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Monday, May 24, 2010

The power of NO

My husband was recently talking to me about a concept he and some guys at work have been discussing lately, the power of no. It got me thinking...

The other day, I was at Big Lots looking for something. I can't remember specifically what I was looking for, but I wanted to see if they carried the item I wanted. As I walked through the store, I stopped and looked at several other items that I liked/wanted. In fact, I nearly bought a few of them. But, I refrained and ended up leaving the store without buying anything. As I was walking out, one of the clerks said, "You're not getting anything?" The way she said it was full of surprise, like she had never seen anything so crazy in her entire life. I simply smiled at her and said, "Not today." As I was walking out to the car, I wondered how strange that must have seemed to her. In this culture, we can hardly go anywhere anymore without buying more stuff (most of which, we don't need). That's kind of sad.

As many of you know, Fraser and I have been maintaining a tight budget over the past year and half as we are working towards becoming debt free. Well, one of the things this has done has made me think twice (sometimes even 3 times)whenever I am shopping about whether or not we really need the item, or is it simply a want?

When I was at Big Lots, there were several items I wanted (really badly, in fact). They are things that would be nice to have, but they are not necessities at this point. I could have EASILY spent $100 on these items and walked out with a full cart and an empty wallet. But, I chose not to. I made the conscious decision to not buy anything on impulse, and you know what? It has worked really well for me/us.

I guess I just found it interesting that it was such a shock for that clerk to see someone acting out of self-control. Now, I would be lying if I said it was easy or fun to have to be so careful about how we spend our pennies. Let's be honest, it's not. But, I know that we are learning valuable lessons and I like to think that Nathan is picking up on these lessons, too.

The word "no" is powerful, indeed. But, it doesn't have to be a negative word. For me, right now, that power of "no" means that I can have enough money to pay for food and things we need, while living within our means and paying down debt. I like to think that I have learned to wield the power of that word (at least in this area). Have you?

Dirt Therapy

How do you deal with life? What are some of the things that you do that give you relief? When things in life get too stressful, how do you cope? I do several things. If time allows, I go to the gym. Working out is one of the best ways for me to decrease my stress level immediately. I love the power of pounding away the worries on the treadmill, or pumping up the weights and working up a great sweat!!

I also write. Writing things out allows me to process the thoughts I am having about whatever is going on in my life at the time. I find it extremely cathartic. It's also fun to look back on things later and reflect on how life changes and see that we can get through things and survive what might have seemed impossible at the time.

One of the best types of therapy for me, though, has to be dirt therapy. Sadly, this type of therapy is only really available in the Spring and Summer. But, I engage in it as often as I can in those months. :-) I LOVE the feeling of getting my hands dirty and digging around in the dirt. There is something so very basic and therapeutic about getting into nature and becoming so close to the earth.

I was able to start engaging in some dirt therapy a couple weeks ago as it FINALLY gotten warm enough here in CO to begin planting flowers. It was WONDERFUL!!! And, I also love maintaining the flowers throughout the summer, as that also qualifies as therapy for me. :-)

Here are some pictures of what I have planted (so far). If time/money allows, I might even add more!!


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I am married to an amazing man, who is also the love of my life. We have three kids who constantly keep me on my toes! God has richly blessed me and I am grateful for all He does for me.