Stop Wishing, Start Doing! | Rant

wish quote

warning sign

Warning: I don't know why I put warnings at the beginning of my rants anymore, because you're just going to keep reading and I'm going to end up pissing you off, then you're going to send me a message about how you'd kill yourself if your parents were homos, and all kinds of other stuff. But here it is. A warning. This is a rant. It will be offensive to someone – maybe you – feel free to go off in the comments. I don't censor. ;)

Stop Wishing, Start Doing!

To fully understand why I can write a post like this, to fully understand why I get both sides, I have to give you a bit of a back story. No, really. It's necessary, I promise.

baby yawning

6 years ago, my kids and I were homeless. Well, not homeless like living under a bridge, but homeless like we lived in a homeless shelter. I was on food stamps, temporary assistance, I was getting every bit of help I could get, just trying so hard to get back on my feet. Nothing was working. Every time I got a job, I would end up losing it within weeks because of my anxiety and depression. It consumed my life at times.

I always said I “wished” I could get ahead, but every time it came down to it, I ended up giving up. On myself, on jobs, on life, on relationships, on everything. It was like no matter how hard I wished for these things (a roof over my head, a reliable car, a flexible job), I couldn't get it.

dog praying

I was religious back then, so I'd pray a lot. I would pray the right job would come along, I'd pray just to try and get through the day without crying. It rarely worked. Praying is great if you're into that kind of thing, but you have to get off your ass and take your own action if you want things to happen. Faith can move mountains but if you're lounging around instead of out putting in job applications, a job isn't going to fall in your lap. Hoping, wishing, praying, dreaming… they all have limitations.

So this rant was brought on by messages I received asking for help with Christmas. I won't post them, because that'd be rude, but there were dozens. I had asked on Facebook where I could find one more family to adopt for Christmas. In past years, we couldn't even afford our own gifts much less someone else's… so this year I wanted to do as much as I could since it's the first time we've been comfortable (financially) this time of year. I was asking where others have adopted families from, or where I should – not for sob stories on why I should adopt certain families. That was not the point of my post.

elf

Then I posted photos of some of my girls gifts (none were on the Worst Gifts Ever List), not to brag but to say how thankful I was that we could actually afford Christmas this year. The responses started pouring in…

“Oh I wish I could have even 1/10th of your income!”

“I'm so jealous. I wish I could get those gifts for my kids!”

“OMG I wish I could do that!”

wish quote

Wish in one hand, shit in the other, and see which one fills up first. That is my favorite thing to say, and yes… I say it quite often, because it's SO FREAKIN TRUE! Wishing doesn't do anything!! Instead of wishing, why not figure out HOW to get where you want to go??

One woman responded letting me know she has anxiety and that's why she's broke. I feel bad for her, because I have anxiety too and I know how crippling it can be if you allow it to take priority in your life. A lot of people have anxiety. My anxiety is so bad that it's nearly impossible to get out of bed some days, but I still do. I couldn't keep a “real” job, so I figured out how to work from home and make a decent income because I had to! It wasn't a choice! I couldn't just sit there and live in a homeless shelter for the rest of my life, could I?

It wasn't easy. It was a long road. It's taken 6 years to get to where I'm at, and I still have a LONG way to go! But I didn't get here by wishing, and you won't get where you want to be by wishing either.

For the person who wished to have 1/10 of my income, I'm still at the poverty level. I don't own a home, I rent – and will until I can afford to put at least 50% down on a house. My vehicle is a 2001 minivan. My girls and I wear clothes that we bought from the Goodwill Outlet, for $0.39 a pound. I don't have any credit cards, and we don't go out to eat multiple times a week. One of the reasons we became vegetarians was because of the insane cost of meat!

fork in the road

My point is, we all have choices. Our decisions end up defining how we live our lives. Are you living your life wishing, or are you living your life working? Are you spending your time whining about how bad your life sucks, or are you spending it bettering your life?

Are you one of those people that always has something negative to say? Look around and see what you're unhappy with, and how you can change it. Make a conscious decision to change your life for the better, and it will happen. It has no choice but to happen.

{Read The Secret! It will change your life.}

positive thinking

P.S. This post started because I was talking about gifts. In past years, when we couldn't afford actual gifts, we MADE our girls gifts. We spent time together, and we all enjoyed it. They never knew how poor we were, because we made it seem like we weren't. I created my 100 Handmade Gifts post JUST for times like these!

If you cannot afford to buy your children gifts, use your food stamps and bake some special cookies with them, or for them. Better yet, put together a little gift basket with flour, sugar, etc so they can bake with you on Christmas when they open their gift! Get creative. It's up to you now.

positive thinking

P.P.S. I'm sorry if I pissed you off or hurt your feelings. I promise the feeling won't last, you'll love me again by morning. Just check out my Mocha Truffles Recipe.. chocolate heals all wounds.

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Sadie Roach is a Lifestyle blogger living in Arizona with her wife, Rachel, and their three daughters. Her passions including traveling, attempting healthy living, and teaching women how to work from home so they can spend more time with their kids.

35 COMMENTS

  1. Sadie this is such a great post. I too have been on assistance when my husband lost his job. Rather than wishing we could get our kids more, we let them know as a family this year would be different and spent quality time with them. What family couldn’t get them we wen to local churches and got gifts.
    It was actually one of our best Christmases ever because it brought us closer together as a family.
    One thing I have learned in my life is that not everything is at is may seem. Those with vision of all the “big bucks” you must be making need to realize that assumptions make ill bed fellows and well you know what the rest of the sayin’ is.
    Ashley S recently posted..Tis the Season for Pain in the Butt Bad NeighborsMy Profile

  2. Sadie, I love this post and as a person who is strongly attached to my faith no truer words have been spoken than those you posted. “God helps those who help themselves.”

  3. I totally agree with this. When people tell me their kids are getting nothing, We’ve been in that spot, and we’ve always had something….we’ve gone to a place called Toy Time, and signed up, and then on the Saturday before Christmas, we would go and stand OUTSIDE for 4 or 5 HOURS with other people in my position, waiting for them to get to me. I’ve also done Toys for Tots, and been adopted by awesome people… There are ALWAYS ways to get something, or make something, or use Food stamps to bake something… Sometimes, an old forgotten toy that they haven’t played with, or even one they do….It’s something to open. Don’t have wrapping paper? Use newspaper… David’s grandma does that every year!
    FiveInOhio recently posted..30 Tasty Gingerbread RecipesMy Profile

  4. “Wish in one hand, poop in the other. See which one fills up first.” One of my favorite sayings! I get the funniest looks when I say it, too! Haha. This rant is spot on! We’ve had some lean Christmases in the past, too but we baked goodies, made easy/cheap ornaments and crafts, listened to Christmas music, drank hot chocolate and enjoyed time with loved ones. It has now become a tradition and I’m thankful for it. A Christmas gift isn’t always purchased and isn’t always something that can be opened. Sometimes it’s a favor like babysitting for a family or single parent, cleaning a house for an elderly person, a warm meal for a family too busy to cook, groceries, baked goods, raking someone’s yard, spending time talking with someone that is lonely. Presents come in all shapes and sizes. :)

  5. Oh Sadie, you hit the nail on the head. I love how you aren’t afraid to speak your mind and I love reading your blog. I also needed to find a way to make a little money, but didn’t want to leave my children. That’s when I started my blog. If there’s a will there’s a way and if I had sat on my ass wishing I had an awesome blog like yours or any of the other fabulous bloggers out there I would never be where I am today. Kudos on adopting families this year. You are an inspiration!
    Heather @OurKidsMom recently posted..Monday Morning Link Up | Giveaway LinkyMy Profile

  6. So very true!!
    We certainly didn’t get where we are today by wishing! My fiance and I work our butts off to ensure that our children have everything they need.

    As for Christmas… we usually start shopping mid-year (or sometimes even earlier) for things we know they’ll like at a good price. This helps spread the costs out. We also watch for sales and coupons. I got some awesome deals at Toys R Us with a 20% off coupon I had. Last year, we didn’t have money to get presents for family, so we made homemade gift and put them together in gift baskets. They all loved the stuff. It can be done!

  7. Sadie, I was guilty of the wishing things would change thing. I still am sometimes because there are so many limitations I have with my disabilities, but like you, I am finding my way to doing something at home with my blogging and my crayon making. It doesn’t get us a new home or anything too great, but with my crayon making, I was able to have an awesome Thanksgiving feast this year instead of worrying about it. I believe there are things people can do. For instance, I wrote a post at the end of summer with ideas on how to afford Christmas starting in August. I also started couponing and I make several vegetarian meals a month. I no longer feel like I am stuck in wishland. Now I am headed down happiness highway. I am not rich, I have not struck it big as a blogger and we are not doing tons better than we were last year, but I have so many things I didn’t last year and so much more confidence that I know if you put your mind to it, and quit making excuses, you can do anything. (that is a general “you”) :) Seriously, I struggle with serious mental illness and I am still doing what I can. A person just has to find what they can do and make the most of it.

  8. This totally hits home. It’s so true. you can’t spend your life wishing.. you have to get up and do it yourself. No one will look out more for yourself or your kids than you. I remember after I had my 2nd baby I wrote a post about how I bought myself a new Canon camera. I had used every bit of money I made blogging, doing surveys, cutting coupons, you name it.. and I had my last camera for over 5 years. Someone immediately wrote me an email telling me that I was bragging and she “wished” she could afford such things but her life was riddled with debt, student loans & all sorts of things. Then she told me I should stick to writing about reviews and giveaways because no one was interested in the things I bought or my bragging.

    I almost cried…. Then I just got angry.. why? Because I grew up on foodstamps, with a mom who was always working and a stepdad that was a total deadbeat who destroyed my childhood, I lived in a house that was condemned. I was teased relentlessly at school about being poor. I became an adult who was poor for a long time.. and was (maybe I still am) in a shitty ass marriage with a man who left me with a newborn baby and a 2 yr old 2 weeks after I had him. I didn’t tell ANYONE this on my blog EVER… and the very minute I even try to talk about something positive.. this new camera.. someone blows it up in my face and makes me feel like utter shit. She was complaining about student loans when I moved out at 17 and never had the chance to even go to school because I was always busy trying to scrape together rent. It just made me realize everyone always thinks their problems are so much worse…. it’s not about them being worse.. it’s about how you look at your problems… are you going to let them control your life or are you going to overcome them?

    The one thing that still echoes in my head from her email is that I needed to decide where I wanted to go with my blog and my facebook page.. was it going to be personal or something else… I thought long and hard about what she said and I decided in the end to take it in a different direction and make it less about me and more about others.. Btw she did apologize to me, which was a big thing to do.

    I didn’t sit around crying about my life every day, although I could have.. I got off my ass (Ok well actually I sat on it a lot while blogging) and I worked hard for what little bit I have.. I paid off 2 loans, I paid off all bills.. I just had a 3rd baby and I didn’t have to go to WIC! I’m so grateful for what I have .. especially my children.. looking at them every day gives me the motivation to do whatever I have to do to help myself and help them.. Everyone gets in a shitty situation one time or another…. You just have to keep trudging forward.

    It’s so kind what you’re doing.. and I don’t like to see when others behave like this.. .. I guess it’s just one of those things that go hand in hand with blogging and exposing yourself to the world.. people will think that they know everything about you just because you’re so open and honest.. and for some reason so many ppl tend to think some bloggers are like secret millionaires or something. LOL. I think maybe their version of being well of and our version of well off are about as different as venus and mars.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re fabulous. You make me laugh. You inspire me. You’re a good soul. The people that you’re meant to help will appreciate you and that’s all that matters. :)

    • Thank you for such a heartfelt response! You sound like an amazing person and you are proof that hard work pays off!! I know everyone falls on hard times and sometimes no matter how hard you work you can’t get ahead (I feel that way OFTEN), but feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to do any good, ya know? I wish more people would realize that.

      Congrats on baby #3! And thank you for calling me fabulous. I love that word! LOL <3

  9. Hey…
    Ya know that 1 chick? The one who just graduated college and landed that dream job but woke up 1 day when she was 25 to learn she was paralyzed and stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of her life because her husband tried to kill her? She ended up on welfare and food stamps and living in a crappy apartment in the ghetto trying to prove to the state that just because she’s now poor AND paralyzed that she could keep her kids. She managed to have a Christmas that year!! She baked spaghetti because it was the kids favorite but her oldest son had to take it out of the oven because… hello, paralyzed. He was 7. He also learned that year there was no Santa and helped her bake cookies and wrap presents from the dollar store for the 2 younger ones and put them under the tree they made out of a cardboard box. It was kinda cool because she told them that only special kids celebrated that way…
    If she could do it, all those WALKING around whining abut having nothing, they could probably come up with something too… just sayin’…
    Ronni Keller recently posted..Mrs. Smith’s Pies – Stop Baking, I’m Giving You One!My Profile

  10. I was so happy to read this post. I’ve been trying to share this message with people lately and have gotten some criticism for it. I am a firm believer that we hold the power to change our own lives. I talk to artists and writers and people daily who seem to be waiting around for a miracle to happen. I keep telling them success is not a miracle. It’s getting up and doing it every single day until you reach your goal. You have to put something in to get something out.

    Thanks for being a reminder that wishing and hoping aren’t usually enough and that taking action is important. Congratulations on changing your life and for having the kind of Christmas you chose to make happen for you and your family. When people make remarks putting you down for your success just remember they aren’t talking about you at all. They are just expressing their disappointment in themselves.
    Lily from It’s A Dome Life recently posted..Share The Love Sunday: How To Stop Being FriendsMy Profile

  11. You have some very hardworking, thoughtful readers, chiming in here! Congratulations on everything you’ve achieved through your step by step work over time. I need to keep reminding myself to be patient and just keep working toward my goals.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Butternut Squash and Pear SoupMy Profile

  12. This totally hits home! My ex-husband left me and our 3 kids in 2005. I found that working two jobs was the only way to support them. And, that wasn’t even enough at times. This is the first year I haven’t been at the food bank almost every month just to make it through the month. The first year I wasn’t in the line to sign up for TFT just so my youngest would have something under the tree. The first year I’ve been able to give to someone else. In 7 years. I worked hard to get where I’m at and I’m still fighting to make it. We’re up from 50% poverty level to 80% poverty level. My debt is almost gone. We may even be able to buy a house at the beginning of next year! That, in itself, is awesomeness in itself.

    If I had just wished for things to happen, we wouldn’t be where we’re at today and still fighting to do better. Don’t get me wrong, wishing and dreaming are a part of life. But, don’t wish for things to get better. You have to get out there and do it!

    My absolute favorite quote is ‘Within every difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein’ . It’s so very true. Thank you for this post!

  13. GREAT POST! We have NO disposable income for presents, after the bills are paid the rest of our money goes to food, gas, and my son’s preschool. My kids are still having a kick ass christmas, thanks to my survey doing and swagbucks. I save up amazon money I earn all year long so they can have a good christmas, because they deserve it.

  14. I have actually watched the secret and I know what you are talking about it has changed my life in so many ways…and you are right you have to take action instead of just wishing things would happen. I love your post..
    Minta recently posted..Dial antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash reviewMy Profile

  15. I bake cookies and do crafts (ornaments) every year as a gift to/with my neices and nephews. I have been where you are and I also have more than what I had a few years ago. I have money, but it seems like they enjoy that more than a toy that they eventually get tired of, plus we are making keepsakes and memories. It isn’t about what you can buy and I agree totally with everything you said. I especially appreciate the fact that you showed respect to the ones who do rely on just prayer. You rock!
    Alicia Burchfield recently posted..iPad Mini Giveaway!My Profile

  16. You can wish all you want. Who says you cant wish for things and figure out how to get them and work for them at the same time? Where is that rule? Wishing is what gives people motivation to do things in life…without wishing why bother to try for anything? Wishing is what prompts you to get to that stuff.

    • Nobody is saying you have to stop wishing completely. I’m simply saying wishing doesn’t make things happen. Action does.

  17. This kind of goes along with what I was just talking about to one of my friends the other day!

    I miss when Christmas was about being together and having fun with family that you love. Now it seems to be about what presents you get and how much you spend. I have 3 daughters so I know how rough the holiday costs can be. My husband works so hard to do what he can for us because I cannot work due to health problems. I love the fact my girls will come up with their own ideas on home made gifts and crafts for the holidays recycling things we have around the house.
    To me it’s not about what you get it’s the meaning behind the gift itself. So people need to stop worrying so much about everything and just show how much you love the people in your life…that should mean more to anyone that hundreds of $$$ spent on things you will get rid of later.

  18. Didn’t hurt my feelings at all. I definitely needed to read that. I’m a SAHM of 5 (1, 4 on th 10th, 5, 8, & 12), and my husband works for a moving company. We’re ok sometimes, but most of the time we’re barely scraping by. I want to change things, but have no idea where to start. I can’t work outside the house because I still have 2 home all day, and the 5 year old is in halfday prek. I’ve tried selling Scentsy and Avon, and didn’t do well with either. I’m at a complete loss at what to try next, but I know I need to do something because I’m tired of living like this :(.

  19. I stumbled on your Facebook and now site because of a contest and I am so very glad I did. Every day you make me smile with your silliness and perspective on life and I appreciate it very much.

    I have bipolar disorder and for so many years I let it control me, let myself blame everything else BUT me for the stupid and poor decisions I made over the years. Sure, the disorder does affect my brain, how I experience the world, but it doesn’t control me and I had to realize that and take responsibility. I’m still paying for some of my mistakes now, years later (oh, yeah, the spending splurges is no joke), but at the same time, I’ve finally woken up and made a budget, starting paying stuff on time. Simple things, but my first step to take my life back. This last year is the first year in oh…ever…that I’ve paid my rent and bills on time every single month, that I’ve paid even some in advanec, went on a vacation to my home Seattle, AND have put together a nice Christmas for when my daughter is here this holiday. It’s a huge deal.

    The crazy thing? I ended up meeting someone a year and a half ago and he moved in with me. It wasn’t until a few months ago I began to see how important it had become for me to take control of life, to work hard, towards a goal…until I saw him sit and wish wish wish, never doing shit. I finally had to let him go. And in doing so, can only hope that one day he’ll realize how things don’t just happen to you, you have to work hard for them,. And I’m a happy Alicia again. Just gotta get used to cooking for myself now, lol.

    After my daughter’s dad left me years ago I scrambled, had a tough time, but I did what I could do, design, random office help, anything…to get me on my feet. My cake pop business that is rocking, is because I put the effort into it. It would be even bigger, but I have a full-time day job that I enjoy and that works well for me and uh “bad head days” as they’re know between me and my daughters. :P It Some serious thought had me discovering…yeah, no corporate for me. Stick with the small business, casual office and I’m good to go.

    Anyhow, all this to say “yes, I concur, you rock for stating how it is”. I’ve never read the Secret, but when I heard what it’s about I just went “uh huh, I get it”. And that’s how I live my life. To me, there is never an option to give up. Just not valid option at all. I just do what I have to do.
    Alicia recently posted..For the love of Toy Story Cake PopsMy Profile

    • Alicia,

      Thanks for opening up and sharing some of your story with me! It makes me feel good when others can relate to my ramblings. I’m glad you were strong enough to let the “wisher” go, and to NOT let the bipolar take over your life. I was visiting my doctor a few weeks ago and he asked why I didn’t just get on disability instead of being so stressed out about money all the time. He said “You have kids, you could get a nice chunk of change each month, easy”. What would that teach them?! That when the going gets tough, Mom gives up? While I am glad it’s an option, it is not an option for me as long as I keep trying. We have to realize that there are always going to be “easy” options out there… but that doesn’t make them the right ones. I’ve lived my entire life watching EVERYONE excuse my brother for his HORRIBLE behavior because he has bipolar and ADHD. As an adult, I found out I have the same, yet because my bad behaviors have never been excused, I’ve had to learn to be a grown-up!

      Sorry for rambling, it’s just nice to see that someone can relate to having “mental issues” but not letting themselves be consumed by then. Thank you for stopping by! <3

      • Happy to share! (and wow, so many typos in my comment last night, lol, scary). I was encouraged to apply for disability, too, for physical and mental issues and I almost did it. At some point, though I realized that I COULD work, I was just deciding I didn’t want to. Oh, and I’d go crazy if I didn’t have anything to do, if I couldn’t work. Even when I didn’t have a jobby job I was always doing something at home to earn money, to keep me busy, because that’s what keeps me going, makes me happy.

        I don’t think people understand how important it is to give a good example to their children. I’ve been honest with her over the years, told her it was hard, but I still worked, still did what I had to do for us. And she knows it! She is so much better with money then I ever was and I couldn’t be more proud. I can only hope she doesn’t have the mental issues like me and my dad.
        Alicia recently posted..For the love of Toy Story Cake PopsMy Profile

  20. Loved this post. Also liked the “poopy” quote. :) And, I really like how you opened up about your homelessness 6 years ago, and the anxiety. I have those anxious feelings a lot. It’s nice when ppl are open about that.

  21. I’m a firm believer in the “God helps those who helps themselves.” I always worked two or three jobs while in college and even later on after I started teaching. It always kills me to hear people tell me about how they can’t do this and they can’t do that, blah, blah, blah. I’m NOT the wishful sort, I’m the make it happen sort! My thought on a lot of these things is, that I am now disabled because of MS and if I can do it, you perfectly healthy, LAZY body can make it happen, if you want it to happen badly enough!
    Dolores Brister recently posted..Free Progresso Soup – 10,000 AvailableMy Profile

  22. i LOVE this post. This is the way I live my life in all ways. If I’m not happy with something, I try everything I can to make changes. It drives me nuts when people are unhappy with their lives, I give them a list of options that would get them one step out of the situation they’re unhappy with, and then they just make an excuse for why that won’t work. I hear SO many excuses, and I used to make them too. But I don’t think people understand the power they have within THEMselves to get up every day and take some steps in the direction they need to in order to make changes.
    You’re right.. Faith is one of those things that is so abstract to me. People pray and have faith that things will change and work out for the better but then they just sit there and wait for faith to take over. Hello people, this isn’t MAGIC! You have to have faith that with the positive steps YOU take will get you to where you need to be.
    Gah, this is the rant I’m singing day in and day out in my head. Thank you for having the guts to sing it to the public because some people just need to hear the cold hard truth.
    Thanks Sadie – you rock!
    Holly W recently posted..Perfect Sugar CookiesMy Profile

  23. i simply want to say thank you,! i will be forwarded you post to someone in my life who i think really needs to learn from you

  24. I agree wholeheartedly with this post. I to find myself wishing that things could be different in my life. But I do realize that wishing does nothing but make you feel worse about the situation you are in. You have to get out and work for what you want. I worked 4 jobs this year trying to keep my head above water, I am down to 3 now but looking again for another one. It is a good thing to have goals to work towards, but if you spend all your time wishing, you will get not get to where you want to be.

    I love your blog, thank you for being so honest, and being the slap in the face I need sometimes. :)
    Mary recently posted..Earring loveMy Profile

  25. This is a great post. I believe that you always have a choice, but today I needed to read this post. I have always had faith, and i have always prayed. Both of those things have always brought me to action, because without it, nothing can change. After a surprise visit from my family yesterday, I realized that even though I have become active in some areas of my life, I have allowed negative energy and situations to flood back into my life and push me into a place where I don’t want to live. I was making some serious decisions today when I was flipping through your blog and came upon this great post. I’m so glad your wrote it!
    Elizabeth Towns recently posted..Schools in – Bullying is OUT! Standing Up DVD GiveawayMy Profile

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