in these tough economic times
i heard an ad on the radio today, from an auto dealership mind you, that used that phrase. and i have to tell you, it’s starting to get on my nerves. of course i’m a yoga teacher so i’ll get over it. and this is not going to be a screed, so pull your finger away from the delete button. and still…
not that i’ve ever liked that phrase. it bugged me the first time i heard it, not a little because the person saying it is doing pretty alright, actually. nice house, nice car, nice winter coat. and suddenly the stuck market starts to let out a little gas and we are in tough economic times. well hold on a minute. where the heck were all these proclaimers of the times last year? ‘cos i seem to remember seeing a lot of people out on the street, sitting on the bus, working behind the line at dunkin donuts or any of a hundred other places where i always think to myself:
how do these people make it? how do they pay boston rent and boston grocery prices and all the rest of it?
so suddenly we are having tough economic times?
sheesh. don’t get me started. ‘cos there’s more to this. i’m currently in prime condition to relate to financial difficulty. i’m housesitting, which is a nice way of saying that the people who are letting me live with them are out of town for the holidays. and this is not the post in which i explain what that is all about, so let’s just leave it that i’m not currently in any condition to support two households, so i’m utilizing my resources to support the one i’m not living in.
and a funny thing about that whole homeless thing. i mentioned that to a friend the other day and she said:
you’re not homeless. you can come stay here. as long as you have friends you are not homeless.
which is a nice sentiment and all, and she is a lovely dear person who would probably put me up until the end of time, or december 21st 2012, whichever comes last, and yet…if you are an able bodies adult and you don’t feel free to rearrange the furniture, change the art, and eat whatever you want from the fridge; and you aren’t paying rent or offering some sort of energy exchange that i do not have the time or inclination to offer right now ‘cos i have a life and a business to run by dunford, then you are by definition a mooch, and a homeless mooch at that, being accomodated by your friends and off the streets, perhaps, and homeless nevertheless.
or maybe you can just operate on the phrase “home is where the heart is,” and if you are at one address this week and another the next and who the hell knows where the week after that…you are homeless.
i’m not complaining
so hey, i’ve seen harder times than this. i’m warm. my belly is full. i’ve got a little bit of room left on the credit card, although they just cancelled the one that had a zero balance, sparing me the awful task of filling it up i suppose. c’est la guerre.
and this is just one of those tough economic times in my life…note personalization of phrase to my own individual situation. because here’s the thing that makes my skin crawl and my heart begin whispering “why don’t you go find a nice place to sit down and relax”:
there are people in this country who have never known anything but tough economic times. and this is the richest country on the dunfordized planet! so why the heck didn’t last year count as tough economic times. and every year before that? maybe because the majority of those people have brown skin, or are under-educated, or have bad teeth, or lost their parents at an early age, or are a little “slow”? or maybe because that’s just the story that gets told?
okay, done with screed
so like i said, i’m not complaining. i’ve been down, and i’ve been up. and like i said earlier this week…sometimes you gotta dig in deep in order to spring up high. and because i like a challenge. and mostly because i like to be reminded of just how dunfordizingly hard life is for some people. and how easy it is to forget that when the “hard economic times” isn’t being delivered to the front steps of every fourth house on main street.
and the ironic thing about the radio ad that started this whole thing is that when i heard it i was in a tacky neighborhood store that has been going out of business for the past 12 months, buying several pair of 99¢ socks so i don’t have to choose between doing laundry every five days or wearing dirty socks. and you haven’t even had a chance yet to peek into my organic everything psyche, my nice piece of hand crafted goat cheese from that boutique biodynamic dairy farm up in nosebleed vermont taste in food.
so what’s all this got to do with creative lifestyles?
okay…a little story about rowan, the precocious little three and a half year old whose favorite food is avocado maki, and who has the adorable habit, when i ask him what he wants for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, of putting a finger up to his lower lip and saying “ah…ah…ah…ah va ca do maki!” and then myself, thinking how can i explain this to him without giving him or Universe the idea that i am poor, coming up with the brilliant phrase “i don’t want to spend my money on avocado maki today. let’s have papa doup instead.” papa doup being papa’s soup, usually with some sort of lentil, and in this case butternut squash from the garden.
so then. dirt cheap and amazingly tasty. and perhaps never eaten if i’d had a few extra greenbacks burning a hole in my pocket and whispering “sushi restaurant, sushi restaurant.”
this is not a list
because how creative would that be? rather, think of some time in your life that you didn’t have enough money to buy your way out of using your heart and soul to make something up! think of how much more rich and creative your life would be if you couldn’t solve all your problems with a credit card? and think of how much more likely it would be that all those problems would begin to look like opportunities if you didn’t have a choice in the matter!
and then think about how often you can choose creator over consumer. how easy it can be to make instead of buy. and how much more satisfying, tasty, and sexy that is. and then sit back for a second and ask yourself the question:
what are you going to do this week to elevate your creativity? and inspire others to do the same?
(hint: share a comment!)