I recently started listening to The Minimalists’ podcast. They’ve only had six episodes so far, but I highly recommend you check it out. Actually, I highly recommend you just check out podcasts in general. I guarantee there is a podcast or two or three that will spark your interest and possibly replace an hour a week you might have spent browsing Instagram or watching reality TV. Not that I have anything against either of those activities. Both are pretty entertaining, in moderation, but let’s get back to The Minimalists. I was listening to their first episode, and early on Joshua Fields Millburn brings up how we allow perfection to prevent us from doing what we want to accomplish. Josh’s exact words were “our affinity for perfection or getting it just right, prohibits us from actually doing it….we have all these rules we set up that prevent us from accomplishing what we want to accomplish.”
Spoiler alert, y’all, it was not a good month in the Hooper household, budget-wise. I was having trouble keeping track of our expenses via Mint because my Target card hadn’t synced for over a month (it was an issue for all Target REDcard users on Mint). When everything finally synced up, we were about halfway through the month, and we had already gone over budget in one expense category. I think I just felt completely hopeless so I stopped paying attention to our spending in this category for the remainder of the month. Obviously this is not the way to go, so I knew this month’s budget review was going to be painful. When you struggle with any issue in your life, it can be really disheartening to not see progress. Some days are good, some are bad, some days you wonder why you try so hard, only to end up failing. When you get to this point, you have to step back and take a hard look at your behavior. Are you setting yourself up for failure? Do you truly believe you can accomplish your goals? Are you putting the right systems, resources, and influences in place? These are all things I started to think about before I even took a look at my budget for the month. In 99.9% of situations, if you do not meet a goal, you have yourself and yourself only to blame. I’m about to go into my 29th year of life on this Earth; by now I should be aware that I should always have a plan B, plan C, plan D, and so on. I can’t just throw my hands up in the air and say “I’ll do better later”. There is no later. There is NOW and that’s what I should be focused on improving.
Halfway through the month of January, I went through a bit of a crisis. It started when I learned that the vegan bag company that sells a purse and wallet I had been lusting over announced a big sale. The purse and wallet that I felt were “essential” to my year-round capsule wardrobe were now 40% off the normal price. I had been using a diaper bag in place of a purse since I started staying home full-time, and I didn’t want people to perceive me as “just a mom” the moment they saw me. I wanted my clothing and accessories to reflect that I still had time to piece together a suitable outfit every day and that I wasn’t letting all the neccessary kid accountrements cramp my style. So when I saw the sale, I immediately asked Ryan if this purse and wallet could be my early birthday present. He said “yes” without hesitation, and I placed the online order that night. About a week and half later the package arrived in the mail. I was extremely excited to open it, but my home was a complete disaster (aka it’s normal state) so I wanted to get everything cleaned up before opening the package. I went about my regular business for the rest of the day – cleaning, cooking dinner, taking care of the kids.