How are you choosing to celebrate Earth Day?  For me, it is another good reminder about why choosing paper (cash) over plastic (credit cards) is not just good for our environment, it is good for me! 

I am running on some hard times right now.  A little bad luck, and some expenses I wasn't expecting.  When things stop going your way, it can bring you down pretty quickly.  When I get down - the temptation to buy "pick-me ups" comes through.  Some of you can relate I am sure.  I am a control freak.  I like to know what is going on, when, and where as well as prepare for every possibility that I can.  When hiccups come my way - especially in the form of throwing off my budget - I tend to panic a bit.

I am getting better, but that is only because I am 2 years in to my DMP and I can see the affects.  Early on, it was hard not to "give in" and go back to credit cards and tell myself I will figure out a way to get through.  Now, I know going back isn't an option, but it is hard to tighten the belt when there is no more belt to tighten!  So what do you do? 

For me, the best thing is to allow myself to get away from the stress for a bit - allow yourself to let it all go and then you can get back on track with a clear head.  I reached a breaking point this week where I just didn't think I could stretch my budget any more.  Instead of continuing to stress over options and going through another sleepless night, after work one afternoon I went to my "haven", a place where I volunteer.  I found out when no one else was going to be there and I took a good book, on a nice evening and sat out in an open field and let it go.  I stopped thinking about all the problems I was running across and started to think about what I still had and what I have to be grateful for.  In less than 2 hours, I was able to get a better perspective on things and develop some more options that were realistic.  It works.  Trust me.  We are doing our part by not using plastic and choosing paper, but while you go through this, don't forget about you.  You are not alone in this - you have a community to help you.  Just reach out and ask!