Frugal living blog about all things thrifty: money saving, DIY, crafts, gardens, food, fitness, woodland, wildlife and making the good life affordable! It's about the freedom to enjoy a frugal lifestyle while pursuing a lifelong ambition... and sharing it with you all.
These past couple of days have been rather strange, what with all the reflection and consideration being given to future plans and security during retirement. All the 'what ifs?' These thoughts are never far from the back of my mind but have been thrust to the fore, once more, by the sudden death of a very popular member of our Frugaldom Forums. The sudden loss of one of our friends, after such a short illness, has deeply affected many of us, so this blog post is in memory of 'Jayjay'.
On 2nd May 2013, to the shock and dismay of us all, Jayjay announced the dreaded news that she had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. As Jayjay herself put it, "it's all a bummer". And so things took their natural course and we all too soon lost a very dear friend, just like that!
Frugaldom is about making life comfortable, enjoyable, affordable and debt free. We have been chattering away, setting challenges, comparing notes and sharing tales of our lives on a daily basis for over 10 years, eventually setting up dedicated 'Frugaldom' forums in June 2008. Jayjay joined our merry bandwagon in February 2010, so we have all shared a great deal during our frugal travels, highs, lows and everything in between.
We are about cutting costs, killing debt, saving for the future, making the most of everything and hoping to have the health and well being to enjoy all the fruits of our labours... so when someone is suddenly snatched from our midst, it leaves us all at a loss. Several have asked the question, 'what is the point'? Well, the point is this... life carries on regardless and the memories of our dearly departed friends are carried with us so that we may learn to appreciate things that we might otherwise have overlooked. Life itself, for example, and all the little things that we witness, random acts of kindness, sharing, giving... and then we instantly forget.
Spending money is something that us frugalers are seen to hate doing and, for many, participating in an act of impulsive spending is a bit like spotting hens' teeth! We save, we budget, we try to spend wisely and we make purchases when we are ready and able to do so without incurring debt. But we also need to enjoy life and love what we are doing RIGHT NOW, even if some of us are still struggling to pay off debts and mortgages or live within our own means. Investing in the future needn't just be about pension plans and retiring to the country because the future is tomorrow and, until then, all we have is today. The future comprises a whole load of memories that we are collecting each and every day of our lives, treat every today as the present and every tomorrow as the future.
Speak to your nearest and dearest, don't feel compelled to act your age if you don't want to and don't feel pushed into complying with consumerist society or those who think they know best what's good for you. Set a good example, be prepared and never put off until tomorrow what can be done today. Treat others as you would like to be treated and develop a self-reliance that rewards you with the self-confidence to 'go for it', whatever 'it' may be... and if that means locking away funds for your own funeral, writing a Will when you're young, paying off your mortgage early or spending £5,000 of your savings on a cruise, then so be it. Never forget that life is for the living and that fun can be had by all, regardless of how little cash you have, how bleak life may seem or how down you may feel. Nature has a way of providing, even if it's just a glimmer of sunshine on a rainy day.
After much thought and consideration, I spent cash today on something that will hopefully bring great enjoyment and further my quest for a better life of self-sustainability. I know that by making this purchase this week, the item will remind me each day of Jayjay, by way of the fact that I learned something worthwhile from our virtual friendship.
Rest in Peace, Jayjay. You are in our hearts and minds and your memory will be carried with us forever.