Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Try, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made beforeThe Project started and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please, feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list my Monday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”
This week: Give thanks.
Being poor builds character. No, scratch that. Being poor sucks.
Shortly after moving to California (I was 21 and Cal was 2), we went to a flea market and spent the whole day strolling around, just to get out of our apartment. Towards the end of our visit, Cal picked out a little trinket and I gladly obliged. It was a plastic container, separated into different compartments, with an eraser in each section.
It became her favorite toy. It was one of her only toys, since we moved with just a few plastic tubs filled with necessities and most of her bulky toys didn’t make the cut. I couldn’t afford to buy her more toys, but she was happy and content with the few things she had.
She spent hours opening and closing the compartments. She took it with her wherever she went and she proudly showed it to anyone that bothered to look and listen.
I think about this sometimes, and rather than making me feel sad, I am grateful.
I’m grateful that Cal is still content and happy. I’m grateful that in spite of my sometimes shitty parenting, she’s fantastic.
I’m grateful that I’ve experienced the full spectrum- I know what it’s like to be poor and I know what it’s like not to be poor. I can tell you that one end can be really unpleasant, but being on the other end doesn’t guarantee happiness. I’ve discovered that I make my own happiness.
Cal and I are volunteering next week at a charity that collects toys and supplies for children during the holiday season. For each individual that leaves a comment below by Thanksgiving with what they’re thankful for or what makes them happy, I’m donating $1 towards the purchase of toys to take on the day we volunteer. Sorry friends, no anonymous comments. Erasers for everyone!
The amazingly hilarious and generous Noa Gavin is matching donations up to $100. Check her out y’all. She’s a saint.
My wonderful family has generously offered to match all donations after the $100 mark.
Stefanie Wilder Taylor, the fabulously funny author of Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay, Naptime is the New Happy Hour and It’s Not Me, It’s You, is donating a dollar per comment as well! So, she’s beautiful and generous? How is that fair?
photo via billet.jp