Who am I?
Do you ever ask yourself this question?
Those of us who have chosen to be Guardians of the Home and Budget and Home Based Warriors, sometimes feel we've surrendered ourselves in the process. In this day and age, there is little respect for the contribution we make to our home, our family and the community. It seems that in giving up a 'career', so long fought for by our Mothers and Grandmothers, that we're letting the side down. There is no inherent financial value attached to what we do.
How often are you asked 'so, what do you do?' and when that doesn't elicit the desired response (doctor, lawyer, banker, teacher), the next question is 'what does your husband do', as if that's going to make all the difference in the world. Quickly following on, particularly in the cut and thrust at the schoolyard gate at pick up time, is 'where do you live', whilst they eye off your car, your clothing, your hairstyle, your jewellery and nails. If you think I'm joking, ask a Mum in your neighbourhood.
We Guardians, have to have a sense of self. A quiet confidence that what we do is best for our own family. It may not suit everyone, but we can still perform a valuable service in raising children who do not treat shopping as a form of entertainment, who understand that good food does not come out of a packet or from a takeaway outlet, and that personal value does not stem from belongings, but from your actions and beliefs.
Money does not = happiness. How many times have you heard that? Money can buy peace of mind, without a doubt. Knowing that you have enough funds to cover your living expenses is true contentment.
The trouble is, that these days, our expenses often outstrip our income. This is made 'ok' by the use of ready credit. If you don't have the cash, there's always the credit card or 36 months interest free terms. No, no, no...don't do it. This may allow you to have the 'thing' immediately, but has completely stolen any sense of achievement in saving for that 'thing', which then requires finding another 'thing' to make us feel good.
Don't worry, I've been there and I totally get it. The pressure to be like everyone else, to fit in, to be better and Keep up with the Jones's is enormous and you'd be a strong soul to resist it. Just know that in surrendering, you're only gaining possessions of which you will eventually tire, and the approval of people who possible aren't worthy of your valuable time. If you don't believe me, write down who you're trying to impress/keep up with (you're the only one that's going to see it), and put that aside somewhere safe for five years. In five years, get that list out, and see how many of those people are still in your social circle. Are they the ones that were there for you in a crisis? Are they 'tried and true' friends? My guess is no.
Your career does not define you. Your house or the suburb in which you live does not define you. Nor does the place you purchase your clothing, the badge on your car, the label on your jeans, the carat of your diamond, or the television shows you watch.
More recently, being on a reality TV show does not define you either. Just ask any of the 'winners' of any one of the dozens of competitive reality shows on in the last five years. Most of them have returned home, continuing to live in obscurity as they did previously, and for some their life is forever damaged by the Realtiy TV experience. These poor souls are all told 'you're going to be a star'...and they're just not. Not here in Australia anyway..our population is too small to sustain that many 'stars'.
What defines you and the things for which you will be remembered in life, are how you treat people, what you teach your children, what you do to help those less fortunate than yourself, and your contribution to your community. Those are the things that make a difference not just to your own family, but to those around you.
Find your true worth within.