Doing Without

As I mentioned in an earlier post, due to lack of any sort of income these days, we have had to give up a lot.  I can’t say that I miss all of it, or that what I miss, I miss all the time, but there are those moments when you realize, you want it and you can’t have it.  I used to love following all the foodie news in Seattle.  I read about the new chefs and their newest restaurants with great excitement and anticipation.  I recently had a chance to be downtown and I was immediately wishing that we could go out to dinner at a nice restaurant.  I don’t want to go back to where dinner out was something we did several nights a week as a way of life, but I sure wouldn’t mind having “date night” again.  It would be nice to have uninterrupted conversation about grown-up things.  I would like to drink a glass of wine while not wearing my sweats while my kids question what I am drinking and does this make me an alcoholic.

So, in an effort to keep having without spending, I am learning to find alternatives for doing the same things, but in different ways. For example, we now get our movies at the library, rather than Netflix.  Sure, I am 476 in queue for the movie Date Night, but that is OK.  It won’t cost me anything and I am clearly not going anywhere.  I have become a master recycler of water for our garden this year.  I dump all grey water into my watering cans and I have given up watering the lawn altogether.  I have bought a home wax kit.  Sadly, the mustache still grows even if I don’t go to work.  This has been less a true solution though.  I am not sure if it is the product or if I completely lack the talent for it, but it tends to do a spotty job at best.  The upside is that I am then forced to get out the magnifying mirror and pluck out the really ugly ones.  Lovely.  We have taken the kids out of sports. My boys went to tae kwon do (TKD) 5 days a week.  This was a spendy little venture.  Thankfully, my youngest boy learned to ride his bike this summer, so they are outside a great deal getting some energy out of themselves.  We spent a lot of time picnicking at the beach.  In previous years, this likely would have been a stop at Starbucks, then short visit to the beach to play in the sand and then off to lunch before heading home.  Ah, the good old days. 

I often wonder how my kids will remember this time in their lives.  For all the issues we have, it seems relatively stress-free most of the time.  We spend far more time together and enjoy each other’s company more (not counting the typical “I am going to kill you!” summertime moments of school vacation).  We are reading more and watching TV less.  We are eating better, sleeping better and getting more exercise.  I hope this is remembered as the first summer we got to be with Mom.

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