Hello. My name is Leah and I struggle with what I can and cannot control. Perhaps it’s a sign of an inflated ego – after all, what’s really beyond my control?! Or an excuse for not doing enough – as if to say, “I’ve done all I know to do and whatever happens next isn’t my fault.”
In the past, this feeling would lead to my muttering about how dirty our house is or initiating some unrealistic, new homework routine, because there’s nothing better than dragging your spouse and children into your crazy, to feel that you do, indeed, have some control in your life. Fortunately, for my family and my relationship with them, I’m trying something different this time.
I began by naming the thing I can’t control: having no job and (soon) no income. Then I brainstormed what I could control – something, anything, toward addressing those specific fears. The result is one goal – the same goal – for every day in March: do one thing that’s aimed at increasing our family’s income or, conversely, decreasing our family’s expenditures. (Man, that goal desperately needs an acronym.)
Income: I can take some of our books to Half Price Books or clothes to The Clothes Mentor for quick cash. I can post things I’ve made on Etsy or sell things on Ebay. Also, I decided to stretch the definition of “income” a bit and count “potential income” – applying for a job or sending queries for freelance work – as meeting this goal.
Decreased expenses: I can eliminate extras like the data plan for our phones or cable TV. I can apply for an income-based reduction on my student loans or look into refinancing our mortgage.
None of these are really new ideas, I’m just hoping that by breaking them down into one item every day, they’ll feel more doable and, thus, get done. And, truthfully, I enjoy a good challenge – especially one that should have tangible results. That said, it’s March 5 and we only have so many books we can sell over the next 25 days, so I’m hopeful that the supportive community of folks who follow this blog will both inspire me to meet my daily goal and, perhaps, have ideas for things I’ve yet to think of.
Okay, there it is. In print for all the world to see and hold me accountable. I’ll report back tonight. Wish me luck!