One of my new years resolutions was to find more balance and less stress in my life. I want- and need- to be more present in my daily life. I often race ahead and plan, plan, plan, and end up missing out on what’s actually happening. Additionally, I overload myself when it comes to side hustles in the name of earning money.
Generally speaking, it’s a bad plan. Overbooking myself makes me unhappy and I start to feel like nothing is worth it. While I wouldn’t say 2015 was a bad year, I also wouldn’t say it was my happiest year ever. The first half was dominated by debt payoff and the second half was dominated by growing my savings. Both were times of high stress, as earning money is a very time consuming thing for me. I had to work six separate jobs to make around $34,000 last year.
Now that it’s 2016 I’m really focused on trying to STOP THAT SHIT. All caps because it’s important and because it’s really hard to do! I’ve grown used to operating a certain way. Even if I don’t love it, I am used to doing something all the time, or planning to do something. My mind is aways going- trying to figure out how I can pick up another shift or how I can cut back somewhere in my spending.
That kind of mindset takes me out of the moment. I know being present is something everyone struggles with. Paying attention to what’s going on in front of your face at the moment is surprisingly difficult!
I kind of thought that when the new year came around, all of my stress and over-scheduling would just disappear on it’s own. I envisioned being ushered into the new year with grace, better time management skills and less resentment, without having to actually work on any of those things. I thought I would be present and able to enjoy the now seamlessly.
That has not happened. Turns out, like everything else in life, if you want to enjoy the now, you have to work at it a little bit. So I am now trying to practice gratitude and look for joy in little moments in my daily life. I’m collecting these moments as best I can on my instagram account too.
This blog is about frugal adventures and living a luxuriously frugal life. I firmly believe that every day can hold some adventure in it and that adventures are not expensive. Beauty, happiness and wonder are all around us! Even when I’m catering and hating it, there are little moments of laughter or beauty. It is not impossible to enjoy the now, not by any means.
I live a truly privileged life. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that. I have lots of goals and certainly my life is not one of endless ease. Neither am I struggling to put food on the table or pay my rent though. In the grand scheme of things I am living a life of wild and absurd luxury- in the smaller scheme, I am taking care of myself and moving towards my ultimate goal of financial freedom.
It’s time for me to take a deep breath and relax a little bit. I can’t white knuckle my way through life. The present is right in front of my face and it’s got some unbelievably awesome stuff going on. I want to cherish my present as much as I can, even as I am working to make my future better.
Who else is working on being mindful and more present?
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.