Friday, February 19, 2010

This past week has been very mentally busy for me. Justin and I decided a few weeks ago to delay going to New Zealand for a while. This was a hard decision but we both felt like it was the right one to make so we forged ahead. We have been taking a financial class and working on getting our finances in order. We've done a good job of staying out of debt throughout our short marriage but have not been saving like we prefer/know we should be.

While we had decided that we weren't going to go to New Zealand anytime soon we had not made any further plans. After talking some on Monday we decided to get serious about paying off my school loans and not amassing any more. We have not had a chance to sit down and evaluate our budget but are planning on doing that as soon as possible.

These conversations have intrigued me and I find myself busily thinking and thinking and thinking about where we are in life and what we're doing. What I came to realize is that on the issue of money, and admittedly in other matters of life as well, we are acting inconsistently with our personalities.

Justin and I are planners. We like to know what is going on, when it is, where it is, who is going to be there and how their background checks out! Okay, maybe not that last one, but we like to be organized. We sit down once a week, look at our schedule for that week and plan out every breakfast, lunch, supper and snack. That same day we write a shopping list, go to the grocery store and we're done. That's it. No more thought, no more worrying.

That's not to say that things don't get rearranged sometimes. Or that if a better option is presented we don't sometimes throw our plan to the wind. We do. We change things and adapt. But the important thing is that we sit down together, make a plan, and then stick to it until something causes us to reevaluate it.

With money however, we are not doing this. We decided in fall of 2009 that we wanted to go to New Zealand in December of 2010. By February 2010 the only step we had taken toward that goal was to get my passport. We had not done much planning. We had not saved any money. We had not bought plane tickets. We were not prepared. But more importantly than that, we had no plan.

When we decided not to go to New Zealand yet, I was so relieved. Until then I hadn't realized that being able to get ourselves planned, and funded, and there, had been a concern of mine. So I wasn't at all upset that we decided to wait. But then came a period of several weeks where we didn't know what we were going to do. When we decided that we were going to seriously start to pay off our debt that was another big wave of relief for me.

These two decisions have brought me back again to where we are and what we're doing. This week I began to really think about what it was that I feel is important. What do I really want to do in life? What are my goals? My dreams? The biggest question in my mind was, Do I even have any dreams? In light of this I concern, I began a bucket list.

Definition: 1. Bucket List: A list of things to do before you die. Comes from the term "kicked the bucket".

As strange as it might sound, for all my love of lists for anything and everything, I had never started a list of this nature. I had never seriously sat down and thought about what I wanted out of life. When I initially began the list I thought that it would be short. Only a few things. My list now contains more than thirty things!

But all this thinking and writing has brought me around to the same question. Why have Justin and I never sat down, set a goal, make a plan and followed that plan until it either reaches its goal or is changed? Why have we acted so contrary to our natures and just gone with things willy-nilly?

What I've come to see is that the answer to this question isn't really what's important. It doesn't matter why we did what we did. What matters is whether we're going to continue down our same path or if we're going to stop now and make a change. I am excited to get to have this conversation with Justin. I'm excited to have this opportunity to plan and pursue a course of action that will allow me to cross some things off my bucket list. I am excited for life!

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