We were sitting on those chairs the ones reserved for the rich people who go to the beach. The ones who are on vacation, not us. We didn’t have much. I had just given my notice at my job, and he was a junior officer in the Navy. We had our backs against those chairs as the sun sets.
I was out of breath which often happens when he is around. He usually has me laughing so hard that I can’t catch my breath. I admit sometimes I am laughing with him and sometimes about him. We were talking about his missing shoes. Who loses their shoes as an adult? It wasn’t one time it was three on the same day. I tell him I forgive him for the wild goose chase and I blame it on the change in time. He had just flown in from Hawaii where he was stationed.
We found the shoes for the final time under a chair at the pool. He needed those shoes for dinner, so it was important that they were found since everyone was waiting on us. We are still flushed with excitement as we try to settle on these chairs. We are both talking a mile a minute trying to finish a thought when tonight it is hard to think. We both had a very important job to complete for the morning. We both didn’t even start on our assignment. It was one of the most important tasks we had to complete and yet we sat with blank paper before us on those hard chairs.
We had 100 people waiting to see what we had to say. What we planned to propose for our life together. What we were going to spend our life working toward and on. We couldn’t put one word down. I suggested we wing it. He suggested that wasn’t going to happen. Then we started looking on the Internet for what other people said. We decided we weren’t other people so doing what they did and saying what they said wasn’t something we could live with.
I started with the first line and then he supplied the second. That is how our life goes where one starts the other finishes. What does all this have to do with living on less?
You have time, and you aren’t sitting on those uncomfortable chairs the night before your wedding writing your vows.
That night my husband asked me to name the three things that he could provide me with to ensure I would be happy. You would have to know my husband to appreciate this. We have now been together for over 22 years married for 18, and he still likes to have a goal. I like to make up goals and reach them so I understand.
What were the three things I asked for? What were the promises he made? Did he complete those goals? If so how?
The first thing I told him was I wanted a house. I knew for the next couple of years we would live in duty stations and we would rent or make do. I also knew one day I wanted to own a home of our own. That was very important. It took him 12 years after we bought our house for him to make that a reality. We own our home 100%.
The next request was unusual I wanted to make sure our children had their college education paid for. That is actually how I ended up a as a blogger. I signed up for prepaid college without the $281 a month to pay for it. I was determined to find the money in our budget. I did, we paid off college for three children and it took us 10 years.
The third request was the largest. It was probably the hardest. We are still working on it. I never wanted to have to worry about money. I remember the days when we were trying to put away toward our house, kids college, and paying bills. I wanted to be debt free which we have been for several years but I also wanted to never have to work at a job that I didn’t love that my husband didn’t love.
That is when we figured out how to live on less. That is what I hope you learn in the next 30 days. You see I never felt like I had less. I always had more. I had someone who was working with me on common goals. Your assignment today is to come up with large goals for yourself or as a couple. They make take years to accomplish but it is worth it.
I would love to have more shiny objects, maybe a bigger house, a car that is newer than my youngest child, a fantastic vacation that includes those chairs on a beach on a faraway beach but instead, I smile. I smile because I learned it isn’t what you have, it is having people in your life who will work hard and sacrifice to provide you with your dreams. I keep telling my husband we are done, you did it. You can stop trying to keep your lunch at under $2.00 a day.
In case you missed it your assignment for today is to write 3 large goals. The goals that scare you. Then go for a walk. Do not forget to take care of yourself. If you do not have time to exercise today, then turn off all your social media and dive into a book.
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