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Out of Gems

Occasionally, I play those cheeky games on Facebook. I limit myself to one at a time because they tend to be time-consuming and you always reach a point in the game where it is nearly impossible to be successful without purchasing on all those special, sparkly gems that you need for all those extra game goodies. All those lovely unicorn trees and dancing water flower sprites inevitably end up being a requirement to complete a mission or adventure. These games are designed so that eventually you will need a sparkling pink marshmallow boat load of gems in order to be successful. In a cruel twist of fate, the world you were building suddenly comes to a screeching halt unless you dig into your wallet and surrender those debit card digits.┬áThere is always that small amount of money that you easily rationalize spending. “Pft! It is only a $1.99”, however, once you give into “it is only” then everything becomes a slippery slope and soon, you need more gems so you spend more money on precious glittery little gems to fill your cartoon kingdom with yummy flying magic dragon tarts.

Meanwhile, here in the real world, I live on a tight budget that does not allow for too many gem purchases. My household tends to allocated our money for more tangible items such as food or a place to live. I know that there our other households where twenty dollars a month isn’t a deal breaker but at my house, there are weeks where twenty dollars is the difference between eating or not. That is just my less than sparkly reality. I do, however, still enjoy playing a game every now and then.

More often than not, I have to stop playing in all those magic kingdoms because I arrive at that tipping point where I can not continue dwelling in my fantasy world without purchasing gems. I lose out on missions or special buildings due to lack of gems. The worse ones are the special missions for extra wonderful prizes in which I start the mission but find that I am unable to successfully complete it because I lack a sparkly boat load of gems. Eventually, I quit playing.

A few weeks ago I quit another one of these games. I spent weeks building a shiny, thriving city. I attempted special mission after mission, only to fail, repeatedly. My wonderful, carefully planned city became a futile exercise in wasted time. I invested hours planning, decorating, harvesting and selling all kinds of weird items only to run out of time. Every mission designed to only be successful if you purchase gems and use them to grow 300 boots on a tree in less than 24 hours. Sigh. Discouraged, I quit showing up every day.

A week after I abandoned my city. I was grocery shopping when it occurred to me that all these failed missions are ireily similar to how I feel some times. I feel like, years ago, I started out to build a life. I had huge sparkly, magical dreams. In hindsight, all those unicorn, marshmallow, glitter filled, sugar plum visions were fruitless missions that I was unable to complete due to lack of gems. All those elusive gems necessary to a construct a successful life, whatever they were, I was missing them.

Instead, I attempted to succeed despite where you are or what you have. I am not sure that has gone well. My kingdom looks more like a nuclear bomb went off rather than a joyful world of success. The moving to Prescott endeavor is a perfect example. I’ve wanted to move to Prescott for close to a decade, no lie. Finally decide to go for it only to discover that affordable housing for a family with pets is near impossible to find, let alone secure. I need a gem to finish this quest. I have no money to click and make one appear.

I am at the point where I have to ask, do I abandon this effort or do we pursue further?
Where are all the gems?

Be Brave.
Jamie Christine

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Morning After Doubts

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I can not speak for everyone but whenever I make a huge life changing decision the morning after is always filled with doubt. I think it is pretty normal, pretty human thing to do so I do my best not to beat myself up when I find my mind swirling in doubt and confusion. I wake up in a panic, often mumbling out loud, “Did I do the right thing? Is this the right choice? Is this a mistake?”

Here’s the thing…
Personally, I think doubt can be useful when used in the right way. I think it is healthy to examine our choices, sometimes we have to do it multiple times. I think doubt causes us to do that provided we stop, control are racing thoughts and re-evaluate our decisions. Every time we have normal doubts then we are being presented with an opportunity to adjust our course or continue forward in our choice. It is important to recognize it as an opportunity to pause and search with in our hearts, minds and desires. Are we headed in the direction we want to travel? Is the life we wish to build?

I know that people say not to doubt, however, I think, that there is no harm in asking the important questions of our choices because we are responsible and accountable for our choices. Every decision we make defines the road we traverse on and manifests our lives. Our choices create our lives so why not take a few minutes, a day even, to re-examine our decisions because they are changing your life.

I think fear is a far worse culprit than doubt. Fear can seize our minds to the point that we never even make a decision. We just stop or even worse, we fear our choices which results in never taking a step. It is okay to use doubt to re-evaluate our life path. It is not okay to live in fear of our life path.

For myself, I asked the necessary questions this morning. I looked within again and said, yes, again. If I don’t seize this window of opportunity, I may regret it. I don’t want to look back on my life and say, “I had a chance to know you, to value you, to love you but I let fear of change stop me.”

Twenty years from now, I won’t regret the decision to move.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine