This post is about the importance of being humble. When things aren’t going our way, looking at our lives through a lens might help to put things into perspective.
Everyone goes through difficult times in their lives whether it’s to do with finances, relationships, jobs or even losing a loved one. Yet it’s possible to find something positive in almost every situation if we look hard enough.
The other day, I experienced a bit of a ‘wobble’ about the debts. Most of the time, I feel really positive about our debt situation and how far we’ve come in the last 18 months. But occasionally, my mind wanders and I start thinking ahead to the journey we’re going to face once our debts have gone.
Things aren’t exactly going swimmingly with other aspects of our financial life. It’s a bit complicated really. We’re currently renting the house in which we live so at some point we’re going to want to buy a home for ourselves.
But because of our Debt Management Plan, our credit rating has been severely affected and records of our defaults will stay on our file for the next six years. This means getting a mortgage anytime soon will be very difficult. (When you’re in a Debt Management Plan, you automatically default on your debts because you’re making an agreed lower payment each month.)
Then there’s the fact that we have very little put away for retirement. Both the hubby and I don’t have company pensions and I’m self employed anyway. We did open a Cash ISA each at the start of this year but because the debts are a priority, not much has been saved yet!
Then there’s the added complication of our former home, which we do have a mortgage on and have done for years, well before the Debt Management Plan was put into place. When we relocated, we decided to rent it out as the housing market had plummeted and at the moment, the rent covers the mortgage giving us a little pot of money to put aside for ‘house emergencies’. The trouble with this is that the mortgage is interest only so if we changed it to repayment, we’d be making a significant loss each month. However, we do need to make sure this is going to get paid off at some point.
When I start thinking about these things, I feel stressed and worried about how we’re going to achieve all this after we’ve managed to get rid of our debts. I know that we’ll be facing another long journey to get things sorted out.
Being humble puts things into perspective
This isn’t meant to be a negative post, it’s a humbling one. Yes, I have these ‘wobbles’ from time to time where the enormity of our financial situation hits me. And usually within a few hours, I’ve shaken myself off and dusted these thoughts away because quite frankly, getting down about things doesn’t help me at all.
I remember every day where we are now compared to last year and how quickly things can change if you try hard enough. I mentioned in a recent post of mine about how paying off debt is helping me to change my life for the better and it truly is. Once the debts are gone, we’ll be in a much better position to tackle all of those things I mentioned above.
Not only that but I remind myself of how much I already have. I read a great post recently from Kristen at The Frugal Girl about how you should look at your own life through the eyes of other people and ask yourself what they would see.
It seems to me that an outsider would see a family who are:
- Working hard to become debt free.
- Lucky enough to have a roof over our heads, enough food and a regular source of income.
- In good health and are not suffering.
- A strong family unit raising a beautiful daughter.
- Living in the countryside where there is an abundance of fresh air and nature.
- Ambitious and who are able to look for opportunities that could improve their lives every day.
When I look at things more simply, it is humbling to think about the beautiful life we are living from an outsider’s point of view. Being humble makes me look past our situation and at what truly matters in this short life we have. Yes we do need to get our financial house in order but given the problems some people have to face in their lives, our worries could be considered extremely trivial.
This brings me back into the present with a sharp jolt. And the present is exactly where we should be. Not living in the past getting stressed about how much time we wasted being bogged down with debt. Not driving ourselves crazy and getting worked up trying to anticipate the future. We should be right here in the present moment, appreciating life and those around us. When all is said and done, if we want things to improve and we work hard enough, they will.
What do you see when you look at your own life through a lens?
Image courtesy of Flickr