Money & Finance: This $&!@ Is Hard
This shit is hard. Yes, I said it. Living a life of wants vs. needs and not having the income to obtain the wants is the hardest thing I have ever done. Ok, well, perhaps not the hardest thing ever but it’s pretty damn close. The thing is, I know the lesson. I repeat it over and over in my head. It’s the daily mantra of a mature broke person, “It’s only a want. You don’t really need it. You have everything you need.” Truth be told, I do have everything I need, but it isn’t what I want–not by a long shot.
I sat at my desk this morning eating 2 slices of a $10 pizza we ordered for the Boy’s birthday. The Husband and I debated for 20 minutes on what to do about the Boy’s birthday dinner request (it’s a family tradition–everyone gets what they want for their birthday dinner. One year we had french fries and macaroni and cheese courtesy of the Girl)–but alas we bought the pizza anyway. As I eat my breakfast, my co-workers stop to say their good mornings and they all have the same shocked look on their faces as I shoveled the greasy meaty pizza into my mouth. Usually, I’m crunching on apples with some type of yogurt and granola or drizzling honey over fresh berries. On the outside I smiled at the shocked faces and funny comments like “You do eat real food!” and sank lower and lower on the inside. It was food, which in the grand scheme of things is a need for sure, but it damn sure wasn’t what I wanted.
I currently have $0.59 in my personal bank account and there are plenty of races coming up soon that are calling my name–none of which cost $0.59 or less. This morning I flipped back and forth from the bank account page to the Critz Tybee Run page. I eventually closed down both pages because if I kept going I would have slid into a puddle on the floor under my desk. The mantra crept up again and I mentally splashed myself with cold water. “It’s a want, not a need. If you need to run there are plenty of sidewalks and trails around the neighborhood.” That part of me is so rational, I hate her sometimes. She often reminds me that I’m whining about stupid things with no meaning (like right now). She tosses around the “You’ve been through worse” all of the time. Who can possibly argue with that?! Ugh…I digress.
It feels selfish to be upset about not being able to buy fancy apples and neat running gear. It feels awkward to be this old with only $0.59 in the bank, but if I allow my rational self to step in and talk some sense into me, I realize that this too will pass. We have shelter. We have power. We have water. We have food. We have love. We have health. Those are the things that matter most. Those are the bare naked needs of a human being–not organic this or 10k that. When the kids lay down in their own beds at night, snuggled under their covers with the windows and doors shutting out the world knowing they are loved and cared for that’s what makes the difference.
This temporary moment is hard. I don’t particularly like these blips in life–they are rough, painful, and they tend to make me seem a bit bratty (not a good look for an adult). There will be an upswing, I know it and I will stop moaning and moping….eventually. I realize there are others who are in much worse predicaments. I will stop looking at all of the wants out there and the rational me won’t be an interjection but she’ll be the constant voice being heard. Until then, however, I’m going to sneak on over to OldNavy.com and gaze at the dresses on my ‘Easy Saturday’ wish list. I won’t stay long…just a few minutes. Then I’ll get back to being a grown, rational woman. Pinkie swear.