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I was flipping through the tv guide the other day when I came across the show Wife Swap. This is a reality show I tend to skip over as every time I have attempted to watch it the negative energy coming off of the screen just forces me to walk away, but I am not sure what captured my attention this particular time…maybe a word flashed that caught my imagination or maybe I was hallucinating, but I flicked to the info of the episode and found it really appealed to my state of mind. The description of the episode was something like:

“A well off lady who believes in the power of positive thinking and self manifestation swaps place with a down on her luck woman who’s husband is currently unemployed and whom lives in a trailer.”

Positive thinking – check

Self manifestation – check

This one sounded like it might be a really good watch. So I dedicated an hour of my life to see what it may reveal and how this wonderful positive thinking would greatly influence and hopefully help improve the outlook of the other lady’s family. Oh just how sadly wrong I was…..*cue the usual negativity that ensues in this program*

Of course, when the wives enter their “new homes” the husbands find it difficult to deal with the new women that they are living with and some quite amazing discussions and reactions ensue. There are so many thoughts and emotions I experienced while watching this program that I cannot explain them all, so I’m going to try and touch upon what I feel are the most important ones for me:

  • It is much easier to think positively about a situation when things are going well for you personally, it is much harder when you are personally going through tough times. Example, I find it a lot of fun to *try* and live as frugally as possible, but I have the luxury of knowing if it doesn’t work out I can spend more because the money is there. I *know* that if we had to be frugal simply because there was no other option, it would not feel like such a positive experience.
  • On the other hand, I realize that your actions or behaviours are habit forming and therefore life shaping. Example, while times are good for us we aim to live as frugally as possible so we may save. Which in turn has provided us with a situation in which, if we happened to lose our jobs tomorrow, it would take quite some time for us before we would end up on the street.
  • The biggest gift you can give yourself or your family is to be open minded and resourceful, no matter what your personal situation currently is. Example, we have a friend who has been underemployeed for almost 3 years and try as he might to look for a job, he cannot find anything. He has written up several different versions of his resume and he looks for jobs online and applies, he has been to employment agencies and talked to friends, but he has had no luck with finding a job. In the past 3 years John has found not 1 but 5 jobs and I have found 2. It’s not magic, we’re not anything special, so why can we do it? Well our friend is stuck on the fact that he is of supervisor level and he will not apply for any jobs he deems beneath him, but he will also not go out of his way to impress anyone to get the job. His closed mindedness and lack of resourcefulness have kept him underemployed.
  • My husband has this wonderfully simple saying he often repeats to me, which is “Give time, time.”. I have always been a very impatient person. I want everything yesterday or if not sooner. However John knows the value of patience, he knows that you cannot have everything you want at exactly the moment you think of it. Patience is a great gift. Example, 5 years ago I wanted what we have today so much that I felt like we were just not good enough because we didn’t already have it. It took us 5 years, but we have it and it is so much better than I ever imagined because we had to work so hard to get it and we appreciate even more for it.

So given that I got that much positive thinking out of a positively horrendous reality show, I’m thinking it was not all THAT bad after all🙂

I looked at her, beautiful, young, desireable, talented, educated and naive. And she asked me “So how do you know if he is the one?” She is 24, just graduated from college, dating a guy who is her same age and apparently cheated on her numerous times (around 50 if I remeber correctly) when they first started dating. He had settled down into their relationship since. She however had asked me several times in the past 8 months whether she should pursue other men’s advances or stay with her boyfriend.

I didn’t quite know what to say. I had not thought about that question for so long. I met him when I was 22 and we moved in together 3 and half months later. A whirlwind romance and an intensely passionate love affair. We experience great conflict due to our different outlooks on life, but overcame them and our relationship flourished from that point forward. We got married in a secret ceremony about 3 years ago and now I just could not imagine my life without him. He is the air I breathe, the water I drink, my life’s energy. So what made him the one and am I really qualified to be answering this young girl’s heavily laden question?

“You will know that he is the one when he makes your soul sing.”

Yes, that’s right. My husband made my soul sing. You see, most people when you meet them there is that initial getting to know you effort you need to put in. You might like someone but you will not have the immediate need to incorporate them into your every day life. The connection you have with people you meet every day varies from an instant dislike, to a tentative liking, to a mutual reacognition of similar interests to a vague attraction and some feelings of commonalities to that all encompassing, life changing encounter which simultaneously takes your breathe away and envigorates your entire being. From the moment I laid eyes on my husband my life was changed forever. I wanted to spend every single waking moment with him, in his presence, absorbing his essence. I physically ached when I was away from him, but felt more alive than I had ever before when I was with him. When we travelled, it did not matter where we were, as long as I was with him it felt like home. He felt like home to me. He made my soul sing.

She though about my answer for a moment then she asked, “So what does that feel like?”…

And all I wanted to say to her sweet, naive question was “If you have to ask THAT question, then he is not the one for you.”

BUT, I didn’t. I held my tongue and told her that it was hard to explain, but she would know it when she felt it. She married him a few months later and I wish them both all the luck in the world.

Simple Humor

Here is my goofy orange cat making himself a new home…apparently he has not been all too happy with the old home.🙂

Photo: Homeless cat makes himself a home.

Today I count myself lucky to have enjoyed a little over 2 mile long walk with my husband in beautiful surroundings. We spontaneously decided to see if there were any geocaches in the area where we were looking and to our great delight there was one not too far from where we found ourselves. It was a little back off the paved road we were walking on, then down a footpath. After encountering a Florida King Snake (not posionous), we did manage to locate the tiny little bird house covered in camaflouging paper that was the 6th geocache my husband and I have ever found.🙂 We logged it and hopefully we will have more to log in the not so distant future.

This evening, hubby cooked us some delicious homemade broccoli pasta and I will never understand just how he manages to pack so much flavor into such a simple recipe.

Work in Progress

Lately I have been mentally re-committing myself to a simple life by focussing on the regular, everyday things that make up my daily life. Instead of overlooking them, the stability and regularity of this things have added comfort to me during a very uncertain time at work. By seeing the best in the simple things I am relieving the stress that would otherwise build up and create tension in my relationship with my husband. I instead am cherishing every moment we spend together no matter what we are doing. It is very life affirming.

God bless all,

Mary.

Escapism

Recently my thoughts have been wondering to escapism. I have have a wonderful life right now as we have a nicer place to live than we have ever had together, better paying jobs and recently I received a promotion. However, I am over worked and insecure about myself physically, so I am trying to find ways to escape this life and am doing it quite sucessfully in my head. I have travelled to Asia and seen beautiful temples, landscapes and beaches. I have become a monk who lives a simiple life, wanting for nothing and only working to gain spiritual peace. I have been a farmer, living off of the land and working hard physically, rather than mentally. I am searching for the escapism that captures me and baout which I have no reservations. One day I may just up and leave and take on the role I imagine in my head.

Staying Motivated

I used to have a blog on a high traffic website which guaranteed that I’d have at least a few viewers each day for my blog, however as that blog was found by someone who I knew and did not want to share my thoughts with, I decided to close it down and open up this blog. However, as this blog is not know and I do not advertise it, I recieve much fewer viewers. I noticed that this lack of viewership is de-motivating when it comes to writing new posts for my blog as I miss the interaction of knowing that people are reading my posts and provide me with feedback on my thoughts.

Also, as I have decided not to dedicate this blog to the same subject as the previous one, to ensure that it remains annoymous, I seem to have lost my muse. However, I am determined to find a new muse and incorporate all the new thoughts I have about simple living. So I have decided to find other ways to motivate myself to write more on this blog.

I am going to aim to post something at least twice a week, even if it is a short post.

Currently my whole life is revolving around focusing on more positive things and working towards being in a happy place no matter what else is going on. I have grown so much in the last year and one of the things I have learnt is that no matter what is going on around you, it is up to you as a person to either be happy or sad. It is a personal thing that cannot be forced by outside events or emotions.

Therefore each day I am striving to catch myself in different moments throughout the day and to remind myself that I am choosing to feel whatever it is I am feeling in that moment. Especially in moments when I am down or being overly negative, which I have an tendancy to be. If I can catch myself in those moments, I feel that eventually I will be able to catch myself before the moment starts and inevitably it will my nature not have those moments.

Be the change!

Love,
Mary.

Reaching Goals

In the last 2 years I’ve been working towards some pretty big goals in my life: saving up money, getting a better job and moving countries. We’ve manged to save more than I ever dreamed we could, I got not just 1 but 2 better jobs and I am now within touching distance of immigrating to a new country for the second time in my life. Through working towards these goals I have learnt alot about myself and the process of achieving the things you really want in life. I have started to repeat some sayings that have really become true in my life and have helped me through the process of achieving my goals. I want to share them with you:

– God created one day after the other.
– Each day is a new opportunity to succeed.
– The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

All these sayings remind me that when I want to achieve something big that I need to be patience and keep working towards my goal, because it is not possible to have it instantly. I will apply these new learnings to every goal that I have in my life from now on and learn to love not just the end results, but the process that brings me closer that my desire goal. It is about embrassing the process that helps you reach your goals, not just the desire.

It is not possible to win the race without first training to win the race.

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