Well, we have officially been living the student life here in Arizona for two months! This weekend was completely consumed by Josh's first film project for one of his midterms. From where I stand, it was a smashing success - filming went without a hitch, a couple college boys got their first home cooked meal in months, and our couch got broken during one of the scenes [ha!].
My world has been a little less exciting than Josh's has been. The weather has finally cooled enough that I can go out for walks semi-regularly. Beyond that, I feel like time has flown - I still can't believe its already October. Considering that only eight short weeks have passed, I feel like I have already learned a few important lessons.
1. Contentment is a choice. I have discovered just how hard it is for me to stay positive when the weather gets above 85 degrees. With this discovery, I have realized, yet again, that my heart naturally wants to dwell on what I don't have anymore. The great irony of discontent is that I will wish to have back what I was dying to rid myself of only months before. In Hawaii, I was counting down the months until we finally got to move back to "the real world," but now, if I'm not careful, I will start longing to go back to our life out there. The reality is, we made the choice to leave our life in the Army for the sake of our future. When we prayed over our decision to leave the army, we found peace. I have to choose to dwell on that God-given peace instead of my discontentment. Otherwise, I begin to lose traction over my emotions, get discouraged, and become useless.
2. In order to move forward in life, I must be thankful. Remember student life? The good ol' days where furniture didn't match and anything sounded good as long as it was cheap. We are back in that world, only this time we are doing it alone. All of the friends my age have a source of regular income. Going out to dinner is a typical date night for them - we are going all out if we buy a $6 pint of ice cream. Once again, discontentment can creep up when I begin to compare our life to the lives of others. I have found that I have to purposefully walk through the house, giving thanks for what we do have. Everything from our fancy pots and pans to my handsome husband is included. I have to also be thankful for our life we used to have when Josh was in the Army. By being thankful for what Army life did provide for us, I can let go of the past and move forward.
3. Fast food and gas suck your finances dry. I found this out simply through not spending money on either expense for the last two months. Josh is a true sport and bikes 10 miles a day to campus. Those miles of biking have saved us potentially hundreds of dollars in gas expenses. The same thing has happened with eating out. We didn't ever think of ourselves as people who ate out regularly, but now that we purposely never go out [except on very rare occasions], there is money sitting in our bank account that otherwise would have disappeared meal by meal. I was afraid of how quickly we would have to start going through our savings. Surprisingly, we haven't touch hardly any of it, and what we did use was for moving expenses. Not spending money on eating out or on gas are the only two changes that we have made, but they have made a big difference.
4. Sucky things you experience are possibly preparation for suckier things to come. When I say this, I am specifically talking about bugs. Creepy crawlies. Hawaii was home to some of the largest bugs I have ever seen in my life, and I had to figure out how to deal with them, oftentimes all by myself. I was super excited about leaving the giant cockroaches and centipedes that graced our home in Hawaii, thinking I would never have to deal with them again. Instead, I moved to a place where the creepy crawlies are actually dangerous. Specifically, I am talking about scorpions. While the nasty cockroaches freaked the bejeezus out of me, they weren't going to potentially kill my child. I'm pretty sure that because I was forced to deal with all the bugs in Hawaii, I can now find a three inch scorpion in our laundry room without having a melt down. Had I moved here straight from Colorado, I know I wouldn't be able to emotionally handle sharing my home with our little scorpion buddies.
Hopefully I don't sound too much like I hate living here; I am truly excited for what this adventure is going to bring! I am sure as the next few months pass, I will find my groove and have more positive lessons to share with you. And a huge thanks to my little band of awesome readers for sticking with me over that last two months! Your consistent readership means more to me than you know. If you have any topics that you'd like to read about on this blog, let me know! You are welcome to either post your ideas in the comments below or by email, if you feel more comfortable with that.