"A word in earnest is as good as a speech"
~Charles Dickens: Bleak House

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Here we go again .......

I continue to think, as I put my head on my pillow to sleep, I need to write my blog. And then I drift off to blissful dreaming with plans in my head for the most awesome blog anyone has ever written. People all over the world will be overwhelmed with my wit and wisdom. And then the alarm sounds, I can't remember all the amazing observations I have made in my dreams, and I head off to work. Only to find myself thinking of the blog as I again drift off to sleep.

It is a vicious cycle. Much like everything else in life. The same scenario occurs in my world with regards to going to the gym and cutting out bad food. Every night as I drift off to sleep I have a plan to be more productive, more healthy, more creative, just more.

But enough self deprecating. It is summer and I am frustrated. The recession has officially hit my home and altered my way of life and I am frustrated. There will be no camping trip to the White Mountains, there will be a smaller birthday party for the soon to be six-year-old. It will be a scaled down summer. So as politicians battle it out for my vote, as the Supreme Court decides what my healthcare will look like, as Congress makes decisions about my world, as bank CEOs receive millions in bonuses and the cog of capitalism continues to turn I will be trying to figure out how to make happy family memories on significantly less.

So - the birthday party will be a carnival. We had originally thought we would just go to the party store and get the brightly colored games and some prizes. But the prices were outrageous - $29.00 for 6 cans and a ball (really!). So we will make the games ourselves. We are saving empty cans so the kids can knock them down, empty soda bottles for a ring toss, we recycled plastic Easter eggs for an egg race - with some other ideas to come. Then we will have some face painting, balloon making and lots of food. It will still end up costing a fortune, but I think this kind of party creates childhood memories that last (or at least I hope it will). Perhaps I will write a blog about how to plan a carnival party on a budget when I figure it out all the details.

I will be doing lots of day trips this summer. One of the greatest resources people don't think about is your public library. You can find all sorts of discounts and passes for museums and parking at state parks. You won't get to go to Six Flags - but you could spend a day exploring a State Park for free, or spend the day at a Sports Museum for under $10.00. I like to call them adventure days. This week I think we will visit the USS Constitution. Learn a little about history, enjoy the summer heat and spend not much. Then stop at the beach on the way home. The most expensive thing about these adventures is food - but I think for this one we will bring a cooler. 

I am fortunate, my mortgage is not upside down, I don't wonder how I will feed my children every week, my marriage is happy, my kids are healthy, I live in a part of the country where I can visit beaches, and forests and history. But it is a frustrating time - the wealthy continue to gain wealth at the expense of the people, without whom they would have no wealth; the politicians seem so out of touch with the people they were elected to serve, and the middle class who worked so hard is dwindling to nothing. I heard a news report the other day that people who own 2, 3, 4 million dollar homes are under water and are seeking home modification loans. Amazing! I continue to try and refinance, so that the mortgage is not so draining, but I don't qualify - and someone who purchased a $3,000,000.00 home does? The world just makes no sense to me anymore.

So I vent and I complain, but ultimately I am doing all right. So tonight I can put my head on my pillow and plan how tomorrow I will be even better.

1 comment:

  1. Good to read you again Leann!
    In the crazy world in which we live and which you have so eloquently highlighted there is much to depress us and make us angry. One of the saddest and most thought provoking things I have read I came across last week. I was reading a wonderful book by one of my favourite authors, the travel writer Colin Thubron "To a mountain in Tibet". Thubron described how he and his party on their way to Tibet stopped one night in the home of a poor Nepalese family. Amongst many other though provoking comments he wrote: "Our travelling kit is more than everything that the family (of nine) owns - is stacked up against one wall. Everything we have looks excessive. Their few possessions, all that they have in the world, hang in a few bags from the ceiling.......".
    In the crazy financially challenged world we live in, where the haves increasingly have and the have nots increasingly have not we surely need to re-align our values and look for something simpler.......your party will be great. Enjoy it!