Friday, November 05, 2010

Home sweet home

While cleaning my house today, I swept up a two-week-old piece of shrimp. Gross. It is clean and fresh and organized now though.

Before this morning, I used to think cleaning the house was a waste of time because I am really only working so hard at having a clean house and stocked fridge for... myself. I understand people with a spouse and kids that like to have a clean house and freshly-baked cookies to make their family happy. But why should I bother if I rarely even have people over? At most, I did it thinking I was "practicing" for when I have a family.

I realized, though, this morning, that I can do it out of thankfulness. Having friends over for dinner on Wednesday was another opportunity to hear people say how wonderful my house is (and I know it is!). One friend asked me if I had ever used the fireplace... I had forgotten I even had a fireplace! How exciting to be able to use it this winter! And eat chestnuts and watch movies!

I really feel as if my house is a blessing. So maybe, cleaning it each week and making it beautiful is can be an act of thankfulness and appreciation of this gift that was given to me. Just like taking care of your body and physical appearance should be out of appreciation. If you've been given beauty, you should upkeep it out of appreciation for this gift that was given to you, not use it as an instrument just to attract people. Aha! I think I made an important discovery this morning.
View from my living room window

My yet to be used fireplace
I am also very appreciative of all the flowers around my house that my landlady takes care of. I get to appreciate having flowers and green around me without the work! She sweeps and waters everything outside. Nice deal, huh? And the other day I saw a pretty red flower I had never noticed before:
My aloe vera plant among my landlady's many plants...
it's the last one on the right. Isn't it cute?
I usually spend my time thinking about what I want to buy and do in the future. I'm trying to make the switch to better using and appreciating what I already have. Not having much money is a good way to learn this lesson! Money is also a gift that is given to us and I am still learning how to better use and take care of this gift. Last month I used a budget worksheet for the first time and came face to face with how much I thought I'd spend and how much I really spent... double what I had estimated. :/ My first reaction was guilt, depression, wanting to hide the budget under the bed and never look at it again. Actually, wanting to hide myself under the bed and never come out again. My second reaction was "wow... I'm spending too much here" or "at least I'm not spending on extra things, I'm just overspending on food and transportation." For example, I didn't buy the train pass last month because I thought it'd be cheaper to buy daily passes since I'm not using the train everyday. WRONG. I spend double the amount of the monthly train pass. I also continue to spend too much on food and need to stop eating out.

I really suggest using a budget. It helps you see where you spend and have more control over your money. I still have a long way to go but this was a big step for me!

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