Saturday, October 31, 2009

Striking a balance

First, Happy Halloween! Ok, now that that’s out of the way…

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way emotions and reason often clash. This topic has been covered before but I am only now realizing the true depth of this conflict.

Over the past few months, I’ve found myself in several situations where my emotions pushed against reason in regards to spending. One was the convertible incident described previously. I had a couple of stressful weeks, with the car and travel and work, and I noticed that I was less likely to think twice about spending during that time. The big win (at least in my book) is that I was cognizant of the conflict and so, even if I wasn’t completely able to stop the slippage, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

I think the biggest area of conflict for me arises around my social life. My friends and I have been blessed to have success in our careers and we all enjoy the good things in life – food, wine, travel, etc. I have noticed that when I try to pare back on social spending, it often means missing out on occasions because of the way those occasions are structured. Suggestions of doing something less expensive are met with eye rolling and snide comments.

I can’t blame my friends and family for this because I’m the one who set the expectations. It’s not surprising that I get these reactions for I am the one who’s changing the game. And let’s be honest, people generally don’t like change. We get into our comfort zone and like staying there. But in order to reach the goals I have set for myself, I have to get out of that comfort zone, at least temporarily.

So how do you handle balancing your goals with your reality? And can you change it without changing your entire social structure? For now, I’m combating this conflict by allowing for a tad more discretionary spending. Will I get to my goals as quickly? No, but I’ll have people to celebrate those goals with me when I get there and to me, that’s much more important.

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