Contributing to my 401(k)

contributing to my 401k

The first company that I worked for full time had a 401(k) program that matched up to 3%. Actually, I don’t really remember how much the match was it was, all I knew was that if I wanted that “free money” I needed to contribute the same amount. It was a big sacrifice to essentially donate to my future, since every single penny was precious at that time, but I knew in the end it would be beneficial to start young… because, compound interest. The best financial tool to get ahead when you’re young.

DECISIONS I'M GLAD I MADE GRAPHIC

Taking a semester off

taking a semester off

In the fall semester of my senior year, I withdrew from college. Instead of taking classes, I worked full-time for five months at Samaritan’s Purse as a community relations intern for Operation Christmas Child, which is headquartered in Boone.

It was the greatest internship ever.

I didn’t need the credit hours, so I was able to make money and avoid going into deeper student loan debt. I got a better education by jumping in the field than I ever did in the classroom, and learned so much about public relations and non-profit organizations. I made some amazing friends, and was given (looking back) an ABSURD amount of responsibility. I led five other interns across the country via email and phone calls, working together to publicize the shoebox drive in the fall. They flew me (by myself) to Denver to help in one of their processing plants to pull off an event.

I am so grateful to those who allowed me the opportunity to grow in this internship. What a rewarding experience.

DECISIONS I'M GLAD I MADE GRAPHIC

Meeting with friends at 6am on Fridays

meeting with friends

When our small group started back up this year, some of the girls suggested to meet just girls another time during the week, since our Monday night meetings are co-ed and there isn’t a lot of time to share or get really deep. We threw out some times and days, and (big surprise) our seven schedules didn’t exactly match up. The only time that worked for most of us (not even all of us!) was Fridays at 6:15 am.

I shared yesterday that in general I struggle to keep margin in my life… so I was hesitant to commit to yet another thing. I already had plans Monday nights, every other Tuesday night, am training for a half marathon and had a few weekend plans scheduled for this fall.

But I decided to give it a try and see if it was too much for my schedule.

Well, Friday mornings have become my new favorite time of the week. Even though it forces us (or at least me) to get ready for work and be out of the house by 6am, it’s been so fun to get together each week, treat myself to a latte and talk about life with these ladies. I am learning that decisions that say yes to relationships are normally really good ones.

DECISIONS I'M GLAD I MADE GRAPHICPS – I posted a picture of these friends yesterday on IG. :)

Taking back my free time

taking back my free time

Like all people pleasers, I have the classic problem of saying yes to too many things.

The worst it’s ever been was in my junior year of college. I was taking 18 hours of classes, the vice president of an international organization, volunteered at a community service office, waited tables on the weekends, worked part time doing marketing for club sports, and led a bible study of sophomore girls. (When in the world did I have time to study!) It was EXHAUSTING and I had zero time to myself that year. In fact, I remember on the rare evenings when I was home and would watch a TV show or movie with my roommates, I always fell asleep on the floor as soon as it started. I was constantly on the go and constantly tired.

Over winter break I got some much-needed rest and realized I needed more of that in my life, which meant having to say no to something.

In true Rory Gilmore fashion, I made a pro/con list for each item on my plate and decided to quit my job doing the club sports’ marketing. I was worried about how I would make rent without that income, but it all ended up okay. And I was so nervous telling and disappointing my supervisor, but it turns out I had plenty of classmates who were interested in that position, who had more time to devote to it. I am always replaceable in my job. A huge relief was lifted off my shoulders and for the first time in months I felt free and in control of my schedule.

Looking back I probably should have cut out two or three more things, but at the time saying no to anything at all was a big huge deal.

Since then I’ve slowly been adopting more free time into my schedule, and am learning to listen to my gut as an indicator of whether or not I should be pursuing something. It’s still really hard for me to say no to things, but I know in the end I am a happier, more giving person if I have margin in my day to relax, exercise or the free time to say yes if a drop-of-the-hat invitation comes along.

DECISIONS I'M GLAD I MADE GRAPHIC

Do you have this problem? Have you ever over-committed to too many things? Is there something hanging over your life that you need to get rid of? 

PS – Shoes are from Minx Asheville

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