A Year After the Mayan Apocalypse

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journeyAbout a year ago I was getting ready for the end.  Utterly (and, okay, foolishly) convinced that the world was going to be no more, we were packing up clothes, food storage, and other essentials to go to the family member’s house where I thought we stood the best chance of survival should we live through the upheaval.

While the world didn’t end, it did open my eyes to some things I needed to change in my life. I concocted some goals, and what better time to review progress than a year later?

1.  Enjoy Time With People I Love

I’ve been trying to do this more.  To live in the present and savor every second of it.  I’d be lying if I said I had ultimately succeeded, though.

So part of this whole thing is learning to go with the flow.

But another part that I really struggled with was my mind wandering.  I’m a very goal-oriented person, and we’ve got a lot going on right now.  So instead of enjoying all those moments, I’d be internally stressing about all the stuff I had to get done.  I had hoped that by making enjoying the journey one of my goals, I’d be able to really focus and shut off that inner nagging that I do to myself.

This didn’t happen all the time, but it happened often enough that I’m not willing to check this one off the list.  I’m renewing it.

2.  Make Music a More Integral Part of Our Day-to-Day Lives

I feel like we passed with flying colors.  There were areas we could have done better.  The fiance bought some type of processing thing so he could play guitar more often.  And he did.  And it was awesome.  Then we got crazy busy again, and things like playing guitar fell pretty low on the priority list.

But we did do a lot of things.  We went to a kids’ musical show.  (With the children.)  We went to a Fleetwood Mac concert.  He went to see Tom Petty.  As the year went on, our concert-going slowed to a stop, but even just those three were something I wouldn’t have been able to legitimize in the budget without this goal.

We have dance parties with the kids.  Pandora is on in the background so much more.  I even started playing the piano again.  I used to be half-way decent, but I dropped it for quite a few years.  It was really frustrating starting at first, but I actually practiced and learned how to play his favorite Christmas song and surprised him with it when the season started.  Maybe I’ll learn to play some more contemporary stuff again as time goes on.

3.  Have More Date Nights

Oh, we started out so strong.  We were going at least once a month at the beginning of the year.  And then we fell off again.  Part of that is I started work again, and in order to make that work we sometimes (okay, a lot of times) need sitters.  Our sitters are our family, and they’re amazing enough to work for free.  And we’ve been using them a lot.  So I think we end up feeling guilty asking them to watch the kids AGAIN so we can go catch a movie.

I might have to break down and find someone I’ll have to pay if I’m serious about meeting these goals.  (I’m not against paying my family.  I just think their sanity and time is the more precious commodity here.)  But I don’t really know anyone like your stereotypical teenage baby-sitter that I trust enough.  And I’m not looking to sign one up that I don’t know from some website (even though I know those sources are out there and some of them require clearances, references, etc.)  So I’m not really sure how to mediate this problem.


So I did okay.  I still need to do better.   Sorry not all of them are financially related.  But I think an important part of our finances are realizing what is actually important to us so we can allocate our resources appropriately.  What’s important to you?


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16 thoughts on “A Year After the Mayan Apocalypse

  1. brian503

    My family is important to me. My wife and 3 children. We try and spend time together often, I always attend their sporting, concerts, school events. That’s part of the goal of being debt free is to have the money / budget to not be tied to bills and spend more quality time with family.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      I love that. Family is so important. And it’s such a blessing to have one that is close enough to desire that time together and truly enjoy it.

  2. MonicaOnMoney

    I completely agree with more date nights and quality time! Those are both important to me and sometimes that’s easy to forgot with all of the other stressors in life (like work!)

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Oh, it’s so true! I always kick myself when we go out on a date night after not having one in months. I sit there and realize that this time to connect with each other was what was missing from our relationship and that when we ignore it it’s like we’re just saying we want to be miserable. But it can be so hard to figure out how to fit them in.

  3. donebyforty

    My wife and I are a big fan of the date night. Things get busy and one night every week or two with just us two, having fun, ends up being the most important time of the week for me.

    It sounds like we have some similar goals — all the best in achieving them in 2014.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      That’s so great! We find it’s the best time we have all week/month/quarter depending on how often we actually do it. Would love to get weekly like you guys! And thanks!

  4. anna

    I love these goals – money is important, but I value time with loved ones so much more. Best wishes in accomplishing these goals even better this year!!

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      Thanks so much, Anna! So much about money is deciding how to use it to leverage the life you want to live, and I’m with you….the time with my loved ones tops the list of priorities.

  5. The Frugal Exerciser

    Girl, are you a prepper? BTW, I love that show on NGEO called Doomsday Preppers. My hubby and I started date nights after 9/11. We had our home for 3 years and never used the dining room after that we decided to have date nights on a regular basis.

  6. Mel

    I love “make music a more integral part of our day to day lives.” What an easy thing to totally overlook! Good luck keeping it going all year.

    Spending more time with my family is definitely high on my priorities list this year. I actually moved back to the area I grew up in because my grandmother is so sick with the intention of seeing her more, but I feel like actually getting a normal job and settling down here has left me with less time than usual to go hang out with her. Usually when I’m home, it’s vacation and I have all the time in the world. I can see how family time needs to become a priority and not just something I hope will fall into place!

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      I totally hear you on that! It’s not just you; I’ve found it to be true and I’ve had friends that get into the same situation. You visit home and every second is devoted to the people you so rarely get to see. But then when you move home you start to take the ability to see your family for granted and it can get lost in every day life. My friend once told her sister about her decision to move 800 miles away, “You shouldn’t be upset. I’ll actually be seeing you more this way!” I hope your grandmother recovers, and quickly!

  7. thepursuitofriches

    In a way, I guess you could say the world as you knew it, ended a year ago 🙂 those are some great goals to set (and to live up to!) I’m adding a little more fun and activity in my life this year, to counterbalance the seriousness of dealing with my debt and money.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      EXACTLY! It was such an eye-opening experience, being so totally convinced that you were going to lose everything and/or cease to exist on such a finite timeline. I think adding the fun is so important. Being fiscally responsible is important, but I think here in the PF world we can sometimes get so caught up in it that we forget that living life in the meantime is also a very important, healthy thing. Best of luck to you in 2014!

  8. Pingback: Day 83 – I Accidentally Bought a Chicken Lasagna! | The Pursuit of Riches

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