Yup, it’s true! I realized after my post about wanting an SUV again (which I still totally do) that I could actually easily afford one – if I didn’t spend so much money on “rescue” stuff. I could also afford a new pair of boots, that super cute jacket at Banana Republic that I’ve been eyeing, pedicures…all kinds of stuff. But would I be as happy? No way.
Maybe it’s just that I’m maturing. Or maybe it’s that I’ve reached some Zen-like, Monk-ish, altruistic state. I’m not sure what it is, but I now see that it’s not the material things in life that matter. That jacket I want? I could fully vet at least two dogs for what I would spend on it. Or those boots? Gas for multiple transports or trips to the shelter. One pedicure? New leash and collar for a dog. Yes, this is how my brain works. I see something I want and I automatically think how that money could be better spent doing good.
And you know what? I am absolutely, 100%, without a doubt, happier this way. That jacket isn’t going to give me a big sloppy kiss to say “thanks.” That pair of boots isn’t going to gaze at me with eyes full of love and appreciation. And the pedicure? Well, I’m pretty sure the dogs (not to mention Rich) wouldn’t notice, let alone mind, if my toes go naked.
I’ve mentioned it before, but the feeling of knowing that you, yes you, are responsible for a dog not only being alive, but bringing joy to a family is beyond words. There have been times when I had to decide between spending my money on a dog and on something else that I want and every single time I later look back on that decision and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I not only made the right decision, but having chosen differently would have felt enormous guilt.
I don’t mean to suggest that everyone out there immediately stop spending money on anything that isn’t “rescue” related. Absolutely not. The world wouldn’t continue to turn. The point I am trying to make is that maybe, just maybe, give up that latte on the way to work and pledge the $5 to a dog in need instead. Skip your monthly massage and buy a couple of bags of food for a local rescue. Offer to transport a dog one Saturday morning instead of going to a big brunch. You won’t even notice those things that you are “giving up” but you will notice how fulfilled you feel.
And it doesn’t even have to be “dog” related. Sponsor a starving child. Donate to restoring an old library. Go read books to the elderly in a nursing home. Step outside yourself and your “needs” and see the world around you. Volunteering doesn’t have to become all-consuming but give it a try. You might just be surprised at how rich you become.
Oh! And don’t forget, it’s free to “share” a picture on Facebook! Sharing is Caring.