They say that every storm has a silver lining. That out of everything bad, comes something good. A lot, depends on our attitude and mindset. I’m finding that to be true, even with the storm of the year, that shall not be named.
Going back to March of last year, on the twenty-sixth I had been told I was essential. On the twenty-seventh, I was placed on temporary lay off. On the thirtieth, I was told it was permanent, I no longer had a job. But, when things picked up, I would be called back. I could sign up for unemployment, and sign up with the cause being the Covid-19 virus. That meant I would be able to draw that promised extra.
I used the free time that I now had, to do a lot of yard work. I even cleaned out a storage building that I had been leery about going into out of concern over snakes. I managed to get more done inside the house as far as clearing clutter. I was here, for mom and dad.
When all the unemployment ran out, I gave into the realization that I wasn’t going to be called back after all. I began to look for a job. That was when my mother got all upset. She and dad had grown accustomed to my being here. Living right next door, a phone call away at any hour. What would she do if I went to work?
So I retired instead.Everyone cheered and congratulated me while I sat down and crunched numbers. I’ve been here before, only worse. I had gotten nearly all my debt paid down. My big bill is my car…and groceries.
Every time I see one of those articles pop up on how to save money, I read them only to find they all basically say the same thing. The words shifted around a little and a different name in the byline. For some though, I’m sure they are helpful.
The suggestion to stop buying fancy coffees. Up until a little over a year ago I had never had any coffee from that oh so popular coffee shop. When I did, I drank black. I haven’t had any since then. I make my own coffee at home and if I so desire, I take a cup with me in a, keep it hot for a million years or some such mug. I rarely buy bottled water. I have several reusable bottles that I have purchased along the way to carry water. If you see me purchase a soda, you will know its for my son. I stopped drinking those years ago.
I always try to find something to do that doesn’t cost anything. Hiking the mountain trail at the state park is free but for the cost of fuel. Its the same with the many hiking trails around the county and state. I also have books to read, and a blog to write.
My biggest problem is groceries. Even when shopping with a strict list, its always expensive. And yes, I will admit to being somewhat envious when I see people with overflowing shopping carts filled with the good stuff. But it is only me, my son, two dogs, one inside cat and a few feral cats out back that I feed. I thought I had done well today, when I was told the total all I could do was shake my head. I need to go back to using the calculator as I shop. That would at least prevent surprises. Maybe even see if I can find coupons, which isn’t easy since I quit taking the paper a long time ago.
One of the things that I have learned from this, my silver lining from the current storm, is determination.
First, to be determined to keep a positive attitude of gratitude.
I may not have everything I want, but I have everything I need. I have learned to tell myself no. Yes, that sweater is pretty, but no you don’t need it. Yes it would be fun to go to the group Jeep and eat gatherings, but no, you don’t have the extra cash. Yes I see that dvd of the movie you thought you’d like, but you have several you haven’t watched yet. Yes, I see that new book by one of your favorite authors, but same with the dvd, you have books to read yet.
I have learned, that mindset is everything. It is a matter or financial responsibility. I am not denying myself anything I need. I am realizing, for example, that I don’t wear, all the sweaters I have now. I definitely don’t need more.
I’ll be honest, at first it bothered me greatly to have to walk away from something I thought I wanted. A week later, a day later, sometimes thirty minutes later I had forgotten all about what ever it was and moved on. Proving I didn’t need it after all.
I remember right after my husband died, I spent weeks being so very careful. I carried a calculator and searched for coupons relentlessly. I bought nothing extra. I had no idea when everything was going to be finalized as far as insurance. I had been given financial gifts, and I felt that it was essential that I use that money responsibly. I did it then, I can do it now.
This was not written as a ‘poor me’ note. Because there is nothing poor about the blessings I have been given.
One of which, has been this lesson in determination.
Determined to be happy with the time given to be with family.
Determined to be happy with the ability to take care of my home and yard.
Determined to be happy with being able to get outdoors and hike.
Determined to be happy and content with what I have.
Determined to be happy with the ability to grow and learn more as I research, write and share.
Determined to be happy in my growth emotionally, intellectually and especially spiritually.
Determined to create a few doors in the walls that were built over the course of time.
Determined to let go of the feelings of betrayal that simmer of the way that job loss came about and be happy in all of the above things that are that silver lining in the storm.
After my husband died, I had sat in the house, hiding for the most part. I only went out for work, groceries, and church. One day I decided that I was going to go hike the trail up the mountain at the local state park. I wasn’t even positive on how to get there. Still, I got the dog’s leash, got her in the car and we headed out. I managed to find the park, find a parking spot in the limited spaces, and begin the hike. After you go so far, you come to three hundred and thirty some steps. I thought I was dying by the time I reached the top. But I was going to make it, I was determined. There was no stopping, no turning around, no going back. Not until I reached the top of the mountain. Which I did. I’ve been back many times since.
Right now, I am sitting here, looking at the proverbial trail and steps going forward. There is no stopping, no turning around, no going back. I am on this journey of life, and I will make it through. I will act responsibly with the talents and blessings given. I will do this, I am determined.