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May we be guided in peace - Workin' It
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Workin' It

"Workin' It" is the blog for working parents who are committed to the frugal lifestyle. This blog addresses some of the issues working families face in keeping their lifestyle frugal, including childcare, work expenses, and the constant trade off between time and cost. The author and her husband, both law school graduates, work full-time; the author has a law firm, and dear husband a property management business. They also have an eight month old. Despite all that we have on our plates, we're still committed to living life frugally.

May we be guided in peace

 One of my greatest challenges is my inner pessimist. You know, that wicked little devil on the shoulder saying, "You'll never lose the weight anyways, so eat the Doritos! Heck, have the whole bag and follow it up with some cookies. Why not?" That voice was the same one, prior to meeting my beloved Hofpapa, which would always say, "You'll never be out of debt anyways! Buy the shoes!" Although I have my sweet husband to keep me out of the cookie jar now (literally and metaphorically), I still struggle to believe in tomorrow, especially when the news is always telling us that the (financial) world is ending today!

 Then I discovered dirt. I spent a full weekend digging, raking, and hoeing, putting in beautiful new false cypress, and sowing a garden full of lettuces, peas, broccoli, spinach, and onions. For once, instead of focusing on where I wasn't yet, I enjoyed where I was. No, I don't have my farm yet. But I have a little piece of land in a beautiful neighborhood where the Bradford pears are blooming. Once my plants were in and watered, I walked through that beautiful neighborhood with my sixteen month old, whose smiles I have the privilege of enjoying for free every day, and whom I thankfully am in the position to care for pretty well. Even with all the uncertainty in the world, I spent that afternoon being rich.

I don't by any means discount that there's real financial carnage going on. Folks are losing their homes, their retirements, their security. We've kept our fingers crossed and prayed, hoping for enough clients to come through the door. A few weeks ago, we finally accepted that I am simply not cut out to profitably run a solo practice. Despite the economy, employment opportunities seem to have become available for both me and the Hofpapa (although there is nothing certain yet). I spend a lot of time worrying, afraid to check the ever-dwindling savings account. But for now, the sunshine is still free, and the mortgage is still payed. I am not ready to grab the Doritos and the AmEx yet, because I refuse to accept that there cannot be a brighter future for us, even if it's a struggle to get there. Even if we have to move "backwards," give up the house, move again, downsize, simplify, we'll make it through, because we have each other, and we still live in a country full of opportunity. 

As my husband put it once, "You've been American-poor. That's still princely compared to real poverty." That's enough for me now. That little voice, which has always lead me to dig holes for myself, can buzz off; I have holes to dig for my plants instead. 

Comments

 

Kim_150 said:

"You've been American-poor. That's still princely compared to real poverty."

Wow, what a wise thought! This is something I always try to remember and live by when times get rough, and it's great to have a reminder.

March 29, 2009 11:47 PM
 

Hofmama said:

Thanks Kim! My husband has seen much more than I have in this old world, having as he does three different citizenships and extraordinarily frugal parents, so he's always a good source for that kind of wisdom :)

March 30, 2009 12:55 AM
 

Millers Grain House said:

Nicely said!

There is something theraputic about digging in the dirt and HAVING to look forward with anticipation to what will come out of the garden. It helps to put things into perspective!

Great post and GREAT quote from your hubby about 'american poor'! Too true.

Best Blessings!

Donna

March 31, 2009 1:53 PM

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About Hofmama

Former family and employment law attorney; currently writer, editor, and stay-at-home mom to two amazing boys.

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