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Thoughts on Comet And Managing Money

June 2, 2017

Sometimes I think I use too many words in these posts. Here’s my attempt at one with fewer.

Went to Montana ghost town.

Saw dilapidated stuff.

Material possessions die.

Dreams motivated movement.

28 consecutive good days don’t happen.

Do {it} anyway!

Spend time in the good part.

Managing your money = demonstrated hope.

Okay so maybe it’s because all the connecting words are rattling around in my brain but that actually seems to make sense! Maybe I really should try fewer words more often. But because I’m me and because I like words, let me add a teeny weeny bit more color and a few pictures…

Went to Montana ghost town Thursday.

So last week my dad and I went to the ghost town of Comet, Montana. We could poke into any building we wanted to but we didn’t want to walk all the way into too many. You never know what you’re going to find in such an abandoned place. We had fun wondering what certain buildings and equipment pieces and other remnants might have been/might have done. (By the way, Dad, I think the building with the ginormous doors is one of the supposedly 20 saloons the town at one time had.)

Saw dilapidated stuff.

A few pictures may explain dilapidated better than words:

Naturally, a huge boulder with no visible sign of entry is IN one of the buildings.

Why NOT make the table a permanent fixture? Cement legs ensure that no one moves it out of its precise location in the breakfast nook.

My dad with remnants of the Comet Mine in the background. The buildings were immense!

View of an upstairs bedroom thru the floor of said bedroom. The best part was the far wall of the bedroom which was literally attached only to the ceiling and swaying in the breeze. I felt real safe:)

Material possessions die.

It struck me as I looked at tattered wallpaper and rough sinks and cupboards in the fancy ones that the homes people had lived in and dreamed in and spent time and money furnishing just ended up abandoned and most of the people who lived in them are gone. The material stuff that they stressed about was probably very modest in comparison to all the things we worry about in our bigger, fancier houses. But ultimately, nearly all of it gets thrown away or broken and none of it goes with us when we end up in…ah… a permanent way in places like this very cool Catholic graveyard we visited on the same trip.

My dad and I in the graveyard of church with the oldest original structure in the state of Montana.

Dreams motivated movement.

I had fun thinking about the people who lived there and what they must have hoped and planned for their lives. They came to what grew to be a bustling town in the neighborhood of 300 people and 20 saloons (almost as many as the number of children attending the Comet school) because of dreams. And if not dreams, at least opportunity to create the foundation for a better life.

The dreams they had perhaps started coming to fruition even in that small town. But when the mine dried up, everyone went on to do other things like build other homes and start other businesses and find other jobs and dream and scheme. They had security even if they left one home behind since they had some belief that they could make things happen and that there is good ahead.

Unlike the town and buildings of Comet, most of its residents’ lives probably didn’t end up as figurative ghost towns. When Comet was deserted permanently in 1941 those people moved on to new dreams or resurrected old dreams. Because they were human and that’s what humans do. We hope and plan for better futures and we bounce back from amazing defeats and blows. Remember the quote from East of Edenjust last week? Because it’s so good and pertinent here’s a snippet of it again.

I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is a lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyedbecause ‘Thou mayest.’

50 consecutive good days don’t happen.

As I think about my own plans and dreams, I sometimes feel like I’m waiting. I’m waiting to have (something like) 28 good days in a row and then I’ll know that I have the courage and optimism and smarts to do whatever it is I want to and plan on doing. But it doesn’t work like that. We don’t get 28 consecutive days of good hair days, great sleep quality, perfect life balance, days with no anxiety or blues or colds or fallen-thru plans, days where everyone in our life is being super dependable.

So, we get to do {it} anyway!

{It} is in fancy brackets because everyone has a different “it” – a different thing that gets you out of bed excited in the morning, the thing that you could work on all day or throw all your free time at. And doing that thing even when we’re not “in the mood” or when we’re feeling insecure or blah or like maybe it’s a dumb dream is the only way we get out of Comet, so to speak, instead of letting our life become a ghost town.

Spend time in the good part.

Related to the above, I’ve been thinking a lot about thoughts. In fact, I’ve thought a lot about thinking most my life and sometimes wish I thought less. Think less, do more. But I’ve realized that I am a thinker (not claiming to always be a deep one) and as long as I am thinking I might as well choose to think the GOOD ONES. It’s like we have 2 hemispheres in our brain. Oh wait… we do. But I’m talking about a different kind of hemispheres – the areas that we build or shrink by the amount of time we spend there. I want to spend waaaaayyyy more time in the good part (the territory of healthy, encouraging, motivated, strong, selfless thoughts) so it gets bigger and the negative part (self-doubt, worry, fear) gets proportionately smaller.

Managing your money = demonstrated hope.

So what does this have to do with managing money? I just didn’t think you’d ever ask! The way I look at managing money is that the very ACT of it is an investment in your life and a demonstration of hope for your future. If you had given up on your future being any better than your past or present, you wouldn’t spend even a minute organizing the tangible basics of life (dollars and cents) much less make some strategic sacrifices for the sake of a brighter future. Even the fact that you’re reading this and budgeting in your daily life, giving it another shot, or warming up to the idea indicates that you’ve got something pulling you forward and that you believe (it may feel deep, deep down but it is there!) that what’s ahead is better than your present.  And if your bright future involves moving to Comet I will look for you on my next visit. I am confident I’ll recognize a newcomer.