Enjoy Life Now

Today marks nine years since my Dad moved on from this world. Five years ago, this day I brought Monkey home for the first time on a 70 degree sunny day with my Dad shining down.

This day signifies quite a bit in my life, and how fitting for today, March 14th, to be a day all of us are at home together playing on a “snow day” that has been all rained out.

Enjoy life now!

Each day as I set out to run or walk from our house, about two blocks away I come across this sign planted in an adopted piece of land. It is such a beautiful use of the space and a great reminder to release the tension and enjoy life now. Right now. This minute.

I read the sign almost on a daily basis as I walk Ruby past it as well. I read it and take a deep breath and meditate on it for a moment. Enjoy. Life. Now!

I am thankful to the family who put it there because life is so fleeting. I know from experience we waste too much time worrying and not enough laughing and singing or dancing.

Through our frugal journey and our two times hitting rock bottom, I’ve learned how to detach from our material possessions. Sure, I still get sad when something sentimental breaks, but I move on and don’t harp on it like I used to. Living with less has opened me up to so much more.

This past weekend, during our family party for Monkey, a sentimental ceramic pig was smashed by accident. I didn’t even know it was broken and thrown out until after the party when I found some ceramic pieces on the fireplace and started to investigate.

It was a pig that my second Mom and good friend Mar had on her mantel since as far back as I could remember. I saw it every time I visited her house, and when they cleaned out her home after her passing last May, I had asked if I could have it. It has since sat on my mantel.

Oddly enough, I remarked the morning of the party how she was with us in that sleeping pig. The pig sat there along with various other items from my Dad and our previous pup Bambi. It was my special place for Mar.

When I found out it was broken, I was saddened, but I wasn’t overwhelmed. I felt a sadness knowing it won’t be sitting there anymore, but I accepted that fact and figured she was just trying to jump out and be a part of Monkey’s party. Monkey and Mar had a special bond I was so grateful for and miss for both of them.

I thought, “Enjoy life now!” It was a part of her, but it didn’t remove her memory or her thoughts from our home and lives. She’s still laughing right along with us and watching over our Monkey. Enjoy life. Now.

Detaching from this world of possessions doesn’t come easily. I see it in my children, and I saw it deeply within myself. When we had to sell off a bunch of items we owned years ago to put it toward buying food I realized how little it all mattered. Being in good health, making things with your hands and mind, family and friends to support you, and being kind to others is truly the greatest joy of this life.

As I sat without knowing where our next meal might come from at times in our journey, I learned that all of these “things” means little. If I didn’t have a family, I probably would live more minimally and in a tiny house. I compromise with Chris’ desires (“Why don’t we have 5 TVs?”) and am happy to have a plot of land to grow food this summer!

Things, they’re just things. They come and go. Each month when I review our expense reports, I’m always surprised by an item or two we purchased that I had already forgotten about. We easily forget these things, but we don’t forget how others helped us or the good feelings we get from helping others.

Our frugal journey has changed so much from seeking debt-freedom and security to focusing on how we can make with our hands, help others, and start to plan a financially independent future. I am excited to reach the point where we can comfortably open a donor-advised fund and start to give to others in a new way and helps others…

Enjoy Life Now!