When my second daughter was nine weeks old, she was hospitalized with R.S.V. It’s a respiratory virus that can turn ugly, especially in infants. I was due to go back to work within two weeks of her hospitalization and my oldest daughter had been diagnosed with a hearing loss and severe speech delay that month – it was a difficult, challenging time. I sat in the hospital, holding my sick infant, and I knew I could not go back to work. There was just no way. I also knew the decision was going to impact us for a long, long time.
It was all complicated because I was the breadwinner. My paycheck took care of health insurance, retirement and our daily expenses. My husband was a stay-at-home dad and sometimes actor. We had no plan and no idea where the money was going to come from and still we knew it was the right decision. I’m not going to lie to you; things haven’t been easy or even very fun a lot of the time. We struggle, we get tired. Still, it’s been two and a half years and we are getting by. Barely, but we’re doing it.
I recently spent time with a friend who makes a lot of money. She has a house in a fancy, old neighborhood. She works hard; she built her career step by painstaking step. I don’t fault her success, but sometimes it’s difficult to be around all of her success. Especially when her success breeds the kind of stuff I dream about having.
As I stood in my friend’s kitchen, I sighed with realization that we had started in the same place. Though I didn’t feel like a failure, I felt as if was losing the Great Race. Totally focused on what I didn’t have, I tainted the entire visit. I found myself making excuses for things people don’t usually make excuses for. My friend maintained her manners, but our visit became terse and formal.
I got home and decided enough was enough. I don’t want to be the kind of person who frames her existence from a have-not perspective. When it comes down to it, I am amazingly lucky to have a roof over my head and the choice to decide whether or not to work. I could be burdened by a life of physical labor, or forced to work as a slave in the sex industry, where a woman’s life is not valued and her body is not her own. As a woman in America, I am lucky. I’ve decided to stop taking that for granted. I know more about abundance than most of the world’s population of women by the very virtue of my citizenship.
More than that, I wonder about the power to change my life by simply reframing my attitude. I want to live my life in simple abundance, how about you?
Tell me about the abundance in your life. Let’s celebrate what we have at this moment. Any genre is welcome but know that the topic will be open for one week. As always, the feedback forum is the place for feedback. Feel free to edit your posts after they have been worked on in the feedback forum.