A terrible thing happened this morning.
I began my day by walking the dog in the wee hours of the morning. Now, if you know Staffordshire Bull Terriers, you know my Charlie. He’s strong willed, ruled by his nose and needs my full calm assertive attention to stay on course. Ten minutes in we began a steady jog as it helps him focus, when all of a sudden…
I look down and there’s my life lying on the cold cement.
I pick it up to assess the damage.
As feared, there are cracks lining the face of my screen. “Ugh!”
I quickly pop it in a safer place, put it from my mind and keep on moving. The rest of the walk is relatively uneventful. We jog, we run, we walk, and when it’s all over we bond over some sardines.
Slowly as my morning goes on reality sinks in… I even got teary at one point. You see I’m quite attached to my phone, it’s quite new and pretty expensive. But more importantly it’s where I write, connect with friends and family and it’s imperative to my work. Some of you may be thinking… “Pfft, people today… Get a grip love! It’s just a phone!”
And at some point, after googling the cost of repair (a mere $229), I begin trying to convince myself that it is just a phone.
But… it wasn’t that easy. I had to take a hard look at myself and ask, “Is it really worth it?” Is it really worth blowing my budget for the next month – depriving my bills of their hard earned reward just to make it look right again? The phone is still usable as before, it’s still my life blood… Just tarnished. Just not as pretty as before.
It was so easy for me to contemplate spending over $200 on simply the “look” of my favourite accessory.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe you can and should spend money on yourself. I believe a woman who doesn’t spoil herself a little will eventually go mad or lose her soul in the piles of dirty dishes and laundry. This was not one of those situations. This was a ‘me’ situation having a little tantee over my silly mistake.
The current state of my phone was more difficult to let go than I would like to admit.
And that made me feel like a Gen Y cliché.
As the day wore on $229 for a new screen began to weigh up against the more important things in life.
Being a volunteer in Myanmar for MyKids Australia Inc helps put situations like these in perspective.
Here’s just a few examples of how far $200 dollars goes in Myanmar. It could;
- Feed and educate a sponsor child for 5 months.
- Send boxes of much needed nutritional supplements up into the mountains where support and food is scarce.
- Pay for a tutor (an essential learning tool in Myanmar) for 50 kids for two weeks.
It’s easy in our credit crazed society to spend more and over indulge. And this really was a wake up call for me to make sure I have my priorities straight and to put my money where my mouth is.
I decided to live with it as it is. Cracked screen and all.
Much later this afternoon a friend pointed out that there may be other options as cheap as $20 for my particular issue, so I’ll investigate that tomorrow. But as for today, I learned something about myself. I learned that in my world I do cherish technology and the luxuries of first world living. And it was hard to let it go.
However given a choice, I could make the right one.
Everyday you and I are faced with similar choices. Some of them are easy… some of them much tougher than what I experienced today.
Here are three tips to help you navigate through tough decisions.
- Take your time – if you can. In the heat of the moment your emotions may get the better of you. Step away from the situation, take a deep breath and weigh up your options. Better decisions are always made with a cool head.
- Know yourself. In our fast paced world we rarely have time for self reflection. I believe good decisions are made when you have a better understanding of what’s at stake and what you are or aren’t willing to compromise on.
- Ask for help. Many have travelled your path before and God knows where you’re going, so remember you’re not alone. Seek help in someone you trust and work together to find what’s right for you.
I hope that when life throws us a curve ball as it surely will, we will have the confidence and courage to make the right choice and stand by it. As our trials in life help build perseverance, character and hope.
And those are three things health whole woman have. Perseverance. Character. And a Hope.