I live frugally, though not inexpensively, in a fifty unit non gated community in a perfect neighborhood for me where I feel safe and secure, almost like in the old days when people never bothered to lock their doors. I live where ducks and birds and trees and grass and flowers and water and Walgreen are all within my sight. Daily, I walk maybe a couple of hundred feet or so to the mail box from which about 95% of what I retrieve, are requests for my money. And truthfully, if I could, I would give to them all.
But here’s the thing. I have every chance of outliving my money – depending of course on a plethora of conditions that might or might not arise regarding the national economy and my own personal health which, for my age – (it could be bad luck to mention) is remarkably and thankfully okay. So far.
So, I actually “saved” $24.83 on my Publix total bill of $78.34 this week. This is mostly an aberration but with careful attention to “Bogos” it does happen occasionally. I mostly store-hop to save money- at the Dollar Store, Aldi’s. Walmart, etc. By most measurements, I am not poor. And yet, I live in fear of becoming so.
I am also frantically frustrated by the “stop” button in my head which tells me that I cannot “give” (money) as I would like to – nor can I reasonably prioritize which “cause” is more worthy than another.
However, in consideration of the fact that May is MENTAL HEALTH month, and from my perspective most every good cause rests on the assumption that emotional stability is the bottom line requisite for advocacy, this is and has always been my priority. (www.faulkcenterforcounseling.org) No one in this world escapes from having bad things happen to them, and learning how to cope with the negative in a way that can enhance the positive elements to which all of us are also privy in varying degrees, is the greatest single gift we can hope for in life.
I can also list the mail I get that gives me pause as I weigh these other needs against my actuarial numbers, my assets, my chances of income, and my willingness or lack of — to live a lesser life.
I am in awe of Henry David Thoreau and Siddhartha, but not yet ready to live a Walden Pond life style.
On the other hand I don’t have the slightest desire for a Park Avenue Penthouse, as a metaphor, and all the accouterments of that life style.
And see? I just opened my mail and am told that my auxiliary health insurance premiums are being increased as of July. That’s enough for contributions to the several good causes represented by the letters in the “maybe” pile on my desk. Oh! and I’m sure you noticed that gas prices have inched up again.
Of course I am but one of the millions who go through life prioritizing expenditures and living with the realistic awareness that poof – the world – our world — could end any minute.
And that’s why, having had my rant, I put that thought back into a locked pocket somewhere in my aura and begin to write checks with abandon, and look up at our Florida sun, and get ready for a beach day tomorrow and repeat the old saying – “whatever will be, will be.”