Thursday, September 5, 2013

Decadence and Austerity

This summer has been a strange combination of decadence and austerity. We’ve had many changes in the last couple of months and additional ones looming in the near future. Summer has been filled with the luxury of wide open days and the pressure of hours ticking by.

We’re in the midst of joblessness for Steve. A lesson in frugality and the word “no” and a gift of time that holds more worth than could ever translate into dollars. 

We have spent days and days and days together as a family, a sort of extended vacation that has so disoriented me that I rarely have any idea what day it actually is. They all seem like languorous Saturdays. We’ve gotten on each other’s nerves, laughed over the silly, pleaded for small ones to “just go to sleep already!”, and skipped naptimes in favor of outdoor adventures. And we’ve come to the happy discovery that long swaths of time spent together aren’t a chore or something to dread.

And, of course, there are the inevitable challenges that come from a reduced income. They are expected and real and issues that so many people deal with every single day, I hesitate to say much lest it sound disconnected.  

I do miss Target, though. 

It’s a good reminder that there are the basics, there are the basic luxuries, and there is the gift of abundance that should be used wisely. 

And a reminder is often a good thing.


  1. Been there. And despite the fact that the reminder that there are basics got really old;), I'm not sure we would've learned the blessing otherwise. And there have been many: becoming more close-knit as a family, being picky about how we spend our time together, discovering free things to do that I never would've thought to look for, learning how to make food cheap AND healthy;), discovering the world of homemade cleaners, etc...glad for all of it. It's tough, though, to live in a world that considers luxuries basic (Starbucks, anyone?) and have to treat the "basic" as extreme luxury. It'd be easy to live in a 3rd world country and not have stuff, but here it's easy to feel...less than, I guess. And yeah, not going to Target to "get out of the house" was tough;).

  2. is an adventure. I'm not sure if you knew that my husband lost his job (company was purchased and closed Maine office) right after Griffin was born. After not finding a job, we opted to have him be a stay-at-home dad for the year. He was able to get Abby to and from kindergarten, Griffin stayed out of daycare for a year, and he became a cook, cleaner, and grocery shopper. It was nice to have him home during my summer vacation and my life got less stressful in the sense that I didn't have all the extra house stuff to keep up with in addition to my school work. But, that couldn't last forever. After that year, he went back to school for a new degree. He left the financial world of corporate America and became an RN. We lived on my teaching salary for 3 1/2 years. It was challenging at times, but we made it. Hoping everything works out for you!