No, this isn’t about me checking out French Maid costumes for halloween…

Yesterday was my birthday – I celebrated the 13th anniversary of my 30th year. 🙂 I’m not sharing this tidbit for attention seeking purposes (though you /know/ I’m more than happy to get well wishes to extend my b-day celebration for as long as I can. LOL!) It’s more of the fact that it’s got me into a contemplative mood… Because, you know, that’s such a rare thing for me. NOT! LOL!!

Anywho, I got an email that really hit home today: “Debt is a terrible liar, insisting that while you don’t have the money today, you’ll have it next month. Or the next. Debt keeps you stuck in the past, always stealing from the future.” Debt-Proof Living/Mary Hunt

Couple that with my devotional on my birthday being about about taking care of my Temple… you know, treating the body as a Temple and actually taking care of it so that I’m of use to not only myself, but to my friends, family, employers, strangers, etc. But also looking at the bigger temple: all the things that I’ve been entrusted with and how I’m taking care of it: money, debt, my house, the stuff in it, the relationships I have, etc.

Thinking about finances, poor health, bad eating choices, clutter… It’s all a form of debt. And debt is a form of clutter that stands between who you are right now, and who you are meant to be. Doing/buying/eating something today that you may not have the means to deal with, but are hoping/rationalizing that tomorrow you’ll be able to take care of it.

I know for me, I’ll commit to doing something today, or overbook myself during the week thinking I’ll catch up on the much needed rest and housework on the weekend, only to wake up at 6 am on Saturday and find my day already booked with odds and ends… and that leaves me dragging on Monday to start the cycle all over.

Or I’ll have a plan for dinner but by the time I’ve gotten home after all the little things that I’ve had to do, it flies out the window as fast as I can say ‘double-double-protein style and I promise to make dinner tomorrow!’

We’ve all heard over and over again that the one true way to get out of debt and stay out of debt is to live below your means. Don’t spend all you have by following a basic rule of saving 10%, giving away (donating, tithing, whatever you want to call it) 10% and learning to live on the rest.

Oh hey, that’s an 80/20 rule.

Living below your means takes on a new meaning when you apply it to not only the money you have, but also the choices you make about how you spend your time and energy. If you “spend” more time and energy than you can afford on things that leave you drained, then it takes that energy away from things that bring you joy.

When you spend more money than you make, you’re overdrawn.

When you live below your means – spend only 80%, you’ve created margin; a cushion that helps you face the unpredictable crises that arise in life.

When you over extend yourself physically or emotionally, you’re burned out.

When you chose to say no to a few things, and go to bed at a reasonable hour, you’ll start to create an emotional margin where you have energy to do what you need to do.

When I’m stressed and overworked, I opt to go spend money I don’t really have on stuff that I don’t really need because it’s easier than figuring out how to make do with what I already have… then I have clutter that keeps me stuck.

When I’m rested, I’m more mindful, and am more than content with I have, and I also see the overabundance all around me, and it’s easier to let go of the things that helps me find a little bit of peace and freedom.

When I eat the way that makes me feel awesome 80% of the time, I have energy move, and the body clutter (ie excess fat) tends to leave on it’s own without much of a fight, the 20% of random, celebratory, travel eating doesn’t have the negative impact that it could. (Think we all know what happens when I/we do the opposite!)

While it’d be much more fun to prance around in a maid outfit with a feather duster, I’m gonna be working on the clutter that can’t really be seen.

So how about you? What’s your halloween costume going to be this year? Any clutter in your life need removing? How long do you keep your birthday celebrations going?

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