Living within your means

by | Oct 16, 2023 | Her Story | 2 comments

What do you think of when you hear the phrase, “living within your means”?  For most of us, I’m guessing you think of being fiscally responsible and not spending more than you have.

This morning, I told my friend about our plans to go to Utah this January to hit up the 5 national parks in the southern part of the state.  You may be wondering why we’d go in the winter.  It just so happens that there are still plenty of things to do and see without the crowds.  And those cold, crisp nights make for some excellent stargazing. I’m not sure if I mentioned this in a past post, but I’m having my left hip replaced on December 6th.

My friend asked me why I’d travel so soon after my surgery.  It dawned on me then, and I told her that I’ve come to realize:

I can’t sit around and wait to be in “perfect” health and shape before I start doing the things I want to do.

This is when I got the idea for this post.

I do know that my last post addressed my SAD (seasonal affective disorder).  That hasn’t become too much of an issue (Thank GOD!) but instead, I’ve really struggled with physical and mobility issues and it’s been a huge bummer.  I keep wondering how I got to this point;  I’m sore every morning when I get out of bed, my hips ache and I know I’m not as strong as I was even 10 years ago.  Yes, I know I’m still in recovery mode from brain cancer, but this is different.  I don’t know if it’s menopause and a lack of estrogen, but I just ache and ache and ache!  In my mind and heart, I’m still 25 or at most 30.  But physically, I feel like I’m 110, maybe 111 (ha!).

It was then that I told my friend, that  I cannot wait until I’m 100% in all aspects of my life before I enjoy it.  If I did that, I’d never leave my home! Instead, I have to learn to “live within the means” of my body, mind, etc.

When we go to Utah, I don’t expect to go on long hikes through snowy canyons, but I can certainly drive to particular areas of interest and walk to a certain point and enjoy that.  I can definitely get outside at night and stargaze.  And that’s living within my means physically.  Realizing and accepting this has been the hardest mental game I’ve ever had to play.  I don’t enjoy it at all.  But my faith in God tells me, this is what’s best and I’ll continue to do it.  I’m realizing that while it’s definitely a gift to age, there are some lousy aspects of it that take some getting used to.  I’m probably past the point of ever knocking out 5 miles a day or running a half marathon again.  I say “probably” because with God, all things are possible, even if improbable LOL.

It’s also extremely important to learn to live within your means emotionally and mentally.  There’s a great scene with Will Farrell and Rachel McAdams in the movie European Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.  Will Farrell is frustrated with the people in his town because they only want to hear one song Ja Ja Ding Dong, and his goal is to make it to the song contest with his original song.   After playing in a local bar for a retirement party, he breaks down and tells Sigrid (Rachel), that there’s only so much shit he can take….

This is the perfect example of acknowledging what you can take emotionally and living within your emotional means.

The point of this post is to say that we all have limitations of some sort and it’s unhealthy to assume we can’t still enjoy our lives.

Last year at this time, I was convinced I had dementia because I struggled to complete a sentence and was so forgetful.  I would have given anything last year at this time to be doing what I’m doing right now! BLOGGING!  So I’ll go back to what I said in one of my year-end posts and ask “What do I know to be true today?”  For me, what I know to be true, is that physically, I have way more energy now that I’m 4 months out from my last chemo.  I also know that the arthritis in my hip is much worse now than last year at this time, but I was blessed to get in for a hip replacement before the end of the year.  I also know that I can still get around with a cane and – when needed (like in the airports) – with a wheelchair.  Believe me when I say, this is NOT my preference, it’s a matter of living within my means.  If having to be wheeled around to get to my gate means I can still fly to places I want to see, then so be it.  I’ll eat a slice of that humble pie every day if it means I can travel.

YOU CAN STILL FIND JOY even when you feel like you’re being betrayed by your own body and mind.  Remember, you are never alone in our struggles.  If I can do anything for anyone reading this, please reach out to me privately, either on FB or IG.  Do what you can when you can, and know that you’re really only as limited as you decide to be.

You can live within your means in all aspects of your life and still find joy!

I’ll finish with the clip of Ja Ja Ding Dong.  It’s a dirty dirty song, but extremely funny (at least to me!)

About Me

In February 2022, I was diagnosed with brain cancer and it changed my whole life perspective. This blog is dedicated to my Journey through cancer diagnosis, recovery, and finding the humor in life.


  1. Tracy

    Once again you totally help me. Everything you’re saying here is so so true. The only person limiting me to practically nothing in my mind.. is me.Mentally or physically, it’s me. A million thanks!!!!

    • Julie Kurtz

      Don’t forget; the way that you and Dave embrace your lives is what inspires me to live life!! Remember the horrible burns he had not all that long ago? I don’t remember that stopping either of you from doing things! You kept moving forward!!


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