America, appreciation, celebration, comfort, enjoyment, family, finer things, fulfillment, God, happiness, harmony, health, home, hope, joy, leisure, life, light, love, luxury, money, peace, pleasure, poverty, safety, security, success, treasure, United States, wealth, worth
Originally Written: 12/19/2013
I think life is all about perspective. I have no money, very little food, and no idea on how I will get more of either. That being said, I’m still happy. Actually, I’m feeling a deep sense of contentment.
I’m still stressed over all of the things I could do better, ways to be better, but I also know I have a lot to look forward to. Prudence is so lovably goofy and today like each day before, I get to watch her literally dance and sing her way through life. I know that I will want to smoosh Providence’s face because she is just so STINKING CUTE! I’m always excited to pick up Patience from school and get to hear about her day, from her own little 5 year old perspective. And I’m very much looking forward to when we close our loop for the day and pick up Patrick from work. Things just aren’t complete until he’s with us. Every day I get that, well at least every weekday.
Sure, my life could be better in material ways. Clothes, presents, decorations – all great and things I want but they are things I am fully beginning to accept aren’t necessary. If my girls have nothing under the tree, I’ll be a little sad because I still feel the pressure to give them everything they want, and at this age they want presents – every kid does. But my sadness is negated by the knowledge that I love them with every part of my being – mind, body, and soul. I hope my love can provide them with enough comfort and warmth to temper the disappointment in all that I’m not materially providing.
I hope because that is the gift they give me each and every day.
Excerpt: Love comes freely in abundance while time is expensive and money doesn’t grow on trees. It would be wise to spend your energy where it matters most, hurts the least, and prospers the fastest. Anything less is accepting less than what life has to offer.
Thoughts: Life hasn’t changed much for me since I wrote this. Money is still extremely tight albeit it in a more comfortable and stable way then before yet still unable to give my children everything I feel they rightly deserve and deservedly need. I question every day if living life in poverty is traumatizing my children. We go to Target (their favorite store) once very two weeks (when Daddy gets paid). They are always excited to go. Now that we have established a weekly allowance system, they have motivation to work hard to be able to take “their” money and buy whatever they want. It’s all so simple in such a complex world. And yet I find myself happier knowing I don’t have to worry about my girls not being able to afford the $50 toy because they receive a $5 weekly allowance for their contributions towards a clean house and a happy family. They don’t complain that they can’t get the overpriced toy, instead they try to understand why it would take ten weeks (an eternity) to earn something I know they’ll only be interested in for a few months (at best). The cost (time) far exceeds the benefit (active interest) they’ll receive for their efforts. It comforts me to know that they are just as perplexed about how grownups operate as I am as an adult.
Hope: I hope people would begin to value how much time is being spent on negative areas of their life and compare it against the absolute and honest outcome they receive for their efforts. Then I would like them to evaluate whether refocusing or redirecting that energy towards more positive and fulfilling endeavors might lead to a happier life.
Moral: The cost of leading a happy life is more than just being able to afford the “finer” things in life. Finer is to be defined before the cost can be calculated.
Life is different than the last time I updated this post. I feel strongly that I have been able to define what the finer things in life are and have gone about the business of making the finest things life has to offer the only thing worth worrying about.
What are the finer things I have acquired?
A Clean and Critter-free and Comfortable (safe) Home – Cost: $750/month
Good and Regular and Comforting Food – Cost for a family of six: $725/month
Affordable and Accessible and Reasonable Healthcare – Cost: Free
Reliable and Safe Family Friendly Vehicle – Cost: $2,250 Purchased Used, $70/month for Car Insurance
Efficient and Affordable Utilities (Electric, Gas, Water, Internet, Phone) – Cost: $406/month
Spending Money for Specific Household Needs: $320/month
Total Monthly Expenditures for my Family of Six: $2,271
Total Yearly Income/Expenses: $27,252
2019 Federal Poverty Guideline for a Family of Six: $34,590
That is the cost of the setting behind the finer things that are the happiness and fulfillment in my daily life. The true wealth and wonder and worth of the finer things I have found is that I have no fear about their existence. I can count on these things to stably exist in my every day without effort or consideration on my part. Freeing myself of the fear to provide for my needs has opened a wonderful treasure chest of enjoyment to settle in and delve through in each moment. I am happier because I do not fear the income or loss of money. I get to exist comfortably in each moment, safe and sure that my next moment will be just as comfortable with little effort on my part. Pure Bliss!
The freedom from the weight of getting everything you need has been granted. I am free to comfortably enjoy the wealth of life when your needs are met. And what a wonderful life it is! I am able to enjoy nearly all my moments in a place where I feel safe and secure and loved and appreciated and even more, needed. My every moments are blessed with the presence of people I love more than myself and who love me just as deeply. We talk and laugh and play and joke and do whatever feels most comfortable in the moment with all that we have been afforded. Life is free to be whatever you need in that moment.
Feeling down? I take the down moments and settle in and get a feel for why a down would come when things are so good. I feel the light as those around me attempt to help lift me from my down. I feel peace as I welcome my understanding for the situation and the calm resolution of the upset.
Unbelievable joy? I take the extreme up moments and float around my house to enjoy all the different aspects of how good life can truly be. I feel the warmth of how wonderful a caring and considerate family can be. I enjoy the creative thrill of artistic expression. I feel the exuberance of childhood games and fun and play. I appreciate the soothing nature of calm and quiet and comfort.
In between high and low? I take the middle moments to consider the nature of my ups and downs and how I feel about fluctuating between them. I take the middle to consider a different perspective, a non-emotionally stimulated state of mind. And I ponder when the next wave will come to sweep me away in a fervor of beautiful emotion.
With all my finer things and my experiences with the finest things, I pause to consider – what exactly is the rest of the world doing that costs so much darn money? Why are people slaving away at jobs and unhappy endeavors to get things they won’t have the time to properly appreciate?
Why is there the quest to get more when having “enough” is really the place to be?