Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stay the course

I've been on a bit of a life and work forced break from recording what the voices in my head are saying on this page but was doing some lunchtime reading the other day and ran across a post that is very relevant to where my thoughts have been lately.  The budgetary pressure valve has gotten some relief (at 10 instead of 11) lately thanks to all of the changes we've made over the past year or so and with those things somewhat on autopilot the temptation to slip back into old wasteful ways has started to creep back in necessitating some readjustment and refocusing.

As I've mentioned before, I have a bit of an addiction to Craigslist and 15+yr old Volvos and typically scan the 'List on a daily basis which can be both profitable and expensive depending on what I happen to run across.  A week or so ago one particular vehicle that had been posted for a while hit the magical "I must go see it" price and a few hours and $300 later and we had the beauty you see above in our driveway bringing the total car count to 6.  Excessive yes,  but I'll excuse it by saying it's an opportunity to spend time wrenching in the garage with the boy and we'll hopefully make a little $ when it's all said and done. 

I've also been doing quite a bit of mountain biking lately and my 15yr old bike is starting to show its age in creaks, groans, and broken parts.  While I could easily justify a shiny new 29er under the guise of facilitating fellowship and exercise, in reality a little elbow grease and a few $ in replacement parts would probably have 'er ready for another 15yrs of service.  That said, I've been fighting the urge to go on a bike research/deal finding bender which I have neither the time or money for (thankfully).  
One of my favorite verses is Matthew 6:21 and it's one that's helpful in just about any circumstance,  especially those requiring a refocus of priorities: 

"Where your treasure is there your heart will be also"

I also really like the Thoreau quote in the post linked above and it ties in well with the Simplify study we've been doing in our small group: 
"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone."

The idea of transcending to a point where you're not constantly having subverted desires for stuff but actually training yourself to not want those things at all even if you can afford them is very appealing and I'd like to say I've risen to Thoreau-like levels but that's far from the truth.  Killing off our Amazon Prime membership has helped some in the area of convenience driven unnecessary purchases but there are still plenty of other ways to blow money on things we don't need.  

The real key, and I think what both Thoreau and Mr Money Mustache are getting at, is that clearing your mind of such things cuts the noise and leaves you free to focus on the more important things in life.  The less your mind is filled with desire for things you don't have, the more you're focused on the present and enjoying what you do have, whether it be people,  experiences,  or even things.  Plus as Mr Money Mustache says "wanting less is an age-old recipe for having a much better life." 

If nothing else, I'm thankful for the occasional reminder of where my money and time should be spent,  regardless of whether it comes from a cheeky blog or the Word of God. 

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