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Why Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck Has Been Good For Me

Posted Jun 11 2013 4:03pm

We are struggling financially.

For a while, I would try to explain that when I said no because we didn't have the money to spend.  I said "no" to a lot. Sometimes I would be met with a "me,too,"  and feel hopeful about someone who understands! I would usually end up disappointed when one of the next statements would have something to do with not wanting to take money out of savings.

Savings? We don't have that anymore. You don't really understand, I would think, and then try to change the subject.

For a while, I would worry about perceptions of our life. We said no, no, no (some of which we would say no to even if we had the money to spend), but I wasn't working at all. Now, my husband works a job and a half, and I only work part time. How does that look?

I'm a worrier; peace doesn't come to me naturally. It is a trudging forward, a falling, and trying again.

For awhile, I was trying to figure out the healthiest version of us, so I was looking around saying, "I don't want that," "I don't want that," and "I don't want that." I got a little anxious when I realized the same thoughts about us might be floating around.

I am over that.

Once in a while, I have the privilege of nudging a would-be yogi into taking their first class. I hear a lot of "well, I don't have good balance," "I'm going to look ridiculous," that kind of thing. I always reassure the person that the only ones who will and should be looking at them are the people who don't know what they are doing and are looking for some direction.

That is how life goes, right? If people are looking at our family and saying, "I don't want that," well, good for them! They are trying on their own changing life, and that is necessary.

I've been fighting for a healthy family in the middle of the strain a tight budget can put on a family. I just don't have room for worry over what we look like any more. I just don't have the option than to try to really understand a person, rather than only who they look like they are.  Some amazing, not-just-like-me angels have been my strength when I felt like I was running out. They shared their stories, too, even though I might not really get it.

I'm getting better at getting to know people for who they are, instead of what they can do for me.

Maybe I could have changed like I did another way, but living paycheck-to-paycheck is how it happened for me. I am thankful it did.

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