Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Life Goals

Living on less is easier when you keep focused on a goal. We did that and still do. We have spent many of our married life being what is considered "poor" by the typical American standard of living. Yet, we never felt deprived.
We have always felt blessed. Simple as that. Now we look at our lives and see that what we have worked so hard at achieving, is a reality. We have wonderful children that cause us no problems and better than that, we really like them ! We have amazing grandchildren that we love dearly and live close by. Emery has a wonderful job. Emery and I fall more in love with one another every single day and we are each others best friend. Our home has been paid for for a long time. We have no debt. We have excellent health. These are all things we worked hard to achieve. To start off with, we both prayed for the right person to come into our lives and had high standards that had to be met. We both felt strongly that who we married had to be the same faith as we were, so we could pray together at night with one accord and the same understanding. We raised our children with lots of prayer and care. For us, and I am not saying its the only way, but for us, it was important for me to always be home with the children, which meant living on one income and a very small one at that for the many years, yet we still had dreams. Living in the country, having some animals and a garden. At times that goal seemed a million miles away but we kept praying and believing and heading towards that goal even if it meant in tiny steps. We reached that goal. Sure it meant living in an old house that needed lots of work and that we are still working on, but its home and it has allowed us to have the animals we wanted and the garden we needed !
Now that the children are all married and have their own homes, we have more money. And Emery's salary has continued to grow with the years, but we still live on much less than we make. Some folks just think we are tight wads, cheap. But we still have goals, still see the value in living debt free. Still think that the needs of others are more important than fancy restaurants and fine clothes. Still would rather invest in helping our family out than to spend money on things that become "stuff" in a closet six months from now. We still budget, still don't go running to the store for the latest gadget, be it for the kitchen, electronics or a new car that has all the bells and whistles. We can see retirement right around the corner and we want to be prepared. So many of our friends at our age, sell their homes and buy another one that will give them a bigger mortgage payment, higher taxes, bigger utility bills and then panic when they realize they won't be able to make their payments on Social Security ! But they want to look like they made it in life. But what is it to really "make it" in life ? The truth be told, it has nothing to do with what you own. It has to do with relationships and contentment. We see so many people running to and fro day after day, trying to grab something to fulfill that empty spot in their lives and all the while they are never home long enough to build a strong family that comes from time together, doing things together, not side by side in the car. Building memories and shopping isn't something that in the years to come will be held as dear memories talked about around the Thanksgiving table. Its things like playing games with your children, working together on a project that are the ties that bind hearts together. Emery and I know full well that its the moments when we stand side by side, after working in the garden together that have given us so much time to talk and to feel something deep and abiding in our hearts for our family and this life we have created for ourselves. Something more dear than words could ever express. The children don't sit around talking about memories of going to this or that restaurants as children, or the weekly trips to town to go shopping....they talk about a hiking trip or about the girls going to pick up the boys from school with the horse and buggy. They talk about how they played with this or that toy or reading so many books each summer. Trips to the mountains in winter or all the wonderful events connected with Irish Step Dancing. Family time.
We were not perfect, no one is. But we can sit back now, ready to look towards our retirement knowing we still can live on less than most folks, enjoy our family, still feel that same sort of amazing love for each other that we first felt 32 years ago. We pray together, laugh together and on occasion cry together. We still enjoy working towards our goals and living content. We have seen too many people bite off more than they can chew financially speaking and most often they nearly choke to death on it and find out somewhere along the way that they bit off something they didn't even need. Impressing no one that mattered.
Live simply, investing in the things in life that count, things that you have with you all of your life, in your heart.

Special Note....looks like there might be another August baby in the family !


Morning's Minion said...

I like that you find different ways to express these strongly held beleifs.
Its not preaching--its affirmation!

cheryl said...

Another wonderful post . This should all be put into a handbook and handed out to young people just starting out , a great guide to follow .

Much To Catch Up....

In mid January, we saw the passing of my father and after nearly two years of caring for him, it was so hard to see him leave u...