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Friday, April 03, 2009

State of My Family Union

So I've been down lately over the state of the economy, my bills, and the affect it's having on my family. It doesn't help that it's been raining cats, dogs, and a few frogs lately. I could never live in Seattle no matter how green and beautiful it is there.

Rain just intensifies my negative emotions!

I have to give a big thanks to my Twitter and blog buddies who have lifted my spirits here and there. Special thanks goes to Tara and turning me on to Blip.fm, and to my Aunt Edna for all the funnies she emails me daily. Point is, even though life is complicated for most of us right now, there are rays of sunshine all around you if you choose to look. People overseas are suffering the same plight as this country as my friend from Scotland tells me all the time, and it all seems so bazarre and overwhelming to absorb sometimes.

When one gets "stuck" in this kind of muck, it becomes very hard to see what is actually going good in one's life. One of our cars went down and I'm waiting for the Honda Odyssey to go next as we have already sunk almost $6000 having various major repairs done to it in the past 2 1/2 years. It's a piece of junk I tell you.

I'm still paying off huge amounts of medical bills from when my son was sick for two months in the latter part of last year. And I sit among a pile of bills trying to balance this against that and hoping it all works out in the end. But I realize that I'm not the only one doing this. I keep thinking to myself; "I could be one of those losing my house". It still all makes me a bit cranky and crazy as the kids could tell you.

I grew up in a family that chose to pretend on the outside that everything was fine and dandy, while the inside of the family unit was falling apart at the seams. I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about. Now, I wear my emotions more on my sleeve and refuse to hide anything... almost. So if you see me crying at the grocery store because I have to choose between a healthier organic choice for my kids (and it IS about the kids), and a box of chemical-laden crap because of the size of my bank account lately, maybe... just maybe, you'll understand what some of us are going through.

Then I read from a fellow celebrity Tweeter about this: Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2009 (H.R. 875). This is a bill creating much controversy (if you read between it's loosely knitted wording), over whether we'll be able to have our own backyard gardens, or do any organic gardening at all!

Our family has never been into major extravagances, but eating healthy food has always had it's priorities in our life. I get a bigger high out of driving 3 hours to Whole Foods than I do going five miles down the road to the mall. We are, in fact, a family of "Foodie's". But when it gets to the point that people can't afford the high prices of food and decide to make their own garden, and someone at the big "M" agricultural corporation starts pushing to make it so strict so no one can make one so they can wrap the entire food market thing, I get reeeeeally pissed off!

This just started my downward spiral this week. That, and the fact that Dish Network called me last night to tell me I was three stinking days late on my payment and if I didn't pay it within the week, they would turn it off. Now I pay this bill el' pronto at the first of every month; well the second to be precise. So I called them. Their response is that "it is due on the 27th of the month". Okay, so according to them, I am 7 freaking days late. I can understand a phone call after 15 days, but seven! Come on, are they getting that desperate too?

This doesn't bring any happy, happy, joy, joy into my life either. Panic starts to set it, and when that happens, it breeds faster than rabbits on Viagra. I can't seem to get past the thought of the world crashing around you, and my lungs cease to function properly. And when I panic, I panic badly; it seem to ooze from every pore and it's colored coded as to what level I am at at the moment. It was inching toward bright orange last night.

I start rummaging through rooms while itemizing what can be sold and what can be kept. The kids thought we we're moving when I started this. I just tell them I'm planning to clear clutter via the yard sale. But kids are far more intuitive than we give them credit for. They KNOW something is wrong, thus the endless questions begin because they themselves, are reacting to my panic and eventually create their own in the process.

But their panic creates a kind of creative chaos that I envy and am in constant awe of. They are soon jumping off of beds and trying on every single piece of clothing in the drawers (Toni and Nia). Then either starting an incredible and senseless conversation, or catching the infectious giggles over something as simple as floating dish soap bubbles from the sink (Nadia and Julian).

What I realize is that I am not putting things into perspective. Life is handing me more lemons than I can make lemonade from, and instead of organizing these lemons in their proper place, I've chosen to let them clutter the floor of my life instead.

Things COULD be a lot worse!

So I wake up today to a sky full of sun and brightness instead of rain, and a different perspective on life. I should take this as a message from God that gloom does not last forever, unless you choose it to. I have my family, plus some extended family that I have recently connected with that bring love and joy into my life. So what that I don't have friends close by to share a cup of coffee with every morning; I have made new ones by having this blog and we share our cups of cyber-java each day. My girlfriends are spread far and wide, but on days like this, they are in my living room sharing their hugs and advice with abundance.

I have four incredible kids that seem to patiently put up with a mother who changes emotions as much as we change our underwear. I marvel in their cleverness to rise above adversity, and how much more smarter they are than when I was at their age. It is priceless when Nadia's face suddenly beams as she has overcome her latest math issues last night, by working through the problem patiently and diligently. I have more to learn from them than they do from me.

I have a roof over our heads, food in the refrigerator, and we are without major medical issues. The house is clean, the laundry is done, and no one broke anything this week (except my 20+ year old scarf that Nia ripped a huge hole in last night). I take a deep breath and realize that though the bills still exist, so does my relationship with myself and my family, and those I have come to know in the recent months. Now which is more important?

So today I will make a picnic lunch and take Nia to the park for some much needed playtime in the sun. I will gather some some more items to sell on Craigslist and for my yard sale, but now, they are just meaningless "possessions" that can be purchased again somewhere down the road if need be. My most important items are those I feed, love, and nurture daily. Possessions do not love you back - they only drag you down.

With regards to that stupid HR 825 bill, I'm still making my backyard garden regardless. If they want to take me on somewhere down the road for a stinking tomato plant, then we'll deal with that when the situation arises. I'll just sit back and eat my favorite ice cream as they rip the suckers out themselves!

Now, anyone for peanut butter ice cream with Reese's cups in it?

1 comment:

Ronda Hayes said...

Are you serious about this bill? I'm going to have to research this. Hold your head up. You are doing a great job with your family. There will be some light at the end of the tunnel. My thoughts and prayers to you and yours.