June 22: Abundance - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-22-2005, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
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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.

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#2 of 5 Old 06-23-2005, 04:15 PM
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remembering to be thankful
i have abundance
gracefulness to dance
and prance
sing and pray
we can play today
because i am patient,
quiet and still inside
not shaking with anger
greed or fear
i know
that rage flows in me
that the anger can go away
it does
when i remember to be still
then i can enjoy
it flows and swirls
but wait
everything is perfect
i am scared
it will be taken away
the peace is shattered
when the baby cries again
because big brother scared him, hit him,
and doesn't want to share
too much abundance?
must i yell to make things right?
turn a blind eye
and hold him tight
chastise my eldest
take the toy away
this is my simple abundance
i am not a perfectionist
i am joyful
must be peaceful
taking patient time for us
cooking beans, dumplings
preparing good food from the farm

thankful for food, i prepare it
thankful for shelter, i clean it
thankful for clothes, i wash and put them away
thankful for life, i live it
thankful for familiy, i love them and myself
in peaceful abundance
i live in grace
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#3 of 5 Old 06-23-2005, 07:01 PM
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We lay hand in hand in hand, on the checkered blue blanket
Watching the night ride in.

Tiny lights, twinkling on the backs of fireflies. Bats, tumbling through the air,
We gaze into the darkening sky.

Three sets of eyes turned upwards as we search for the first star of the night
Yet dusk still prevails.

Cicadas sing their summer song, trees sway back and forth, dancing for us,
We spot the brightest star.

Their two wise sets of eyes look into my own, full of awe
I wonder how i could ever feel poor.

                                Whatever will be, already is...
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#4 of 5 Old 06-24-2005, 12:29 AM
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Daniel lies on the boardwalk next to me, gazing into the murky water of the swamp. He tries to peer past duckweed and lily pads. “Frogs! I see frogs!” he calls.

We are on a frog finding mission at a nearby sanctuary. Today is one of the longest days of the year. The sky is pale, pale pink, edging into blue, and streaked with clouds. I try to find Jupiter in the night sky but it is too hazy.

“A crab, a crab!” shouts Daniel, and others in the group smile at his toddler voice. Maybe he has seen a crab, though this inland swamp is an unlikely place to find one. We haven’t been able to spot many frogs, but we can certainly hear them, a percussion duet of croaks and cries. Nearby, young herons call from their nest in a tall pine tree. Redwinged blackbirds skim through the sky, their harsh cries a counterpoint to the frogs’ chorus.

As we head back to the parking lot, we spy a skunk waddling through the trail into bushes. We laugh at the thought of the skunk lying in wait for us, ready to sabotage us as we try to escape to our car.

Daniel is abundance. Everything is new and beautiful for him. He gets excited when we spot our car in the parking lot, when he sees a “big digger” on the road, at the first star in the sky.

I feel so old and jaded next to him. Yet I realize his perspective is true, that mine is distorted. He doesn’t have any negative perceptions. He lives every moment in abundance.
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#5 of 5 Old 06-29-2005, 07:04 PM
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I have been chewing on this topic for awhile now….

I live in a state of wealth and privilege unimaginable to mothers of centuries past. My children have a different set of clothing for each day of the week. Their diapers are conveniently washed and dried by machine. To cook I need only turn a dial and a flame appears. Hauling water requires only that I move the hose to a desired location. And should the thought of cooking over my ever ready flame overwhelm me I am free to tell my husband and others to fend for themselves, or bolder still to cook for me.

Yet I can not rid myself of the feeling that all this material abundance is exacting too high a price. With the evolution of such common abundance our society has become increasingly distant from one another. No longer are the tasks of family life shared among extended family but shouldered completely by one or two adults. I often long for less material abundance in exchange for an abundance of human familiarity. Would it be as easy as I think to give up my pre-sliced bread for the companion ship of other women as we knead bread, our children playing near by? Could I really trade my independence for a mandated period of rest in the menstruation hut?

…..I guess I am still chewing

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