Saving is in, debt is out. Small is the new big. Organics are in, kraft cheese slices are out. Non-GMO popcorn is in, Round up is out. Times are changing. We live in the most environmentally conscious and compassionate society (the news won’t make it look like that, but it’s the truth) and we have to be for our survival and the survival of our lovely children and grandchildren.
We are also going back to the old ways in some matters such as how we spend and borrow. The time when our great grandfathers and grandmothers shook their heads at debt and borrowing. Back in their day it was very looked down up because they knew the truth about lending and borrowing…it serves no one in the end. I was reading Dave Ramsey and one thing he said that really made me think about our societal views on credit when he touches on the myth that our economy needs credit to survive. He believes that our economy would thrive if we had no credit, no debt. This is true for successful individuals so why wouldn’t this be true for a whole country? Most rich people that are truly successful have no debt. They warn against it as a huge road block to wealth.
I believe going back to living debt free and being frugal is a huge trend that has been growing for years. You wouldn’t think that with watching the housing prices rise once again and the rents going up. I am one of million’s of people who write about it and try to help others find ways out of the rabbit hole that is our plastic, consumerism driven society. I am one of those sheep that followed everyone else into debt and then spent my 30’s getting out the long, slow, painful way. 2 and 3 jobs at a time. If I’d been smarter at the time and hadn’t had a few vices that took up funds, I probably would have barreled my way through it in half the time.
I see the changes all around me. People out walking and biking places instead of driving 2 blocks down the street to get a slushy at the corner mart, people bringing their own bags and reused jars to the stores, trees being planted everywhere, downsizing and uncluttering being the big topics these days. It’s wonderful! We are getting back to the basics and the simple life that actually contains more happiness and pleasure than all the shopping sprees combined in a year. Time in nature, doing nice things for our neighbors, being home and nesting, cooking from scratch, talking for long periods on the phone, watching a Disney flick with the family on a Saturday night with a huge bowl of popcorn.
Getting out of debt seems so daunting and the first thing people think about is, “My life has ended! All fun has come full stop! The party is over!” On the contrary. Your life has just begun! You will be forced into a new direction unwillingly, but the journey will prove to be like a movie where the hero is going down a lonely path toward his fate and foe. His story looks depressing, but as it unfolds he meets characters along the way, discovers new strengths through unforeseen obstacles. He makes unlikely friendships that prove loyal, his journey becomes less lonely, his life changes in wonderful ways, it becomes fuller, with more meaning, and in the end, he conquers his enemy.
When we have to change our ways so we don’t wind up dooming ourselves, we are forced to learn better ways, healthier habits, we chose to do the right thing for ourselves and those we owe, whether they deserve it or not. We take up good ways out of survival and we meet those along our path that walk with us in comradery. People will show up out of nowhere, blessings will happen just as we are ready to lose our minds, God will show some mercy just as we are thinking we are on our way to the slaughter house.
Hardships can be such a great thing. In those times we learn just how capable we really are and what we really are made up of. And at times it will pleasantly surprise us. We just may grow to really like ourselves and who we are becoming.
Getting out of debt means we have to learn how to enjoy being home and living a simpler, homier life. It can be lonely at times and we will feel like the world is having a party without us, but in the end, we will be free. Facebook will probably not be your friend during this time. Those you thought had your back will be in a hurry to get out of this penniless path you are on. People you had nothing to do with will become your greatest support. You will learn about true friendship and what “living” is really about.
When we are stripped of the artificial resources for enjoying our life, we then find the real and true enjoyment of life.
And so I wrap up this dialogue to say this; whatever you challenges are at this time, be it debt, addiction, weight loss, a career move, trying to find yourself…try to let go of the fear and surrender. Greatness comes out of challenges and all kinds of good. And yes, there will be the hard times, the lonely times, people you thought cared will go, but better people will come, the lonely times will fill up, you will build spiritual muscles and life will shine once again, but this time it will be a true and lasting shine…not just the reflection of store lights on your credit card.