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The Unconventional, ‘Are You Mad’ Way To Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet

Michelle Dale - Tuesday, January 03, 2012
Happy New Year! This is the first post of the new year, and I have decided to talk about money, because money sets the tone of our lives, and often our New Year’s resolutions as well. Without it we can be miserable, with it, many of us believe we’ll be happy, and the more we have of it, the notion follows that the happier we’ll be – problems will melt away like an ice-cream on a hot summer’s day – but is it really money that’s the answer?
  

You see money is a funny thing. We spend SO much of our time trying to obtain it, that soon, the act of obtaining money begins to take over our lives. We want more profit, more sales, more income. Even if we’re still employed – from what I can remember back to those days, we are pursuing promotions, salary increases, bonuses, commission…. It’s never ending.

Media.

Then before we know it commercials on television, adverts in magazines and other media outlets become a source of inspiration, even aspiration and we are left feeling inadequate because many of us, no matter how hard we toil away, feel like we must be failing in some way for not achieving the “perfect lifestyle” – but what is the perfect lifestyle?

In order for me to help get the purpose of this post across to you, I need to tell you about some personal experiences.

Perfection.

So now, for me, I have my perfect lifestyle, but it’s not everyone’s idea of perfection, it’s mine and my husband’s. I would not wish for anything more, other than having a more permanent base one day as I would like another child, 3 little children on the road would be tough. I work very hard to be able to give my kids nice Christmases and birthdays, I live within my means, and, if I don’t have it, I don’t spend it, it’s a simple way of life. I do however invest money into life experiences and my business which takes care of my family, but generally not material possessions – (All my Apple gadgets come under the business lol). Many times I have been questioned, about my lack of material possessions, and the vagabondish lifestyle I have – that it’s not ‘normal’ to live the way I live, that my children are not having a ‘normal’ childhood, but if ‘normal’ was my previous life, which I will explain in this post, I hope I never have a normal life again…

Missing.

In all honesty if I was to say that there are certain things I miss, I would be telling the truth. For example, I don’t own any kitchen equipment, but before I embarked on my nomadic lifestyle, I had all the kitchen gadgets under the sun, many of them went unused, but this year in order to really make my Christmas Dinner go off with a bang, I could have done with a proper meat carver, maybe a food processor, some proper oven trays so I didn’t have to go out and buy disposable catering trays, and a decent blender – but! I made do with what I had, I improvised, and the meal still tasted great, okay the meat wasn’t perfectly carved and I had to manually make my breadcrumbs for the bread sauce, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

My point is, should we be striving for such perfection, and making ourselves crazy for it, when maybe we haven’t explored what our own personal perfection is, and it may mean we can achieve a similar result for much less time and effort, simply by re-adjusting what we have in our lives now. In 2012, take a look at what you have, versus what you want. Ask yourself the actual reason why you want certain things, why you are working so hard to obtain them, and could the effort of achieving that extra few thousand dollars be spent on something useful, constructive, something that will be used constantly, making it a good investment, or is it simply because the neighbour has one, or the media says your life will improve with it?

Money is not Funny.

In all honesty, I feel ashamed of the way I used to use my money, I realise now I was making purchases to compensate for areas of my life which were lacking, shopping was filling a void that could never be filled with material possessions, so it was just a way of digging myself a little deeper into long-term unhappiness, for a bit of a temporary happiness ‘fix’ – how many shoes and handbags does one person really need? As soon as I realised that and asked myself what would REALLY make me happy in life, and not what SHOULD make me happy based on the rest of the population (according to the television or a friend), being happy became a very simple, uncomplicated and inexpensive pursuit, because I started to get wise to how I should spend my money, and none of it really conformed with how I was spending it – all of my possessions were given away or sold, and in its place was a one way ticket to Egypt. I sold my house, paid off my credit card and closed it down – scary thought, but if I was going to survive, I was going to do it with what I had available to me, if I wanted more, I would have to find a way which didn’t involve a line of credit. I was left with a clean slate… I took it as a second chance to make my life count. At that time, I may of had nothing but a ticket, but it was such a relief to also not have any payments to meet every month, and also no boss to answer to!

A Ticket.

That ticket changed my life. At 24, I was fortunate enough to be able to learn what some people will never learn in a lifetime. That move was the single best decision I had ever made in my life. I went with nothing, very little money, no means of earning an income and all I had to rely on was myself, I had to apply myself – seriously apply myself to survive outside in the big wide world, and whilst it was a challenge, it was also the most excellent experience I could ever have imagined. I started my own business (Virtual Miss Friday) and I met my husband, I had 2 beautiful children, and I have since lived my life on my own terms, I never went back to my life before, in any sense of the term. I am 30 now, and very fortunate to be able to exist the way I do, and meeting my husband in Egypt meant I have a life partner who shares my enthusiasm for travel and culture, if I had stayed in the UK, I would not have met my soulmate. Life is not a piece of cake, but the challenges I have now, are very different from what I had before.

Leap

If you’re thinking of taking a leap of faith in 2012, it may involve starting a business to help you find your own freedom, and create your own path in life, rather than tread the path we all feel we should be treading. Every business has its ups and downs, every business will require hard work and determination, and it will also require a learning curve, but if you don’t just take that leap of faith and do it, allowing people to think your crazy, yet not letting it bother you, you’ll never know what’s out there waiting for you… Had I not done what I did, I fear that I would never have been as happy and personally fulfilled as I am now, and whilst of course we all need money to live, the amount we need and what we choose to do with it or spend it on, can make a huge difference to the outcome of our life. You may need less in 2012 than you think, if you’re willing to make some changes.



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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.



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