5 Tips for Making Do with the Right Now

by Linsey Knerl on 5 October 2007 2 comments
Photo: Djbrady

My family has lived in the same house for 2 years, but we neither rent it nor own it. It is part of a family farming corporation with an uncertain future. We don’t know if we will be here another 10 years, or if we will need to move next spring. It seems silly to invest too much in it without it being a permanent home, but at the same time, we really want to make it our own.

 

It seems easy to hold your breath and wait for situations in life to become clear, determined, and permanent. But what will you be missing in the meantime? Here are 5 steps that can help you live life while waiting to see just where it may go.


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  1. Know that you are not alone – How many other honorable professions and lifestyles are temporary, nomadic, or without careful material plans? Plenty. Just ask any missionary family, military spouse, or theatre troupe how it feels to never know what the next move may hold for them. Time spent at a single location may be just a few days or could last several years. You will never see performance falter as a result of the unknown, however. The show must always go on.                                                                                                                                                           
  2. The important things will go with you – So what if you wallpaper the kitchen in your rental home and have to move soon after? You get to take your kids, the dog, and all your memories with you. Don’t place too much importance on the material, and you’ll find that the fullest part of your life can be easily crammed into a minivan and the shortest of U-hauls.                                                                                                                                                                    
  3. The best-laid plans are universal – You may not know how much you will make next year (or even if your chosen industry will have jobs for you.) A guesstimation of what it takes to survive, along with adequate savings, can get you pretty far in uncertain times. (For more information, review Julie’s suggestions for saving 3-6 months of living expenses.)                                                                                                                                                               
  4. You can count on yourself – While it isn’t feasible to hang all your hopes on your employer, your mutual funds, or even your friends, you can usually find enough gumption to stick out any situation. Invest in yourself by taking care of your body, getting enough sleep, and eating well. You’re in it for the long haul!                                                                   
  5. You gotta have faith – When frustration mounts, and it seems that everything is hanging by a thread, your personal faith can play a big role in keeping your chin up until better days. Finding a support group within a church or the community just might be the ticket to some peace of mind. Giving up some of the worry to a higher power can free up your energy for getting on with the business of life.

 

The sooner you realize that life is happening now, the sooner you can work towards making it count. Let go of traditional views of how things are supposed to happen, and embrace the circumstances you’ve been given. It’s a great way to be sure that the important things are never wasted.

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Philip Brewer's picture

I don't like to think about how much of my life I've spent waiting to get to the good part. (I was never as bad as some people, but bad enough.)

Here's one more suggestion: Never stop asking yourself "What do I want to be when I grow up?" Ask the other people in your life, too, what they're going to be. Anyone who claims to already be grown up should be treated with pity for the rest of the day.

Ed O'Reilly's picture

For me, reading this couldn't have had better timing. The events of the past couple of years have forced me to reflect on these very issues.