(Re)Creating Carly











{April 21, 2013}   Postcard from the Universe — See ya later, Sucker!
When you focus on your goals, I’ve been told–and I believe it, the universe conspires on your behalf. But what happens when the universe goes on vacation? 
  

Sorry. I'm on vacation.

Sorry. I’m on vacation.

(Photo credit: Comstock/Getty Images)

It’s been a week of setbacks for me–from finding out my ex is moving in with his new girlfriend (It’s okay, REALLY, but couldn’t he have at least waited until I’m in relationship bliss and swimming in cash?)–to losing my laptop to an unforgiving motherboard merely seconds (okay, three months) after the warranty expired. It’s weeks like these that make me want to run out and book a trip to wherever Universe went and yell, “Hey, Universe! I can go on vacation, too, ya know!”

Sometimes these budgeting-superhero-amphetamines are hard to swallow. I mean, there are weeks (like this one) when I just don’t feel like making dinner. Weeks when I want to say yes to brunch and that new foreign film I’ve heard so much about. Weeks when the warmer temperatures beckon a new spring wardrobe. Sometimes life is stressful and it’s SO HARD to stay focused on the end goal.
 
I sat in my apartment the other night, looking at the same furniture and artwork I’ve been looking at for longer than I care to remember. And then I pictured my ex, taking time between his lucrative business trips to go house-shopping with his new girlfriend, while I’m sitting in the same apartment we once shared, lamenting over not being able to afford sunglasses or haircuts or the emerald and nectarine couture coloring New York City’s streets this spring. 

You’re all quite lucky I decided not to blog that night. It wouldn’t have been pretty.
 
But then a good friend-or five-gently returned (free of charge) all the advice I’d given them over the years. Things like “You shouldn’t compare yourself to others” and “Try to focus on all of the positive things happening in your life.” And instead of just dismissing these as empty platitudes, I decided the only way I’m going to survive the next fourteen months is to heed their advice, and quickly.
 
I started thinking about how I’ve paid off $4,500 of debt just in the past couple of months and how I’m about to send in another credit card payment next week. I thought about how I have my health (in the wake of the Boston bombings, this somehow feels even more precious), how my family is healthy, how I’ve started working out again, how I’m employed, how I live in one of the most amazing cities in the world, and how I have incredible friends that are willing to listen to me whine and remind me why I don’t have to (and, incidentally, are also able to show me how to install a new motherboard in my computer for next to nothing–booyah!). Really. I have so much to be grateful for. And with this quick shift in viewpoint, the fact that I have to forego a new outfit or dinner at that new spot downtown no longer seems like such a sacrifice.
 
It really is all about perspective, isn’t it?
 
There’s no doubt that the day I become debt free will be a magical moment for me.  But in the meantime, I have to stay focused on all of the amazing things happening in my life right now. There are so many.
 
Hey, Universe. Enjoy your vacation. You deserve it.
  
 
How do you stay focused on your goals? 
 
 
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Jennifer says:

For me the most important way to stay focused is to have someone invested in reaching the goal as much as I am. By sharing my goals with others it has made it so they get just as excited as I do each time I reach another $1,000 paid off. Another good way has been for me to post reminders and progress reports on a wall I see every morning. This helps me see where I started and how much I have to go. This has been especially motivating since it has become over 50% completed.



Carly says:

Hi Jennifer! I agree — sharing my successes with friends, family, and other bloggers makes such a difference. And every month when I update my budget spreadsheet, I burst with enthusiasm over being so much closer to my end goal. Maybe I need to hang it up on my wall, as well. CONGRATULATIONS for passing the 50% mark. That’s amazing. All of your hard work is paying off!



Brigitte says:

Carly, I’ve been having one of those weeks myself so I understand! I know it’s difficult especially when it seems that things are going so “right” for others. Especially when you get to witness it firsthand as you have! Grrr. I love how you have put things into perspective though — it REALLY is all about that. From our last conversation, I know that you have the right intentions, the best intentions and the Universe always rewards that. Sometimes I think we have to learn some lessons and then wham — a good wham in a good way. As I said to you before, wonderful things are in store for you and they always, always happen when you least expect it. You know all these things already. That bulldog is cool — is that you on vacation or the Universe? I like the idea of the Universe being a burly bulldog in an Hawaiian shirt. GREAT post and have a wonderful rest of the Sunday.



Carly says:

Thank you, Brigitte! I know you understand. Let’s hope a double whammy of goodness heads in both of our directions! And, totally agree–the Universe has just got to be a burly bulldog in a Hawaiian shirt. Enjoy the perfection out there today. It’s beautiful! 🙂



Congratulations on your successes so far! Karma always comes in waves, right — bad things happen to everyone, but only great things happen to good people 🙂



Carly says:

Thank you so much! And, yes, a great way to look at things. 🙂



Carly, I’m so glad your friend was able to help you with your motherboard – so you can post great stuff like this. Boy howdy (I was born and raised in TX) can I relate! 13 days after I started learning about and using affirmations for money (other things too, but especially money), the starter in our car died and we had to leave our only vehicle in the parking lot of the Home Depot for a week. Instead of focusing on that, I focused on the 11 people who stepped in to help us through the situation. And as I waited for the money, the new part, and the time to fix it, I held on tightly to something Louise Hay says:

“Sometimes when we try to release a pattern, the whole situation seems to get worse for a while. This is not a bad thing. It is a sign that the situation is beginning to move. Our affirmations are working.”

This has helped me many, many times.



Carly says:

Thank you for this! I’m sure I’ll have to refer to this quote quite a bit going forward. And, agreed — looking for the positive when things go wrong can make such a difference. It’s so helpful to have encouraging people helping to point you in that direction. Thanks for being one of those people!



Hey Carly! I nominated you for a Sunshine Award here: http://notedinnashville.com/2013/04/24/awards-day/ If you already have this one, or you’re not accepting awards at this time, no worries. I’ll still be your blogging buddy. 🙂



Carly says:

Thank you so much for this! Of course I accept! 🙂 So happy to be blogging buddies.



You’re welcome! This award totally suits you!



I’ve so felt like you have in the past, and you’re right, it’s so much about perspective. It’s ok to feel down about things, but try not to let yourself hang out in that space for too long. Hang in there!



Carly says:

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit–and for your words of encouragement. I love your blog and am so inspired by how far you’ve come along your journey. 🙂



[…] discovered which looks like a great read is Re(Creating) Carley. I love the name. Her latest blog, Postcard from the Universe — See ya later, Sucker!, talks about that frugality burnout we all experience from time to […]



Carly says:

You are so sweet! Thanks so much for this!



anna says:

I found your blog from Budget and the Beach and thought this was a great post! I’m dealing with something a bit similar (though more about relaxing and spending a portion of my debt repayment to some splurges), but I agree it’s all about perspective, and I should be grateful instead of guilty or frustrated. Great job on our $4500 debt repayment – that’s huge!



Carly says:

Thank you, Anna!! It’s hard not to get frustrated, but I think focusing on the positive can make this whole process much easier. As far as relaxing a bit, I’m still working on finding the right balance. I am so focused on the debt repayment that I think I might be sacrificing too much. But nothing makes me happier than seeing that number go down. That’s the dilemma, right?! Thanks so much for your encouragement.



Matt says:

Hey Carly,
Just saw that you have a blog now from Brinda’s blog page. This is the only entry I’ve seen but I’ll read more when I can. It’s looks like the blog is good, and congrats on gaining a following quickly.
My two cents on reducing debt is to analyze the big spending habits. And some of them are addictive, like nights out, too many take out food, and more.. Once you analyse what you spend money on try to figure out a cheaper and healthier alternatives to spend time on. My other point, is to find a comfortable balance for a monthly payment. An amount that will make a difference, but not so much one feels cramped and ends up charging a bunch of stuff the week before rent.
Cheers,
Matt



Carly says:

Hey Matt! Thanks for the tips — I totally agree. I tracked all of my purchases (and still do), figured out my discretionary spending, and have been living on a pretty tight budget since February. It’s difficult at times, but I’m determined to get to a zero balance in the shortest time possible. So far so good! 🙂



eemusings says:

You should definitely be proud of what you’ve accomplished!

I used to have a ‘vision board’. I didn’t look at it all that often, but it helped me keep my goals front of mind.



Carly says:

Ha! It’s funny you mention this… I wasn’t going to write about it here, but a few weeks ago, I had a group of friends over to make vision boards. Not everyone’s thing, but I figured why not? I don’t look at mine much either, but I loved how it helped me focus in on the things that I really want in life. And it was a fun way to spend an afternoon with friends. Thanks so much for the kind words!



so glad I found your blog, I love reading about other’s quest to financial freedom. I look forward to reading more of your posts!



Carly says:

So glad you found me, too. 🙂 Thank you so much!



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