Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday Morning Soap Box

Well it has been a little while since I posted here on this blog. I have been posting some on my other blog so if you don't see anything new here, then check out the other blog to see what is going on.

I had to work Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I was so tired by Saturday evening, I couldn't stand myself. Saturday it was cold and rainy, so I got wet while out on the route. When I got home, I got into a hot shower and stayed for a while until the water started running cool. It felt so wonderful to have those work days behind me and know that I had a few days that I could just stay home and rest.

Church was good yesterday. The pastor preached a great message Sunday AM, called "You have the Tools". It really spoke to me. Sunday PM, Bro Nathan preached and although I know it was good also, I wasn't able to stay in and listen to all of it due to Noah being fussy and not wanting to sit still. We are still experiencing the terrible two's, so sometimes we spend more time out of the sanctuary than in. I am hoping that in a few months he will be a little more managable and understand that he is suppose to sit down and be quiet in church when the preaching is going on. He will be three in September. I have noticed that around three or so, kids usually settle down more and although some still have to be taken out, they stay in more than go out.

I posted recently about a book I had read called, Choosing Simplicity by Linda Breen Pierce. You can see that post here. Anyway, in the book there are several references to the book, Your Money or Your Life Transforming your relationship with money and achieing financial independence by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. I found an earlier edition on Amazon for less than a dollar and I bought it. I haven't had much time to read in it lately due to having to work, but I sat down and started it. So far it is saying what I have been thinking and feeling for a while now. And based on what I have read so far, I would highly recommend the book to anyone who is dissatisfied, like myself, with this notion of more is better and for those of you that are tired of owing your lives to the company store. If you are tired of the "rat on a wheel" scenerio that you life has become, then I would suggest that you find both of these books and read them. I got the Choosing Simplicity from the library, but am looking for an inexpensive copy to buy so I can add it to my library to reread when I forget what I am trying to achieve in my life.
I believe it is essential to be reminded of our dreams and why we are doing the things we are doing. I am a firm believer in the practice of writing down your desires and dreams, or plans for your life. I think the very act of putting them in print causes you to take those things more seriously and subconsciously we believe they are possible if we see them written down. The same goes for something that we read that touches us or moves us into the direction of our dreams, we need to keep that near, to read and reread over and over until we have fulfilled those dreams. So for that reason I try to find and keep books, magazine articles and other things that push me into the direction of my longings.
In this case, I have for some years now, wanted to get out of the rat race that has become our existance, and live our lives instead of just existing to pay the bills. And to my surprise, there are many people who have suceeded in doing just that. They live happy, fulfilled lives and aren't caught up in this idea of the American dream. Which for so many, has turned into a nightmare. We as Americans have been fed a lie about this American Dream. In order for the economy to bloom and become the what it did, it was dependent upon consumers. We were targeted by millions of dollars of advertising to believe that in order to be successful and achieve the American dream, we must consume, consume, consume.
Remember when you bought something and kept it for years, because it still worked? For example, how many can openers did your grandmother own? Think about it. Maybe one, possibly two in her lifetime. How many have you owned? I have probably owned five at least in almost twenty years of marriage. Why? Sometimes it was because I wanted the newer, shiner model, sometimes because the one I owned quit working. Why with our technology being so great today, should a can opener quit working after a year or so? When Grandma's worked for twenty years or more?
This is just a simple example of what I am talking about. What about cars? Since my husband and I married we have owned about 13 vehicles! We will celebrate our 20th anniversary in August. For a while he drove a company vehicle and we only owned one vehicle for the family. Thirteen vehicles in 20 years! Why? Because we thought we had to, we bought into the lie that more is better, newer is better and you have to keep striving for more is better! But many times more is just---MORE!
I looked up the word consume in the dictionary and here is what is says, " to destroy; to use up or waste." Why do I need a new this or that, when the old one working fine? Because the economy depends upon me the consume-r to be wasteful and fickle. We have been trained like Pavlov's dog to salavate when we see a newer, shiner version of whatever has come out, and to go and buy it. To take our hard earned money, and throw it at them so we can get that shiny new toy, that will satisfy us for all of ten minutes then we are off to find the next shiny new toy to throw our money at.
The problem for most American's is they don't have that money to throw away on shiny new toys, they borrow the money, by using CREDIT! So instead of paying retail price for the things, they end up paying for their new toys for years to come and paying a much higher price because of the interest they pay on the credit cards! Isn't that foolish? So the thing they just had to buy, has been long forgotten and thrown away by the time it is paid for, if they ever get it paid for! Does this sound like the kind of life you would want? Not me! Not anymore.
They had me hypmotized for several years, but a few years ago, the blinders fell off my eyes and I now see it for what it is. A way to rob your life. And I want no part of it. We are working on a solution to this problem. In an earlier post I said that there were three things I needed to do toward a more simple life;
1. declutter, downsize, and organize. 2. pay off debt (car notes). 3. Find affordable/efficient housing .
We are working on number one, and thankfully today I am going to take care of number 2! The Lord blessed us with some extra money, and we are going to use some of it to pay off our debt!!! Hopefully with the pay off of the vehicles it will reduce our insurance payments also, hopefully putting $1000.00 a month back into our household, then into savings toward our larger goal of early retirement!!!

Well, I have made this long enough, I am sure that I lost some of you way back. But for those of you who stayed with me, I hope you will get these books and read them. It could change the way you view what you have always thought was success. They definately have reaffirmed for me what I have been feeling. And has helped me move toward that simple life I seek.

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