Anyway, Lent is a good time to reflect on what you have and what you can do without. Also, it is helps you appreciate things like eating meat on a Friday or drinking Coke or buying baseball cards. There isn't a much better way of making you appreciate something than by taking it away.
One thing that comes from being in this down time in our life is that it gives us time to reflect on what we want in the future. I don't want to speak too much for M, but I think we both appreciate our families more now that we aren't around them. I genuinely enjoy hanging out with my family and hope to one day be closer to them. I would like to think I would still feel that way if I always lived within reasonable distance of them, but that might not be the case. There is no guarantee that if I always lived in Jackson that I wouldn't take them for granted or even worse resent them. Also, not owning a home has allowed us to have a few benefits:
- We are saving money for a down payment.
- We know so much more of what we don't want. (A garage door that actually opens when we want it to would be nice.)
- Flexibility to move
- A chance to take advantage of a stock market has gone up 13% over the past year.
Finally, the fact that we don't have kids, but do know many people that are at that life stage has really focused our attention on what it is going to be like with kids. M and I are planning a trip to Europe partly because we know that that type of trip is going to be so much more difficult if we have children. It is nice being able to see a little bit into the future (thanks E) and making the proper preparation. You don't get a chance to do life over again, so it is important to take advantage of each stage of life. We might not have many big things, but that gives us the freedom that we will cherish for as long as it lasts.