Overcoming A Fear Of Cats

Yesterday, my two youngest boys and I went to visit friends that we haven’t seen in a while.  My friend had her two youngest children home with her.  My friend and I had a chance to catch up on our lives and all four children played very well together.  It was a great visit.

However, when I told Jack, my 3 year old, where we were going, the first thing he said was, “But they have cats!”  I thought, maybe this play date isn’t such a good idea.  But he wanted to see his friends and he decided that we should go to their house anyway.

You see, Jack has a terrible fear of cats (and dogs).  We don’t know where it comes from.  He’s never had a bad experience with a cat or a dog.  He’s never been attacked or bitten.  In fact, he’s had very little contact with cats or dogs, so I think it’s a fear of the unknown.  If we are at a park or in the pet store and a dog comes near him, even if it’s on a leash, he jumps into my arms and screams at the top of his lungs.

Almost as soon as we walked in the door, the cats appeared.  It’s as if they know that Jack is afraid of them.  As hard as my friend tried to keep them out of the room we were in, they kept coming back.

Jack wanted me to hold him every time they came around.  The second time he jumped in my arms, I decided to walk over to the cats and pet them.  I wanted to show him that they won’t hurt him and that they were friendly and soft.  My youngest, James, want to pet them, but Jack didn’t.  He did allow me to carry him over to the cats though, which was a huge step for him!

Jack went back to playing, but a few minutes later he asked to pet the cats!  I couldn’t believe it.  I walked him over to the chair the were sitting on, he climbed up and started petting them.  He was so proud of himself!  I was so proud of him too!

Next, we need to conquer his fear of dogs!  🙂

My Why: FREEDOM

Over the past year or so I’ve been a journey of personal development and self reflection.  I’ve read a number of personal development books, joined Facebook groups for support and encouragement and spent countless hours thinking about what I want to change in my life and what I want my life to look like.

As a result of all of this effort, I’ve solidified My Why and it is simply FREEDOM.

1)  Financial FREEDOM:  Throughout our 16 year marriage my husband and I have made a number of bad financial decisions.  Even though we were making a decent amount of money during the first 11 or 12 years, we lived beyond our means and we are paying the price now.  We purchased a business in 2010 and it barely provides enough income for our basic necessities.  We borrowed a lot of money from family members to purchase the business.  We have huge credit card balances (I’m embarrassed to tell you the amount, so let’s just say it’s way above the national average).  All of this debt creates a lot of stress for me, my marriage and in turn for my children.  I want the financial freedom that comes with being debt free.

2)  FREEDOM to work from home:  My husband works at our business 4 1/2 days a week.  I’m there for the 1/2 day that he is not.  We both work from home on nights and weekends.  We are working hard, but not working smart.  Although we have employees that work for us for the evening and weekend shifts, the business is not profitable enough for us to hire help during the day allowing us to be at home with our children.  Although we love being small business owners, we don’t have the flexibility that we had hoped for.  I want to create my own home based business so that I have the freedom to volunteer in my children’s classrooms or chaperone field trips and so that I can be the one to take care of them when they are sick rather than leave them with a sitter because I have to go to work.

3)  FREEDOM to move to a different house:  Did you notice that I didn’t say bigger house?  We don’t need (or want) a bigger house.  We simply need a different house with a different layout.  One that works better for our family of 6.  Currently we have the world’s smallest kitchen.  It only fits one person comfortably, but it’s where everyone wants to be most of the time.  A laundry room on the second floor would also be amazing!  I want the freedom to live in a home that suits my family and our needs.

4)  FREEDOM to give generously:  We give a small donation to our church each week and we donate small sums when a family member or friend is raising money for a worthy cause, but there isn’t much money in our budget for any other donations.  I want the freedom to be able to bless others whenever I see a need. 

my why

I would love to hear about your WHY!  Please share in the comments.

Letting Go

At the start of every year I set goals to earn extra cash, get rid of the clutter, be more organized, etc.  Life gets in the way and I never do any of these things.

2014 is different.  I really need to make some changes and I’m finally starting to.

This month I am doing Jon Acuff’s 30 Days of Hustle, which is his Facebook group where you set a goal and hustle for 30 days to achieve it.  The group is great source of encouragement and Jon sends you a small task every day to do to help you achieve your goal.

My goal is to earn an extra $100 by selling items we no longer use and by selling handmade items in my Etsy shop (I’m still working on this part of the goal).

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Earlier this week I sold most of these cloth diapers for $30.  The person that bought them got a great deal.  I got some much needed attic space back and I learned a great lesson.

I just need to LET GO of this stuff I’ve been hanging on to.

I bought these diapers five years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I loved the idea of using cloth diapers, but the reality of having a newborn and a four year old quickly set in.  I couldn’t handle the extra laundry, so I resorted to disposables.

We’ve since had two more children and the cloth diapers sat in the attic still unused.  I hated the idea of not getting my money’s worth, so I hung on to them thinking that maybe I would.  Even if we have more children (which is highly unlikely at our ages) I know that they would still go unused.  I finally let myself forget what I paid for them and decided to sell them.

I’m so happy I did.  I feel better knowing that someone else is getting their money’s worth and I have less clutter in the house.  I’m also 30% closer to my Hustle goal!

See, I told you 2014 was different!