I've got a secret: I'm in debt.
It's just a little bit, under $5K. And, debt is debt.
It's a money hangover from this year's freelance dip; a normal occurrence (read: an untimely slow down in business that's 'poop my pants' kind of scary but somehow also purpose affirming) where work runs short and resources (aka cash) gets tight.
I took a look at my dollar bill situation just before the festivus, and resolved to not spend/waste any more of my disposable income on frivolous things until that debt was cleared. And, the goal was/is to make it happen by March.
I refrained from my usual 'one for you, one for me' holiday shopping. I didn't go online on the 26th, or into any shops. I was on a conscious-spending roll and devoutly dedicated to keeping the streak going.
And then it happened: MUJI. It seems I blacked out when I walked through the doors and went HAM. And, it wasn't until I was loading my VERY well-stuffed shopping bag into the back of my mom's light grey Mazda that it hit me: I did a dumb.
Bye bye, conscious spending.
Hello, mindless Mastercard swiping. Le sigh.
Here's the flavour of the internal dialogue that ensued: 'Smooth Jess. That debt will NEVER go away. You'll be struggling with this FOREVER. Say goodbye to that trip you wanted to go on.' The shame-game went on...and on. And on. Not TOO long, but long enough.
Then it struck me: never is a pretty absolute word. And forever? That's a really, really long time. Like, forever long. #profound, right?
It felt gross to be giving myself the gears for a choice I made (albeit in a retail blackout - jk). And to see myself begin to throw the goal of clearing that debt out the window with such absolute words? That's not like me at all.
If I knew I had more grit to stay with goals when things get tough, why was I sitting down on myself so effing fast?
Me thinks it's because I made it a resolution: that I was 'resolute' about spending. And while the Aries in me loves the nearly dogmatic determination and no-nonsense-ness about making goals happen, the Pisces in me knows that giving myself some wiggle room to flounder (fail - forgive the fish metaphor) is what keeps my goals alive.
Once the self-deprecating dust settled, I got into action. I canceled subscriptions, memberships and monthly charges that I didn't use or find value in. I got clear on my incoming fees and built a plan for carving a percentage out to go right onto that line of credit and bat that debt down, bit by bit.
I'll still keep my mindful spending as a practice (it's healthy, to boot!) - AND I'm looking at other creative ways to aid in the process and cut back on the shame-speak if that part of the plan goes a touch sideways.
So here's the other way to do resolutions: flip the internal bad-mouthing when they go sideways into inspired and goal-fuelled action. And, shake up the whole resolution game by considering this: what are you committed to, without being attached to how or when it fully comes to life?
What do you want to create in your life that you'll go to bat for regardless of roadblocks, and get into creative action about to bring to fruition?
Resolutions for resolution's sake are like Fabergé eggs: cool to look at and fancy to share with people, but empty (or sometimes filled with other empty eggs) and don't do much.
Food for thought as we swing into the new calendar year, friend.
Hoping the new year brings you loads of adventure, sore abs from all the laughing you'll do, and a heart so dang full of joy you don't know what to do with yourself.
And, that we'll spend some more time together. Here, on the line, or in person doing neat things in the community. Because connecting is the spice of life (so is Turmeric) and I'd love to spice up my 2018 with you.
Internet high fives and e-hugs (plus a virtual 'cheers' and clink of our champagne/kombucha cups)
SIDE NOTE: if you're a Fabergé egg collector, maybe you could pop me back a note about what stokes your fire about those ornate eggos. Please? I'm so dang curious.