Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Looking Ahead at the Future

My friend Catie sent me the following poem. Seems pretty suited to most of the folks I know, especially those dealing with finance issues. I thought you might enjoy it as well.


Optimism
- by Jane Hirshfield

More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam returns over and
over to the same shape, but the sinuous tenacity of a tree: finding the
light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another.
A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers, mitochondria, figs--
all this resinous, unretractable earth.

I've been thinking a bit about what comes next... what happens when my financial situation improves and I don't need to get $900 a month. Will I stop being frugal? What kinds of things will I do differently?

To be honest, I don't know that there is that much that I would do differently. I think I will still cut to tops off my eye cream tubes to get the last drop, I will pop off the brush holders of my lip gloss (the way my sister taught me) to get the last bits of color. I will still try to check at multiple websites before I buy and continue to try to reign in on impulse shopping. I will use coupons, conserve utilities and plan a menu before I grocery shop. I will continue not to use my credit cards and I will keep building up my emergency fund. I will keep my part time jobs and keep selling things online.

So, what will be different? Well, I think I will sleep easier knowing that don't have to hustle every single day just to get by. I am going to head back to school and I might take some classes just because I will enjoy them. I'd like to travel a little and spend some money on home improvement projects. In a comment on my post about When DIY makes the Most Cents, Kristy from Master Your Card said, "...Ultimately I'm going to take the stance that I want to turn my money into time - a concept that I've picked up from Randy Pausch. I want more free time to enjoy the things in life I love doing, so I'm going to pay someone else to do the stuff I don't want to do, but know needs to be done anyway..." I think she has a great point. When all my financial goals are more settled, I will look forward to spending more money on improving my life - rather than just day to day "getting by."


Photo by: Scalespeeder

4 comments:

Catie said...

New bumper sticker for Dawn: Be a Willow Not a Pillow. No one would get it but it would sure crack me up.

I think the thing that we all should be looking for is balance. When money is no longer a crisis situation for you, I think you will leave the experience and be able to go on a trip or occasionally splurge on a great handbag without falling back into dangerous patterns. I hope it's like riding a bike - once you "get it" you never lose it.

Dawn said...

Ha! I love it!!

I hope you are right Catie. I have certainly learned a lot of lessons and I keep learning them - I feel like I am constantly growing. The only fear I have is that I have slipped back into old habits more than once in the past. I guess you just have to have faith that each time you get a little stronger, right?

Kristy @ Master Your Card said...

Hey, I want that bumper sticker too! LOL. Thanks for the mention, Dawn! I love Randy Pausch, I've learned a lot of good lessons from him. It is about balance, but it's also about knowing when to make the most of the things we have in life, too. Sometimes we think we're balanced when in reality we're not.

I hope you get to do everything you want and then some! Taking some time for you will be pretty important when you come out ahead in this situation. Best of luck!

Dawn said...

Kristy - We'll make them on CafePress and make our fortune!

One thing about going through a divorce - it helped me realize that my dreams are really important. That means pursuing my goals and making time for me. Thank you so much for your good wishes, Kristy!