Every few weeks I’ll lean in to my wife and whisper, “If I were to die tomorrow, I’d be a happy man.” It freaks her the hell out (and rightfully so) but it’s a reminder to her, and more importantly to myself, that as of this day in time I have enough.
I have enough love. I have enough things. And I (almost) have enough money ;) It’s a pretty powerful thing to realize.
When you truly have enough you no longer spend energy or time chasing stuff in hopes they fulfill you. You still desire things like, say, millions of dollars or a 6 pack of beer/abs, but you know deep down that you don’t *need* any of that to be happy. They’re just “wants.” You’re thankful for what you have and you count your blessings for it – everything else is just gravy.
My friend Donna summed it up perfectly in a past article of hers:
“I have everything I need and some of what I want. How many people get to say that, and to mean it?”
That line has stuck with me for over a year and a half now. How beautiful it is to realize such a thing! How many people do we know who’s genuinely satisfied with their lives and not forever chasing fulfillment? And faux fulfillment at that? She later went on to divulge her income and why she’s now fine living off $36,000/year instead of $85,000/year, and it’s an interesting read if you ever have a few seconds to check it out.
So how do you become content with a life so financially driven and fast paced? By taking the time to look around and acknowledge what you’re thankful for right now. It’s a lot harder to want more when you realize just how much you already have.
For example, here are the things that first come to mind when I stop and do this exercise myself:
- I have two beautiful boys
- I have (one) beautiful wife
- I have a roof over my head with furniture and internet and electricity to keep me warm
- I have tons of food and running water to keep our bellies full
- I have a job I feel gives me purpose
- I have a nest egg of money that’s (knock on wood) growing
- And I have a beating heart and a pulse
That last one’s pretty important :) But how often do you stop and consider that? How many people do you know who will never get more time here on Earth? If you were to die the second you finished reading this sentence, would you be passing on with a smile on your face?
I don’t mean to get all sentimental up in here, but these are the things we often overlook in the midst of our chaotic lives. We’re constantly chasing that “next thing” whatever it is and rarely take a few moments to soak in everything we’ve accomplished so far. When we hit $1,000 in savings we want to hurry up and get $2,000. When we pay off one credit card we want to hurry up and pay off the second. As soon as we get a promotion at work we want to go for the next one! All noble feats which of course we should always strive for, but we also need to be better about relishing what we have now and give ourselves pats on the back too.
Here, I’ll give you 15 seconds to pause and think of one beautiful thing in your life right now. Close your eyes if no one’s watching and really concentrate on it. How would you feel if it were gone? How much better is your life with this thing in it?
I sometimes have these moments in life where I’m walking down the street alone and then all of a sudden feel this warmth of pure joy wash over me. As if to remind me to slow down for a hot minute and remember what living’s about. I don’t know where the heck it comes from or why it occurs when it does (it only happens every 3-4 years), but in those flashing seconds I’m the happiest I’ve ever felt. And then wonder if I’m about to be scooped away and lifted into the heavens, haha…
The point of all this, of course, is just to remind you that things aren’t so horrible all the time. We will have our $hitty days and things that’ll happen to us we’ll never quite understand, but we’ll also have a ton of joy and accomplished dreams come our way that we could never have imagined as well. In short, we have to do a better job of being thankful for what we have *in this moment right now* while we still have it ‘cuz Lord knows what our future holds.
So, if you’d allow me, I’d like to carry on my tradition of freaking people out and let you guys know that if this is the last time you ever hear from me on this sexy blog here, know I am one happy (and thankful) mother budgeter. And I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive, and genuinely nice, group of readers. I’ll try and email y’all from heaven.
Happy Friday :)
PS: If you’re one of my new 300 readers reading this right now, I’ll assume you’re just as awesome and I appreciate you too. Also, my posts aren’t always so mushy. Check out this one here or this one here if you’re into more feisty/money-focused articles. Thanks for trying the site out!
[Photo cred: Eva Blue]