It’s rather funny, I have worked hard my whole life, I was never rich, but I had enough. It’s amazing how many little luxuries you have that you don’t even realize are luxuries, but in most countries they are. Even when I felt my budget was stretched to the limit I had enough money to go to dinner with friends, or to the wine bar with some other nurses at work. My house was full of small bits of beauty, fresh flowers, scented candles, scented oil warmers, etc. I enjoyed taking my nieces and nephews overnight, cooking special food with them, doing crafts, and buying them small treats. My bills were paid on time and I was able to loan my kids small sums of money as they needed them. When I was at the store I quite often bought a new DVD or a new pair of cute shoes, in short, I did what I wanted and I had a pretty good life.
There are several things I didn’t even realize were luxuries, like soft toilet paper, paper towels, gas in my car, body wash, razors, lotion, lip gloss, mascara, and getting my hair cut in a salon, even stopping for fast food or a soda once in a while on a super busy day, or picking up a bottle of wine to go with dinner.
Having had no money has changed how I look at a lot of things, I think it’s something a person cannot truly understand unless they have lived it, it’s so bizarre to not be able to come up with 45 cents to mail a letter. I have learned a lot about myself, how I think about money, how I spend money, and how money relates to a place in society. In some ways, although it has been very hard, I think it’s one of the best things to ever happen to me. Getting sick changed my life, in every way, including personal growth.
Friends I thought would be in my life forever have left and do not return my calls. People have stuck by me that I never expected to, and I have been blessed by new friends along the way. One thing people constantly ask me is how I have survived this long with no money, it’s proof of God’s abounding love. My mom has paid my phone bill every month since I have been unable to work. I had some savings, I cleaned out my retirement account, I borrowed money from everyone I know, that’s how. Now that I have a small income again I am working on a 12 week plan to get out of debt, I have been very fortunate that so many people have been willing to work with me and wait for money.
I have also found many small luxuries I had forgotten about or no longer had time for. The peaceful joy of gazing at a full moon. The time to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy nature. Sitting in the sun with a cup of coffee and my Bible to start my day. Discovering what really matters in life. Getting back in touch with the part of me that always loved to write. The mixed blessing of having to give up my chosen career while I am young enough to do something else. These are my new little luxuries, and I think they are worth much more than my old ones. The lessons learned on the journey are what matters.
About the author:
MamaSteph has 2 kids by birth and several by love, she is a nurse and enjoys finding healthier ways to make comfort foods, gardening, enjoying nature, and living life to the fullest…For a list of her blogs please click here.