Smile, breathe, and go slowly. ~~Thich Nhat Hahn
Boundary keeping can be beautiful.Â
I believe in left-overs.Â
Keep the faith. Or eat chocolate.Â
Not Breaking the Bank
In my kitchen, which sports “vintage” wallpaper from 1982, is a set of baby furniture. It’s basic kitchen white, painfully too small, shamefully grubby, and presently full of fresh veg from Costco. I keep waiting for it to die; although, 13 years later I still can’t afford for that to happen. Â
I have a love-hate relationship with this refrigerator. We were renting while pregnant with Boy Wonder when our old and very used fridge keeled over and went to Whirlpool heaven. Avocado green and accented with rusting interiors I should have been happy to see it go. I certainly cursed it every time I walked past it. Too large for the space we were in, it was a bit of a squeeze for my pregnant belly to pass it and make the corner into the kitchen. Â
It was one of several appliances in that old house long past its expiration date—but sadly, it belonged to us, so there was no appealing to the landlords for a replacement. Married to anÂ entrepreneurÂ who was “THIS” close to going public, I was working with a very tight household budget.Â The only money we had saved was the money we set aside for baby furniture. A crib, a dresser, and a changing table in the most beautiful cherry wood ever known to the gestating became a fruit and veg drawer, glass shelves, and door that has opened the wrong way for every apartment we’ve lived in since! Â
Oh how I cried. Blame it on the hormones, but it’s a loss I still carry with me… in part, because the evidence of it insists on mocking me daily in my 1982 wallpapered kitchen. Â I’d like to get rid of them both, the fridge and the wallpaper, but it’s looking like both are staying for the duration of this “recession”. I passive-aggressivelyÂ don’t clean it, and it comes in handy when I’m in a mood to fight with myÂ entrepreneurÂ husband, “YOU and your start-up ways! My baby didn’t have nice baby furniture. . . he had a WHITE REFRIGERATOR.”
But for all my weeping, for all my moaning, that refrigerator is a reminder of just how abundant my life is. And yes, I can tell you that I’ve made so many of those trade-offs through the years. Money spent on necessity–money scrounged out of couches and car compartments to pay for groceries, because grocery money went to pay for emergency dental surgery. Moments from eviction, moments from Â bankruptcy, moments from divorce. Â There stands my too small for Costco sizes refrigerator, humming to itself, “Your life is blessed. Your life is blessed. Your life is blessed.”Â
It is in the trial, it is the mourning, it is in the lack that we look up and see how blessed we truly are. MyÂ entrepreneurÂ husband is my best friend, the love of my life, and the only person I’d willingly choose to risk it all on. He’s held my hand in every fight, in every storm, in every heartbreak. Lost jobs, lost babies, lost dreams—he’s been there. And it’s because of him I believe in true love. You can wish for wealth and hope for riches, but when you meet someone who cam still make you laugh in the misery. . . well, you’ve found it all.
My refrigerator doesn’t lie: my life is blessed.Â
For the record, my child did just fine with the fridge. He raids it daily, and I suspect enjoys it far more than he ever would have the most beautiful Â cherry wood known to the insatiable 12 year old. Now, if only I could get him to clean it.