we let go our housekeeper. Not coincidentally this was also the time I found the Mr. Money Mustache blog. If you haven't yet checked him out, skeedadle on over there, go on, I'll wait. For those who refuse to skeedadle, it's a blog dedicated to financial independence and giving people a swift kick in the arse when they need one. And boy did I need one.
When I was laid off at the end of 2010 (I knew it was coming, so no tears), I kept right on spending like I was still employed. I had a new baby who needed THINGS and STUFF. And then we remodeled our kitchen and I naturally needed NEW things for my brand new kitchen. I ignored the fact that everything I had was perfectly lovely, serviceable and worked great. Didn't matter, I needed NEWER and BETTER STUFF. I needed a housekeeper. I needed new clothes to go with my new yummy mummy status. I had this image in my mind of how things were going to be. I really thought that this was how things should be and how they were supposed to be. Moms try not to laugh when I tell you I bought a pair of heels, picturing myself pushing my adorable new son around Stanford Mall dressed to the delicious nines and wearing those heeled boots. Uh huh.
This mentality and need to consume seems to have been with me my whole life. As far back as I can remember, I've wanted more, never being happy with what I had. I have no idea if this is just part of my makeup or if it is something else, but it doesn't really matter. The reality is that I have to fight my urge to spend on an almost daily basis. I have had these pictures in my mind of how my life should be and I have done whatever I could to achieve that image. Mostly through spending.
The veil slowly started falling (it's still slowly falling) from my eyes about 6-7 months ago. Not only did I (sort of) come to realize that:
a) I no longer had any income coming in (nor was I planning on bringing in any new income),
b) I had a totally skewed vision of my life and how it was supposed to be,
c) I do NOT want J growing up thinking that happiness is the next new thing and not being happy and content with what he had,
d) I was paying people to do jobs that I was perfectly capable of doing myself,
e) I'd really like D to be able to retire early. I like being with him, I really do, and the idea that
maybe he could be home permanently in maybe 10 years? I LOVE that idea and
f) By getting rid of the housekeeper I freed up enough money to start a vacation account which showed me the possibilities.
This month I am focusing on this aspect of my life changes. I want to learn to be satisfied and happy with what I have. I want to acknowledge and recognize that I am very privileged and that not only do I have everything I need but what I actually need, what I've always needed is nothing that can be purchased.