Monday, June 16, 2014

Formerly Considered Minor Appreciations

The Big Girl Chronicles: formerly considered minor appreciations

I was sitting beside my bedroom window completely engrossed in how I plan to make some changes for the second half of this year.  Thinking about the changes I intend to make is usually both a pleasant time full of optimism and a stressful cocktail of lingering “what if…?s”.  It would seem irresponsible and unrealistic to make plans and not consider the worst case scenario or avoid making any alternate plans altogether. Keeping grounded and finding balance becomes a challenge when your feelings about possibly not following through creep in.  Before you realize it, the feelings have dominated and your productive planning session ends without a clear, logical outline of your intentions and feelings of desperation. But the strangest thing happened as I was doing just that.  I looked out of my bedroom window and noticed how beautifully the sun was shining through the clouds and glistening on the grass.  Don’t get it wrong.  In the world of breathtaking views, the one from my bedroom window would definitely be the least of all.  Yet, As I looked up and noticed what was going on beyond What’s in plain view, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of calm… and appreciation.  Unemployment, poverty and divorce – the shift in socio-economic status – all these things have allowed an experience of life from a different perspective.  This experience is more than I could have learned reading a text or in any internship or facet of public service employment.  It’s an experience that has provided depth and insight beyond any that I could have ever empathized in any other capacity.  And the lessons in frugality have been priceless.  I’ve done so much excess spending.  Now I completely understand the power of the coupon and getting two for the price of one. or paying only $1 with it as opposed to $3.50 without.

Some other formerly considered minor appreciations:
·       A good deal on a simple item otherwise considered unaffordable for a LISP (Low income/Single Parent) budget.  Like being able to purchase my fave brand of ice cream because it’s on sale and I have enough customer loyalty points (And the coupon) to get the additional discount.  Before it didn’t matter that one pint of my favorite brand cost as much as two gallons of the generic.

·       The dollar store – With a miniscule budget the dollar store gives a little wiggle room.  There is much less of having to sacrifice When you can get quite a few of your cleaning supplies there and have enough cash leftover to afford some school function or event.

·        Thrift stores – pretty much self-explanatory.

·       The kindness of a stranger – Perhaps I wasn’t in the right circles before.  But since this change in socio-economic status I have experienced kindness from strangers that I’d not ever experienced before. Before there were certain “hook-ups” we all get from time to time because of an association or whatever social/civic memberships you have been subscribed to.  But to have a stranger who has no reason or obligation to extend a kindness generously do so is beyond incredible. 

Taking a moment to appreciate a beautiful day was the opened door to realizing how fortune can be uncovered among some unfortunate circumstances.  Our experiences and interactions are what shape us into the kind of person we grow to be.  Under any other circumstances, had someone warned that one day It wouldn't matter that I have a master's degree, i'd still end up living in public housing I would've thought them to be less than credible.  But what I've learned firsthand is of more value than what I could've recited from a textbook or quoted from a study.  I am satisfied with myself about how I have handled these circumstances I had prepared myself to avoid.  But I am more than pleased with the kind of person I have found myself to be in spite of it.    

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