You can tell it’s been years since I’ve been in touch with regular spending habits because I thought it would be a good idea to go shopping with my sisters on Boxing Day. Imagine my surprise when EVERYONE else was also shopping on Boxing Day. I didn’t realize it was such a huge day at the malls and outlet stores because I haven’t shopped for anything other than food and basic childrens’ needs since 2008.
I haven’t missed it really. I have even taken pride in the job we’ve done to dig ourselves out of debt and set ourselves right again. I’ve appreciated the simplicity of our lives and the lack of “too much stuff”. But yesterday as I walked through the mall with my sisters, I wished, just wished for a minute that things were different. Yesterday I found I was sick of not having anything extra to spend. I was sick of not capitalizing on bargains because I didn’t have the cash for things that were on sale at the time they went on sale. I was sick of not indulging my kids. I was sick of saying no to events because I don’t have the budget to afford them.
Don’t get me wrong, things are much better than they were and I remember what it’s like to have them worse so I’m not complaining…mostly. In truth, I know I don’t actually want kids who are indulged with everything on their Santa lists and more. I don’t actually need any new clothes or costume jewelry or purses or shoes-even if I looked longingly at all those things yesterday. I don’t really need a vacation to a tropical island to enjoy time with The Husband. I don’t have to party in NYC to feel like my life is full or to prove to someone I love them.
It’s just that once in a while I wish I was like everyone else who spends freely on what they choose when they choose it, even if I know from experience that they might be getting themselves in a heap of trouble. Once in a while I wish I could just say yes and worry about the results later.
But I guess I’ve done enough of that already, that’s how I got here. So I’ll leave the wishing for better things and just try to remember all that I have and how blessed I am to have it.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.