I saw this side by side video on Facebook yesterday. It was something about how a rich kid gets ready for school vs. a poor kid. I found it on YouTube if you want to watch it.
While I know you’ve heard me go on about how I love my friends and family and I have the things money can’t buy today I was reminded in a very unexpected way that on the big bell curve of poverty I am rich.
So today, in a very real way, I am thankful for being rich.
This isn’t about love. This isn’t about how great my family is. (Even though they are.) This is about honest-to-goodness worldly goods and that damn hierarchy of needs. Seriously, check out just some of the stuff I’ve got:
- I have clean drinking water.
- I have fresh food, fruit, and vegetables in addition to other food.
- Some of my food gets kept in a refrigerator.
- I have a roof over my head.
- I have shoes.
- My daughters have thrift store clothing that’s Tommy Hilfiger and GAP.
- One of my girls got a cavity filled at a high quality, much beloved dentist last week.
- After my kids’ shoes wear down they get new pairs.
- My glasses are the correct prescription.
- Mr. Brickie goes to his job in new work boots.
- I have a hundred dollar emergency fund. (WooHoo! I’m on my way to 1k!)
- I have an iPhone, a desktop computer, a Kindle, a laptop, and an XBox.
- I have Internet access in my house.
- I live in a town with a fully stocked library.
- I have underwear.
It doesn’t matter if some of those were gifts and some are on credit cards and some were bought by us. They’re the things we have. Things that are part of our everyday lives. I will make pasta salad tonight thanks to the government and the tax dollars you, me, and everyone else pays in. (Did you know just last week
Really, I’m not being crazy. I’m not even comparing myself to a third-world country (which I could do but feels a little “put them down to bring me up”) but here, in my country, there are homeless people without shoes and children without clean drinking water. There are children (and adults) who go hungry. Sure I may have had to put some of my food safety concerns on the shelf, but I would much rather make an intellectual sacrifice than watch my children suffer and become unable to learn because of chronic headaches due to near-constant gnawing hunger.
My perspective on being rich is not something I’m doing to make myself feel better.
It’s a reminder that I am, in fact, doing so well compared to so many and that to deny or ignore that in order to cry into my coffee would be horrible.
It doesn’t take away my fear, but it puts it in perspective.
I just tried to do a Google search for links to maybe some hunger stats or the headaches kids get that keep them from learning in case you wanted to know more. I remember reading the article but I don’t remember where. It was a legit news source though, I almost always remember when my source for hard hitting news is TMZ or something that should never be admitted much less shared.
That also brings me to why I am afraid to do the things that would increase readership to this blog. I feel like the way we are now I’m inviting some people over to my house every day for a little brunch and talking. We have coffee and laugh and nod sagely and all have a good time. If I start doing things to bring traffic then suddenly it’s you, me, and the guy who wants to tell me I’m a wack-a-doo in the comments section.
A concern for another day, surely.
Today’s agenda is to clean the kitchen (again because it’s never ending), make BBQ chicken sandwiches and pasta salad for dinner, and maybe clean the bathroom. Before all that happens, however, it’s going to be time to get the kids out of bed and out the door to school.
I got up early today because the hour between when Mr. Brickie needs to get up (I set my alarm as his backup alarm) and when I need to get up is always plagued by the snooze button for him multiple times and then him coming in to kiss me goodbye at quarter till 6 and then just when I fall back to sleep my alarm goes off. So, today, I decided I would just get up at 5am with him. Maybe being up this early will yield better long-term blogging results. It’s certainly easier to write with no kid noises or husband noises. I know I need to get back to exercising in the morning and I’m going to see if maybe I can get both in during that hour and a half all to myself.
Right now, though, if I had to decide I would prioritize writing. I think it is important to make sure I”m not just recording the numbers and the increases we experience on this personal financial journey, but also the stress and the fear that will one day be a memory of the constant passengers during this part of the journey.
I feel better today than I did yesterday and the day before, so I think I’m coming out of all that mess. It felt like a thousand birds were flying into a thousand windows in my brain. But here on the other side of that it looks like Mr. Brickie will work a full week, which will make reaching our emergency fund goal a much faster process.
Have a great day and feel free to check out other posts from the Axis of Ineptitude blogging challenge.