I took some time off to regroup and spend precious moments with family. Now that I'm back to work, I'm finding myself overwhelmed with thoughts and ideas. The workload is heavy, but I'm slowly digging myself out. Getting organized is a process when leaving my desk for any length of time.
What has struck me funny the past couple of days is one, my blog is all over the place, and two ... I don't care. I blog when I can, when I have something to say, and I write only what's on my mind. Religion, current events, on writing, publishing, family matters, garage sales, or shopping for a new bra. I have no notion that folks follow me because I might have some awe-inspiring thing to say about writing or because I make them laugh with every blog. I don't. I know that. Blogging, for me, is a personal thing. My human emotions are up and down, and therefore ... so is my blog. It goes against all the current blogging rules, but again ... I've never been much for playing by the rules.
While I've been relaxing the past week or so, I've flipped on the TV a few times to watch my favorite HGTV shows. Once again, I'm astounded by the number of young couples buying homes with huge budgets. Couples who want (make the whining sound here) "granite" and "stainless steel." Couples who hate the color of the walls, the flooring, or that the two-car garage isn't "big enough." Michael and I shake our heads and laugh. Out loud.
Michael's first home was an apartment with no sink in the bathroom. They brushed their teeth in the kitchen. Michael shaved in the kitchen. Their tiny black and white TV sat on a cardboard box covered with a tablecloth. Rabbit ears. Need I say more?
My first home was a single-wide on wheels. I didn't have a color TV until sometime in the 1980s. Flatscreen? Not on your life. No such thing. Cable wasn't even invented yet. But we did have the latest gold linolium and shag carpet. Lord, we never replaced carpet when we moved to a new place, we just scrubbed the hell out of the old stuff.
Putting a roof over our heads and food on the table has always been priority number one. Having a decent car to drive and clothes on our backs was a struggle at times. In fact, I've never had granite. Or stainless steel. Or new furniture for that matter. Over my lifetime, I've purchased new mattresses, but that's about it. My furniture has all been second hand from my mother or my sisters or friends. I've done plenty of garage sale shopping in my lifetime, and have gone through more cans of spray paint than you can imagine.
So when I hear someone whine that the open-concept living isn't "big enough," ... I want to scream. And what's the deal with popcorn ceilings? I hate them, too, but for crying out loud. It's a roof over your head!
When did twenty-somethings start thinking they have to have the best of everything before their 30th birthday? When did "starter homes" become a thing of the past? Four bedrooms, three and a half baths? Are you kidding me? My son's crib stayed in the livingroom until he was two. There was nowhere else to put him. As far as I know, he's not had any trauma from it.
I think about the house I grew up in, how we only had one bathroom with no shower. Tub baths were the norm for us girls. Stainless steel appliances? Ha! My mother was happy when her oven worked. There was no dishwasher, except for me. Granite counter tops? White laminate with gold fleck. Not one family on my street had grainite counter tops.
What's wrong with a little struggle? Learn to appreciate even the small things in life, like an extra twenty bucks left over after the bills are paid, more than two pair of shoes, and eating out. What happened to us? Why are so wrapped up in labels and fancy cars? What's wrong with clothes from Kmart and keeping a car long enough to pay it off?
I'm wondering if I'm starting to sound like my grandmother and her "Great Depression" speeches. Still, I think we're spoiled. We've had it too good, and technology has changed us.
Look, there's nothing wrong with having it all. It's how you get it that matters the most.
I look back at the single-wide I lived in. It was nothing fancy, but it was clean and I was proud to pay that $100 a month rent. Those avocado-green kitchen appliances are long gone. It's been over 30 years since then. The road from there to here has been full of pot-holes and empty promises. I may not see my mansion until I walk through the Pearly Gates. Until then, I'm happy with my old farmhouse, my 2006 Honda, and shopping for bargains at Kohls. If there's one thing I've learned in my lifetime, happiness can't be found in stainless steel and granite.
Blessings to you and yours.