What I did on October 27th 2016

It was a cold rainy and windy fall day in Toronto. Not the type of weather to be out and about.

After the normal things that a retiree does, leisurely enjoying a coffee, reading the paper and just taking in the sunrise, I decided to tackle my cluttered washroom cupboards.

The very thought of doing it was intimidating and I wondered how far I would get before giving it up all together and finding something more exciting to do.

Then I remembered in one of my blogs, I asked all of you to do some de-cluttering. Well I suddenly felt like the parent who had told their children to clean their room but I hadn`t cleaned my own.

First thing first, I began by gathering all the things I needed. Large garbage bags, gloves, wet rags, some vinegar and dry rags. Now I was ready to tackle the clutter.

I began at the top of the cupboard, it was very dusty but not much clutter. Note to self I thought, I should dust this more often. Then the lazy voice in my head said to me; Why would I dust there when it`s not bothering me and no one can see it. I shrugged off the voice.

I did not realize that this type of dialogue with my internal self would continue throughout the process.

The first cupboard has two large shelves that were filled with over the counter medicine that supposedly fixes whatever is not going well. There was the Vicks vapor rub, cold syrup and then of course Tiger balm. I have no idea what to do with Tiger balm. I had it in the cupboard so I must have bought it for some reason. Maybe it was on Dr. Oz. This is when that voice started again, listen it said, you might need it for something you never know. No, I said go away! and into the garbage bag went the Tiger balm, miscellaneous tablets including headache tablets. I never get headaches. Whenever I say that to my siblings they tell me it’s because I swear so much. My friend Corrine Chapin will never pick me up any more headache medicine after hearing this.

The clutter on the following six shelves in that cupboard was all my doing. The lotion and potions in those cupboards was worth thousands and I mean thousands of dollars. I found a cream intended to be used just for the right side of your face, if you sleep on your right side to prevent wrinkles. I sleep on my back. What was I thinking with that purchase? The cellulite cream was the funniest. Why did I think it would work? The sales lady told me cellulite would disappear from my thighs. I forgot to ask her where it would go. I guess it did not matter because it is still there, it did not disappear and I could not see the difference so I stop using the cream. More money down the beauty drain.

Purple or any hew of purple eye shadow calls to me. Its like a magnet, but I am allergic to any shade in the purple family. Knowing this, why do I have so many of them? I am sure some sales lady told me it would accentuate my dark brown eyes. Really? All it did was puff up my eyes and break blood vessels. So I heard the voice said, maybe you are using too much? You know the voice said less is more. I ignore the voice and threw them all out.

The nail polish was another story. I mean, a whole other story. There was so many brands and bottles I thought I was at Sephora. Thousands of dollars down the beauty drain. The nail enhancer, the nail grower, the nail strengthener, the nail dryer, the fast drying nail polish, the decals and the nail extender. The voice said, well now that you are retired you have the time to use these products, so you better keep them. No I said and out they went.

Feet and toes section of the cupboard. Do you know I had purchased nail polish just for my toes? I must have bought this in New York. When in doubt blame the Americans. It had hardened in the bottle so I could not use it. The ever-faithful voice suggested I soften it in the microwave. No I said and dumped it. Then there were all those knives and tools to take away half my feet and make them soft and smooth. Since I had not been trained professionally on how to use them, I swear on my first attempt I would have end up in the emergency room. The voice, came through again, saying I would save money by doing my feet myself. No I said, I tried it once, my back hurt and I cut my feet. It does not work for me so in the bag they went.

Since de-cluttering was going so well I decided to take on the shower area. It was much easier. I threw away all sorts of shower gels and shower scrubs. Some scrubs hurt and after one use I never touched them again. I do not like the feeling of sand on my body unless I am at the beach. The voice stayed very quiet while working on the shower stuff, I wonder why?   Maybe it was the swear words I used when I remembered the feeling trying to rinse off some of these scrubs off my body. I guess the voice did not like that feeling either.

I completed the task. Congratulated myself on a job well done. Then the voice said what about me I helped? You did not I replied, if I had listen to you the cupboard would be the same and nothing would have gotten thrown out!

This is not my usual style of blog post but I hope you enjoyed it and perhaps you might be motivated to attack the bathroom cupboards on a wet, cold, or gloomy day.

Tessa-Marie

What Happened to the $27.00 Bra Girl – Part 2

Goals are important but life sometimes just happens.

Without Tessa’s plan, in the early days, I have no idea what we would have done.

Achieving a goal that you have looked forward to and worked hard for is a feeling of victory and accomplishment that cannot be duplicated. We could list the things we have given up or not done or not had to achieve them. We have made mistakes that have delayed our goals and we have also fast tracked to achieve others. I have laid awake at night worried if our goals are too big or if we are not doing enough. My husband has not. He and Tessa are very similar in this way. They see bumps in the road as just that, a bump on their path. This has been my biggest lesson and challenge. My mother will often tell me ‘sometimes life just happens’.

As well prepared or as well intended, you are, sometimes life just happens. Our dog gets sick right before a final payment on a trip is due, we have dinner plans with friends from out of town and realize my math was wrong when managing the ‘entertainment funds’, I attempt to transfer my household grocery money into our joint account but transfer it into my RRSP, the list can go on. Each time a delay or bump in the financial path has happened, I have learned it is more important to just keep on the path than it is to waste time worrying about what we could have done differently because for the most part there is very little I could have changed to make a real impact on the outcome. I will not be arrested by the Visa police if I do not pay off one month in full, but I have learned to check my math twice (and that my husband’s math skills are better than mine….) Our little dogs make our home so enjoyable and the trip to see my brother marry the love of his life with 50 of our family and friends was worth every penny from each account we took it from.

Tessa’s view on financial planning is very clearly laid out in her book and I realized not everyone would have the opportunity to hear her speak and hear how motivated and dedicated she is to improve other lives. Not everyone will be brought a hot cup of tea, by her wonderful husband, soon after being told that a $27 bra was not an essential purchase.

The plan is tough. Sometimes it outright angers you to be on it. Sometimes in makes you cry because you’re convinced no one else lives this way.   Sometime it makes you the happiest person on earth. Sometime you have no idea what your life would be like without it.

Our journey is different now we have a wonderful daughter. Our plans and goals have changed. Our daughter’s education is our main priority. Anyone who knows Tessa, is very aware how much value she places on education. We have already begun the journey by setting up her Registered Education Savings Plan.

We will keep you posted on this new focus.