Getting Out of Survival Mode
There have been a couple of periods in my life when I was basically in survival mode. I had to be very careful with my money. Careful as in budgeting to the penny, with the slightest unexpected expense putting me over the edge.
Think ramen noodles every night of the week. Something as simple as needing a new pair of cheap Ked-like shoes required scrimping, saving and hoping they would go on sale so I could get them for $3 or so.
Speaking of shoes, the other day my husband mentioned that he needed to get a new pair because the pair he was wearing was starting to get a hole in the sole. Without even thinking about it, I told him he could put some tape on the inside over where the hole was starting.
“No,” he said, “I think I’ll just go buy a new pair of shoes.”
“But you could put the tape on,” I replied. “I used to do that.”
“Yes,” he said, “But aren’t you glad we don’t have to anymore?”
Of course I told him yes. It’s great to be able to just go buy a new pair of shoes when they’re needed! Or even wanted. And I’m happy with the progress we have both made financially over the years.
But the tiniest little part of me felt like I was missing something. There’s one good thing about being in survival mode: you get the sense that every day is a huge accomplishment. I like feeling like I’ve done something huge each day.
But it’s sure not necessary to be in survival mode to feel that way.
It’s ok to let go of those feelings from the past — to not earn every dollar that it’s possible to earn; to savor enoughness; and to enjoy each day and feel accomplished without that stressful feeling of being on the edge.