I lead what most people would call a “go with the flow” lifestyle. I deal with one day at a time, one thing after another, all steps following an established pattern. I never make promises I’m not 100% sure I can keep, so promises are usually made the same day whatever it is is going to happen.
I’m not sure when or why I began living this go with the flow lifestyle, but I know it works for me. Some days this seems to work great, some days I yell at myself in my head for doing this, but most of the time it’s just the way it is. This lifestyle has impacted my relationships with those around me, my finances, even my parenting style.
My relationships with friends or family is both better and worse for living like this. I suck at keeping in touch with everybody, unless you count reading what they post on Facebook around the same time I am actually looking at Facebook. I have over 250 Facebook contacts and very few that I actually TALK to. I have known all of them at some point or another, but actually know very few of them anymore. Most are previous coworkers.
My family, I am close to….about half of them. I have talked about my mom, dad, brother, and sister on here before, but did you know I actually have a stepdad, two stepsisters and a stepbrother as well? I’m close with the ones I have talked about on here, not so close with my other two sisters or my other brother. They live about two hours away and, like I said before, I suck at keeping in touch with people.
My mom posted recently about a friend she was trying to get in touch with (http://supergrammy.wordpress.com/2012/03/18/looking-for-long-lost-bff/). She talked about how they could not talk for a long time and then, when they do get back in touch, it’s like there was no time lost. These are the true friends in someone’s life!
I was thinking about this when she had made this post. I thought, with my go with the flow life and the way I have trouble keeping in touch with people, that I only have one of these friends. The one who I am currently in constant contact with (see https://thej85.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/hour-long-conversations/). Two or three days after mom’s post, I heard from someone I hadn’t spoken to IN FIVE YEARS!! We ended up having basically the same conversation we had the last time we had talked. Today I also got to see my first favorite regular customer from my first full-time location of the fast food chain I work at! Haven’t seen him in four years! My go with the flow life has allowed me few true friends, but the ones I have are awesome!
The biggest place I have noticed the way things seem to just work out is in my finances. Sure, I have had totally broke, no two nickels to rub together times. I’ve had to borrow or go without things due to lack of funds, but, hey, I’m doing okay right now!
I have a set spending budget, waivering from this is rare. I don’t make huge, extravagant purchases just because I have money in the bank. I don’t skip bills just because my paycheck wasn’t as much as I thought it would be. I have an “extras” allowance that I allow myself every month, if I don’t get as much pay as usual, the difference comes out of my extras budget.
I pay the same amount on all my bills every month…a little higher than what I expect them to be. I pay my bills before their printed. I don’t skip payments if there is any possible way to pay them.
I buy groceries as I need them, keeping a mental monthly tally of the dollar amount. What is picked up for negotiable items (which is anything other than bread, milk, and veggies) is purchased cost effectively in amounts according to ppu (price per unit). Extras are extras, regular purchases are picked up in larger quantities whenever they are on sale.
I just got my income tax refund. That doesn’t mean I am going on a shopping spree. For me, having extra money seems to balance out pretty quickly. It could be needed if L needs a hospital visit (medical care is free, food, drinks, and mom missing work is not!), or T needs some extra homework tools. This money looks great on my bank account balance, but I know it will work out soon to be like I never had it. Unfortunately the way it works out is usually something negative.
I was dead broke in January, even borrowed some money from my dad. I had enough money for bills but not for food. Dad helped me out and I was able to pay him back quickly. I knew it would work out.
I’m not monetarily rich by any means, but I feel I am pulling out of the “poor” category. Hey, my kids both have new shoes!
I think my go with the flow has a positive impact on my boys and my parenting. They are aware that things that we can’t control can cause things to change. They have been learning to go with the flow. I feel being able to understand and even expect that life can change prepares them for the fact we all know: life changes.
As a result of our day to day life, I never break promises. The only promise that is made before details are finalized is “I/we will try”. I feel this makes my boys feel more trust in me. If promises are made and than broken, especially consistantly, trust is lost. Lost trust can lead to sour moods, disobedience and all around unhappy living. No thanks!
We still have fun outings, plan activities, attend special events, etc, but they just know in advance that plans can change. This also leads to some fun times that strictly structured family time can limit. A change in supper plans to a favorite meal, the entire (city-living) family heading out for dinner, a trip to the movies, a walk to the park turning into a trip to the mall. Usually these times are more fun, spontaneity and surprise adding to the fun.
So remember, if you’re having a bad day, going through a tough time, don’t know what is going to happen next week, are upset with that special friend or family mrmber, take a deep breath and remind yourself: it will all work out. After all, you made it this far and you’re still going, right?
No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!