It is my hope that through this blog I can share experiences and challenges from day to day life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Not the Jones'

If anyone knows me, they know I am a people watcher.  I like to sit back and watch what is happening around me--it can be better than TV at times.  I have noticed lately that people are rightly concerned about the economic situations and yet don't seem to be able navigate thru it without great stress, and in areas that could be made simple if they just got creative.  Sometimes taking advantage (positively) of a situation can make everyone happy.

Growing up I know times were hard for my parents.  We did not have all the cool things others had and often heard the word "no" or "not now" to many a request.  Looking back I do not remember ever being in want.  We never lacked for that which was important, and not having what we wanted made us use our imagination more. 

Now I have 2 small children and hear myself repeating those same "aweful" words to them.  Yes times are hard and require great creativity to stretch budget.  Yet like most we still want to give things to our kids, but I don't think that they NEED everything they think they want.  I have also learned that although not much gets by them, there is a point at which I can use their innocence and simplicity to my advantage and make all happy at the same time.

Fo example, I ran into a parent from my sons class.  She was shopping for her daughters birthday coming up and trying to find all the cool things needed to make a beautiful priness.  She was frustrated that she could not find shoes and the perfect tiara.  I reminded her that a 3 and 4 yr old will grow fast and not be able to use these things long and for 1 day need not have to spend large amounts of money on something that will soon be forgotten.  With a little glitter and glue a pair of "old" shoes can be transformed into princess shoes.  Ribbon and glitter on hair pices she has can become a great tiara.  This parent's face lit up with joy at the thought of ease and not much from the pocket book.

At the end of the day it will not matter that I spent great amouns of money on some overly priced item or a little on something I created.  It will not matter what the other grown ups thought.  What will matter is that my child had a great time, felt special and for a brief moment thought that I was the best mom in the world.

I think that even as adults we try so hard to beat the Jones'; to have more or better things.  When really what matters is how I feel.  Sometimes the quick fix, or simple item is better than the name brand.  Why is the NEED to have the new thing, better thing, more important than wanting what I already have.  How much clutter do we have around our homes, things that are "out dated", but still in great working order.  Running after the NEW thing means I have been denied the joy of that which I got yesterday. 

I only need to worry or be thinking about what the Jones' have if my name is Jones.  In these challenging times, it is time to rethink our thinking and get back to the basics and thing that are simple so that we do not lose sight of what is truely important.

Just an observation...