Monday, April 22, 2013

The Value of Sacrifice

Let's not underestimate the the great lessons and rewards of waiting and working for the things you most want. The world is moving so fast and between our more is better, give me now culture and the easy credit that has made it possible I feel like we're losing sight of all the positive benefits of waiting, working, sacrifice and the like. Worse, we are also getting increasingly confused (as a people) about what we really want and what we can expect from the items we buy. 

Over the years I've bought into the notion that many a product would make my life better or solve some problem that never existed in the first place. Companies and advertisers work very hard to use just the right language and images to make us feel/think this way so we buy their crap. The reality is that, for the most part, they are not out to solve our problems or make our lives easier. They are not interested in being good stewards of the environment or the consumer. They want to make their crap as cheap as possible and sell it for as much as possible. They want to make money and lots of it. Period. 

I like to think that I've become a wiser consumer as I've gotten older. So much of the stuff I have does nothing to enhance my life. I just want to be rid of these things so I can focus more of my time and energy on that which is actually important to me. Doing this requires quite a bit of vigilance. Whenever I'm at the store or being exposed to any kind of advertisement I have to put up my defenses so I won't fall victim to the consumer desires that get so expertly stirred, threatening to divert me from my goals. It's exhausting to this Migrainista.

When free from those things I find that we (hubby and I) can actually focus on working towards creating the life we really want for ourselves. We want to buy a home, grow more of our own fruits and veggies. We want to save for retirement and enjoy quality time with loved ones. We want to provide a good home for our animals and for ourselves. We want to be healthy. And we are working hard to achieve these goals. 

The last several years have been full of sacrifices to that end. We've been living in crappy apartments, sharing walls, halls and parking lots with terrible neighbors. We've not been taking vacations or keeping up with the Jones'. We've lived frugally and put lots of thought and discussion into all our financial decisions. We've had to make a lot of tough choices. 

Now that we are within a year of achieving one of those goals (buying a house) I already feel a sense of reward for all the hard work we've put in. A feeling that, no doubt, is only possible because of the years of sacrifice we've invested. Despite knowing that the sacrifices must continue for our home purchase (and other goals) to actually come true, I'm excited about the years ahead and the growing sense of accomplishment that will result.  

I believe it is the hard times of preparation and sacrifice that truly make achievement something of value. 

Living with chronic migraines and fibromyalgia have certainly required both of us to sacrifice a great deal outside of all the regular circumstances of life. Without highlighting all the details of that, let me just say I feel that having to make those additionally sacrifices is only going to enhance the value of each of our achievements. 


  1. I too have found the marketing ploys of the big companies quite a trial as well. They really spend the big bucks to get the advertisers to sell, sell, sell. And they love to put the commercials out there to lure you in-especially so during Super Bowl they make their commercials even more appealing. I admit I've been a sucker for those Super Bowl commercials, especially the Budwiser ones, but I hate beer so I'm safe on that part. But I do love it when they use cute animals and I should not be drawn to that.
    Sacrifice is hard. Especially when you budget and pass on "luxuries" I call them and only focus on the "Essential" of life-the must haves to live and leave the wanna have's alone. but when you get your goal you were working for it does make it worthwile to have sacrificed so. Plus your not one of those material people focusing on just "stuff" instead of what is more important.
    I really enjoyed this posting as it has hit home for my current situation. Thank you so much for the excellent writing and topic. I loved it.
    Sending you prayers for a pain free day.
    Blessings, Julie

  2. Good Post...I had just read an article about how we are in constant search for Happiness and many people feel that buying things bring them happiness, but the end result is that most of the time, we are never satisfied despite all these "material" things we purchase. I reflected on my own "purchase" history....buying clothes, jewelry, shoes, purses, big house, newer car.....and none of that brought me happiness. Being in good health and spending time with family and friends is what brings me happiness. Nothing I have ever purchased (wait, I purchased my beloved Pets....indeed they bring me happiness) but everything else was things I did not need and now I am disappointed I wasted money on those things. Sometimes I go back & forth with the old saying of , "Life is too short, I am going to do what makes me happy" and that was me convincing myself to buy something I really did not need. I guess we do need to ask ourselves, "What Truly Makes One Happy?"

  3. I so agree that we get caught up in the buy this now instead of buy later and save. I am so glad you are almost to the goal of buying your house! That is really exciting!