Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Controversy with the 101 list???

Today has been an emotional rollar coaster.

Do you remember that game "telephone" from when we were kids? In Girl Scouts, we used to sit in a big circle and one person would say, "I don't like my dog" and by the time everyone whispered the message into the next person's ear, the last person announced that the phrase was, "I won't write or draw" or something totally different.

The point of the game is this: if you don't hear it from the horse's mouth, you may not get the right information.

Last night, I was talking to a friend about my list of 101 things that I want to accomplish in the next 1001 days. (technically, it's now 1000 days, but no pressure...) As I went through the list, she teased me about having high hopes for someone whose husband is unemployed. Ha ha, laugh laugh, but I was quick to point out that not only do have nearly 3 years to do all of these things, many of them don't cost a dime.

We were scrapbooking while our husbands were watching college football, and when we all came together again in the kitchen to play a board game, the "innocent" taunting started again. "Hey Mike, have you seen your wife's list of 101 things yet? You're gonna be paying for an awful lot of vacations, so you'd better start saving up..." (hahahaha) This is about the time that I walked into the room.

And so the harassing began. From all three of them. "You know, Katie, a lot of your goals are going to affect your husband..." "...you should really have discussed this list with him before putting it together..." "...he's already under enough financial pressure as it is..." "...do you even have 'travel' as a line item in your budget?" "...how do you expect to do any of these things with no income?" "...you really need to rethink some of these things because they're totally unrealistic..." "...I know you think your list doesn't affect Mike, but many of the things on there totally involve him..."

(Do you hear that POUNDING? Listen closely. That's the sound of people stomping all over my hopes and aspirations. How dare I have goals? Why should I dream big?)

Let's really dig into this concept, shall we? (not that I'm feeling defensive or anything...no I'm not...no I'm NOT!)


3. Complete the never-ending project I’m doing over our bed - FREE - I already have all of the supplies.
5. Have another baby - granted, NOT FREE - yet I still want more children
6. Take 2 weekend getaways with my girlfriends - ALMOST FREE - I can save my pennies to contribute to a couple of long weekends at my friend's condo in Flagstaff, as we'd planned
7. Take a short vacation with another couple, no kids allowed - again, if planned well, this could be really cheap
9. See the Grand Canyon - day trip
10. Take a trip back to Kansas City - I haven't been to KC in 3 years...I think it's fair to want to go back sometime in the next 3 years considering all we'd pay for is airfare
13. Organize the sports equipment in our garage - minimal cost if planned right
16. Go on a cruise - we've discussed doing this for our 10 year anniversary in 2010 OR my in laws have been discussing taking us on a cruise for a while now...not an unrealistic goal in my mind
17. Put wood floors in my scrapbook room - FREE - a friend has extra wood and he has offered to put it in
24. Sell my old bedroom furniture that I had as a kid - HELLO! This is MAKING money.
28. Go to San Francisco with Mike - again, just the plane tickets, we would stay with friends
31. Put cabinets and counter tops in my craft room - I'll admit this could be costly, but I plan to scope out discount stores that sell discontinued cabinets for cheap and could ask for $$ for this project for holiday gifts
42. Add ads to my blog to help bring in a little income - again, MAKING money...
52. Pray for Mike every day for a month - yeah, this would totally affect Mike...in a positive way!
55. Color my hair back to blond again - I use $6 boxed hair color + coupons
56. Purchase overstuffed chairs and a large ottoman for our living room - yes, this is expensive and likely won't happen until we sell a rental house
57. Get the broken dining room chair fixed - CHEAP - buy wood glue
58. Hang curtains on the office window - FREE - I have the fabric and plan on begging my MIL to sew something simple sometime in the next couple of years
59. Install crown molding in the bedroom - not cheap, again...a girl can dream, can't she? If we sell a house and Mike gets a job, I want this on the wish list
61. Get an amazing $1000 camera - again, I'm thinking birthday and Christmas money could be used to buy an amazing second-hand camera
63. Research buying contacts online to save money - Does anyone else see the word "SAVE" in this sentence?
64. Start using 100% homemade household cleaners - More savings, people!
65. Make vegetarian meals 3x a week for a month - Meat is expensive, saving more money here, too
75. Take a hot air balloon ride - this likely won't happen, but it would be so fun!
80. Buy a van with a DVD player for long car trips - this is only if we have another kid...we can't fit 3 car seats in our little Hondas
93. Plan an international trip with Mike - it says, "plan," not "go on"

This little mini-intervention last night caused a major rift. Most of the day today, we bickered over finances. It's interesting how one person's "teasing" over a highly sensitive issue caused so much tension in my marriage. (lesson: be careful what you say)

The good news is that Mike agreed to put together a "budget." (though we need to call it something different because he can't fathom the concept of a budget not balancing to zero when there's no income) AND, after much begging, pleading and negotiating, we agreed that I will start using a cash envelope system to pay for certain budget items. This is going to give me a little freedom to shuffle money from one envelope to another if I do really well on groceries one month or win a little money at Bunco another month. Otherwise, it just goes into the bottomless pit of "we don't have any income so spend as little as possible" which was really stressing me out.

It sounds selfish to Mike, but I need some breathing room. If I have a friend selling girl clothes for $1 apiece and I have an opportunity to buy some will-fit-her-this-summer outfits for Kaylin, I'd like the flexibility to do that. I saw cheap, cheap, cheap after Christmas stuff that I wanted to buy for next year. I could buy it now for $10 or next November for $40. Hmmm...I'd rather re-write the meal plan with cheaper dinners for a few days and shuffle some money into a spending category so I can save our family money in the long-run. That's how I operate.

Mike still hasn't read my list, but at least now I feel like we won't argue when he does. And I'm excited about the envelope system because I won't feel like I'm being interrogated every time he asks a simple question when a shopping bag enters the house. I'll get an already-tight amount of cash on the first of each month to buy groceries, clothes for the kids, to get my hair cut and anything else I consider to be must-haves. Period. The end. No questions asked. Can I get a HALLA???

After all of that drama, Mike and I took the kids hiking. It is a bee-utiful day today and I will look back fondly on this memory. I carried Kaylin piggy-back most of the way (and got a great workout with the extra 30 pounds of weight up the mountain!) and Ryan told the other hikers, "Happy New Year" each time they passed. The mountain was filled with parents and kids, which was cool to see.

SO I'm thrilled that an emotionally draining day will end well. The kids are going to my in laws for a sleep over tonight while we go to a grown-up party. And now that Mike and I are on the same page, I'm not nervous for the teasing about my 101 things to continue. Because it will. That's how my friends roll.

10 comments:

MamaHenClucks said...

I think your list is great. Having things written down, for me, reminds me of what I want to accomplish. Want.

We do the envelope system here. I think it's been almost four years? Can we say ZERO fights over money. None. Zip. Zilch. What is in the checking account is for bills, savings is savings and all else goes into a carefully structured cash budget. No questions. No guilt. And, we both get a monthly allowance as well. Again, no questions. It's fantastic.

So glad your stress turned into something positive and hopeful. Happy New Year!

Ali said...

Aw hugs! Your list is amazing... and one of the best things that people can do for themselves is have goals! I can't tell you how many goals that I've hit on my 101 goals list that I didn't think would ever happen. I never would have done those things if I didn't plan for them. YES, last year I unexpectedly had to stop working due to pre-term labor... and this year my hubby is not making half of what he made before. Guess what, goals are still being hit, and I'm still making them! God is always behind us, and knows what is best. He says that it will NOT always be easy, but he WILL take care of us.

Keep making goals, I'm sorry someone trashed them! Thats not right!

Happy 2009, and get going on those goals :)

chandy said...

I'm sorry they teased you :(
I liked your list, and I didn't see anything wrong with it. It's not like Mike's going to be unemployed for the next 3 years!

I'm currently putting my list together right now, and I'm sure there will be lots of things that don't get checked off, but it's fun to dream, and having these goals in mind might help with making decisions about my priorities.

DutchMac said...

I'm so sorry to hear people rained on your parade about the list, and I honestly can't believe

1. They had the nerve/audacity to say things like that to you, and
2. That they even occurred to them in the first place

I totally took your list for how you meant it, as goals/hopes/aspirations rather than 'Screw everything else, I'm going to do these no matter what the cost' things. You're neither that selfish or narrow-minded.

Yea for you and your goals, and I say hold tight to them, regardless of the 'little details' in the way. Nobody ever accomplished anything big by seeing the small things and ignoring the big picture. You keep dreaming girl, and reach for every star you want!

XOXOXOXOXOXO

Melissa said...

I loved your list! I actually had some ideas for you on how to accomplish some... :)

You are an inspiration to many~ keep planning, dreaming and sharing with the rest of us.

I see so many ways you strive to honor and respect Mike in your everyday life. You make God smile.
Prov 31

Happy New Year!

xo
m

Lauren said...

The way I see it...your list is YOUR list! The point is that they are GOALS..and like you said, you have nearly 3 years to try for them all. So you just work for them & be happy:)

Thanks SOOOOO much for the link to those tips! I just have to buckle down and DO IT! I've been reading up here and there..but your "system" seems really simple. So thanks for the help..I appreciate it SO much:)

Here's wishing you and your family a wonderful new year full of happiness, blessings, and many check-marks on that list!

HeathahLee said...

I think people (sometimes me included) just tease because it's in their nature. They probably weren't intentionally trying to knock down your dreams. But I know how it feels when it's done to me, too, and it's not nice. You put your heart out there and to have it basically stomped on by well-intentioned friends, well, not a good feeling. I'm glad you and your husband are on the same page. What a load off your shoulders!

Katie Porter said...

Katie, YOUR list inspired me and helped me to inspire someone else with making a list vs. one resolution, she would probably break! I applaude you for making the list, making it public, and keeping with it when poked fun at...seriously I think it was out of jealously of your creativity! I wish I had the determination and discipline to do the cash envelopes too. My hubbie would agree! Keep what works and keep me inspired by learning about all of your success!

Maria said...

Unfortunately, teasing is never good no matter what age you are. Your 3 friends teasing you caused nothing but stress for you and your husband. What good did that do?? I personally think that your list is things that "you" aspire to do. Why tease someone about things that would like to do and accomplish. If things you included had not affected your husband, then how would that look. You are a wife and a mother and you included your family in your list because they are important to you.

Your list also shows that you have a positive outlook on your financial situation with your husband not having a job. You were thinking positive knowing that things are going to work out and he is going to find a great job and you two are going to be able to take a trip.

Keep your head up and smile!! I love your list and I'm sure you will accomplish lots of your items.

Allison said...

I loved your list, and am currently making one of my own. I think it's a great idea to have goals, even if they seem unattainable now.

My hubby just found a job a month ago after 6 months of unemployment. We had no savings at the time, and very little income.

We learned so much during this season of our lives. God most definitely is Jehovah-Jireh, our provider. Once we were able to rest on that knowledge, along with allowing Him to be our Prince of Peace, we made our lives a testimony of His ability to work in us.

We were never behind on any payment, never did without, and most times were even able to do a little more than usual!

I tell you that only to encourage you to keep dreaming and thinking positively. He has plans to prosper you!

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