I think most of us go through our days without really appreciating all that we have; our friends, our family, our possessions and modern luxuries...It can be a real gut-check when all of a sudden the luxuries and possessions aren't there and your friends are hundreds of miles away, in another world. You realize all you have is the one thing that really matters.
We're a fairly modest family; no credit cards, no car payments, we buy what we need when we can afford to buy it. I had to learn how to be "modest" the hard way and believe me, it wasn't fun or necessary, really. Back in Portland, our old house become a secret hot spot for garage sales. I'm not joking. A few desperate months lead us to host an almost-permanent garage sale and it was amazing to me how much money we were able to make. Granted, we usually ended up with a near-empty house by the end of a week's worth of selling literally anything someone would pay money for, but I learned how much I didn't care about the stuff I was selling; it was giving me something I could use to give my family what they need. There aren't too many things I own that I can't part with.
We've been holding on by the skin of our teeth since January, just barely scraping by. Bills were stacking up, rent was due, Mr. Clean is bringing home more than either of us, ever, and we're still just barely treading water. We gather up all the panic we're feeling and stuff it away in a little box and out into the Universe that box goes. Ads go up on Craig's List, an inventory is built of unneeded, money-making things for our first California yard sale, signs are made...8 AM on a hot, February day arrives and we have a yard full of stuff. I know I'm not in Portland anymore and I'm a little nervous about how well I'll do since all of my skill is based on my ability to engaged and read my "shoppers". Turns out I didn't need to worry at all; by the end of the day, we'd almost cleared the entire yard and I have the proverbial fist full of cash.
There are people who would look down on us for the way we chose to live. To us, it's not important to have two incomes if we can make do on one because it means one of us will always, ALWAYS be home to raise our children and that's more important than anything the money from two incomes can buy. We chose to believe if we think and do positively, positive things will happen to reward us. We have faith that we are capable of willing what we need into our lives. If we truly have the need for something, the energy we send out will be answered and our need will be met. Sounds crazy, I know, or something like praying and I guess, in a way, it is minus the God part.
For the most part, it's worked
After dropping my earnings off with my property manager the next day with profuse apologies, I came home and grabbed the mail. Right on top is an inconspicuous white envelope addressed to Mr. Clean but I know when I see it our little box was opened and answered. Nestled inside this plain little package is our salvage in the form of a $2900 check we weren't expecting for another FOUR weeks. Cheers are shouts, happy dances are done and the budget is compiled. Rent gets paid through March, power and gas are paid in full, phones are current, internet is restored! Our spirits are light.
It wouldn't be possible if we were willing to sacrifice together; we help strengthen each other when it seems like things are just too hard and we both believe that above all else, we can get through anything as long as we're together. We have the same focus that everything we do in the end, is for our family; for each other and for our sons. As long as we have each other, we have somewhere to call Home. That gives me a surreal sense of security and makes the basic luxuries we do have seem that much more luxurious.
When life tests us, we can choose to grow from it or cower from it.
I like to think I'm growing...