As I write this, I’m noticing a theme of late. Lamenting my (and everyone’s) expensive life, at the same time I’m defending Stuff and getting bogged down in the slowness of projects (at least when done frugally). Sheesh, what a whiner!
Clearly, “somebody” is struggling with the day to day drudgery of frugality. Somebody. I get like this on occasion. I know it. When I do, there’s a little day dreaming I’m prone to. That is, I start to muddle over grandiose overtures. Big moves. Leaps. To fix or at least completely alter my situation. I’m curious to see if you do too.
What do I mean by “big moves”? Over sweeping actions that would effectively render that penny pinching drudgery I’m rallying against moot. To be more specific, our go-to “what if” is moving.
This happens frequently (by which I mean every time), we travel. Anywhere. Even to middle of nowhere rural Oregon. Perhaps especially to middle of nowhere rural Oregon. Where gas is .15 cheaper per gallon. Where I have a reasonable hope of buying a house I could actually pay-off. Or at least having a 3 digit mortgage payment, as opposed to 4. Cheap housing where I could expand my garden and food production. Nevermind the bleak employment prospects. Disregard the limited access to my friends or anything resembling culture. It gets my wheels churning. Rural Oregon leads to North Idaho, leads to Austin Texas, leads to parts unknown. The point is drop the life you’ve got. Pick up a new and improved one somewhere else.
And then there’s the fact I’d have to quit my job. Talk about daydreams.
Obviously, the penny-pinching would not become a complete thing of the past. That’s just silly. All legal tender would still require pinching. Moves are expensive. Moves that compromise jobs and earning potential are more so. In my mind’s eye, this is about starting over. Removing myself from the expensive PNW, my bloated job, and my slightly slimmer mortgage to see if we could do it frugally somewhere else. And would that frugality be easier?
A girl can dream. And she does.
Moving is the most frequent and long conversation inspiring subject, but such overtures they call to me. It goes beyond drop everything and move. When I have a little success with home food production? I think about ripping up the front yard for expansion. Because, I don’t want to make some of my food. I want to make all of it.
Getting the picture here? Extremes. Grandiose moves. Whole Hog. Success only begets further inspiration. Sometimes they are day dreams. Sometimes I actually do them. Luckily, that only seems to happen when it makes sense. So far, the practicality of moving doesn’t add up. Relocating too many dogs, most of which are senior. Attempting to rid myself of the fat mortgage without involving bankruptcy or foreclosure. These are not things I am interested in. Currently.
I’ve also yet to rip up our yard. My melon is awash with thoughts of goats, bees, ducks and bunnies. Thinking about all the things I’m growing this year goes hand in hand with all the things I could be growing. Most of those additions probably won’t come to fruition. (Bees though….)
For someone with this kind of affliction, those small daily decisions can get painful. They seem never ending, instead of a means to an end. I have to remind myself, I can’t escape. That’s helpful, right? In some ways, moving would be easy. One decision. Complicated yes, but free (at least temporarily) from the staying the course tedium that’s so difficult to maintain. Unfortunately, (or not) it’s those small steps that make for a successful leap. The three mile run leads to the thirteen. You have to lose 10lbs before you can ever hope to see 50lbs. What I’m growing in Ugly Garden now, is a solid, respectable start, even if it represents a fraction of our food consumption. Keeping at these tiny, minuscule, occasionally ridiculous acts of frugality, is my best good chance at escaping Corporate Servitude. These statements pain me. That doesn’t make them any less true.
Will we move someday? Perhaps. Maybe the stars will align, and it will make sense. We might have fewer dogs. Home values might rebound. I think the fewer dogs scenario is more likely. In which case I’ll be completely mentally prepared, having walked through the scenario in my mind thousands of times.
In the meantime, our lawn may not be safe.
Am I alone in this? Do you daydream about ‘fixing’ your life? How do you handle the money-saving blues?