Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Specialists in Living

During the dark days of the Depression an editorial in the October 1932 issue of Ladies' Home Journal encouraged readers to remember that "The return of good times is not wholly a matter of money. There is a prosperity of living which is quite as important as prosperity of the pocketbook." But the magazine stressed that "It is not not enough to be willing to make the best of things as they are. Resignation will get us nowhere. We must build what amounts to a new country. We must revive the ideals of the founders. We must learn the new values of money. It is time for pioneering--to create a new security for the home and family....Where we were specialists in spending, we are becoming specialists in living."
~an excerpt from Simple Abundance

How fitting this thought is for this day and time!

Why do we get so caught up in the cares of this world that we forget to relish in the simple joys and rhythms of everyday life?

It is my mission to create a glorious home life...a home life so merry and grand that no privations shall be felt by my family as we strive to become debt-free. But how? By using my skills and creativity and making use of free resources available to us.

From the most basic ingredients I can fulfill my family's need for nourishment and make it pleasing to both the taste buds and the eye. I can bake cookies, pies, and cakes. With a few inexpensive seeds, I can create gardens of flowers, herbs, and vegetables.

With a can of paint and a few yards of material, I can transform a room and refresh tired furnishings. With a needle and thread, I can stitch quaint pictures to frame, embroider pillowcases, or add a lace edging to my bath towels.

With my library card, I can borrow thousands of dollars worth in books, dvds, and music cds. We can explore the different parks in our area, go to the beach or the river, and walk the bike trail. With the internet, the world is my oyster...I can research anything I am interested in, I can find how-to instructions for do-it-yourself projects, and correspond with others near or far!

The girls and I love to browse the thrift shops to find quality housewares, clothing, books, etc. for pennies on the dollar. So when in need of a particular item, we start checking those shops and often can find what we need at a fraction of the retail price.

All that is required is a little ingenuity and a shift in perspective.

I am choosing to focus on today - to make it the best day ever - filled with simple pleasures and joy for the taking. To give myself over to the sacred in the ordinary, to add more beauty in my life. To spread cheer, encourage others, and offer a smile to all who cross my path.

A life well-lived is a treasure, a testament of faith, and shows the determination of the human spirit to not only survive, but thrive against all odds.


Jane said...


What an awesome post today. I put in to practice many of the ideas you have listed and I have fun doing it all. I live in an area that is predominantly dripping with money. It's easy to look at so many of those people and wonder what it must be like to not have any financial worries. Still, I've always loved finding good bargains and roaming thrift stores and yard sales. I love giving something old and discarded a brand new purpose and life.

Michelle said...

Very well written and inspiring. Thanks for sharing and encouraging.

Raggedy Girl said...

This was an amazing post so full of hope and good advice. On days when it is hard to make the rounds and visit all my blogging friends I wonder why are you doing this and then I find a post like this and I know why I am a blogger. I may never see you but today I felt a connection.
Have a smiley day!
Roberta Anne

Lady Laurie said...

Dear Tracy,
My Mom and Dad grew up during the Depression, so we grew up with "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" ~
I think our society is brainwashed into thinking we have to buy our happiness, and that we need every do~dad known to man.
Our cell phone contracts recently expired and we opted not to renew or get new phones. We have been doing just fine without them. Our daughter and son bought their own tract phones that they have to buy minutes for ~ they have become quite frugal!!

MrsFranklin said...

Great post. Its funny but I think the rich spend LOTS more time worry about keeping their money then the rest of us. When your use to penny-pinching and being frugal we see this as another way to be creative. For THEM, the loss of money is the be all and end all of life as they know it. How said to think that your only worthy if you have "security".

sarah said...

I love this post. It is beautiful and encouraging. I can't wait to move into a more permanent home so I can start working on creating a beautiful environment once more.

Fatma said...

Your post is like balm to the spirit. When you say yes to life, life always says yes to you.

I grew up poor too and yet my parents never let us FEEL poor.

Thank you for your uplifting message.

~~Deby said...

This is such a great post....we really need to learn to *get it*---
it isn't about THINGS---
yes, some are really suffering and I do understand that....oh I do--but we have become a spoiled people--haven't we...
great post Tracy.

Genie Sea said...

An awesome "how-to" post on living well, smartly and creatively!

Very inspiring! :)

The Muse said...

Keeping up with JONES ... only makes you desperately unhappy...!

Fab content....awesome post!

Penelope said...

"There is a prosperity of living which is quite as important as prosperity of the pocketbook."

this is beautiful!

Sacred Suzie said...

Your life is like art Tracy, I can't take my eyes off it. You help me feel at peace, help me feel lucky instead of cursed. Simple pleasures are the best and you're right, that article is so perfect for this time period and what we are all experiencing.

And I'm happy to hear that you now have bangs and can finally see! :)

Laura said...

I love your post and I totally agree with you! Thank you for being an inspiration!