Ranks right up there with peace of mind. (They are not the same).
Both are life skills that (in my mind) are underrated.
Both can be cultivated.
Underrated: Not rated or valued highly enough. When something great doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves.
Last weekend, a good friend at church said to me. “You are not normal.”
That I already knew.
He meant it as a compliment. 🙂
I asked him to clarify what he meant, because I wasn’t 100% sure.
He said he can see it in my attitude about “stuff” and money.
I’m not driven. Doesn’t mean I don’t love putting in a hard days work, Didn’t mean I was lazy. Didn’t mean I don’t see the value in saving money for the future, because I do..
Give you an example. Saw this picture last week about vehicles. It captures my attitude about my work truck that I picked up from my dad:
My work truck is simply a tool. A tool for me to do my job. As long as it’s mechanically sound, it doesn’t have to be pretty.
I used to work with a young man on a regular basis who was just getting into construction. At this time, he had 4 or 5 years experience under his belt. I had 35 years. He came to work one morning with an almost new truck. Parked next to my 15 year old Tundra. He told me to watch out, make sure I didn’t scratch anything, not to accidentally bump against it with my tool belt when I got something out of it.
Who would you rather hire to remodel your home?
Wealth is a tricky thing to keep the right attitude about.
It’s all about balance.
It’s like riding a bike. You can tip over any time.
I can be strapped and worry about money all the time, or rich and worry about it all the time. Afraid I won’t be able to pay my bills or afraid I’m going to loose what I have. Another big contentment stealer is chasing after the mirage of, if I just had____________ then I’ll be happy.
Is it even possible to be content when it comes to wealth and materialism?
Back in 2014, I came across the book Debt Proof Living by Mary Hunt.
(Notice I don’t have a link to that book, you’re smart enough to track it down if you’re interested.) I don’t do this (blogging) for the money.
I do it because I enjoy it. Period.
Hunt’s book completely transformed my attitudes about money.
(I’ve written about this before, so if you’re a long time reader you may remember).
We were ten’s of thousands of dollars in the hole at that point. Financial stress was always in the back ground of my mind. It felt (to use a word picture) like I was piloting a 747 and we were literally 20 feet above the surface of the ocean. The plane was still in the air, and it was moving, BUT the waves were lapping @ my wings.
Hunt wrote about that season in her life, and she was a lot deeper in the hole than we were. Her words gave me hope. More than that, she touched on issues of contentment and how to find that sweet spot of contentment.
That was in the spring of 2014, and I’ve never looked back.
Hunt’s book gave me a game plan.
I made a chart, pinned it on the wall in front of my desk. I drew a picture of an airliner skimming the water…then slowly gaining altitude and speed as different debts were paid, and money was saved for emergencies. Just making that chart gave me hope, even though initially nothing had changed in the short term. We’ve stayed on that trajectory ever since.
Early on, we looked at every detail of our lives, trying to figure out where we could cut. (Health care, heating system in the house, all of the normal things you look, even had the house appraised because we thought we might need to move)
Everything was on the table.
It’s not just about money.
It can just as easily apply to how many bee hives are “enough.” (I’ve wrestled with that)
How many laying hens, or number of apple trees to manage or hobby expenses, or (fill in the blank), how much is enough? You know as well as I do, whenever a person focuses on an area of life, it’s real easy for that area to take on a life of it’s own.
Love to hear your thoughts.