My 30 day tracking challenge has been thwarted. Thrown off track, annihilated, blown into oblivion. And there was nothing I could possibly do about it.
In the morning, after a visit to the doctors and prescriptions totaling $128 (which is $2 shy of all the money I had budgeted for two weeks) I had come to the conclusion, after much deep breathing, that I would have to roll with the punches and accept the fact that spending only your physical cash is fine and dandy when there aren’t other emergencies or pressing issues that come up. These do need to be addressed, like your health, and not ignored.
Later that afternoon, the punches turned to knock out style blows when I went to visit my father. He didn’t return my calls for two days and I was panicked. My worst nightmares were true. I found him dead in his bed having passed away most likely two nights ago in his sleep (not necessarily peacefully.) My three-year old daughter was in my arms and her capacity to understand the base facts and reality were incredible. More on that later…
Finding my father like that put everything in perspective again. Money is not the end all be all. It does not give you love or happiness. It is a necessary evil to survive in this world of capitalism we have created. A means to create more desire for material goods in our lives and for businesses a temptress urging financial gain above all else. Finding a balance in matters of money is one of the biggest challenges people must face.
If you’re rich, your challenge is to remember money isn’t the most important thing and to remember if you have more you should be helping those who don’t have. On the other side, those struggling to make ends meet or save enough to support yourself through your golden years of old age, the challenge is not letting the stress of never having enough money get the better of you.
My father was the type who didn’t spend his money. Very rarely would he treat himself to anything. After my mother died (and the heartbreak that would eventually kill him began) my brother and I tried so hard to convince him to not save his money but to get out and travel and do things and… to live. We tried to convince him to spend his money on him but he was content to live his life mainly in the house he had built with his wife.
But money didn’t rule him anymore. He didn’t care about it, wasn’t stressed about it and didn’t let it get the better of him. He worried about how I was doing financially because he knew my struggles but he did really try his best to be there to help me out. With words, with support and with love.
Finding my father lifeless in his bed made me realize money is not worth getting stressed over. Nothing is more important than the life around you and if anything is causing you so much anxiety, forcing your brain to be so overly consumed with it that you are missing the life around you or not spending more time with those who are dearly important to you, then you need to stop it. End of story. Stop wasting your precious energy on material things and focus on the love that makes life what it is meant to be.
I’m not saying I’m going to stop thinking about money and being consciously aware of my finances. However, when I do resume this challenge and the others I will need to take on to find my path to financial security, I do solemnly vow to not let myself get stressed in any way shape or form. I will not let money keep me from enjoying life or enjoying every minute of my daughter’s. Never again will I succumb to a panic attack due to the fact I can’t make ends meet.
At the end of the day the universe always has a way of working things out especially if you focus on how things will work out. And at the end of the week you can’t take money with you when you die… and you’re love ones don’t care about your money, only that your gone.