Aside

Bills paid!

Tonight, I paid extra on all my cards, and I have money left over for groceries and gifts. I feel like there’s still hope for me. 🙂

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Money… Blah!

I’m really not the most “ambitious” person when it comes to money. I’m fine with renting my cheap apartment. I love my teenaged car. Honestly, I’m super cheap. I’m even doing well budgeting these days.

But here’s the thing… For two years, I lived in an apartment on my own with a cat and worked an incredibly demanding job that never paid enough for me to make ends meet, so I supplemented with credit cards. I finally changed jobs a few months ago, but at the same time, I had a bunch of unexpected expenses, including medical procedures for my cat and buying a new car.

And now I’m stuck. I watched my debt go from less than $1000 to in the TEENS. I make ends meet now, but it’s so hard watching what could be savings and disposable income just be shoveled into credit card payments.

So here I am, frustrated, and asking for ideas. I’m super close to just going back to having a second job, but my cats really don’t do well when I’m gone all the time, and I don’t do well when I can’t see me boyfriend every weekend. So who has successfully gotten out of a mountain of debt? Has anyone successfully used a consolidation loan? What about any side jobs that DON’T take away the whole weekend or make you work 30 hours a week when they promised not to? Most of the advice I find are from people who are couples and have higher incomes.

Help!!!

A “Can’t-Do” Attitude

Now that I’ve been in my 30s a few years, I find myself reflecting back on my life. It’s encouraging to see my successes and to remember how much of an overcomer I can be. But it’s extremely disheartening when I look back on the opportunities I’ve missed simply because of my “can’t-do” attitude. It’s hard to realize I could have done more meaningful things in my life if I hadn’t been so darn scared.

Sometimes, those regrets motivate me to become bolder. More often, they just become a source of discouragement. If I hadn’t been too scared, maybe I would have stepped out and pursued a raise sooner and started that side hustle. Instead, I supplemented my life with credit cards. Now I’m fighting to lower my debt. If I hadn’t been too scared to mess up, maybe I would have learned Spanish already. If I hadn’t been so worried about the unknown, maybe I would have bought that house. It took me years to get up the nerve to start a blog, even though I barely write on it!

It’s hard to get out of that cycle of discouragement and self-loathing. I’m confident that it’s possible, but it certainly is taking me a long time!

I know WHAT I need to do, I don’t know HOW to go about doing it. There’s always that little voice telling me I can’t do it, I’ll just fail, and why bother. It’s always wonderful when I can drown out that voice.

Does anyone else struggle with this? How do you overcome the “can’t-do” attitude?

Aside

Old Movies

We’re watching My Favorite Wife tonight. I love the classic, old movies. Some of my favorites are a little rough around the edges, but their beauty is that they formed the foundation for so much of the media we consume today.

I know so many young people these days who haven’t watched a single movie made before 1990, and I can’t help but think they’re missing out. Like literature, movies give a unique insight into history. Just watch Stage Door Canteen and tell me you don’t feel the same.

What classic movies do you love?

Nightmares

Tonight I had 3 nightmares in a row that my ex tried to kill me. All of them ended when there was no escape. I woke up an hour ago and still can’t sleep, so I’m just going to ramble to get them out of my mind.

The first nightmare took place on Halloween. I got a call that someone I knew was dying and asking for me. I got to the room, and it was actually my ex and his whole family. They tried to pressure me to get back together. I refused and tried to leave and got attacked. I let my family know while I was running away. I found a police officer who helped me out of the building. Unbeknownst to me, he and his buddies had been paid off with money and drugs to kill me. I started running, but there was no way I’d be fast enough…

This lead to dream number 2. I was running in a Disney Princess race, when my ex spotted me. I started to run away, sprinting the shortest route across the course. But he killed every single person that was in his path. And once again, I wasn’t fast enough…

Dream number 3 took place in some kind of weird manufacturing facility. It had a track and lots of doors. My ex comes speeding toward me in a truck, so I find a place to hide in the building. Unfortunately, he spots me, and starts swerving his truck so the trailer on the back will hit me. I’m not fast enough and can’t seem to reach any of the doors in time…

Finally, I woke up. I was whimpering and my heart was beating out of my chest. I’m still shaken. I have no idea why those nightmares happened. I haven’t had one in a while. Maybe my subconscious recognized that today is the 5th anniversary of the day I officially broke off the relationship.

Five years ago, my crappy life became a literal nightmare for months. And until late last year, I was always on alert when I went anywhere alone. I have my freedom and people who love me and my happiness now, so things are good. But it took awhile. And it took patience. And it took my boyfriend showing me what love actually looks like.

But those damn scars are still there on the inside, and I can’t control my nightmares. Anyone out there have any ideas?

Let’s Talk about Communication

One of my biggest pet peeves in my job is the lack of communication from people in the real estate industry. Especially when it comes to email.

I will reach out over and over again to a lender or agent and never hear anything back. A lot of the time, they won’t return calls either. I understand things are busy, but if you aren’t communicating with your clients and the other members of a transaction, you are hurting yourself. Why would anyone want to recommend you if you disappear off the face of the planet as soon as a contract is signed?

On the flip side, there are numerous people in the industry that have realized the value of communication. They are the ones sending an email once a week with status updates. I don’t care if it’s a fill-in-the-blank form email, it’s USEFUL. They check in if something changes. They check – and answer (!) – their emails. I love working with people like that!

Here are a few things that will not only improve communication and impress your clients, but will make your life easier as well.

  1. Develop a plan for communication. Consistency is very important. Develop plans for calls, texts, and emails. Plan how often you will call to check in on your clients and what you will be calling them about. Develop a plan for updating your clients by email on where they are at in the process. Develop a plan for follow-up after the transaction is complete. Create templates for these emails so that they are easy to fill and send.
  2. Keep your voicemail clean. Don’t just put your name in your voicemail. Make sure you set an expectation in the message for how long it should take you to call them back. This will help prevent people from calling constantly because they reached your voicemail. And super important, learn how to delete emails so people don’t constantly get a “voicemail box is full” message.
  3. Check your email. I cannot stress this enough. So much is done through email that it can quickly get overwhelming. But you can’t just pretend email doesn’t exist. People are waiting on answers from you. Besides, if you are constantly asking for things that people already emailed to you, you just come across as a dunce.
  4. Set expectations in communication. Just like with voicemail, make sure people are aware upfront how you communicate. Let them know how long to expect an answer from a text or email. Set up a vacation responder when you’re not going to be checking your email, even if it’s just for half a day. If people are constantly overstepping boundaries at night, put your phone on night mode and turn on a vacation responder on your email that you will get back to them the next day.

These are just a few things I’ve found helpful. What other ways could we improve our communication with others? Have you run across someone who impressed you?

Contentment in a Discontented World

It’s been a while since I’ve written! I let my worries take hold of me, and now I’m WIDE awake.

I’ve been thinking lately about how this country is so privileged yet so discontent. The vast majority of us have a high standard of living compared to most of the world, yet nothing ever seems good enough. I know so many people who have big houses, nice cars, a million followers – so much stuff. Yet, they continue to want more. Once they get what they want, they start to complain about what they have because then they want something “better.”

Yet if you’re happy with your life, if it means less money and less stuff, you are looked down on. Because you obviously lack the worshipped trait of “ambition.”

Even us Christians value the accumulation of stuff way too highly. Prosperity gospel is huge. Despite the fact that the Bible preaches contentment. Despite the fact that Jesus himself, and His closest followers, had next to nothing. We’re even told outright not to store up treasure here. Yet there are a multitude of books attempting to justify our desire to accumulate as much as possible. We glorify the “entrepreneur” over the janitor, the executive over the factory worker. Yet all are necessary and are linked together symbiotically.

Having wealth is certainly not in itself wrong. But if we are gaining such wealth by disregarding ethics and hurting others, we are doing wrong. If we think wealth is inextricably linked to God’s blessing, we need to take a step back and rethink our views of God. If we need a book to make us feel better about our pursuit of wealth and power, I would say that’s a pretty big red flag that something isn’t quite right.

There are other things we should be pursuing ahead of the accumulation of things we don’t actually need:

1. Love!

Above all else, we are commanded to love God first and then others. (Matthew 22) Are your pursuits taking precedence over love? What are you doing to help those around you? Are you neglecting your responsibilities to those around you to gain something you could live without?

2. Contentment

If you cannot learn to be content with what you have now, you cannot expect to be content when you have more. Don’t get trapped in the cycle of greed that you see so many celebrities/athletes stuck in.

3. Thankfulness

Hand-in-hand with contentment, learn to be thankful, even in the hard times. It will make the good times seem so much better. Stewardship improves when you’re thankful for what you have.

4. Generosity

Are you giving? I don’t mean just 10% at church. Are you giving to people in need? Are you volunteering your time? Practice giving to the point of discomfort. It’s extremely rewarding.

5. Personal Growth

Growth is more than just an increase in the bank account. Make sure you’re also growing yourself. Grow in knowledge. Grow in skill. Grow in character. Most importantly, grow in your relationship with God.

I’ve struggled with discontentment. I often want more than I have at the moment. But then I take a step back and realize how much I have in this life, and you know what? I become happier. I give more. I judge less. ❤️