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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Feeling Guilty About Sharing



I have to admit, I've held off on posting about our family's skiing day for a few reasons. Number one is that I am still quite tired and I want to do it justice... But secondly, is that I have a lot of guilt. Like majorly. Like that is something I am working on in therapy, but I feel guilty in general for living my life, but posts about vacation make me feel guilty, and posts about more expensive things on vacation even more so.

I don't want it seem to be like I'm flaunting things, like oh my gosh, look how awesome my life is, aren't you jealous of me, don't you want to be me? If my posts make people look on their life and say that it sucks, and makes it harder for them, I'd feel extra terrible. In fact, one friend of mine did mention that it was hard for her to see my vacation posts, and it's made me uncomfortable.

So why am I posting these posts anyhow? Why do I feel like it's the right thing to do?


Let me let you in on something.

When I was in the airport waiting for my flight back home, I saw quite a few other local families with their kids waiting for the flight home. I spoke to some of the families, and they told me about their vacations, what they did, and to be honest, the first thing that went through my head was envy. Envious of them that they can just come and bring their kids on vacation abroad whenever they want.

And then I realized just how ridiculous that was, because I was resentful of them for doing exactly what I was currently doing.

Emotions are weird things.

And then I remembered my tenth anniversary. When I was having such negative feelings because all my friends seemed to be having tenth anniversaries and all of them seemed to be celebrating by going abroad on vacation, and while we had a little bit of cash we could spend on our anniversary, we didn't have lots, and going abroad wasn't an option for us. I honestly considered leaving Facebook then, because everyone's posts were just making me too upset. Finally we decided to go on vacation within our country, and had a decent trip. But still nothing abroad, which was my true wish.

Then I learned about skyscanner and how I could get really cheap tickets, and then I started going abroad. Doors opened up to me, and I realized that I didn't need to have lots of extra cash to go abroad. And my trips abroad honestly have cost me less money on average than our trip within the country. (My first trip abroad I took, my airfare round trip cost less money than a one way taxi ride from the nearest city to my house.)

Suddenly, what I thought was impossible for me became my reality. And not because I all of a sudden became rich, but because I figured out how to do it on a budget! Often a very tight budget.

So these posts, as much as I am feeling guilty about posting them, because I don't want people to be jealous, I also want to open people's eyes to the fact that you can vacation without a lot of money. And, in fact, not only can you vacation abroad, it can often be cheaper than vacationing within my country. That is why I write what I do and how much it cost, to give you ideas on how to make such a vacation doable.

And then there are the more expensive things I do, like skiing. And I know that for some people that isn't currently doable no matter how much they try to save. But for other people there are choices people can make to make things doable. There was this family that I knew that went skiing with their kids abroad each winter, and I knew they were filthy rich and assumed you had to be that rich to even consider doing that. But on this trip, I realized that you don't have to be filthy rich or even rich at all, you just need to budget for it, and find cheaper places.

And that's the other reason I decided to go ahead with posting despite feeling guilty about doing so. I write about frugal things on my blog and sometimes extremely frugal things, things that others would never dream of doing because it's just not something they are comfortable doing for whatever reason. And that's ok.
However, my income is not so high. In fact, I am frugal by necessity. However, frugality is not something that needs to be worshiped, frugality for the sake of being frugal. My definition of frugality, as I've written about before, is spending less money on things that are not important to you, so that you have the money to spend it on things that are. To make sure my money gets spent in a way that reflects my values, budgeting it accordingly. And my values are not to have expensive groceries, to have lots of new clothing, to have a car, or to live in a large home. But my values are to travel and to make memories with my kids, and skiing with them definitely was way up there.

So while I do feel guilty about sharing about my trip, and especially the more expensive parts of it, I do think its important. Both to show that it can be possible, if done frugally. And to show what frugal living can accomplish.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Penny. I love reading about your adventures. Remember, if someone has a problem with what you do, that's THEIR problem, not yours. Just like when you felt jealous, it wasn't the fault of those you were jealous of, it was your response that was the problem.

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  2. Agree, don't feel guilty about sharing. Everyone lives their own life. This is the first time you've taken all your kids on an international trip! I'd wager that it is part of their education, real education, the world. We make travel a priority, and skiing. Please share about your skiing day!

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  3. Keep sharing! I don't vacation now because I have family members in poor health, and if I went away I'd spend the time worrying rather than having fun. But I'm glad you're creating happy memories with your kids and using travel to balance your own life. Other people's jealousy isn't your fault.

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  4. I've been reading your blog for a while, and this is the first time I've commented. I have been waiting for your skiing post for days! I was rooting for you all weekend, hoping that the ski day would work out well for you. You worked so hard to make everything about this trip happen, and I think many readers find joy in your successes. I am inspired.

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  5. I think you should feel proud about your accomplishments in frugality, not guilt. Only you are responsible for your own happiness and if others don't understand, then that's on them, not you. You be you girl! Enjoy your success and keep posting.

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  6. Honestly, reading about your vacation my thought is "Wow, that Mom has to be "on" all the time, with 4 special needs kids, with no breaks, all by herself, on unfamiliar turf!"

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  7. You cannot live your life in fear of what other people would think! If you were afraid of showing the world your happiness just because you were afraid of making them feel a reminder that they aren't happy, that's just not a way to live. How other people respond to your joy and happiness says more about them than it does about you. I hope you remember that for every person out there who is feeling bad about you being happy there's also a person out there like me who feels so happy to see you happy. In fact I would feel even happier to see you go on vacation and hear that you finally do not feel guilty about it! You don't owe anyone anything just because your blog is about being frugal. Just because your blog is about being frugal doesn't mean that you can't have expensive things either! The whole point of frugality isn't to live on as tiny a budget as you can, it is to maximize the enjoyment of the life that you have regardless of your budget. And if your budget increases you shouldn't feel guilty about that! Just as much as if you are cost decreases you shouldn't feel guilty about that. In my humble opinion money is just socially acceptable exchange of energy. Ask yourself do you feel like you deserve to have energy? Very few people wake up in the morning and ask themselves do I deserve to have the energy to wake up? No! But existing you deserve to exist. And, regardless of your beliefs about money,and I don't know your opinion about this topic but I personally don't believe that God would want you to feel guilty for enjoying the life you've been given.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, I don't think God wants you to feel guilty either!

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  8. There are many single parents that would feel overwhelmed to take away 4 kids. It’s much easier to lay about at home. But you made the effort to research a trip and give them the very best education and set the very best example that you can. And that is priceless and will stay with them forever. I hope that more single parents and married parents are like you, and push themselves to do what is better for their kids, rather than what is easier,

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