Last week I had to face one of the discouraging realities of living with less…disappointment.

Three weeks ago, my daughter invited me to take advantage of a promotion at the gym where she has a membership.  They were offering two weeks of free admission to the gym and their classes.  I decided to join her for those two weeks and we took class after class together.  I not only enjoyed the time with my daughter, I found that I LOVED kick-boxing (and I absolutely hated step aerobics)!

When my two weeks came to end, I knew that I couldn’t afford the $45 monthly expense to continue.  I went into it knowing that.  But that didn’t make the disappointment any easier.

Yes, I know…I could have said no to the two weeks to spare myself from enjoying something I knew I couldn’t have.  However, I don’t regret in anyway spending that time with my girl.  We had fun!

And honestly, it wasn’t for nothing…it inspired me to exercise more regularly and it introduced me to kick-boxing which I surprisingly enjoyed.  Even if I do kick-boxing at home with a DVD, my world has been expanded a bit.

But disappointment was still real.  It’s a part of the living with less journey.  Like Mark and I said in the first chapter of our Living With Less So Your Family Has More book, “Honestly we’ve struggled to fulfill our commitment to provide our family with the things money can’t buy when we’ve wished our family could have some of the things money can buy.”

Like gym memberships.

Disappointment is very real.  But we can’t let it skew our perspective.

You see, I don’t want a gym membership bad enough to sacrifice time with my family.

I don’t want a gym membership bad enough to hardly see my husband because we’re both working so hard to provide materially for our family that we can’t provide emotionally for our family.

I don’t want a gym membership bad enough that we increase our monthly expenses and increase our stress trying to meet our financial obligations.

It all comes back to vision and what we determine are priorities for our family.  We’ve determined that we want to live with margin in our time and margin in our finances.  We’ve decided that providing emotionally for our family is far more important than providing materially for our family.

We have to keep that overall long-term vision in front of us to make the sometimes challenging…and yes, disappointing…decisions that help us live out our vision.

What about you?  Have you experienced disappointment in choosing to live with less?

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