Ordering Your Private World

“Throughout the film he contrasts the frantic pace of modern life with a thoughtful interior life….”

French film director Eugene Green in a recent interview

Those words…“the frantic pace of modern life with the thoughtful interior life” jumped off the page to me last night as I was winding down.

I forget  what it feels like to live  life at a  “frantic pace.”

My life has not felt that way ever since I began to intentionally weave “margin” into my life.  I am loath to get myself suckered into the rat race again.

It did  happen briefly last fall.   I had two major construction projects needing to start at the same time, due to weather and customer delays, but that is no longer the norm.

Don’t get me wrong…I have not “arrived” in terms of anything…BUT, I am convinced the frantic/ manic pace of life will suck the life out of me unless I am very careful.

I am a first-born type A personality.  I grew up on a dairy farm which compounded my need to stay busy, so I know what I’m talking about.

There are two young families that I know, (sort of) where the financial and job pressures are sucking the life out of their marriages. (Like  fire sucking the oxygen out of a room)  There is the illusion they have made it.  Super nice homes.  Nice cars.  Both spouses making multiple times more per year than I.

We could live off the income of any one of those four people and  have money set aside.

If that is the lifestyle both of you  love and enjoy…then there is not a problem.

Just different priorities.

If however, one of the people in either one of those situations feels trapped….then it is (a problem.)

How sad to live your life, day in, day out, commuting to a full-time job you hate,  never feeling like there is enough money, not enough hours in the day.  Being married to someone, who (initially) you thought you wanted to spend the rest of your life with, but now..not so much.

That is what I am talking about.

I’m a visual person, so it helped me to have something I could look at to get my bearings.

In my mind’s eye, I felt like I was the captain of a large ocean-going vessel, headed the wrong way….  So  I literally, drew a diagram with a large ship on a piece of white poster board/ taped it to the wall in front of my desk, with different positions on the chart showing the boat changing directions.

I needed to turn my ship around and set a new course….Well, you can’t turn a ship that size around on a dime…but once you move the rudder hard  you do change directions.

Moving the rudder meant setting some new financial, time management, and relational goals and then acting on them.

Just drawing that chart gave me hope.  I knew where we were headed,  even if the circumstances had not changed in the short-term.

There was a new sense of hope and purpose in our home, in our relationship, in my heart.

It all starts in the mind.

There were a couple of books that also helped me re-plot my course. One of them was called “Ordering Your Private World.”

I’ve written on this topic  before…As I find the older posts in  my archives, I will put the link to them here..

Here’s one of those earlier posts.

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12 thoughts on “Ordering Your Private World

    • boy, that is a tough one…if one of you is very materialistic/ or financially driven and the other is not, I would think that issue would keep popping up. (how much to work, where to spend $/ borrowing/ yada yada.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m glad we are no longer part of the rat race, having been there with stressful jobs and impossible time frames. One of the reasons for moving away in 2007 was so as to stop living our lives for everyone else. That may sound harsh, but we didn’t have (or seemed to be allowed) any time to ourselves. We already lived frugally, so a change of area wasn’t a hardship, and we managed very well. Downsizing in 2014 to the boat, though not intentional, again was not a difficult transition. We have enough. The way we live may not suit the majority of people, but as things are now, we are happy, healthier than we have been for years (present issue practically resolved), and have made true friends here. Luckily, we are very similar in our attitude and expectations, so pulling against each other has never been the case. I’ve seen many couples separate because they can’t reach a compromise. When Hubby and I got married, we became an Us, not a You and Me. I can live with that and smile every day. 🙂

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  2. Been there, done that.
    We both once had more money than sin and both as unhappy as hell.
    Living to work not working to live.

    The other half stopped me first.
    It was the morning after the night I taught her all about fixing lazer printers, in my sleep.
    That after a 19 hour day working in London then getting a phone call at 7am demanding to know where I was!

    Then I stopped her.
    The week completed, the migraine well on it’s way, and the handbag thrown through the door as usual. Me timidly holding out a mug of tea as she stormed past saying “I don’t want to talk about it”. Only I did.

    Funny, we never been so busy enjoying the simple things in life that we do now.
    We’ve cock all money but hey, we’ve never been so rich in so many other ways.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As you would expect, this really resonates with me. I count my blessings every day that my wife and I have the same worldview. It helps that we grew into it together. Neither of us was where we are now emotionally when we got married. We’ve been on the journey together and fortunately for us we’ve agreed on the path as we’ve matured along the way.

    Even before we decided to ditch it all and move to the farm we were frugal in ways that made us the butt of jokes among my colleagues, most of whom are still stuck in a job they hate because they’re either addicted to the income/prestige or they’ve taken on so much debt and stuff that they can’t live without it. The fact that we weren’t big spenders made it easier for us when we made the Big Change.

    I had a very high income, but I know people who were making lots more than me who filed bankruptcy. The wife of one of my partners (who I knew to have an exceptionally high income) told me that they’d have to file bankruptcy if they missed one paycheck. There are MANY people living that way despite high incomes. I would go so far as to say most. Financial stress is definitely not limited to middle class and below. It can be very severe, ruinous of health and relationships, at ANY income level.

    It’s easy to assume that we’d have it made it we only made what “they” make. But I can tell you from having been on the other side of the fence that more often than not it isn’t true. And I used to find it amusing (in a sad way) leaving my office late at night and noticing that all the most expensive cars were still in the parking lot, where I’d see them again on the weekends.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post DM. Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I appreciate what you said about your former co-workers living check to check. I used to know a financial planner who told me the same thing. Many of his wealthier clients were very poor money managers…had one guy that loved trains…so he collected full size train cars. His new house was even bricked to look like a train station….financially strapped, just bigger toys. Good to hear from you. Merry Christmas. You are on my short list btw/ next time we make a trip to the East Coast…you never know. Nothing is in the works, and I’m a home body..but would love to meet you in person some day. DM

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  4. I agree with Bill. It’s such a blessing for both my wife and I to have the same goals, to be totally on the same page. But don’t misunderstand, this isn’t some disney, meant-to-be situation, it takes work and patience and LISTENING to be here. Things are peaceful on purpose.

    Liked by 1 person

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