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Monday, February 06, 2006


I’m pretty sure we’ve all had someone give us this piece of advice: “when life hands you lemons, make yourself some lemonade” (or some other variation). Well, these days, we’ve been quite busy making lemonade. Although there are many times I think the lemons would go better with a pinch of salt and a shot of tequila (but that’s another story!).

Lately, Jojo and I have had to tighten our belts somewhat. The first quarter of the year is always tough. You make the same amount of money but have double (even triple) the expenses! Even with careful planning and much saving, there are one or two (or seven) things that come up unexpectedly, which sort of screws with your budget! There are Roth IRAs, property taxes, car registrations, house and car insurance, tuition fees, lawyer fees, medical insurance, etc., etc., and on top of that there are the usual monthly expenses (don’t even get me started on that!).

Okay, it’s really not as bad as I am making it out to be. I know that we have so much to be thankful for and that compared to so many, we are really super blessed. It’s just me. I’m the kind of person who likes to worry. I come from a long line of worriers. I always think of the worst case scenario and constantly plague myself with “what ifs”. I am a firm believer of Murphy’s Law. I don’t think I’m a pessimist but I certainly like to overanalyze and overcomplicate things. Quite luckily, my hubby is just the opposite. He’s the epitome of level-headedness. Rarely gets rattled or stressed and worries only in the absolute direst of situations. Which leads me to think that God indeed has a sense of humor when it comes to relationships!

Back to the issue of tightening our belts, I was talking to my parents about this recently and they both were very supportive and right away offered to help. Both my hubby and I felt that this was a wonderful show of their support, but we agreed that this is a situation that we need to handle on our own. Have I mentioned that I’m pretty stubborn about doing things on our own? I think my top three worst faults are that I am stubborn, proud (too proud) and am a worrier. Not the best combination, I know. I am working on it though. My hubby, though not a worrier, can also be quite stubborn and proud. Let me just say, debates between us are intellectually stimulating to say the least! Again, we see God’s sense of humor at work here.

So, anyway, over the weekend, for my peace of mind, I thought up a bunch of things to do that would not cost us any (or at least not a lot of) money. Jojo who probably thought I was being overdramatic went along with my plans in an effort to humor me. I have to say, even with my self-imposed cost cutting measures, we had a pretty good weekend. There was some shopping (yay for Macys gift cards), some fine dining (FYI: Chipotle Mexican Grill is gourmet fastfood), some hanging out at Coffee Bean for coffee and studying, a trip to Costco to stock up on food since we agreed that we should eat at home more, and some hanging out with Jojo’s family Saturday night. Spending two hours playing with the kids (Maddie, Meredith and Jorel) is a great way to re-energize too! Also, Jojo and I re-discovered the joys of playing Scrabble. For some reason we were bitten pretty bad by the Scrabble bug and played 5 games over the course of the weekend. (every chance we got) It was fun and the only bad part was I only beat Jojo once! ONCE!!! Once in five times. Not good. Have I mentioned I’m very competitive too???

I guess the bottomline is we all get handed lemons at some point in our life. And we can choose to either wallow is lemon juice - all sour and sticky. Or we can choose to make our own version of lemonade. I've discovered that being a worrier, being too proud, and somewhat stubborn may not always produce the best lemonade - but being competitive does guarantee that I am not going to quit without trying!


jol said...

You must not worry over something that you have no control of. What can you do if someone tells you that the sky will fall tomorrow? On those matters that are within your control; spend time to decide and implement what you can do to solve a problem. Never forget to ask the Lord to help and guide you.

You are not humbling yourself when you ask for help; God created us with some imperfections so that we can depend on each other.

jml said...

Life would be boring if everything goes acc.ording to plan. It is the little bumps, roadblocks and detours in life that make us slowdown ENOUGH TO COUNT OUR BLESSINGS and appreciate all that we may have lost sight of.

Joanne said...

Thanks for the words of wisdom! I agree that there is no point in worrying about something you have no control over. But, in my case, that's often easier said than done. Am working on it though! :)

And as for the roadblocks that slow us down, you're right - it does make life definitely more interesting.