Sunday, March 1, 2009

"Priorities and Bottom Lines"

It has been raining here for the past three days. As I look outside of the window this morning it is snowing!!!! Snow is something of a big deal around here as it doesn't do so very often. My little one immediately wanted to go out in it. I love to see the innocence of childhood.

While I did incur some minor flooding, the constant, steady rain this weekend put me into a most reflective mood. When it rains, I like to go outside in it. It is during these times that I have some of my clearest thoughts. It is in the stillness of such moments that I find a keener sense of purpose. I feel my most grateful, I am my most thankful. I can truly live in the moment and take in everything around me. I can block out the "what ifs", and the "what ares" if only for a moment. I wish that moments like this could last forever. But alas, they can't.

I haven't been around "blogville" for a while. It seems that things are speeding up more than slowing down. With school, the boys, making sure the finances, and the pantries are in order, blogging has just not been given a place of priority.

And speaking of priorities, such things have been foremost in my mind these days. For me, that is akin to a stocked pantry, freezer, bills being paid and making sure that we have our "needs".

We are living in a very uneasy climate right now. Many people are losing their jobs, their homes, a few are even losing their minds. Save for the grace of God, go I. Some are finger pointing, blaming, and forgetting. Unbelievably, many aren't making any changes in the way they have been living even in our economic decline. Many are forgetting that the conditions that caused this recession, or depression or whatever label one wants to add to it, didn't happen overnight, nor will it disappear overnight. And allowing fear and anger to be our reactions to it won't make it disappear any faster. In fact, I am of the opinion that such reactions only serve to rob of us of the energy that we will need to put into place our own individual means of survival.

I think we would all do well to be at least thinking about a way to put into affect "habits" that will make our going less stressful in "uncertain times" as many are now calling them.

Because let's face it, without some monies, and the support of one another, our going will be a lot tougher.

Things like bartering, and canning, and gardening, and maybe even sharing residences with our families, and even some friends might become our "new" normal. Are we ready for those possibilities? Personally, I want to brush up on my baking skills. I'd like to figure out the best way if I have to eventually make my own dog food, or other things that I depend on others to supply. But,the most important thing at least for me is to make sure that there is always a roof. For the other stuff, there are alternatives. Those that came before us found ways around the electrical, even the plumbing. But having that roof, just makes dealing with the alternatives that much better.

The time has come upon those of us that garden to get our plans into action. Last year's garden has taught me what I need to be aware of this year. Not to overplant, and not to underplant either. My Spring Break will be coming up in a few weeks and I hope to take that time to get things into the works. Lots of clean-up in store for the preparations, but it has to be done. Lots of indoor re-stocking and de-cluttering needs to be done as well. Preparation is the key.

It all comes down to priorities and bottom lines. The bottom line is that we need to have some things as priorities. Because when it is all said and done, the only "hand" that we will be able to truly depend on dangles out of the bottom of our shirtsleeves."We" are the answer to the problems that we face. We will have to call upon our strengths, our energies, our wiles, and our knowledge, to put into affect a "Lifeplan" that will serve our own individual needs and those of our families.

So no matter what economic or other situations that surrounds us, if you are warm, and, fed, and among your family this first day of March, be grateful. If you still have a roof and a good chance of keeping it, be thankful. If you have enough money to buy gas to fill your tank this week, or insurance for medicines that you need to keep going, rejoice. If you still have a job, or savings, be humbled.Work hard now to set up a contingency plan that you might need later. None of us knows what tomorrow will bring to our doorsteps. Continue to find ways to take care of yourself, and even in times of scarcity, don't be too afraid to care for others. Best to all, Till next time...


Solitary Dancer said...

Hi my friend. Good to hear from you.

We are having thunder snow as we speak. Just started. I'm in a big lake that used to be my yard. The rain has been relentless. But, this too shall pass.

You are right about people and priorities. What amazes me the most is the increase in crime because of the economic downturn. People still feel they have to have STUFF so they are stealing it.

Truth is, we just need shelter, food, utilities, transportation and clothes. The necessities.

I love living simple and I will never change.

I hope you are having a good day and enjoying th exuberance of youth in the snow :-)


Martha said...

Snow? How cool! It feels cold enough here today to snow too (of course not really but damn it's cold!).
You know I agree with you 100% on the priorities and bottom lines. I see so much happening around me already and still those who it hasn't touched quite yet go on living and spending as if things will never change.
I've been making changes, plans, contemplating where I can make cuts and being more aware of exactly where my money goes - I think those of us who have lived through hard times are more aware and more willing to prepare.
Enjoy your snow day! :-)

jp17 said...

You have made so many great points. We have a long tough road ahead of us. As I always think of when I struggle with dieting, there are no quick fixes. I did not get fat overnight and I won’t lose weight overnight. This is going to be a struggle. We have built a society of consumers with banks being more than happy to give us credit lines so that we can purchase all things that the manufactures and ad agencies have brainwashed us into thinking that we cannot live without. We have to reset our priorities and goals. And we cannot do it alone. We must do this with our neighbors. We cannot turn our backs on those that are less fortunate or to place blame that somehow they did not do what they were supposed to do. We ALL did not do what we were supposed to do. And our economy, our human rights, our relationships with other nations and our planet have all suffered. There is enough blame to go around but the time to blame is not now. Now is the time for action. As you said, we must prioritize; see what we need and what we can live without. Be thankful and blessed for what we do have. Help our neighbors as much as we can, see that all people are protected by the same rights and laws, and repair the damage done to our world relations and to the environment. Remember that we are not alone nor should we act like we are. I am hopeful. I have faith in Americans and this great country of ours. We can do this. And we must. Sorry for the soapbox comments. On another note, or maybe not…enjoy the snow!

Akannie said...

What a great post, and so good to see you back...and knowing that all is well, on your little piece of heaven.

You are so right on about this whole mess being an "all of us" deal--both the problem and the solution. Like greedy children who get caught with their hands in the cookie jar, we all want to point fingers and lay the blame anywhere but on ourselves.

Those of us who are simplifying our lives and living closer to nature, as usual, are looking around at our own lives and saying, "Okay-what else?" I know there are still lots of things I could do...

Husband and I are taking a class that starts tonight (a 6 week roundtable discussion-Northwest Earth Institute book) called Voluntary Simplicity. Hoping to garner even more ideas.

The beauty of this is the essence of your post (I think) that we HAVE to need each other and help each other, if we are going to survive these times. And we will. My other blog (akannie's weblog, country living) is a place where I explore more of this stuff in my own head. Sometimes. lol

Enjoy your snow and rain. We are peeking out at some spring later this week, hopefully. I am in Illinois near St Louis, and today it is 24 with a WCF of 10. Brrrr....


Small Pines said...

You okay over there? Thinking aboutcha and haven't heard from you in a while. Beautiful post too!