I Gotta Be Me

It’s truly been a life-long journey, but when it comes to money, frugality, simple living, and self image here are a few of the things I’ve discovered about myself over the years:

  1. I like saving money more than spending money. I had a reputation in my family of being something of a shopaholic, but I’ve actually always been a person who shops with a purpose. However, I’ve found that I enjoy saving money more. I like setting goals, and setting aside money for emergencies, for future needs and for travel. I’ve discovered I pretty much don’t care much for shopping these days other than for groceries and something that’s necessary. These days I don’t “go shopping,” and I don’t buy anything without knowing the price I am willing to pay. 
  2. I don’t need to know where every cent of our money is going or has gone. Yes, we keep track of our money, keep our checking account balanced, keep up with our savings, but I just cannot get too into the detail of it all because it will drive me crazy. All those tasks are Brett’s now and he enjoys doing it because he has the time for it now. I generally keep track of what money is where, what is owed, and so forth and am usually always within a few cents of how I think things are and I can live with that. I greatly admire people who are much more organized than I am when it comes to their finances, but I just can’t do it.
  3. I have fun figuring out how to do more with what we have versus owning more. “Do we really need this?” is my background melody these days. Less really has become more for me.
  4. I will always choose simple, and good quality. Simple doesn’t always mean cheap, but I know that in the long run good quality is usually the most frugal choice, even if it costs more upfront.
  5. I am not a fan of personal finance, self-help, or simple or frugal living books. I’ve tried to read these kinds of books, but with a couple of exceptions they put me to sleep. I’m sure there’s lots of good advice in them, but they’re just not a good fit with my learning style. I learn better from reading about the everyday experiences of others on their blogs, by exercising common sense, and by taking the time to stop and reflect on what I want to accomplish and how I can get there. 
  6. I like modern things. Back when we got serious about paying off our debt and I started reading other frugal or simple living blogs, I felt like I had been doing things wrong because I just wasn’t into vintage and wasn’t and hadn’t been scoring all sorts of good deals at thrift stores and yard sales. But, with the exception of Japanese and Chinese antiques, I’m just not crazy about old stuff. What I love are modern houses and the look of clean, uncluttered modern rooms and furnishings even if I don’t quite achieve that in our small space. I have no problem with vintage items or antiques in other people’s houses and like the look of them there, but it just doesn’t work for me. 
  7. I am a forward looking person. I have had some great (and some not-so-great) experiences in my life, but there are no “good old days” for me. I don’t wish for things to be like they were in the past. I look forward to what’s to come, even though I know there could be sadness, struggle and hardship because every experience is a means of growing and learning.
  8. Maintaining a healthy weight is always going to be an effort for me. I am always going to have to be aware of what and how much I eat. There is no autopilot switch on this for me. Thankfully I enjoy walking because it’s something I need to do every day for as long as I am able.
  9. I like who I am and I love my life. This was a long time coming, but I have arrived and it’s every bit as wonderful as I imagined it would be.

6 thoughts on “I Gotta Be Me

  1. I really enjoyed reading this description of yourself. I’m not much of a shopper these days either, I too like reading about others everyday experiences as well. I need to be a more forward looking person, thanks for your encouragement.

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    1. Thanks, Karen! It was fun to reflect and write this post. I’ve always been forward looking, and a glass-half-full type of person. It’s not that bad things don’t happen, or that we don’t struggle, but somewhere along the way I figured out that everything changes, and nothing lasts forever, and it’s better to just keep moving forward and thinking about the future – the past can’t be changed, only learned from.

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  2. It’s taken me a lifetime to get to know myself and figure myself out! But it sure makes things easier. I wish I had even thought about it before, but I had no time or inclination until middle-age, maybe forties.
    I, too, LOVE reading, but really dislike most self-help books. I have to force myself, and life is too short!

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  3. This was an enjoyable read. I am a big fan of introspection, and it’s great to know who we are, especially as we age. Fun to see your overview.

    I’m the one with my finger (eyes) of the penny level of our finances, and DH is the one who has a “general” idea. It works fine as long as you both agree on it, at least at our house.

    We definitely share a love of modern decor, and I’m also not drawn to read finance, frugality or self help books (although I did read a fair number of self help in my younger years). My biggest problem now is that I’ll never live long enough to read everything on my list…authors keep publishing and making it longer! 😂

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    1. I don’t know that I was ever the introspective type, but in graduate school we had to do a LOT of reflection and reflection assignments, and it got me into the habit and shifted how I think about myself and my actions (my thesis actually ended up being a major reflection!).

      I used to be “to the penny” about things, and I handled all the financials when Brett was in the navy and working afterwards, but now that he has the time he enjoys tracking everything. I was glad to let it go. We talk over purchases and where the money goes, etc. but I am happy not to have to deal with the details these days.

      I swoon when I see pictures of your modern pieces – you’ve got so many of the classics. Our house these days seems to have so much stuff again, but that’s because it’s small. I’m not getting rid of anything more though – everything we held on to is meaningful to me and a pleasure to look at. The old Japanese and Chinese pieces blend well with the modern.

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      1. There are a couple of those pieces I would part with in a heartbeat, but it’s important to keep the peace. LOL. I’m all about comfort and textiles as I age, but for now we have room for them. I’m thinking specifially of the Eames Sofa…everyone agrees it’s beautiful but not a TV watching spot for any length of time. And certainly no good for sleeping. But DH bought it in a silent auction when they were remodeling a showroom in California for a ridiculously low price. 🤷‍♀️ The temptation of working at Herman Miller is too much for some of us. 😂

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