Sunday, July 21, 2013

Celebrating life's sorrows and life's joys

After I got over my initial shock and anger over our income cut, I did something that may not sound like someone who's just been dealt a financial blow. You may envision us sitting around in the dark, eating a small bowl of gruel, with faces stained with tears and sadness. The actuality is, we sat around with cake and my finest tea, in the beautiful sunshine on the deck.

You see, in my mind, there is always so much to celebrate. We are all healthy. We are here together as a family. We have many joyous occasions to look forward to. And we're living in one of the riches times in history of the world, and in one of the wealthiest countries, to boot.

Sure, there's a lot of work ahead of us. But there can be many possible up sides to this. This could mean more family time. This could be that push that I need to get me to find a career path for myself, now that my children are grown. This could help us streamline our goals and ideas of what brings us happiness. This could give us contrast, that always seems to be lacking when living in abundance. When you have more than you need, how do you find appreciation for what you have? We see this in spoiled, rich kids (and their parents) -- that more is never enough.

Many of life's joys cost nothing. Think about all the things that bring you joy. Now, narrow this list down to just joys that are free. Did you find your list to be long? I did. If you wish to comment, tell me about your list, and I'll lift my cup of tea to toast your joys.

Today's sorrow may be tomorrow's memories of the good ol' days. And we realize that. So, we celebrate with cake, good tea and a family gathered together, making plans for our future.


You may be wondering -- I do keep a cake or two in the freezer. When we are needing a bit of cake, I slice off a few pieces, still frozen and thaw on plates. Yes, I am that crazy old lady with half a cake in her freezer, at all times.

18 comments:

  1. You have such a wonderful attitude. : )
    I am sure that your positive energy will get you and your family thru this adjustment period.
    Thinking of you-

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    1. Hi Carol,
      I won't lie. I did have my moment (okay, it was a couple of days) of wanting to clobber someone. There are times when life stinks. But I also can see that there are people in this world so much less fortunate. Just driving around town I see so many homeless, or out of work, begging for someone to give them an opportunity. I can't let myself think that my sorrows are worse than theirs.

      Just the day after my husband came home and announced the changes, I had a man come to the door, collecting for the Union Gospel Mission in downtown Seattle. He told me his story. That was sobering. I'd been moping most of the day, and to hear how hard his life had been, changed my perspective.

      I do feel incredibly blessed to have found so much support with online friends! So, thank you, Carol, and all who have written your kind support! I am so appreciative!

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  2. Positive attitude does more to heal than anything I know of.

    Hugs!

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    1. Hi Shara,
      I think you're right. Staying positive allows us to find joy in all this, and keeps my mind open to new possible ways to cut expenses and grow income!

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  3. Absolutely a great post - you have a wonderful life and family and although change is hard, it may work out in the end to give your family opportunities you never had before. And regarding the resume thing, because everyone else seems to email them in these days if you hand deliver you have set yourself apart. Employers like to see what you look like to represent their company, no matter what type of job. Buy some nice paper though to set yourself apart even further. This helps, especially when you haven't been employed outside the household recently. And sincerely, the best things in life ARE free!

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    1. Hi Cheapchick,
      You just reminded me, I think I have some nice paper for the printer. I had set it aside for "something special". Well, I guess this is as good a use as any I can think of for that paper. Thanks for the suggestion!
      Part of me is still a bit nervous about what the future holds, but part of me is excited to see what's just around the corner. It could be something really amazing!

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  4. Ah. So instead of being the crazy cat lady, you are the crazy cake lady??? ;)

    "A thankful heart is a happy heart. I'm glad for what I have, that's an easy way to start." Thank you for being brave enough to share your struggles with us, as well as your joys.

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    1. Hi Kris,
      Yep! that's me! I am the crazy cake lady!
      Gotta love Veggie Tales! For anyone who doesn't know the Veggie Tales Thankfulness Song, here are the lyrics:
      (by Phil Vischer)

      "I thank God for this day,
      For the sun in the sky,
      For my mom and my dad,
      For my piece of apple pie!

      For our home on the ground,
      For His love that's all around,
      That's why I say thanks every day!

      Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
      I'm glad for what I have,
      Thats an easy way to start!

      For the love that He shares,
      'Cause He listens to my prayers,
      That's why I say thanks every day!

      I thank God for this day,
      For the sun in the sky,
      For my mom and my dad,
      For my piece of apple pie!
      For our home on the ground,
      For His love that's all around,
      That's why I say thanks every day!
      Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
      I'm glad for what I have,
      Thats an easy way to start!
      For the love that He shares,
      'Cause He listens to my prayers,
      That's why I say thanks every day!"

      Small children can often find the best things to be thankful for!

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  5. Awww... this post made me feel happy inside and out. So much of what we spend time worrying about just doesn't matter. CatMan and I rode up to the mountain town of Morrison yesterday - it's just outside of Denver. It was about a 20 mile ride to get there, but we scouted a new route that kept us on bike path the entire way - through parks and open spaces - it was soooooo beautiful!

    The town was crowded because there were a few big events going on nearby at Red Rocks and the racetrack - so the road was jammed with cars and people. But the bike path was virtually empty. We rode along the creek and up to where the path ended at a little park with a picnic area which was totally abandoned.

    I couldn't help but think of the contrast. Here were all these people crammed into their cars, wasting gas sitting in a big traffic jam because they were trying to get to either a concert or a drag racing competition - where they'd get to pay a hefty ticket price for the privilege of "being entertained." And here we were, not spending a dime, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and each other's company. I can't help but think that we got the better end of that deal!

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    1. Hi Cat,
      Do you suppose anyone looked out their car window and thought, "now why didn't we think of that?!" as they saw you and CatMan whiz by on your bikes? You ride sounds absolutely wonderful!

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  6. I remember when we were first married, we were saving for a house, so there were limited funds. Our entertainment was working jigsaw puzzles. We got them a thrift shop for next for a dollar or less. We also spent times with friends and simple food. A good time was had by all.

    Also, watching several family members that are suffering with lift-threatening health crises now, it really is true, that if you have your health, you have it all.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      That really does set things in perspective, when you see others around you who are struggling with very serious health issues.

      My husband and I used to play Chinese checkers when we were first married (that is, until SOMEONE got just a little too competitive!) And I still enjoy a good jigsaw puzzle!

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  7. What a great attitude :) One website that I follow here in Australia talks about 50c indulgences, small things like a nice cup of tea, a bubble bath or a homemade face mask, that make living on a tight budget bearable.

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    1. Hi Economies,
      I think you have to treat yourself and family well, especially when times are tight.

      I was remembering a time in my childhood. My dad quit his job (soooo unlike him, and it was a really good job at that). You know what we did, as a family? My mom packed up the car and we went on vacation! Now it wasn't a luxury vacation, but us kids didn't know the difference. We were only gone the weekend, then my dad worked his differences out with the company and went back to work. That was probably the best thing we could have done right then, as it kept us all busy, instead of worrying what we were going to do. Maybe my dad knew all along that he would work things out, I don't know. But although we were all shocked that he'd quit, I don't recall feeling scared or anxious over this. We were just on an adventure.

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  8. Your last few blogs have been some of the most important ones I've ever read. You are a real inspiration. We've have been through similar situations and it really has made us thankful and creative with the budget.

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    1. Hi Judy,
      Oh, I'm so glad. I have found it extremely helpful to hear about other families who have gone through the exact same thing. When you start to feel like you're the only ones who ever have to struggle, self-pity is just around the corner. And while a good wallow is okay, for a short time, I find I really have to get myself back to productive thoughts and plans.
      I would love to hear more about the creative ways you have found to save!

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  9. Replies
    1. Ha! Another crazy cake lady!!! Why is it that we don't seem to finish cakes?

      I can imagine in your case, frugal spinster, it's because, well, being a cake decorator by profession, you may occasionally end up with one from the shop, and being single, you have a lot more cake to go through on a per person basis than a family. But for my own family, it is an oddity that cakes, ice cream and cookies languish in the freezer here!

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I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.