Monday, May 4, 2009
Quilting Bee of Women (& Men) #7
Good morning folks! It would seem that we lucky ladies have some brave men in our midst, so I will say folks instead of ladies!! Did you enjoy the coffee and muffins last week? Today I thought it might be nice to offer you all some fresh fruit, mmmmm look at those berries!!! There is yogurt and cereal and donuts of every sort set out for you on the sideboard. There is also coffee & tea. I have racked a wonderful quilt today with little squares of delightful things. Please pull up a chair and join me!
It seems like the last 9 months have been dominated by money issues on the news. Clearly an issue in my house and I’m guessing it is on some level in yours too. Many of you know that I come from a very fortunate background, a nice way to say..I was quite well off growing up. Many of you also know that since my divorce 11 years back I have been quite not so well off. I have heard the phrase, “Do you know the difference between your wants and your needs?” thrown around a lot of late and got to thinking about what it means to me now.
I guess in this area I had gotten a bit relaxed and have not been following my own advice from the last ten years of life training. I have not contemplated my wants and needs too much for the last year or so. Given the economy and my income, which is not quite as lovely as it was a year ago, I have gone back to revisit this old friend. I have what’s called a 6 tubby rule – you know those 18 gallon plastic Rubbermaid tubs with lids. I know your scratching your head… I’ll explain.
In 2000 we were living on an amazing 40 acre ranch (rented) with a wonderful, tiny cabin. I loved it there! I had animals and a garden & my beloved woods! It was truly heaven to me. What wasn’t heaven, it was waaaaaayy out in the toolies and we had a constantly breaking 4x4. At the end of that year, everything tanked, Jim’s job, my job and..the truck gave it’s last dying gasp. We had little choice but to take up an offer from Jim’s family to move back east and find work there. The problem, we were taking the train and could only take 6 tubbies with us. I spent a month packing and unpacking those tubs, rethinking what was a want and what was a need. I must have done it twenty times. I had a lifetime of things to decide about. It was heartbreaking at the time really. I had to leave some very dear things of mine behind. But…. ultimately… I managed to narrow it down, cram those tubbies full and duck tape them like crazy. And then…. we left.
Here is the thing… to this day there are only a couple of things that I left behind that I can truly say have been missed. So…. I guess 95% of those things were not needs, but wants. I followed this “6 tubby rule” for a very long time. When I went to a garage sale, or thrift shop, Target… where ever – I remember having to choose the items to place in those tubbies. I reminded myself that not everything is a need, some things are just wants. More often than not I put things back. Until the last year or so, I kinda lost track of my tubbies. I have indulged in a bit of “want” buying – it’s a good thing sometimes – we all need treats. But… I found myself buying without consideration for my money situation, or true need – I got pretty selfish really with my attitude about money. Did I deserve a treat – sometimes yes – did I spend more than I should have on Ebay on occasion – yup. Have I gotten a grip – uhmmmmm yes. Head hanging, embarrassed, I learned this lesson already…yes.
I’m happy to say that we are not anywhere close to where we were nine years ago and the list of things I can put in those tubbies is larger and we are nowhere near where we were then. So…. what’s my point?? We all have “things” of value in our lives… our loved ones, our critters, our homes, jobs, family treasures, photos etc. . Those really important things! I look around my sweet cottage and wonder…. Could I put my life in 6 tubbies now? Twenty tubbies, one hundred tubbies? Yikes – lots of tubbies, time for me to regroup! I have become way too attached to my “things”!! Could I walk away and start over again and be ok with that? If my house burned to the ground what would I most want to have kept safe? My point is….those are the “needs”. The “wants” can be replace, every single one of them is replaceable. What is not replaceable in your life? What things would you put in your 6 tubbies?
So…. I am going to wander over to the sideboard and get a bowl full of yogurt with granola and a large cup of coffee. Yummmm. Would you like to take a break and join me? Next week we will have a selection of coffee cakes – place your order! Have a great week and thanks for pulling up a chair with me today! Namaste, Sarah