Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wealthy Living

I began the weekend with leaving work immediately yesterday afternoon with "gazelle" intensity (a Dave Ramseyism) and headed home on the side streets - the method I've chosen to commute by driving for the past couple of months. I finally stopped in at a second-hand shop that recently opened. In 30 minutes I was able to buy a couple of tops, a skirt, and a pair of pants for $13.50. Some have designer labels. Yay for me! Yay for the local shopkeeper! My choice to stay off of the freeways paid off for both of us. Otherwise, I would've never passed her shop.

I arrived home before sunset and saw that my new walking shoes arrived from my online order. Fortunately, I began breaking them in with a brisk 1 mile walk around my neighborhood. I enjoyed watching the distant city lights illuminating the dusk as I mounted one of the small hills in my community near the park. I praised God for the view, the warm weather, and the good health to walk.

I ran into a neighbor who lives on a street a few blocks away from my home and we chatted for a few minutes: Just enough to touch bases and discuss how thankful we are to have jobs and a home. She updated me on some of the local government decisions and it reminded me of how I once kept up, in detail, with civics but let it go. I'll pick it up again one day but having the time to talk with her felt rewarding enough.

Down the street, I passed another neighbor's house who started her own greenhouse: I usually plant veggies annually but I've never built a greenhouse. (I prepared the bed for planting this weekend over the past 2 weeks. I will also plant start some seeds indoors and transplant them in about 6 weeks.) Hmmmm...over the years, I've waved and had brief exchanges with this neighbor but I don't know her name or much about her. I am hoping that I will get a chance to see the greenhouse up close. I know that I will strike up a conversation about it when it becomes feasible.

Today, I will attend a 3-hour seminar by one of the authors of Boundaries: Dr. John Townsend. He is speaking about loving others. I paid $20 for the ticket at my non-denominational community church I've attended off and on since 2002. I read Boundaries a couple of years ago and I highly recommend it to anyone in search of healthy living strategies. I am meeting a friend at the church coffee shop (I've already sipped my fill at home for the day) before the seminar begins so that we can sit together.

After the seminar, I will stop by the local farmer's market and chit-chat with with vendors and one chamber of commerce reps I know who facilitates the weekly market while I get my fresh produce. Around the block, I will pick up the other two books I have on hold at the library.

There's plenty to do at home today: gardening, ironing, reading, relaxing. I want to finally try a new meatball recipe I downloaded and use some of the ground turkey I bought on sale a couple of weeks ago.

The total money cost for today will be the $20 I spent for the seminar ticket, the $15 I will spend at the farmer's market, the gallon of gas with wear and tear on my car which is about $7. There is a high probability that I will buy one of Dr. Townsend's books/DVDs today, so I will take some extra cash in case. If the cost a book/DVD is more than $25, I will not buy it. Knowing what I will spend in advance keeps me grounded and protects me from heavy persuasion to buy, buy, buy.

The personal, positive interactions I will experience with my friend and attendees at the seminar, the folks at the farmer's market, and library will be the true wealth I will enjoy most today. I expect to have a good day. I have set myself up for success and not failure. If negative things happen, I at least started the day on a joyful path. Freedom!

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