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Curve Balls of Life: An Opportunity to Roll With It

“Sometimes you’re the Louisville Slugger, sometimes you’re the ball”-Mary Chapin Carpenter

Sometimes life lobs curve balls at us. This is a truism for everyone, whether we are baseball fans or not. Sometimes the ball even manages to smack you and, while you get to take your base, there’s a part of you that’s a little sore from it. This morning is not the best morning for a curveball, but a minor one happened to come along. My camera is gone. We’ve turned the house and car and all our bags upside down and it’s just plain old gone. I recall where I last saw it but it’s simply not there. Where did it go? I haven’t the slightest idea. We’d planned to spend today lighting birthday candles, maybe taking a bike ride, doing some low key fun birthday type things. I’m getting to turn 37 today (how cool is that?). But my camera is gone. Dang it. I live in a pretty rural town (think Napoleon Dynamite meets Smoke Signals) where shopping is scarce and technology can only be had at the local Walmart or a half empty Radio Shack. So it looks like a bit of a road trip to the city is in order. I just don’t like not having a camera. You can’t have your birthday without a camera to commemorate. Even a not-so big one like 37.

But here’s the funny thing. I’ve been noticing lately that my camera is starting to get old and wasn’t working so well anymore. I’ve wanted to learn how to take better pictures for a long time anyway. I’ve decided this is a great opportunity to take some lemons and make some lemonade. It’s not what we planned for this day but we’re going to roll with it. That’s part of what life is, sometimes just rolling with it is the thing to do. It might even lead to some fantastic game changing results. Who knows? Sometimes you hit home runs or a good line drive. Sometimes you hit a pop fly that you watch sail up and then down again to plop squarely into the center fielder’s mitt. And sometimes you get lobbed a curveball or just get beaned. It doesn’t mean you don’t still love the game and I do.

So today, I’m rolling with it. Here’s to baseball. Here’s to life tossing me the opportunity to take on the challenge that has been brewing in the back of my mind anyway. And here’s to a great year ahead.

You’ll have to excuse me for now. Because I’m a Rice and Beans girl I need to go quickly review the budget and find out how much I can manage to wiggle out of it. Maybe today will bring me a great new camera. And if I’m really lucky-maybe I’ll run across a great baseball game too.

It’s not about the food-it’s all about the mentality.

Rice and beans. It’s not about actual rice and actual beans (though you can make some mighty fine and tasty rice and beans concoctions-believe me! And I plan to post some fantastic ways to do that.). It’s about the mentality of Rice and Beans. Simple. Basic. Cost effective. Healthy. Easy. Practical. It’s not about going without. It’s about choosing more wisely. It’s about learning to love simplicity, practicality and, yes, frugality. A lot of people say life is too short why not live it up now? But, folks, when you are chained to a job you hate because you owe for something you can’t even recall buying, when you want to stay home with your babies but you can’t because you cannot figure out a way to afford it, when you want to give but you don’t know how, and as one of my favorite folks out there in the financial world says-when there is too much month left at the end of your paycheck, then life can be very….very….very long indeed. Learning to live on less and do it cheerfully and well has this crazy result-life gets packed with the right kind of happiness and joy. Life does get short because kids, when life is joyful it goes by fast in a way that you want to grab hold of. Living on less and learning some simple practicality will let you do that. You don’t have to get coupon crazy or get water from a well. You just have to get real with yourself. Get ready to kill your Golden Cow (in other words…just because it’s always been that way…doesn’t mean it’s got to stay that way). Life can be better. Really it can.