Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking....

Like many Americans my family is working on achieving a goal of debt-free financial freedom. There are a lot of important actions to take when a person, couple or family embarks on a journey to financial freedom. Included in those actions is the need to change ones psychological perspective about money and how they interact with it. A person's spiritual inclinations will often and should play an important role in the development of that psychological relationship. Personally, my spiritual journey includes a little bit of everything (the reasons for that choice are a topic for another blog on another day), but suffice it to say I take a little bit of everything from a lot of rich spiritual resources and apply it within my life. This works for me.

In relation to money I have found I am more successful with my family's financial planning and budgeting when I approach the tasks with a smile on my face and greet the work as an old friend. That can be REAALLY hard to do especially when there is a nagging feeling at the back of your heart that says, "What if we don't have enough this month?" When those fearful thoughts creep in I have no choice but to boot them out with a deluge of positive affirmations. As corny as it sounds it really works because in the end we always have enough and as we continue to make intelligent financial choices the budgeting gets easier and the relationship with money becomes less strained.

ANYWAY, the reasons for sharing my philosophy on keeping my sanity in rough financial weather is so that I can tell you a funny story about how signals in the universe can sometimes get a little mixed up.

Morning walks are a new part of my daily ritual and often provide me with an opportunity to reflect on my day and the tasks ahead. (I used to run, but apparently running isn't a recommended post surgical I walk...and currently very slowly...but again a topic for another discussion). As I walked on that particular day my thoughts were being consumed with some unexpected financial obligations that had recently shown up out of nowhere. I suspect that I am not alone in the recognition of that overwhelming anxiety when some unexpected bill shows up in the mailbox demanding payment in an obscenely short period of time, the question that surges through most of our mind's being, "Where did this come from?" "Why is this just coming now?" and "Where am I going to get the money to pay for that?"

But, it is what it is and it has to be dealt with, it can't be ignored and it can't be overlooked. So in the spirit of changing my attitude toward my financial obligations I sucked in a deep breath and began repeating in my head affirmations that ranged from, "All is well, I have the ability to pay this bill" to "Money comes to me easily and often." The latter being the one that I was saying to myself over and over again when I looked down and spotted an innocuous and beat up envelope lying face down under a rock next to the sidewalk. The envelope was soaking wet and had mud spattered accross the back of it. I had no reason to suspect that the envelope was anything more than someone's junk mail carelessly tossed to the side of the road, but something told me to take a closer look.

Taking a closer look at the envelope was harder than it might sound. As previously mentioned I have recently had back surgery and one of the things I am NOT supposed to do is bend over. I mustered all of my creative physical maneuvering and managed to nudge the rock that was on top of the envelope with my boot. I then squatted while still keeping my back upright so as not to go against doctor's orders and used the power of my go go gadget arms stretching them low enough to pick up the envelope without actually violating any of the rules for a successful recovery.


I looked ridiculous but I managed to pick up the envelope. Flipping the envelope revealed that there was DEFINITELY a check inside. Excited I tore up a corner of the envelope and peered inside and found a check for $100....but alas as you have probably already guessed, it was NOT in fact made out to one Amanda Harbin (me!) but was in fact made out to someone else entirely. The address of that someone was printed on the check and being the good neighbor that I am, I pulled out my phone and google mapped their address then delivered the almost lost money to the true owner's doorstep.

As I walked away from the house where the check belonged I was forced to laugh at the universe. Money had indeed come to me easily and with great speed....but apparently I forgot to positively affirm my name and address with the universe.

Moral of the story...You get what you ask for specific! :)

Happy New Year Blog Readers and beyond may all of your happy thoughts and wishes be delivered to their proper address!! :)


Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh that's so romantical...

If most women are honest with themselves (and we are always honest with ourselves, right ladies?) they would say that they have at some point (or more likely at many points) lost themselves in a daydream of a sweet, romantic, passionate, yet totally spontaneous interlude with their prince. We start having them at an early age and really they just never leave us. For some guys this creates an easy target to get from 1st to home base and for the more clueless dudes out there this just makes their dating life hell.

Spontaneous romantic moments between women and their leading men do sometimes happen just the way they happen in the movies. There will be beautiful scenes that develop that will have a woman thinking that everything that is happening is so perfectly scripted that JF Lawton and Garry Marshall (the writer and director of Pretty Woman) couldn't have made it any better if they tried. Well they start out that way anyway...

It was the evening of my fourth wedding anniversary. I had just had back surgery seven days prior so my husband and I made plans to quietly celebrate our anniversary at home after the kids were tucked away in their beds.

I had the warm glow of love, the giddy bubbles of my pain medications and a wonderful prince of a husband who had been waiting on me hand and foot since the surgery. The stage was set for a lovely evening with just my husband and I. the aroma of mulling spices wafted through the kitchen as we stood reminiscing about the ups and downs of our married life and the funny stories from our wedding day.

We were bantering back and forth recalling how my husband and his son had ultimately ended up having to get dressed in the bathroom of a coffee shop. And then how my new stepson who was three at the time got bored during the ceremony and started wandering toward the edge of the cliff that overlooked the ocean (he was saved by an attentive grandparent)! We walked slowly through our house admiring the life that we had built for ourselves. We stopped in front of the hutch where our wedding album is displayed and always open to page to the page on which our vows are written.

I am very proud of the vows that we wrote together and recited to one another on our wedding day. The moment was so sweet and my memory of the day was so potent that I felt inspired to read the vows aloud right then and there. When I had finished I gazed up at my husband fully anticipating that he would do the same back to me. I was disappointed that he didn't but the moment was kept alive when he pulled me up into his arms in what was sure to be an epic re-enactment of our wedding day kiss. My heartbeat quickened, my lips smiled softly and I closed my eyes and turned my face to meet his passionate kiss.....I waited, thinking that surely at any moment his lips would brush softly against mine, my breath caught in my chest just thinking of it...and sweet, romantic, sentimental husband pulled me more tightly into his embrace, I felt his breath on my cheek...and then his tongue on my face. Oh yes, my romantic movie moment went the way of a Farrelly Brothers film. He mouthed my face like a teething infant so that by the time he was done I needed a hand towel to wipe up the slobber.

I wish that I could say that at the time I was the cool chick who laughs hysterically and thinks it's funny. Because it is funny, but in the moment I was a little humiliated and irritated that my perfect movie moment turned into a completely different movie. At the time I wanted to fire the script writer, but ultimately I just decided to change the soundtrack in my head. A few little tweaks and the movie is still pretty good. Good script writers are hard to find so instead of firing him, I just keep learning to appreciate that his style differs from mine sometimes...and that's what makes us so much fun to watch.

Happy Anniversary honey .... I love you.

photo courtesy of La Vida Creations Photography