This has been an extremely hard year in the Pearson household and to say we have been untouched by the economy would be grossly false. Like many, the price of simple things as groceries has come to add up to a lot. Thankfully we have a superstore that makes some of those prices competitive but I can't believe sometimes how my mom is coming out in me. I remember growing up and saving everything. I would like to say that my packrat characteristics stemmed from this but I see my own daughter turning into a packrat and I know I haven't influenced this--if it's not put away, and it looks like trash, it goes in the trash! I'm talking about things like the ever growing tin foil ball (of RECYCLED tinfoil), making caseroles so the chicken goes further, putting unfinished glasses of milk in the fridge to be drank or used for cereal the next morning, pooring half empty glasses of kool-aid back in the pitcher, limiting the kids' toilet paper usage (or painfully telling my little boy that no, he does NOT have to use TP when he pees), shifting your schedule to make only 1 short trip to wherever, rather than going back and forth twice, filling your shampoo, Dawn or handsoap bottle with water to make sure you get ALL the soap out! This is all the kind of "moderation" I grew up with, and thus, was normal for me. Somewhere along the line, though, I lost a lot of my "efficiency". I stopped looking at prices in teh grocery store. I used 3 kleenexes when I only needed 1. I bought paper towels instead of kitchen towels, the list goes on.
These are priveledges to some, carelessness to others and completely foreign to even a few I'm sure, but growing up with 3 sisters in a midwest town with no stoplights, no curbs and 1 grocery store the size of my house, it was how we lived. As an adult, now, with both of us working from home, we are learning to adapt. I feel, sometimes, as though I'm going back to some ways way back when (I DON'T save my tinfoil, though!). I think of how my parents coped back then. Were they as stressed out as I am? Of course they were, but only now am I appreciating what it was exactly they were going through. Do I worry about my kids wondering why I monitor their TP usage? No, not at all. They are loved, happy, and feel very important in our household and that's all that matters to them. Knowing how to stretch a dollar is useful information for them, anyway.
I do feel, though, that in these times of uncertainty, not knowing what next week, next month or next year is going to have in store for us, make us closer as a family unit. Each year of my life gives me perspective. Things are relative. What is important is what makes us happy. And when it doesn't seem like we're very happy, looking at one of the kids and hearing "I love you, mommy" or just "hey mom, what's up?" puts everything in the right light.
Here's to us and here's to our future.......may happiness be our biggest accomplishment!