginning of the year. In fact, when I was looking ahead last January 1, I was eagerly anticipating a year of building up a healthy savings account and even taking a big chunk out of my debts. But alas, here I am at the end of 2012 looking at a meagre savings account and still a healthy, oversized balance on my line of credit instead of the other way around. I'm considering packing around Monopoly money in lieu of real money, just to pad my wallet and ego a wee bit.
But, I recognize that my current circumstance and how I feel about my results this year are totally skewed. I'm not really thinking clearly. I'm drunk on Holiday giving and getting and comparing. Isn't it always the case that even while we're opening our own gifts, we look longingly at our friends, relatives and the spoiled children tearing through packages and boxes, unwrapping amazing toys and gifts and things we didn't even know we wanted? Or is that just me?
I will admit that I've been eye-balling more and more things lately. I never was very materialistic, but that was when I didn't fit into cute clothes and didn't see myself as lovely or worthy of putting effort into my appearance. But now, after losing nearly 100 pounds, I'm able to wear clothes instead of vaguely square-shaped pieces of fabric with arm holes.
The only problem is that the clothes don't match any of the boots I previously owned, so I'll need some new boots. But my boots won't go with my last year's winter jacket, so of course I'll have to invest in another one of those (the old one's really too big anyway) and then there's the purse, the scarf, the hair accessories… well, I'm sure you get the point: being a fashionable girl can involve a lot of bills!
And, it's here that we can really get ourselves into so much trouble. I can look at all of the things I don't have, and feel overwhelmed by how much I lack. Those hair accessories that don't match my boots are really causing a drag on my self-esteem. (I'm being sarcastic of course, but don't tell that to a teenager!)
There's a simple solution to this problem of mine, and perhaps yours, if you're anything like me. We're told to be appreciative of what we have. That's all well and good, but how can I be so appreciative when what I'm looking at is a pile of bills? I think the key here is perspective. When I get perspective, then I gain appreciation.
Let's back up from my life a little bit. Will I be able to pay my bills? Yes. I'll even get to them on time, by some miracle! Will my finances be tighter than I want them to be - always. Who does' want a couple (hundred… ok, thousand) extra dollars every month? But, as I've been doing now for 14 or 15 years, I'll make my payments. I'll also have food to eat. I'll have a home to live in, and I'll have loving friends and family around me who I know will help should any of the previously-mentioned necessities be needed. I'll be fine, just as I'm sure you will too.
If you have some clothes to wear, even if they're not the most fashionable and up-to-date, then compared to a great many people in this world, you are wealthy. If you have food in your home that will last you beyond what you require for today - even if it's just a bag of rice and some canned beans - then compared to most of the world's population, you are wealthy. And if you have a home, even if it's not well-furnished or it's not your dream home, or the bathtub is the wrong colour, let me tell you that you are wealthy.
And if you have bills, because you are able to buy things beyond food, clothing and shelter, please let me reassure you that you are wealthy indeed. And if you need more perspective to help you appreciate more of what you have, I greatly encourage you to volunteer and donate in 2013. Nothing will help you feel richer than aiding those in need.
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Hysterical Tale of Love
Well, Would’ya Look at That!
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