Your first couple years out of school whether you finished high school, graduated college, or went on to add a 'Dr.' to your name are interesting. For most of us (unless you happen to have a rich relative who left you a fortune) are poor. Not quite as poor as we were during school when we lived on Ramen noodles and what at Purdue we called 'den pops' (cheap caffeine) but poor in the sense that were still trying to recover from school and get our feet on the ground. These are not the years of elaborate vacations, stock piles of savings, or 4 course dinners - these are the days for creativity.
See, I think a little creativity can go a long way in life. On top of the normal money woes of being 25 and trying to get your footing after college, I also bought a house which though one of the best decisions of my life, has also been THE most expensive (yes, way more than even college!). With that decision I've had to be even more careful to be a good steward of the money I bring in. But I don't believe being responsible has to come at the expense of having fun.
My Dad love to have a good time more than the next person. I remember that most about my childhood. We'd save all year as a family and then go on a huge road trip vacation every summer. As my sister and I got older we both started to think that living out of a suitcase for 8 weeks every summer may have been a little extreme (not to mention he didn't allow us headsets or sleeping during the drive so that we could 'bond' as a family). But what I take away from those now is that you make the the good times in your life and if you play your cards right - you make them the very best times they can be.
That has been THE best 14 months of my life. I love having a place to call home. I love slowly through bargain hunting and penny pinching making my condo the perfect little dream place. I love being able to host people for long weekends or good them dinner or just invite them to use my home and my pool on the weekends. I've had the joy of even allowing a few close friends a weekend there, while I'm out of town. What a cool chance that has been.
I love a challenge. I like to give myself the occasional mind puzzle to figure out. As I've worked to get the word out and raise money for the Walk for Life I've seen first hand how hard it is to raise money these days - whew. Everyone is being tighter with their money than ever before and the fact of the matter is - most of us don't have a lot to give! I purpose to be as generous as I can be not just with my money but with my time, my resources, and my talents (still figuring out what those are). So this week I set out to figure out a creative way to help my friend Tiffany raise support for her missions trip to Russia.
If I had a couple grand to spare, I'd pay her way myself because I believe in her and her passion for that country. She's going with our church, Grace Family Church, and I believe wholeheartedly in what we do as a church for other countries as well. So the desire to help her make this trip happen is there. But the funds, sadly, are not. So, I sat down and wracked my usually worn out brain (I think way too much). I finally had an ah-ha moment a few days ago...
I just had to share the idea with you here even though the plans are in the works and not totally completed. We're having a spa night! While I don't have any sort of beauty-related license (or skills beyond being able to paint my own toenails) I have several friends in the industry. Thankfully, 2 of them are close friends and fellow members of my church. So I reached out to them to see if they'd be willing to donate some time and talent and see if we couldn't throw a spa night to benefit Tiff.
Thankfully, I have generous and ambitious friends! Not only were they willing to help out and donate their time, talent, and supplies but they threw in some great ideas and even suggested we try to raise more money than my original goal. Are they awesome or what? One reached out to a few girls from her graduating class in cosmetology to see if they could come out as well. So the plans are coming together nicely and we think we may even have a date, two sets of times (for two seperate sessions) and will be able to provide a short massage, a mini facial, and brow or lip threading to each person who RSVP's and pays the alloted 'donation' we're requiring.
We agreed to keep it super reasonable but also be sure we raise some funds for Tiff. My contribution in case you were wondering, will be supplying the venue (my place), the goodies, and the fellowship - oh and getting the word out! If having a big mouth is a talent, I've been gifted friends. You know I'll be able to spread the word!
I'm pretty thrilled with how things are coming together but I also wanted to say that I hope none of you are allowing your current situations of much needed responsibility or financial constraints keep you from living life to the fullest. A little creativity and elbow grease can most anything done. Keep at it friends, no task is out of reach.