As I was expressing my frustration yesterday at the slower-than-I’d-like path of our debt payoff to my oldest daughter, Madelyn answered me like this:
“Mom, I’ve been praying about this, and I think we can do more.”
She was right. Although – compared to “most people” – we are pretty frugal ($450 a month on groceries for our family of six, $60-$100 a month on entertainment, etc), there is room for improvement.
I love that our family feels free to be blatantly but politely honest with one another. Madelyn’s comments are coming on the heels of a super tight month here in June: we’re going to have to really buckle down in July in order to make it without using credit due to some extra expenses. Really. Buckle. Down.
Or we could just put some things on the credit card. After all, we haven’t used the things in nearly a year. What’s the harm?
This is the lie that we told ourselves for years. The lie that got us into massive credit card debt and brought our debt-to-income ratio up to 65% at one point.
The thought of using credit to overcome this temporary shortfall brought an immediate sense of relief over me.
The thought of buckling down big time and working to cut our grocery bill and other expenses in half or more for July in order to overcome our shortfall brought an immediate sense of empowerment over me.
I’m not sure if this is the case for everyone, but for me, choosing to “do more” when the going gets tough brings with it a powerful sense of victory that leads me to keep driving harder to reach my goal, whatever the goal is at the time.
I see this same sense of power when our family watches American Ninja Warrior. This super cool show follows rock star men and women as they train to compete in a series of physical challenges that can only be described as brutal.
When we watched last night, they had a new course that included an event known as the “log roll”.
Participants hung onto a log-shaped “thingy” (????) with arms and legs and rolled at what they described as a “really fast” pace downward over some water to a large comfy mat waiting to catch them as they flew off of the log (on the off chance that they weren’t thrown off over the water) and slammed onto the mat, only to face another difficult challenge.
A couple of people lost their shoes as they slammed into the mat due to the speed of the challenge.
All I can think when we watch that show is “I can do more”. The statement applies to all of my goals: our goal of debt freedom, my goal of optimizing my physical fitness before I reach age 50 next summer, my goal of spending more time studying the Bible each day, my goal of being a better wife, mother, daughter, etc.
When I see these guys and gals (one competitor last night was a 51-year-old auto worker from Detroit lest you think you’re off the hook due to age) in optimum physical condition doing things that most people on earth could never do, it invokes a sense of challenge in me for myself.
And so for the month of July, in order to overcome our financial shortfall, we will do more – American Ninja Warrior style.
And to you, cherished Fruclassity readers, I issue a challenge.
What goal can you do American Ninja Warrior style next month?