Sunday, November 27, 2011
NaBloWriMo Day 26
Saturday, 26 November 2011
Topic of the Day: Enough
This week I've really been thinking about who/what I'm thankful for.
Yesterday was Black Friday, and I didn't go shopping until much later in the day. I know that perhaps I didn't get the best deals, but I maintained my sanity, so I'll call it a win.
However, I gave some thought to the whole Black Friday hoopla, and how that fit in with my evolving belief system.
I used to gladly go shopping at the crack of dawn to get things for the kids and not have to spend lots and lots of money. It was even kind of fun. Except the year the woman in front of me in Target got mad and pushed my cart into me because someone else (NOT ME) had hit her. That year...not so fun. Anyway, I get the whole thrill of the hunt thing, and I'm not here to condemn it or anyone who participates in the day.
Every year on the news, there's stories about how people get run over, in fights, whatever. I've come to realize that for me, there's nothing in a store worth that. It's not a mentality that I can get behind for my own self, not in this season of Advent.
This has been years in the making. Maybe it's because I really dislike having to come up with a Christmas list that has things that sure, I like them, but I don't NEED them. Maybe it's because we've come so far financially that I don't have to balance the wants vs. needs anymore, and can usually just buy whatever it is that catches my fancy. Maybe it's because I'm less tolerant of STUFF than I used to be. Maybe it's a combination of all of the above.
Every year my husband asks me what I want for Christmas. Every year I tell him that I'm pretty sure that I've already told him. Every year he tells me that if I did, I only did in my head, which we've established DOES NOT COUNT (maybe). Or that I pointed out something in a store, but changed my mind 2 aisles over (true).
One of the best presents I got was a couple of years ago when I got him to agree to take most of the money he'dve spent on me, and let me buy food and other supplies to give to a family in need. We asked our priest if there was anyone who needed a hand-up (not a hand-out), and actually since we had so much to give, it ended up being split up between 2 families. One was to a guy who'd pretty much lost everything when the economy went haywire, and was struggling to hold on to a house that he shared with other family members--he'd almost lost his faith in life, but our gift helped give him enough hope to keep going (I love that); the other was to a single mom with 2 little girls who had been in an abusive situation & had managed to get out, but was thinking there was no possible way to have any sort of Christmas for her girls. Thinking about how we could share even just a little of what we take for granted, and at least for that moment make life a little easier for someone was awesome.
It's not about doing it so I feel better about what we have. It's not about doing it because I should (if there's one thing that will make me NOT do something, it's because someone tells me I "should"). It's not about doing it because it's the Christmas season and I'm buying into the whole "Christmas Spirit" thing, because I'm usually low on Christmas Spirit in the best of years. It's not about doing it because as a "good Christian" that's what's expected.
No, it goes back to my Mom telling me that we give because we can. We give because it is a way to acknowledge and be thankful for what we ourselves have. And as I look around our house, and what we have, both tangible and intangible, we have enough. That's one of my mantras when I'm panicking about money, "For today, for right this moment, I have enough."
We have more than enough to share. We have more than enough that we can freely give some away and not worry if that would be the make-it-or-break-it between this payday and next. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the help that is needed, and I feel so inadequate. But then I realize that may be the lesson that's being taught. To do what I can, where I can, with what I have. And to do it from love and compassion, not because it's expected.
And that's a wonderful feeling. That feeling of Enough. That's what I want to hold onto during not only this Advent season, but the rest of the year as well.