Putting Others First

I grew up in a time when the needs of others were important, especially to my mother in regard to her  children.  If there wasn’t enough food on the table, then Mama would give her portion to us children, just mentioning she wasn’t too hungry that day.  Her older daughters got to borrow her pair of “town” shoes in a pinch.  I’m afraid no one would want to use her everyday shoes for she fed the chickens and did garden work wearing them.  She was always willing to put off buying furniture or doing cosmetic repairs to the house if Daddy needed a new piece of equipment for the farm.  And he always needed new equipment, or thought he did.  I suspected he liked big mechanical toys.  Her life was in service to others, and she was a generous person with what she had and with her unconditional approval of her children.  We would laugh that she worn rose-colored glasses.

I looked around the other day and discovered I was repeating my parent’s attitudes.  I have put off doing several things I wanted to do until we got the mortgage paid off, and our living stable in case of an unexpected disaster.  How many month’s bills should a family put aside in case of an emergency?  Being prepared mattered to me.  I even checked into wind power to save on utility costs.

As I was looking around, I saw the all-terrain vehicle my husband hid for several months until he could break the news that he had purchased it.  Now, he is in a wheelchair and on oxygen.  Can you tell me how much use he will get out of it?  Other mechanical toys show up from time to time.  And I don’t begrudge him, because he worked hard all his life and should be able to buy what he wants, within reason.

However, I found a carpenter and asked for bids on repairing several projects I have been putting off as long as other things needed attention.  My daughter-in-law insisted they finish their new house and decorate it before they moved in.  I thought she was very wise.  I decided to do the same.  Our home has not been fully decorated since we moved here in 2000.  I have been saving all these pictures, etc. back under a stair well until I got the carpentry done.  My husband set me a limit (very frugal) of what I could spend.  The carpenter was reasonable, but no everything will get done.  I will have to trim the list.

Today, my husband announced he thinks we need to take a cruise.  I asked him about the gazebo I won’t be able to build.  He says I don’t need a gazebo.  I’m not sure he needs a cruise.  We’ll see if I have turned into my mother…