First of all, I really like the word Firkin, and never miss an opportunity to use it. It is one of those words my family has used, well, ever since I can remember. It is also one of those words, which my husband refers to as my family’s own made-up secret language. Aaahhh, but I digress. I have 2 firkins for 2013 that my beautiful daughters decorated for me. The one panel, I directed which stickers I wanted, but all the others, were their unique designs. As you can see, the rainbows were Beth’s favorite sticker.
Over the years I have accepted the fact that I stink at New Year’s Resolutions. They are fresh in my mind at the beginning of the year, but as time goes by they start to fade and after a few months, they are no longer a priority. I decided this year I would not make any resolutions, because I tend to use my failure to follow-through on them as a way to abuse myself. Since I am learning to be nicer to myself, this year I was looking for a new approach. As fate would have it, the two areas I really want to concentrate on, came to me on FaceBook. There are always signposts on our journey, and I am going to make it my goal to follow these 2 guides right through to the end of 2013.
The first area I want to focus on is spiritual. I want to consciously practice being thankful for the abundance of blessings in our life. Even the tough times can be a blessing, if they help you grow and learn something new. Part of my “sickness” is to always revert to the role of martyr. I tend to only focus on the negatives in situations, and often see myself as the victim of some cosmic plot. Once I board the darkside train, it is really hard to escape, and I end up stressed, depressed and cranky. This past year, in working my program, I have made great progress in this area; however, it is a constant struggle between the Angels and Devils in my mind. So when I saw the Blessing Jar photo on Just Feelin’ Good’s page, it was like a neon sign beckoning to me. Thus Firkin #1 is my Blessing Jar, and I look forward to New Year’s Eve, so I can review my year of spiritual treasures. I bought rainbow colored paper to write my notes on, and am making an effort to write one note per day. I write my note before bed, so that I may go to bed with a thankful heart. So far, I have 10 notes of thanks in my jar, I hope to have 365 when it comes time to open and reflect, so I can start 2014 on a cloud of gratitude, pride and joy.
The second area I want, and honestly need, to focus on is better planning and discipline in financial matters. We went through a bankruptcy 3 years ago. It was not our proudest moment, but it was truly our only option. Upon completing the process, we swore we would be better in the future, and not repeat our mistakes. Although we have improved in some areas, we have a long way to go in others. Currently we live paycheck-to-paycheck, have no savings, and carry considerably more debt than I am comfortable with. We get by well enough, and our kids never want for the basics, but there are not a whole lot of extras either. Every year, we say we have to get our act together and find a better way. Sometimes we make progress, and sometimes we stumble backward. As I try to plan my budgeting tools more effectively, I also really need for us to start saving money. I think we all need a nest egg to provide some peace of mind. Usually when we set a goal, we use the go-big-or-go-home motto, but this time again the fates showed me a more realistic approach. I was scrolling through my feed when I saw the 52 Week Money Challenge, which a friend had shared from another friend. I am not sure of its origin, but what a great idea for those of us who need to baby-step our way to a savings account. Thus Firkin #2 is my Money Saving Jar. You start with $1 the first week, and increase your “deposit” by $1 every week, until the last week of the year, when you add $52. Currently, I have $3 in my jar, and I am optimistic for my ability to complete the challenge, and pray the Angels will keep me on track. I already know, being me, that around week 25 I will start to get squeamish, because things are usually pretty tight; However, God always provides, and I am putting this in His hands, with all my faith and gratitude for His blessings.
Here are my jars as of today, I look forward to seeing them both full of Hope, Faith and Accomplishment on December 31st.
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.