Monday, October 3, 2011

It's the little things

Some days I feel sorry for myself. Everyone has days like these, I know. But right about the time I really need it, when I start to feel like things just never go well for me, I end up getting what I need to show me how truly lucky and blessed I am.
On our honeymoon, Shane and I promised each other that we wouldn't worry about money until we got home. This is not to say that we were throwing cash around, we were very conscious of both the prices of things and the exchange rate. We also knew, going into it, that this was going to be a very, very expensive trip. And that Shane would most likely be jobless when we got home. (He is. The lab is being shut down, so his last day of work was on Friday.) We made our plan to eat mostly foods that we already had stored, and thankfully we're not the kind of people who need to buy new, fashionable clothes each winter so we'll make do with what we already have. (If I really find a lack in my wardrobe, I can see what Value Village has to offer.)
Despite all this, I've been feeling really crummy about our financial situation. Who knows how long until Shane finds another job? I have medical bills from breaking my nose, so my permanent fund (should come out next week, I think) and some of our savings will go toward that. (Shane's pfd is going toward his student loans.) I am doing the FLOT show "Annie", so I'll get paid a little bit for that, but I do mean a little bit. Around $150. Hardly a game-changer when half your household is unemployed.
And then, today, I got the reminder that I needed that, really, we are so lucky. I have a job, and a stable one at that. We have health insurance to help defray costs, and we have savings. Why am I whining to myself about how expensive our honeymoon was? We were able to afford a trip like that, debt-free, when there are so many people in this country and world who are struggling to put food on the table and provide shelter to their families. And in the end, the trip was worth every penny. So I refuse to worry about the cost anymore, because the experience means more to me than money in the bank.
Shane and I are the lucky ones. He has contacts and a network he can set in motion looking for a new job. We're both educated. We have a support system. We can afford food, and heat, and shelter, and even new clothes if we needed to. This week I'm going to once again take up my knitting (a winter project for me) and continue making hats, scarves and hand warmers for those who are less fortunate and remember that I am incredibly lucky. I'm going to make Shane go through his wardrobe to clean out clothes which he never wears, and donate them so that others can make use of them.
If you want to see the kick in the pants I needed to remind myself of how lucky I am, it was this slideshow about the affect of the recession on people.
Lastly, since I'm in an appreciative, I'm-so-lucky mood, I'll share with you the upside to having an incredibly stuffy nose and not being able to taste anything: you don't get sick of foods. Shane got so sick of the salmon chowder we made last week (after eating it for four days in a row), so I polished it off. When you can't taste your food, you can't get sick of any one item and food that might otherwise have gone to waste didn't.

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