Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Planning for the Future and The Good Life

It's that time of year again where companies start talking 401k, saving for the future and matching contributions. My company did us the favor this year of sending in an investment guru to talk to us about the future and planning for retirement. I have been contributing to my 401k for years and I recently opened a private account secondary to my company retirement fund. Part of the money I put aside to grow my down payment for my new house and part is set aside as a "Do Not Touch" for the future account.

I am 43. I want to have a future that includes a place away from the city someday. I grew up in a small town and when push comes to shove, I would like to end my life in the country. I love the land. I love the out of doors. I love nature and when I finally get to my peaceful years, I want to be able to take walks with the squirrels and bunnies and see deer. I want wifi too. I'm a modern girl.

So, with that in mind, a budget is in the future. A plan of what I can and can't spend each month on "luxuries" and giving up some things like dinners out. They are small sacrifices because what I have realized in the last 4 months is that, at heart I am and always have been what I was born, a country girl. I don't think twice about plopping myself down in the dirt to sit a spell. Just a quick check for fire ants and dog poo and I am good to go. Sitting outside under the stars and watching a campfire and talking with friends while we grill hot dogs or eat stew is just about as exciting as I need my offseason life. It is all about finding yourself and for the first time in years, I feel more myself.
That doesn't mean I am giving up the other things I love. I will be at the Ballpark cheering the Rangers on once again next season. I will still attend an occasional Stars game with my 'family' and I will bike like crazy (once my surgery is past). I am just giving up the stuff that doesn't matter that much. I don't care about seeing people in concert. Not really. An occasional concert yes but I am choosing wisely. Probably once a year. I don't need the happy hours out. I am, at heart a homebody. I hope my friends understand, this is who I have always been. This won't come as a shock to anyone who has known me for more than the last couple years. They have always known.

I have never been a person that was afraid to try new things. The only way you know you don't like something is to try. That's why I went hunting even though I am not a big fan of shooting things. I have always known guns were fun to shoot. I shot my first gun at 10z It has always been my fear of them that kept me from trying. My guy asked me to try and I did. I like shooting. I asked him to respect my wish to only shoot targets, and he did.

Welcome to the Good Life. What I have learned in 2013 is finding the good life is about being yourself, loving you, and surrounding yourself with people who love and support you, even if they don't agree with all of your choices. I found out in the last two weeks how many amazing friends I do have and what an awesome family I have. The people that have been there for me are the same people that have always been there. I forgot that for a short time but I remember now. Oh, I have added a few new friends to the list who have been there through it all. I don't regret one moment of my life because every experience has made me stronger. Every challenge is a new opportunity. I wouldn't change a thing because the path brought me here and here is pretty good and the future is looking even more promising.

I am writing this blog today because if you have been reading my blog for any length of time you probably know, at the beginning of 2013 I was severely depressed. I wasn't suicidal but I wished I were dead, at times. I saw no happiness. Now, all I see is the good. I have challenges. I have problems. I have stresses. I just look at them differently now and very recently I made the decision to stop trying to make everyone else happy and concentrate on making myself happy. Since I quit trying to satisfy everyone else and have met my needs and the needs of my immediate family, I have found life a lot easier. God and family first. That is my priority.

My resolution for 2014 (yes, I am going there) is to appreciate every day and to make the most of my opportunity. I want to spend 2014 setting the groundwork for 'My family'. The time will come for my family too. It may be small but it will be filled with love. For the first time in my life, I know that. I have grown up so much. I am learning the fine art of 'we' and understanding communication has to be worked on. I am enjoying the process and the reward.

The last 6 months have been an incredible roller coaster of saying goodbye and hello and goodbye again and I can't wait to see what God has in store next!

To my faithful few readers for 2014 I plan on committing to a positive blog. It will be what it always has been, a bunch of various subjects but it will be as positive as I can make it and stay real.

Okay now for one last fun photo:

I had a new faucet installed last night. Isn't it beautiful??? The Good life!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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