Are you having trouble paying the rent?
You probably think this post is about finances, ways to make more money, or even finding a cheaper place to rent. This post isn’t about that though. What I mean by paying the rent is more metaphorical. You see, everything in our life has a cost. That cost goes to “paying the rent” in our life and the life of your family unit. Things that pay rent, in our lives; our church, our friends, our family, our hobbies, activities, the activities our kids are in, and anything “extra” outside of your little family unit.
So, when I ask, “are you having trouble paying the rent?” I’m asking is there something or someone in your life that’s taking more than its giving?
I had a friendship about ten years ago that was taking more than it was giving. It was a close friendship, to begin with, but as we got further along in our friendship this person was just taking so much! Near the end of the friendship, not only was this person “not paying the rent” to be in my life, but I was now in the red. Obviously, this was a semi-toxic friendship that needed clear boundaries set. I set them, and honestly, we’ve barely talked since.
During this time, when I was trying to figure out what boundaries really meant. I was working retail as a visual coordinator. This meant that when we received new merchandise it was my job to place it in the store where many customers shopped most. That way the new (full-price) merchandise sold quicker than the older (on sale) items did. After a few weeks of a product being front and center, if it didn’t sell well (i.e. paying its rent to be in a prime spot) then we moved it and replaced it with another product that would hopefully sell well.
This is exactly what we need to do in our personal lives. We need to think of our family life and family time as a retail store. Do your friendships pay the rent? Is there one friendship that might be straining you and taking advantage of you that you need to cut out of the prime spot in your life? Perhaps it’s an activity or a volunteer gig. Maybe it’s a job, or a family member, or an obligation at church, or another volunteer obligation that frankly, just isn’t worth the effort that you would need to put into it.
We are so busy these days, right? There is school, after-school programs, soccer practice, baseball games, dance practice, church, this pampered chef party, that Lularoe party, and so many other obligations that MUST be done so we feel good about ourselves and don’t let anyone down. Let me tell you; it’s ok to be a little selfish with your time. Your family and your sanity are worth more than that, friends.
It’s ok to say NO when people ask us to do things. Something my parents always said growing up was, “The need is not the call”. This means that just because someone asks you to do something or expects you to be somewhere does NOT mean that you have too. If it doesn’t pay the rent to be in your family’s life, then kick it to the curb. It’s not worth your time.
A dear friend came over to ask advice recently. I am always amused when people ask me for advice as I barely feel like an adult most days. Surely there must a more adultier adult around here, somewhere right?! But she asked how to handle a situation in which a hobby-turned-business was worth it. So, I asked her if it was paying the rent? Obviously, she was confused by my question so I explained the concept of things taking up space in our lives and being WORTH IT. I asked her if the hobby-turned-business was worth the time it was taking away from her husband and kids. I asked if it brought in monetary gain, or pride, or joy, or personal fulfillment; all of which could be worth it. I explained that when she answered that one question that she would find out what she needed to do.
So, I ask you again. Are you having trouble paying the rent in your life? Is your family suffering being it’s constantly ending up in the red each month because you’re overcommitted to things or people that don’t pay the rent?
Time is non-refundable friends. You don’t get that back. We don’t get our littles back when we “have time” to play or spend with them. Nor do we get those precious moments back with our spouse when we aren’t “going through life” together.
We don’t get a do-over with how we spend our time.
Are your choices paying your rent?
p.s. I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted! Grad school is kicking my booty in the best way! 🙂