When my husband and I found ourselves out of work we worried however, we quickly discovered that we could live better for less.
With the up and down of today's economy we all have been scrambling to make ends meet. Worry about jobs and keeping our income has been at times all consuming. For some of us, the loss of income or jobs has created worry and additional stress in our lives. In the case of my husband and I our income dropped quite suddenly last fall and we actually found ourselves living better on less money. Our income may have been gone but the quality of life has gone up. Let me explain the benefits we discovered in this drastic change in our lives.
Self Satisfaction and Increased Self Esteem
Let me begin by saying that there was nothing wrong with the job I had previously. It simply was not the job for me. I worked hard at it put in extra time and gave it my best. My best simply was not good enough and I often felt like a failure and was always apologizing because I simply did not know enough or could not go fast enough to suit myself or those around me. As a result I sometimes felt unappreciated for the work and effort I did put in and my self esteem grew steadily lower. Oddly enough the strongest criticism came from within myself not from those I worked with. Perhaps, it was simply knowing that the job was not one that fit my capabilities.
Shortly before leaving my job, I had begun writing online and make a small amount of money. I loved writing and had always wanted a career as a professional writer. With no job to go to and needing to earn some income I was finally forced to make writing my career. I love it, I make good money at it and for the first time in my life I don't just have a job I like, I have one I love and I wake up every morning eager to start work. To put icing on the cake, I have gotten enough kudos from clients to drastically increase my self esteem and I find myself feeling proud of myself and the job I am doing.
This change has not only improved my outlook on working but on life itself.
One of my problems with my past job is that I had some physical and medical issues that made the job far more demanding that it should have been. I constantly worked in pain which made it hard to get through the day. Because of the physical as well as mental stresses of the job my health was deteriorating at an alarming rate. Although it took a couple of months my health has proved significantly and I am in less pain and have more energy than I have had in years. While my medical problems will not go away, I can now manage them better than I could before.
Having less stress in my life has provided more emotional benefits than I would have ever thought possible. I had never thought of myself as depressed as I have always tried to look at the bright side of situations but I was truly depressed. There were a lot of reasons for this. Because of the physical toll on me from my job I was often exhausted and as a result simply didn't have the energy to keep my house up like I wanted or to even enjoy a day off as I was simply to tired to want to anything. I could not sleep because I was over tired and would often cry over little things that I took to be criticism never realizing that it was both physical and emotional exhaustion that was taking such an emotional toll.
With those stresses gone, my home is cleaner and I am happier. My husband feels the same, saying his out look on life is better than it has been for years.
Both my husband and I have a renewed interest in both life and our relationship. We spend more time together and love doing it. Our love life has improved drastically and so has our interest in hobbies and in simply getting up in the morning.
Getting Back To The Basics
Because we are making less money, we have been forced to get back to the basics to save money. We cook more and eat out less, We make our own yogurt and this spring we will be planting a garden. We are heating more with wood and less with fuel gas. Instead of going out we read and listen to music. Getting back to the basics is something we find we enjoy. It gives our lives renewed purpose and we find that we are becoming more and more like modern day homesteaders and are loving it. I find I am actually looking forward to canning and freezing home grown food like my mother and grandmother before me did.
While we are making less money, we have actually made some financial gains. Careful budgeting and cutting back on work related expenses has resulted in more money for the little things we enjoy. While we will never be rich we have achieved a better quality of life for ourselves.
We have truly learned what it means to be poor but happy.