While some may say that I do not flex my financial muscles at all i.e. I am cheap, I believe my financial muscles have been getting a work out since I read Suze Orman’s Money Book for the Young, Broke & Fabulous. Her financial tips lead me to the brink of hyperventilation as I wrote the down-payment check towards a house shortly after my 24th birthday. Financial muscles do not grow by making more money. Financial muscles become toned and nicely proportionate with the rest of your muscles as you learn to stretch one dollar farther, learn about money, live within your budget, and start to feel rich.
I freaked out the day I moved into the house. The tub needs to be caulked! The house needs to be painted! The sump pump is going to break! Fast forward two years, I’ve only recently learned how to balance the work and enjoyment of having a house. The brain is a muscle too! You need to train your brain to stop creating work and projects for you. The most beneficial thing you can do for your brain muscle is give it a rest.
When my roof leaked, I would get pissed at this saggy, dripping hole in my ceiling that didn’t care about me. As it turns out, it’s pretty pointless to have an emotional reaction to something that has no emotions. Your emotional muscles need to be conditioned and stretched. See how long you can remain patient while Murphy’s law seems to be reserved for you.
I got pretty sick of having to call my cousin or my brother-in-law to help me carry something. After ripping out carpet, painting three rooms and trimming bushes, my arms have gotten a pretty good work out. Now, before a PetSmart employee has the chance to say “Can I help…” I’m already slinging a thirty-pound bag of dog food over my shoulder and bolting for the register. Home ownership doesn’t just make you mentally and emotionally stronger, it makes your actual muscles stronger too!
(5) Someone Else’s
When the coffee table needs to be moved downstairs or I have to clean the gutters, it’s time to pick up the phone. Although I wish my own muscles could cushion an 8-foot-fall off of a ladder, there are certain tasks and moments that require someone else’s muscles. Asking for help means putting your ego aside and admitting to yourself that you can’t handle this part on your own. It’s okay to say, I don’t know how to start the lawn mower or I can’t emotionally deal with my screaming neighbors today. Someone else’s muscles can help you instead.
With basic furniture and minimal clutter in the house, I can relish how the light looks on the hardwood floors. I enjoy the sounds of a Cardinal that staked out his territory in a nearby tree. The house gives me space to read and write and reflect, all activities that bring me closer to my spiritual self. You can’t see anyone’s spiritual muscles. You only sense them through their presence and the smile on their face.