Thursday, March 12, 2009

a penny saved

I don't often write about my time spent working outside of my home. Mainly because it is never on the forefront of my mind when I sit down at night to write on this blog and reflect on what I'd like to share with the rest of the world.

Also because in my heart, I am always at home. Even when I am away from my children, I am constantly thinking about how they are doing- if they've been outside and breathed in enough fresh air or finished their math lessons or had enough fruit to eat (I think about their fruit and vegetable consumption quite a bit even when I am at home with them and often equate this to a day of good eating or a day of horribly rotten eating!

It's not that my work is not important work, because I believe it is. The subject of what people are eating and how it is affecting their health is indeed important and worthwhile. I find it extremely fascinating tosit down with the individuals I meet at work and listen to them talk about what they are feeding themselves, their children and their babies and why they have chosen these foods.

It's just that the reason I am there in the first place is because of my family and my desire to help provide some of the income needed by our family of five living in CT during tough economic times.

Food is a passion of mine and I find it terribly intriguing to learn about what and how people are eating their food. Lucky me to be fortunate enough to get paid for this interest of mine!

One of the greatest parts of my job is that I am given the amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world. I have recently been inspired by this fact and have begun to keep a list of who I meet and where they are from.

Just this week alone, I have been able to speak with families from Tibet, Iraq, Afghanistan and China. Just amazing. I am completely humbled by the willingness of these people to share with me some of the most personal aspects of family life- what foods they have chosen to purchase, store and prepare for their families.

And even after these incredible encounters with these families, there is always a gentle tug at my heart reminding me of my own family- of my husband who is at home with our children taking part in their education, nourishment and recreational choices for that day- of the little faces that will run to the door to greet me with kisses, squeezes and the day's finds (often including drawings, rocks and presents for me).

It is a daily decision to choose gratefulness and contentment that I have the skills and ability to be able to partner with my husband in providing for our family during these tough economic times over the ever-tempting pity party or cloud of resentment that would most certainly rain on my family's parade should I choose such negative responses to our situation.

I often think of my Nana who lived during the Great Depression and had to to quit school in eighth grade to work in her aunt's dress shop pinning dresses in order to help pitch in financially for her family. She later went on to work in a factory during the 1940s during the early years of her marriage to my grandfather once again to help make a positive contribution to their finances. It was a case of seeing a need and meeting it. This, in my opinion, is the true meaning of missions. I am so inspired by her and often think that if she could work six days a week in a factory then I can most certainly dig deep to find the strength and generosity needed to put in two days a week to help my family out.

There are countless stories of families who are struggling financially right now and an equal amount of stories about how these families are making it through tough times.

I was completely inspired by Eren's post from the Vintage Chica about the ways she is helping to make a positive contribution to her family's economic situation and also by this post from Buttons Magee that talks about thrifting as an extremely useful way to impact a family's finances. I never really got the old adage a penny saved, is a penny earned until I had a family of my own and chose to buy used or shop sales!

Over the next few weeks I am choosing to share ways that our family is continuing to live a full, simple, creative and prosperous home-centered life during these times of economic hardship.

{I hope that you will share this journey and your thoughts with me!}


Anonymous said...

i enjoyed reading this. I too work outside the home - 4 days a week but it is not my passion - my kids are. my income helps pay for their Christian school education and provides our health benefits. I work in the wellness/fitness field. It is nice to have a job that also a huge interest of mine too. anyways - kudos to you!

Anonymous said...

This really hits home for me. As a massage therapist, there are numerous times to zone out and think about what is going on at home, my first passion. But I also feel that I am meant to be present for the random and interesting people that come my way every week. It is somehow nourishing to me on another level and connects me to the world. We are where we are meant to be . . . mb

Jenn said...

Just found you through Vintage Chica. Love your stuff. I'm especially inspired by your thoughts on the importance of food for a family.. and I too, spend many hours of my life considering the veggie/fruit intake of my kids.

I look forward to checking in on you in the future. Great work!