My blog is entitled 'Journey to Contentment' ... so where on the map am I? How far have I come and how far is to go? I have been pondering this question for a few days now, mulling it over, going to bed thinking about it, on the drive into work, standing in the shower, whilst I water the garden - words form and I write this blog in my head. The pessimist in me, Ms P (glass half empty? ... ha a glass, you had a glass ...luxury! said in best Yorkshire accent) says that I haven't even started on the journey yet. Life is hard and bitter and stressful and nothing is going the way I want it. Gee Ms P is sure a spoilt brat isn't she? But Ms O, the sunshine optimist, says I am doing just fine and on the right track. She says it will take time, but that's a good thing as it will build a solid foundation for us.
I must admit, Ms P gets far more attention, but that's just because she is the noisy one. She always has something to say, whereas Ms O is the quite achiever. I must learn to listen out for Ms O more and practice good parenting and ignore the bad behaviour of Ms P. Like yesterday. I was preparing the end of month reports for our business, the figures looked pretty good so far. Ms O says well it was a much better month than the last one, that's progress. Ms P is whining away about how, sure this was a better month but it doesn't make up for the rest of the bad months during the year. As an average, we still hadn't made the target we set, and the only way out was to have 3 more months like this one. This month still had expenses to be added and the only reason it was a good month is the 3 big projects all hit in the same month. This was an anomaly and it wont last. Sadly, I do tend to buy into Ms P's argument.
So why is my journey so linked to if we have good or bad months financially? Especially when I say (and believe wholeheartedly) that its not money that makes you happy? Because to have no debt means you have options. To have options means that the path in front of you opens up. You have the freedom to choose whichever path your heart desires. To have debt, means someone else is in control of your path. All I want is to have my little bit of land, a modest house, no mortgage, and to live off what we have. A little bit in reserve in case the tractor dies, or the fences need replacing, or to pay for insurance every year, or if one of us needs medical attention.
This little dream, however modest, still costs money. To be debt free is a huge step in itself. We do have to be very realistic and wait for what we really want. Otherwise, we will just swap one stress for another. We have had the other stress before, when the boys were little we had a glorious 26 acres in a breathtaking little country town on the coast. Chicken pens, organic vegetable garden, fruit trees, plenty of water, a beautiful little house....It was idyllic heaven... so it seemed on the outside. But look a little closer and you would have seen two very stressed people working 2 jobs each, trying to make do with begged, borrowed or stolen (no not really) second hand building materials, having accounts with the local hardware store, petrol station, grocery store and always the struggle to pay them each month. Boys wearing clothes til they fell off them, or worse, having to wear clothes that I made them! (the shame of it). Having very old and unreliable machinery, trying to make do with every thing we did. That was stress.
So, as bad as it feels sometimes to be stuck in the city and in a job that keeps me in a airless basement, it still feels like the right path at the moment to get what I ultimately want. Whats the saying? Good things come to those that wait? We are the last of the delayed gratification generations. It WILL be good when we get there. Ms O and I know that!
Take that Ms P !!