Today talking to my mom, she mentioned my brother was costing a remodel on his bathroom. I asked what costing meant. How can I have made it this far into life without learning a verb such as that? If he’s going to remodel, isn’t it just a budget? Apparently not. You budget when you have a set amount of money you’re working with. You cost when you are researching how much you might need to make it ever happen, to plan out how you will get there.
What a rich metaphor, I thought. I have been costing my entire life. The differences are subtle, but clear. When costing you research everything. What is the cheapest tub? Could you live with it, or is it better to wait until you can afford the nicer one? Is it necessary to redo the tile, or can you leave it out of the plan? When you budget, you know what you want, and you have (most of) the money. Thus, to budget, you research less because the funds are present, and the goal is in line: I’ll take the fancy new faucets, and the discount toilet. The tile will be redone, but in imitation marble, not the real thing.
I have a sense of change, of imminent shift. It’s winter, we all go inside ourselves and review the plan as it is. We try to let go of the habits which don’t feed us, and develop new ones to point us towards the goals we’ve set.
But what about when the goals aren’t clear? What about when you don’t have any money saved? What about when you want something that requires unending discipline or commitment, and you haven’t been able to do it? What about goals that feel too far out of your reach? I am costing my life’s remodeling plan right now. I am doing a little bit of everything to see what fits. I am hoping that when I have made a plan the savings (financial or otherwise) will be pointed towards that goal.
It’s been the case that when I have clear goals, I often reach them. However, when the cognitive maps are blurred, so is the manifestation. It’s never a case of no passion or no goals, but too many. A crossroads where I want to go every direction.
Maybe this is a budget though. Maybe I have all I need, I just need to choose, to decide, to say yes to some things, and no to others. Why it takes me so long is baffling.
Perhaps its where I see the control over my life. Some days I take credit for the good things, other days I give it to god. Some days I feel it’s my fault that I’ve failed, others I feel it was just fate. I don’t know if it’s written yet, this life.
Every day I end up on the mat, practicing my yoga, I set my intentions. Often it’s simply to hardwire my head to my heart. My mind all too often talks me out of the ridiculous things my heart wants. I wind up with a grocery list of nebulous goals I’ll never know I’ve attained: Recognition, Genius, Love, Peace, Understanding, Health, Wealth, Power. How do you do all that? I keep costing, researching, putting off decisions for some shadow fear I can’t even name. Maybe if I just acknowledged it, it would diminish. Head, meet Heart, Heart, meet Head. Perhaps if I listened well enough, I would just know. Perhaps it’s just a feeling I’m chasing. Maybe I wouldn’t even have to budget, I’d just walk into the Home Depot, and the first bathroom there would be my dream.