Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thankful on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  We wanted to take a quick break from spreadsheets and number crunching to deliver a feel-good post to you all.  Mr. DebtFree and I are currently hiding out at home thanks to a nasty virus that wiped us out this week.  I had to call out sick from work and miss my first opportunity for time-and-a-half pay and left me feeling quite guilty over losing the pay.  After a brief period of feeling sorry for myself, I realized it's much better for me to hide at home and feel miserable than get everyone seriously sick (extra big no-no in the oncology unit!).

Last week I read an excellent post from The Minimalist Files and it inspired me to take another look at my "I need this" attitude.  With the season of thanks upon us, both Mr. DebtFree and I decided to work on our ungratefulness and realized we spend a ridiculous amount of time comparing our situation with our friends.  "Look, they just bought a brand new __" -insert car, house, phone, boat, etc.  With social media becoming a "happy moments only" filter on our lives, it's easy to get caught up in feelings of inadequacy -especially if debt is delaying things you want in life like travel, having some space from neighbors, or having more than fur-babies.

We realized our attitudes have been circling the drain for sometime and decided to join the masses in making a list of things we are most thankful for:

1. Our home: sure we don't live in an upscale neighborhood, but our home is the perfect size for our lifestyle.  It's a relatively newer construction and we have made few repairs beyond normal maintenance like gutters and de-mossing the roof.

2. Our jobs: we take them for granted at times, but we were both extremely fortunate to have job offers before graduating college.  We both work in challenging fields, but we realize how blessed we are to have secure employment.

3. Our health: we may both be down with a nasty virus, but we are otherwise in good health.  We both have lost many loved ones to cancer and other diseases and understand how quickly things can change.

4. Our relationship: sorry if it sounds cheesy, but we are mostly thankful to have each other.  We have grown significantly over the last three years both personally and professionally.  Neither of us grew up in a home with parents who supported each other emotionally and I believe that's why support is so important in our relationship.  We are in such different places with our finances at this time, yet we both share the same goals and values.  We are each other's biggest encouragers and we work hard to prioritize open communication.
One of our much needed getaways during my last year in school!
There were a lot more things on our list once we got started but these were the top ones we wanted to share.  Earlier I mentioned comparison regarding material purchases.  What if we stopped comparing ourselves to friends who always have shiny new things, but instead tried to learn from others who are aiming for a more minimal approach?  The Minimalist Files blog post really resonated with me and although I'm not quite ready for a completely minimalist lifestyle, I'm ready to quit giving in to the materialistic pressures of our society.

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