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Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!


Monkey Butt: The Power of Now


Irish Rose-the-power-of-nowIt’s summer time, the time when things usually slow down.  The sense of urgency lessens and you can literally stop to smell the roses once in a while.

Whereas last summer I was chilling by the lake many weekends, this year, for various reasons, we have not been able to make the weekly trip as often as we would like.  This has definitely contributed to my lack of feeling rested.  Work has been quite busy and this new found blogging hobby is consuming all of my other time, with some exceptions.  Excuse me while I point out my #1 priority.

The Power of Now

I hadn’t seen him since Sunday and felt a strong need to whip over and see him for his bath and bedtime routine last night.  Poor little guy has been sick this week with roseola but has started feeling better.


So I was feeling a bit sorry for myself, trying to juggle so many balls in the air, but also maybe a little tired last night.  I knew today would be a killer day, as I was facing a deadline for work and waiting on some information before I could complete a bunch of work that likely would not be smooth sailing.   I wanted to draft a post last night, knowing that my work may take me into the evening on Friday with Murphy’s assistance.   But, I was so tired and my brain was fried, that I just couldn’t face some of the topics that were floating around in my head but not grabbing me outright and compelling me to write.  Is this my first case of writer’s block?  Oh my!

Anyways, at the beginning of the week I was caught up on blog reading, but knew I was fast falling behind again.  This didn’t please me, so I decided to turn my attention towards this, because my post for today obviously wasn’t going to write itself!

The first blog that came up on my reader was the one I was meant to read right at that moment.   In my busyness, I have fallen away from something I strove to practice since last summer.  Frequent readers may remember that I have referenced the concepts of “The Power of Now” a number of times.  This time last year, I was enjoying reading and applying it to my everyday life.  Today, I’ve got the book still perched on my bathtub ledge, I think about it often, but am I applying it?

The-Power-of-NowIn his post, John brought me back to the splendor of applying the concepts of living in the moment.  When I take sudden road trips, thankfully not too far, to go see my little monkey butt, I feel like I am getting there.

But that is not enough.

Living too much in past or in the future is not good.  And as much as I strive to not do this, I still am.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t lament about the good old days.  I do feel the best is yet to come… or… ahem… is now.

To be honest, unless I’m recounting a funny story, memories can be still a bit painful – missing my Aunt, my Mum, my dog.  But I don’t want to go there.

I prefer to live in the moment but yet I do live a bit in the future.  Life is not perfect, because I cannot do exactly everything I want to do.  That is why I sometimes live in the future.  What if I get to the future and it is not as I expected?

There’s a high probability this could happen.  Therefore I am wrong to put all my eggs in that basket, all my money on Monkey Butt  for the win, all my desires on hold today because I must sacrifice for a better tomorrow?

Sometimes, I feel I’m continuously playing catchup, in a world that won’t stop.

I am swimming across the English channel or Lake Ontario.  It’s choppy and not fun, but I’m determined to get there.

I know I don’t want to sacrifice my goals for some fleeting pleasures, and yet must I sacrifice my present joy for something that may not materialize exactly as I imagine?

The answer is no.

I can have it all.

I can experience joy today, as much as I want and not turn my back on future goals.

I can execute on my plans, but not let it seem like drudgery.

I can find balance, in a world of demands and opportunities.

As long as I allow myself to take those opportunities and even seek them out.  I deserve them.

I deserve to achieve my goals as well, so I keep my eyes on the prize.

I live each moment and say, “How am I feeling now?”

Is this bringing me pure joy?  Keep doing it.

Is this in line with where I want to go?  Keep reaching for it.

Is this too much of one and not enough of the other?  Stop.  Rebalance.  Then get back on that horse called Monkey Butt, as soon as I am ready.

P.S.  I really recommend you read John’s post, Be observant, it will change your attitude, if you haven’t already.  BTW, after reading it, I shut down the laptop and went to bed.  I managed to get my work completed by 5  p.m. today (that never happens!)  And now, I  have the pleasure of writing this post, refreshed, relaxed and ready to start the weekend.  How’s that for living in the moment?

I’ve submitted this post as part of

A Disease Called Debt
and you can too!


Author: debster

I am a fifty-something wife, mother and new grandmother, who admits to having their “head in the sand” about their financial situation until amassing $247,500 worth of consumer debt for a total debt of $393,500. We've paid $121K in 2 years with four more years to go. Join my journey at sharing ideas and motivation to all those coping with poor money management and bad debt decisions.

76 thoughts on “Monkey Butt: The Power of Now

  1. Love this! I’m trying hard to live in the moment – soak up these snuggles. Hold hands. Make them giggle. But I need the blog. I have to work. There’s balance to find and to be present in each moment of everything.
    Kirsten @ Indebtedmom recently posted…It’s Not Personal: Negotiating SalaryMy Profile

    • So true Kirsten. You can lose yourself in those moments and they sustain you when things are ho hum, but even then you can find the best in everything.

  2. I love this post. All too often life passes by so fast without us noticing. I need the reminder to live in the moment more often; the pressure of work often gets in the way.
    Nicola recently posted…August AimsMy Profile

  3. Balance is so important. When I wake up each morning I try and remind myself that today will be a great day! I try not to get upset or stressed out over things outside of my control. Good stuff Deb!
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Week End Round Up #43My Profile

    • I agree, stuff out of your control you need to let go of. Even small stupid things I do that are a mistake, like knock over a glass or something, I just say “Oh, that’s good” in a non angry voice. Now if I knock over a glass of water on my laptop, I don’t know if I could react that way. I once fried my blackberry last year when I spilled coffee on it.

  4. Friends have recommended mediation to help but I have not figured out how to do it. When my mind refuses to stay in the present sometimes it pays to just go to bed and try again the next day.
    May recently posted…I Bought Put Options – Messy InvestmentsMy Profile

  5. Debs,

    Good stuff!

    I couldn’t agree more on being present and enjoying it. I’ve noticed life slow way down since moving from a full-time conventional job to writing, and it’s been most wonderful. Now I get to spend time with my newborn niece, and life is just great!

    Here’s to the slow (good) life. :)

    Best wishes.
    Dividend Mantra recently posted…Are You Just Treading Water?My Profile

    • I know you’re going to enjoy it so much, Jason! I was just looking at photos of monkey from when he was a baby. It was hard to believe he was that small. They grow so fast and when their personalities come through it’s so fun! When we go over now and he hears the dogs barking because there’s someone at the door he’s looking over to see who is here and then I get the biggest smiles and laughs! Pure bliss!

  6. Nice words! Sometimes, at the end of the day when I noticed how busy I am and even forgot to spend a quality time with my daughter. When I see her sleeping and see how big she is now, all I can say that time really flies so fast. But one thing that I will do now, I will always “hug and say I love you”, to her.
    Kate @ Money Propeller recently posted…Blog Earnings and Stats – JulyMy Profile

    • Powerful words – I love you. As a child it was something that my parents never said. It wasn’t until we were adults that they started saying it. I think it was their upbringing.

  7. Being a type A accountant, I definitely struggle with this. My wife has been nagging me to learn to do yoga with her. I think this fall I may actually join her on one of her classes (when its cooled down)
    Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet recently posted…3 Things Your Realtor Isn’t Telling YouMy Profile

    • I’m a Type A accountant too, Dan, so I know what you mean. It doesn’t come naturally for us folks! Yoga sounds awesome, I’ve been thinking about how I could start to do it myself at home maybe. I did some stretching the other night after reading a great blog post on yoga that motivated me!

  8. I have also been trying to live in the moment. My oldest son just turned four and will be heading to preschool in the fall. As a mommy I am so not ready to let him go, but I know that it is time. I have been trying to take every opportunity to enjoy playing and cuddling with him before this new phase of life for him begines.
    Tennille recently posted…Save On Back To School SuppliesMy Profile

    • If you keep living in the moment, then it will be just as rewarding when he is going to school. Think of the joy you will see in the excitement in his eyes, his new little friends he will make, the boundless creative art projects he will bring home to you. But that’s for another day… now back to today. ;-)

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Tennille!

  9. Love this. It’s so true.. why do we have such a hard time implementing it when we know it would bring us happiness?
    femmefrugality recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays: Forty-Ninth EditionMy Profile

    • I wish I knew the answer, FF. If I did I would bottle it, sell it and arrive at my future, today! LOL ;-)

  10. I’m feeling a lot of the way you are after reading the mayo clinic guide to stress free living. I don’t know if it’s a being 40 and older thing, but you do start to feel time as more finite, and you don’t want to blow it, or be miserable living it. I’ve been carefully observing people since I read the book, like my producer, and he is a huge source of my getting on my nerves, but can I remove myself from that even if I can’t remove myself, if you know what I mean? I’m trying to be grateful and present in every moment. It’s really f’ing hard, but I’m trying. Love this post!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…July Was a BustMy Profile

    • Awww. thanks Tonya! Like Brian said, don’t sweat the stuff you can’t control. If you are in a spot where you’re not feeling the greatest, like working for your producer, just approach things matter of factly and one second at a time. The book is all about accepting negative situations and moving on or changing them. That can be as simple as, you’re cold (that’s a negative situation), so you move away from the source of cold or put a sweater on. Or as complicated as, you don’t like your job – you change it or work to change it, or accept it and just take baby steps to go through your day/work. I know it’s easier said than done, but the more you practice it does get easier. Cheering you on here from the sidelines. I find your posts are inspirational and you’re a good example of living purposefully, for me!

  11. Very inspiring and motivating! Great read this morning! :) I think we overlook happiness all the time, because we think we have to wait on something before we can be happy.
    Kalen @ MoneyMiniBlog recently posted…How to Pay Off Your Debt: The Debt Snowball Vs. The Debt AvalancheMy Profile

  12. I had borrowed The Power of Now from the library since I saw you talk about it, and of course, I only made a little headway before I had to return it. I struggle with being a little too focused on the future, or the next outcome. I love to plan ahead and have control, but obviously life happens and we can’t always plan, or we have to change plans. It’s a simple concept, but one I like to fight against! I am slowly getting to the point where I can enjoy moments as they happen. I hope the rest of your weekend is relaxing!
    E.M. recently posted…Being Grateful: Thirty-Seventh EditionMy Profile

    • Yes, the book is very deep and I am still only halfway through my second reading. So I understand it takes a long time to digest the concepts, or as you say be able to put them into practice. It’s not that it’s a long book, it’s just so damn thought provoking and takes time to really understand what truly living in the moment means. We can pay lip service to it, but unless we really understand it, we are only skimming the surface of the ‘dividends’ that it can provide. I thought John at Hill of Beans captured some of the ‘habits’ that we need to exercise to get close to feeling this sense of now and peacefulness. Like Dan said, as a Type A, it doesn’t come naturally, that’s for sure! Good WE too E.M.!

  13. Love this! It’s so important to be in the moment… thank you for the reminder!
    Miss Millennial recently posted…Friday Finds (Week 10)My Profile

  14. Haha. Awesome! It is difficult to buckle down and focus on the now, I totally hear you on that one. It’s so easy to get lost in everything other than what’s happening right in front of you. I’m really trying to get better about that myself.

    And I’m pretty sure you should ALWAYS bet on Monkey Butt for the win!
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…#NYCWin: Free KayakingMy Profile

  15. I agree to living in the moment but balancing it with thinking about the future. I often don’t take enough time for myself and with blogging in my life the past almost 3 years it’s been a full day, every day. Sometimes we have to close our computers and say, not today because I’m worrying about ME. It’s worth it in the long run because we don’t get that time back.
    canadianbudgetbinder recently posted…Smart phone education and replacement parts: The Saturday Weekend Review #83My Profile

    • Agree, variety is important. Trying to fit it all in is difficult. That’s what I need to focus on so I don’t sacrifice some important things that should be done today, whether it be exercise, time with family or spouse, chores. Cheers, mate!

  16. It’s important to make time for the things that bring you joy such as the cutie pie pictured above. Having that balance can be difficult but so important because it will give you strength to continue on your journey. Enjoy your weekend!
    Practical Cents recently posted…Benefits of Sharing Financial Goals with Family and FriendsMy Profile

  17. Is that your nephew or your child in the picture? I’m confused. We should all live in the moment sometimes because life is so unpredictable. It is all about balance. #finsavsat
    The Frugal Exerciser recently posted…The 30 Day Inner And Outer Thigh ChallengeMy Profile

  18. Thank you for this! I definitely struggle with living in the future too much–always planning for the next thing. I am constantly reminding myself that I’ve arrived at this point in my life and I need to relish it. Yoga helps me focus on living in the now, but I catch myself thinking “once I do X, or achieve Y….” Deep breaths to enjoy the here and now! P.S. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: Poetry & ProduceMy Profile

    • I think Yoga is very good for this. You guys are well on your way, so allow yourself to focus on the now and enjoy the journey. I think Frugalhound is probably good to help you live in the now.

  19. Awesome post, my friend. I am having trouble with this as well. Either worrying about the future or regretting the past, it seems. Thanks for the message. :-)
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Saturday Morning Ramble: More on HomesteadingMy Profile

    • Laurie – I know we both share regrets and worries but we need to learn to let it go. You are doing the right thing now, so allow yourself to be in the now and you will get there and it won’t seem like so much work.

  20. This is a great post. I also am practicing being in the now. It does not come easy for me, never has. I’ve always been a planner with an eye towards the future and the next steps in life. Now that my life is pretty stable and secure, I’d like to enjoy being here. It’s a work in progress since I’m still planning for the future as I work towards financial freedom.

    • I hear you, Kay. Maybe if you allow yourself time outs to check on your planning and think about the future, but then when that’s done, go back into the now zone. Living in the now does not preclude you from planning, it’s just that there’s a time and a place.

  21. Beautiful post Debs! (and a beautiful photo of the little guy – glad to hear he’s feeling better).

    This is probably my number 1 goal in life – to become ever more present. It seems the better you get at this, the less difficult everything else seems. I’ve read ‘the power of now’ a couple of times, but the best source I’ve found for making this work for me is David Cain’s blog ‘Raptitude’. He writes in such a beautiful, practical way, which I’ve found so helpful in making more of a habit of being present.

    Hope you’ve had a great, relaxing weekend!
    Jason @ Islands of Investing recently posted…Take a Spin in this Stock Investment Simulation with Silex SystemsMy Profile

    • Thank you, Jason! I’ll have to check out that book, Raptitude. Just the title alone sounds awesome.

  22. Great reminder! I might live in the now a little too much…but only because I existed entirely in the future for way too many years and now I can’t get enough of right now. It’s really all we can count on and how we experience it makes all the difference.
    Emily Capito recently posted…Faith & Invisible Progress: 2 Years InMy Profile

    • Ha ha, you mean there is such as thing as living in the now, too much?! I wouldn’t think that is possible, but I think you are just being modest, Emily. Good for you having achieved that capability.

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  24. Glad you’re able to become more present, Deb! I hope you can keep it up – it’s so helpful to our overall happiness.
    Natalie @ Financegirl recently posted…How Using A Different Search Engine Can Save You Money: A Review Of SwagbucksMy Profile

  25. I struggle with living in the now. My eye is always on the future, it seems, which is exhausting sometimes. I would love to be able to live for the moment more often and I am sure it is completely possible but I don’t think about it enough.
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted…7 Ways to Follow Up After a Job InterviewMy Profile

  26. I’m guilty of it as well — sometimes I’m too caught up in the past and always think about things that I should’ve done better. But you’re right, there’s no use, we can’t change the past and what we can do is the to make the most of the present so we don’t repeat our past mistake and move on with our lives.
    Suburban Finance recently posted…Would You Pay For Tuition With Credit Cards?My Profile

    • Exactly, you can’t change the past, but you can live well and responsibly in the present. The future we cannot control.

  27. I am fortunate to have my DH who is more of a live for today person to help counterbalance my natural tendency to focus more on the future. We all need to slow down and absorb the best of what happens to us and around us and I am sure your family and especially your grandson helps you in that mission Deb.
    Kassandra recently posted…Music To My EarsMy Profile

    • Glad your husband helps you with this, Kassandra. My husband is more this way as well. So we are both very lucky! ;-)

  28. Debs,

    Thanks for the shout out!
    I must frequently remind myself to stay present, even though I have a long “to do” list in the back of my mind.
    This paid off over the weekend, when my oldest son (22) stopped in for a visit. I put everything aside to just sit and talk with him for about an hour. It was valuable to be present!

    best regards,
    John recently posted…Don’t be a drifterMy Profile

    • Good stuff, John! You’re very welcome. It helped me a lot. I have a long to do list too. I need to remind myself that doing one thing on it is perfect as opposed to none and as opposed to too many, so that I’m exhausted and then later disappointed when I add more things to it!

  29. Very nice. I like to live in the moment and enjoy life as much as I can… within reason of course.

  30. Whether we’re distressing over our job or worrying about the future or the past, we’re wasting an even greater percentage of our life. We should always make a conscious decision to appreciate the present. We can never get this exact moment back again. Every moment of every day is different in it’s own unique way!

  31. Yes, you can totally have it all. Mindfulness really is so powerful.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…Turning 28: Abandoning Self-Imposed DeadlinesMy Profile

  32. I may just head over and read that post. I’m feeling so overwhelmed and tired these days. I think I need a re-charging break! (A real break away from emails, texts, and phone calls too)
    Kayla @ Shoeaholicnomore recently posted…How Much Does Your Stuff Cost?My Profile

    • Kayla, I know you’ve been working hard so it’s totally understandable that you need a break. Take some time to recharge. We’ll still be here. :-D

  33. You might also like Anthony de Mello’s work. He was a Jesuit priest from India who spoke extensively on awareness. Very compelling. Here’s a sampler:
    I was certainly in the moment today as we talked at Tim Horton’s, Deb. Great meeting you!
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Debt And Personality Type: Type A vs. Type B ( & our 11th slice out of Debt #3)My Profile

    • Thanks, Prudence! I enjoyed our get together very much. I ended up spending the rest of the day with Monkey Butt – went to the park, played. I hope the rest of your day went well! I will definitely check out Anthony de Mello.

  34. That is such a cute picture, and what a great post! Thanks for the reminder to rebalance, it came in quite handy as it’s been challenging feeling like I’m not doing enough since there is no time.
    anna recently posted…Pregnancy Notes: The Good, The Bad, and The FunnyMy Profile

    • Yes, you need to enjoy the moments now while you are pregnant, now Anna. Life will be busy enough once the baby arrives, but he/she will keep you in the moment, I’m sure. :-D

  35. What a cute baby! Having a baby as cute as that boy makes life perfect for me. I just miss the moment when cuddling and playing with my baby are the perfect leisure activities I can spend my time with. He is now 10 years old. I enjoy every moment of it. Hope you do too. ENJOY!
    Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted…6 Tips for reading through contracts and the fine printMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing your joys, Jayson. It’s great to appreciate kids no matter what age they are at. I love cuddling my grandson too.

  36. I agree! Living in the moment is so incredibly important and something I fail to do regularly. I am a go, go, go kind of person and am always thinking five steps in advance. I’ve been trying to teach myself to slow down and not focus on to-do lists and getting to the next place but see the beauty in today, in now. I have a lots to learn and change.
    Emily @ Urban Departures recently posted…Grow Your Dough Throwdown July UpdateMy Profile

    • It’s not an overnight thing, but the more you practice it, the easier it gets. Good luck Emily!

  37. Living in the now is seriously a challenge for me. I’m always thinking about my goals and the future (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) but it focuses your attention on the future. It’s so important to stop and just enjoy the moment. Thanks for the reminder : )
    Liz recently posted…Our Student Loan StoryMy Profile

    • Oh your so welcome, Liz. You are not alone, but being aware of this is a step in the right direction!

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