Not long after this post, I come home from work to discover Roommate #1 wanted a super long conversation about personal finances. She grilled me on all sorts of things: what I invest in, how I save, how I plan.
“You are SO GOOD about money! How do you DO IT?” was her most frequent exclaimation.
Disclaimer: I do not think I am particularly good with money – recently, I could have bought tickets for a Las Vegas trip at a grand total of $150, but I ended up paying over twice as much because I procrastinated. Silly, stupid me.
“It’s not easy.” I replied. “It takes a lot of hard work.”
“I don’t think I can do it. I mean, I WANT to. But I don’t have that kind of discipline.”
“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to – no one can make you do anything, you control your own actions. But it’s important to be able to live with your own choices. If you can’t live with yourself, and you’re complaining and bemoaning yourself all the time, then, well, that’s a choice you’ve got to live with too.”
For once, in the 14 months I’ve known her, she was silent. I guess it was a pretty new concept for her.
It was a pretty new concept for me too, not too long ago. I was pretty annoying and whiny about stuff too – still am, actually. I’m currently whiny about my plans for summer. How come I can’t do this? How come it didn’t turn out the way I want it to? How come there aren’t a lot of opportunities for that? What am I going to do? I want to be productive, but I can’t! I’ll never be as productive as other people!
The thing is, no one can be productive when they’re busy comparing themselves to other people, or telling themselves what they need to do, instead of just doing it.
And if I don’t do anything then, well, I have to be ok with it. I ended up being ok with paying $360 for that Las Vegas airfare – mainly because I didn’t want to drive through the Mojave in the middle of July. Weighing out the pros and cons also help with decision making. I am cost-cutting about other things though. And that’s how I live with it.
Maybe that’s the lesson here. Maybe I don’t have to be good about money, or summer plans, or diet and exercising, or good about any other of my goals. If I want it to change, it’ll change because I can handle it a step at a time. Otherwise, let it be. I’m ok with it.