Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mimi's Savings Secrets....Be true to self...

This is part of our lavish tropical garden. All planted by hand with tiny baby plants, twelve years ago.
Today I just want to share with you how that garden came about.
 I learned early in life, to face my fears.
Fear of ridicule, fear of being left out, fear of failure, fear of what others may think, fear of not fitting in, fear of being different, fear of being thought less than what we are, fear of being laughed at, fear of having our way of life diminished in the eyes of others, fear of not being included, fear of poverty (because we overspend), fear of wealth (because we feel guilty at having so much when others have little), fear of doing or saying or living somewhere that is unacceptable in the eyes of others. All those things put the brakes on us living the life WE want.
My daughter recently completed a Dance assignment for school and the topic was Martha Graham the dancer who pioneered what we now call Contemporary Dance. The Bangarra Dance Theatre Company perform this style impeccably. She is famously quoted as saying...

"What people think of you, is none of your business..."
Well, being that the majority of our fears are based upon what others might think, perhaps Martha is worth listening to.
Since I stopped worrying about what others think about 2 decades ago, my life has leaped ahead in ways I could not have imagined.
When my husband and I bought our current house on an acre, it was a shambles. It had been used by bikies as a drug manufacturing location, and was in a terrible state. There was no garden, and no fence whatsoever. Our daughter was 2 and our youngest son, (who has Cerebral Palsy) was 11. The house itself was 3 tiny bedrooms, a lime and chocolate laminated kitchen and a horrible bathroom (where the drugs were manufactured!) and was not in any way, wheelchair accessible. It had been up for sale several times and was going for a song. We bought it. Everyone thought we were mad. But we could see what it could be.
That was 12 1/2 years ago.
Husband and friends he knew through his business, did all the renovations. We added a garage, so that our wheelchair bound son, had access from the garage and a suitable disabled toilet and shower. We renovated the existing part of the house to make it liveable, and Husband built me a kitchen, making the doors out of tongue and groove pine and limewashing them. We polished the wooden floors ourselves one wet weekend, and it's pretty rough to this day. But we kind of like it like that.
We planted things, me starting holes off with a crowbar in the packed earth, and Husband coming along behind me digging by hand. We would spend entire long weekends and every weekend in between, planting baby trees and shrubs and bromeliads bought at the local markets for a dollar or two each, or given to us by my Mum who was still alive then. We built fences, digging post holes ourselves. We built boulder retaining walls, carting the boulders in one at a time in a wheelbarrow, from the footpath where they'd been delivered. We did the same with concrete to pour paths.
We laid tiles, we painted, we argued with tradesman who couldn't see our vision, about how we wanted things to be. The guy that built our bed thought I was mad. He couldn't imagine why we just didn't buy a bed. Our bed is just a king sized particle board platform, with two steps leading up to it. The carpet that covers the room just continues up and over the steps and the platform and our mattress sits on top. I still feel like a queen when I get into bed, 12 years later. Clearly, I won that argument.
It was six years before we could sit back and declare an end to renovating and upgrading. It was worth it.
Our house is not a showpiece in the way that others homes are. But it is 'us' in every possible way. For less than the price of a 3 bedroom low set brick house on a normal block, we have the house of our dreams. Note I say 'of OUR dreams'. Not the 'dream home' marketed to us by the builders.
If we had listened to anyone at the beginning, we wouldn't be where we are today.
Ditto with our disabled son living independently, and our daughter changing dance schools from her high profile one, to one that teaches from a church hall, buying a dog that wasn't trendy, and keeping our cars for what many think is an indecent amount of time.
Be true to yourself. Decide what sort of life YOU want, and as Martha says 'What the world thinks of you (for doing so), is none of your business'.
Be clever, creative and inspired today. Your dreams may just be little seedlings now, but look what a beautiful garden of dreams you could have in just a few short years.



  1. That's a lovely inspiring story Mimi :-) thank you , love IK XX

  2. Such a lovely and true post, Mimi. We have never wanted to and financially have been never been able to 'keep up with the Joneses' who are probably broke by now anyway. I love hearing stories like yours and how you have made your home into what YOU want and enjoy. Love to see that bed of yours, Queen Mimi:-)

    1. I've heard the Jones's are bankrupt Nanna Chel ;-) Thankyou, I appreciate your lovely comments. My bed, if I do say so myself, is completely awesome :D

  3. I love what you have achieved and continue to achieve.
    You are an inspiration to me and many others Mimi.

    1. Thankyou Cat. I'm glad you stopped in. Long time, no

  4. So wonderful! Our house, too, was a drug haven that our neighbors were afraid to even walk their dogs past! It has been ten years and we are still working on it but we love our sweet little house! We thought of moving when we were expecting our fourth child but it never worked out...or rather, God worked it out for us! Thank you for your story. Very encouraging. Hopefully one day, my yard will look like yours, Northeastern America style! xo Marybeth

    1. Oh that's funny Marybeth! Snap! Just accept that the best things take time, care and love. I'd love to hear more about your little patch of

  5. Well done and well said!
    Blessings, Leigh

  6. Found this post in HIS time on a morning I needed it most. Thank you.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx