I’m a bit of a worrier. Combine that with the company Matt & I work for announcing huge layoffs, war dragging on abroad, friends losing their jobs left and right, the economy spiraling ever downward, and finances therefore tightening, all at a time when I’d rather be shopping for fun things for my children, and you get a mama whose list of things to be thankful for is a little shorter than it has been in the past. Or is it?
Once I started working on this post, I realized that while I may not be thanking the powers that be for that big holiday bonus that didn’t come, for the refinance that keeps seeming to evade us, or for job security for ourselves and our friends, I am thankful for so many things.
I’m thankful that we’re healthy, even if we are potentially going to be broke 🙂 I’m thankful that I started on this crazy food preservation/local eating adventure before I realized that having a lower grocery bill might be more than a nice-to-have this winter. I’m thankful that my children (and my husband) haven’t totally castigated me for making them live without things like boxed mac-n-cheese, bananas and avocados this winter. I’m thankful for my friends who are in the same boat with me, who have been swapping their favorite sandwich bread recipes and home-made Christmas present ideas.
I’m thankful that I know people like Crunchy Domestic Goddess (and many others) who were willing to put themselves out there to do things on a grand scale like get Obama elected president (oh, how thankful I am to type the words President-Elect Obama) and, on a smaller scale, to help pass an ordinance here locally to allow backyard egg production! I’m thankful for all the wonderful progressive neighbors I met volunteering for the Lyons Obama campaign, and that we’ve moved to a neighborhood that just plain feels like home.
I’m thankful that, in reward for all the hours Matt’s logged flying back and forth for business, we got to fly out to Washington to spend Thanksgiving with Matt’s family for free (OK, there was that $15 per bag fee, but still, that beats 4 $400 tickets!) and that in 3 weeks, we’ll be with my family in Florida. And I’m thankful for the opportunity all of this economic turmoil has given us to take stock of what is really important to us and what we can live without.
I’m thankful that my children are as entertained by baking bread with their mama, feeding celery to goats, and digging in the dirt as they are by hi-tech toys. I’m thankful that I don’t need anything for Christmas, even if there are things that I want 😉
I won’t say that I’m over worrying. I won’t promise not to forget to be thankful during this next year, which will bring more economic turmoil. But I will say that I see positives in all of this. A great deal of introspection goes into tightening your belt, buckling down, and preparing for the worst. It’s a gentle reminder that, as the saying goes, the best things in life really are free…