So lately I've been thinking a lot about the line that exists between frugal living ("living like no one else so that later you can live like no one else") and seizing the day ("Carpe Diem"). Most of the time the two are not mutually exclusive, however there are times in which they feel as if they are.
In regular day to day living I don't really feel like I'm missing out on anything that would greatly increase my quality of life. I still find it within my budget to fill our summer up with fun, outdoor activities, shop for necessary clothing, makeup, kids' stuff, birthday presents, etc. Sure there are things that I'd LOVE to buy right now that kind of irk me when I notice their absence, like a good landscaping job in my front yard (TREES!!), a new paint job for the exterior of the house, a new car/truck for Michael, new countertops and paint job for my kitchen cabinets, and more. But I've settled it in my mind that those things will just have to wait until the house is paid off (2 years from right now). So I'm not crushed, just a little annoyed.
There are, however, some other opportunities to spend money that I do feel like would increase the "life" in our lives - carpe diem type of things. For instance, some very close friends of ours moved out of the country three years ago and are in the States on furlough for the first time since. BUT they'll be in Washington and Colorado the whole time visiting their families. I'd LOVE it if we could just postpone our financial goals a month or more so that we could go visit them in either of those states. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it? I guess I just don't know where the line should be drawn, and that's something that Michael and I will have to agree on.
Michael and I are "slippery slope" kind of people, and we know it. We don't want to allow something like that in our budget and then start calling a ton of other things "carpe diem" kinds of things. That's how we got into the mess in which we found ourselves. We're not really "balanced" type of people, either; we're usually one extreme or the other. So some balance would probably be nice in our lives. When I say, "I walk the line," it's not really true. I WANT to walk the line. We'll see. (We're also usually harder on ourselves than we ought to be, and that's part of it.) **sigh** That's all I got.