A Money Coach in Canada

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Yeah, I’ve known some pain. Suffice it to say: You don’t get through your twenties and thirties, boyfriend after boyfriend (in my case) without your fair share of guilt (just not that into him), frustration (why won’t he commit?) and anguish (ohmygod,ohmygod,ohmygod,ohmygod,ican’tbelieveit,ohmygod).

After my second-last relationship, in my late 30s, I was romantically fatigued and had finally crossed the line into Jaded (are there no men left who aren’t gay or screwed up?).

And then almost imperceptibly I fell in love again. This time, with “The One”. He was right for me in every way that I needed and wanted someone to be right for me. He so fully eclipsed all my prior loves that I literally thanked God that the others hadn’t worked out. And imperceptibly doesn’t mean it wasn’t deep and true. Oh, it was. It was.

Some of you know how it ended. I wasn’t right for him.

For 3+ years now, I haven’t so much as dated.

And now on February 14, 2011, Valentine’s day falls on the day of the week I blog about the Art of Contentment.

Here’s the lovely thing. The truly lovely, nearly miraculous, counter-cultural thing: I am deeply contented as a single woman.

I don’t mean in a surface way. I don’t mean in the woman-without-a-man-is-like-a-fish-without-a-bicyle-way. I don’t mean in a it-might-still-happen-when-you-least-expect-it-yadayadayada way.

I mean it this way:

Somehow, after grey,grey days when I seriously could have cared less if a bus struck me and I died, somehow I emerged with an abiding and fierce love of life, its very self. I can’t imagine that will ever go away. If you need a taste of this, watch this film.

And somehow, after weeks and months of focusing entirely on keeping my own body and soul together, somehow I started to enter into the grander scheme of things: that there are really, really, really important things happening in the world – things that were so.very.much bigger than my heartbreaks. And that there are bodies and souls all over the place who could use a friend or a radical to help keep their own body and souls together (sometimes literally. eg. the Congo.)

Important stories like that of Aung San Suu Kyi, who opted to remain under house arrest, a confined, (nearly) silenced vigil of protest for democracy in her country even as her children grew up completely without her and even as her husband died of cancer without her.

Or that a HUGE, VERY HUGE IDEA exists called the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

And last, I have had enough life experience and enough married friends close to me that I get this primary truth: we are all fundamentally alone. Not lonely, but alone.  Some people go through their alone-ness with a partner. Some of us go through our alone-ness with partner after partner. Some of us simply go through our alone-ness alone.
In all cases, we each have to come to terms with our fundamental aloneness, and learn to settle in to our own individual, unique skin, or risk taking ourselves and our partner(s) down with us.  Just ask anyone married more than 20 years, if you don’t believe me. This is not depressing; it is an acknowledgement of what it is to be human contrary to what most films purport. This is not to say we cannot commune deeply, meaningfully and rest-of-life, with another or with a community (and community is vastly underrated in my opinion).  But always, the fact remains we are our own person, and there will always be a large part of our Soul that stands apart.

About a year ago on a Sunday I was reading cozily in my chair with my two daschshunds snuggled up. All was quiet and yet the air seemed alive with wintery sunshine. It was a perfect, perfect moment. It was full and complete. I was full and complete. As a single woman.

Happy Valentine’s day everyone. Thanks for reading my little blog. Much love to those of you who I know in particular. And strange as sounds: heartbursting love and honour to you, Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela, and yes you, Bono and you Majora Carter and you, Franke James, and you Sandra Lockhart and you, Arlene Hache … you all, who while I was churning through boyfriends, you, you were and are challenging and changing the grander scheme of things.

About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

17 Comments

  1. I can’t say I agree with all of this, but I loved reading it!

    I’ve sometimes seen “something that’s bigger than yourself” and some degree of self-sacrifice mentioned as “the meaning of life”, a reason for dedication, work, life, etc. You list several famous cases of people who’ve done that. But they’re not YOUR fanatical causes, your lifelong struggle, your fight. Are they so inspiring examples that they also give meaning to YOUR life?

    Whoa, I just realized: That’s what traditional religions where named persons/characters play an important part in the tradition (like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, maybe Buddhism (?)) is all about: Holding somebody else’s cause, fight, self-sacrifice out as a reason for others to live.

    You, Madam, are a humanist. Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi are your prophets. 🙂
    Jan Karlsbjerg´s last [type] ..Vancouver Blogger Meetup January 2011 Recap

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    “Humanist” is a label I’m happy to embrace 🙂 (as well as Christian, in my case)

    [Reply]

    Feb 14, 2011
  2. What a wonderful post Nancy. It brought tears to my eyes. Seriously, every choice, every situation comes with upsides and downsides. As a married woman (in my 40s) and new parent (late again ;), I can say with absolute certainty that there it no situation that guarantees happiness. You simply accept and embrace your life and then wonder why it took so long!
    Harriet´s last [type] ..Seven Things about ME

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    Thanks so much Harriet. I soooo wish that I’d understood that in my 30s. A portion of those heartaches was because I thought happiness/groundedness et alia would be guaranteed in a relationship. High-virtual five to “accepting and embracing your life” indeed!

    [Reply]

    Feb 14, 2011
  3. Jennifer Inch

    Right on, Sistah! Whether married or single, with or without children, we need to stay connected with our communities and our world. We are the human family. And what family doesn’t have its ups and downs…?

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    Perfectly put, Jennifer – “We are the human family”.

    [Reply]

    Feb 14, 2011
  4. Kat Karen Eldridge

    Beautiful and thoughtful words Nancy.

    I think that developing a strong relationship with self is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. We must not feel that life will be complete or we will be content when we do certain things. But learning to live in the moment and get the most out of each moments.

    I like myself and I enjoy spending time with myself. My relationship with Byron is a friendship and a partnership; he has not completed me but has add a new level to my life.

    Be content, be happy, and be true to yourself.

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    Thanks Kat. I still need to work on learning to live in the moment and getting the most out of those moments. I think it starts be learning to be quiet with ourselves.

    [Reply]

    Feb 15, 2011
  5. Nancy, this was beautifully written. I’m in my early thirties and grappling with some of these issues after ten years of relationships that just didn’t work out — and a particularly bad breakup as of late. Your post really solidified a few things I’ve been thinking about lately, particularly that “alone-ness” is a natural state and needn’t be something we’re always running from. Thanks so much.
    Melissa´s last [type] ..The 12 Big Mac- or- Urban Laziness 101

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    Melissa, I’m glad it encouraged you and thanks so much for your note. Every good wish as you come to terms with the breakup – I know that journey well. You will emerge, of course! *heart* to you.

    [Reply]

    Feb 15, 2011
  6. I am also a single woman…have always been. Never had a boyfriend and really, I can’t imagine a life with a man. I am truly and deeply so happy with things as is that if it changed, I think I would freak out. Thank you for this post. Time alone with myself and thoughts is amazing and I can’t imagine losing this.

    [Reply]

    nancy (aka moneycoach) Reply:

    High virtual five to you, Rhona, from my part of the world to yours – wherever that is at the moment 🙂 Looks like the world is your home!

    [Reply]

    Feb 15, 2011
  7. Actually, I am Canadian, like you, and live in Ontario. High fivers!!
    Rhona´s last [type] ..Staying healthy in a hotel

    [Reply]

    Feb 17, 2011
  8. I stumbled upon this while looking for this article ( http://brianlacaba.blogspot.com/2008/05/art-of-contentment-being-single-in-life.html ) and I’m blown away. I agree almost absolutely with everything you’ve said, and you’ve inspired me. Yes, there is something bigger than us.

    I also both agree and disagree with your statement that we’re all alone. I read your comment on the “You are not alone” post, and I agree… and yet, disagree.

    But I really enjoyed this post. Thank you.
    sui solitaire´s last [type] ..what’s the point of it all?

    [Reply]

    sui solitaire Reply:

    Oh. I think I’ve realized my issue with the “aloneness.” As an introvert who loves solitude but loves connecting with others as well, I think the thing is– yes, we’re physically alone. But I think it discounts the fact that… in the end, we’re never alone spiritually, and we’re always a part of that “something bigger” than us.
    sui solitaire´s last [type] ..what’s the point of it all?

    [Reply]

    Nancy (aka Moneycoach) Reply:

    What a thoughtful counterpoint and on that point I agree entirely.

    [Reply]

    Dec 19, 2011

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