1 year, 2 months - More time for the best of things in life.
We disconnected our television in October 2011 as one of our cost savings efforts to get out of debt.
At the time we both hoped it would be a temporary situation - but, as time has passed, we are so thankful and blessed that the TV schedule no longer plays a role in our day to day plans.
Our home time is now scheduled around play, adventures, books, activities and so much more - which, on some occasions, includes a movie on our TV.
We've become so convinced of this "no-TV" lifestyle choice that this month we permanently cancelled our service (instead of just the no-charge suspension it's been on since 2011), boxed up the hardware and shipped it back to the company. Done!
Lessons from 2012:
~I like going to the Farmer's Market much more than I like gardening. Perhaps it is a time situation, working as much as we did in 2012 didn't leave much "home" time... and the little time we did have was not spent in the garden. The result? Waist high weeds so thick that the veggies didn't get enough sun = minimal veggies compared to the time invested in prepping beds, planting, watering, etc...
~Getting out of debt IS possible. We are blessed to be ending 2012 credit card debt free and only two consumer loans in addition to our mortgage. It took a lot of work. A Lot. And it took several out-right blessings.
~We worked WAY too much in 2012. For several months we were both working 70-80 hours per week. This excessive work helped put a big dent in our debt reduction goals, but it came at the expense of family time and keeping up on the needs around the farm. We knew it would be for a short season, but it was hard - especially on the little one. The memory of that time is now a good reminder to not get back into debt... we don't want to have to do that again.
~Go with the flow. Change is good... an opportunity for growth and new experiences - but keep your eye on your longterm goals to make sure you are moving in the right direction. 2012 saw employment layoffs, employment changes, promotions, pay cuts, raises, debt increases, debt reduction, surgeries, travel, and new additions. Through it all we kept our focus on our longterm goal: to be debt free. Sometimes that goal seemed right at our finger tips and then *something* would happen and it would seem farther away than ever. But we kept focused and did not get discouraged.
~Miracles happen, everyday. It's true - you just have to open your eyes and your heart to them.
Hopes for 2013I tend to be a goal setter - I love seeing the long list of possibilities - but this year we're trying something new. We're going to focus on our hopes and dreams... going with the flow of everyday life while remembering our priorities in life.
Our hopes for 2013 include making the time to:
~Be Grateful for everything in our lives.
~Give Back. We've been so very blessed that this year we hope to return some of the kindnesses that have been given to us. Everyone can give something - this may mean money or, as may be in our case, volunteering time or services to those who need them.
~Work Less on the things that don't really matter in the longterm.... including working just for money.
~Reduce and Expand. Reduce the excess material belongings and expand the things that truly matter in life.... love, kindness, experiences, learning, etc...
~Be Creative. Take some time to stretch our imagination muscles in a wide variety of mediums from arts to words to design around the farm.
~Be Open to the experiences of life.
Here's to a lovely end to 2012 and a hopeful beginning to 2013.