Monday, March 2, 2009

Pot of Gold: Old-Fashioned Advice

"Good luck is 99% hard work."
~Ace Kaufman, my dad

This photo was taken during a recent trip to Belize, a primitive country in Central America. I took this picture through a bus window because I was amazed that this dilapidated little shack without electricity provided the meager income that a family was forced to
survive upon.

If you live under a rock, or perhaps have just returned from a lengthy visit to outer space, you may be unaware of the current dismal situation regarding the United States economy.

Today, the market tumbled 299.64 points, making it the worst day on Wall-Street since April 1997. Humm....not good.

I have watched news reports and read journal articles, all of which convey that the future situation appears rather gray.

In times such as these, when I personally know of people who have lost jobs, had hours severely slashed, watched the bottom line plummet, and sat idly by as bills piled high, I am thankful that I listened to the unsolicited and often times annoying advice of my elders.

Growing up, my family instilled in me the idea that one must save the majority of one's paycheck. It was preached that I not ever use credit cards for unnecessary or frivolous purchases. They told me that it was OK to wait until later in life to have big-ticket items. "It gives you something to look forward to," they would remark.

Wow- good thing I listened. As it turns out, the tried-and-true, mom-and-pop advice was right.

As I reflect on my life, my belongings, my possessions, I realize I have very few "things." Chad-0 and I often joke that if someone were to rob our house they would proudly score two non-flat screen TVs, two DVD players, two laptops, and two first generation IPods. I imagine the burglars would be rather disappointed.

I'm glad that the activities in life I truly enjoy- reading, knitting, painting, running, and drinking tea and coffee are rather cheap and require little if any money to sustain. I suppose being a rather dull individual has paid off- ha!

Anyway, during times like these, I'm reminded of how important a steady job and a savings account are.

For some strange reason, I enjoy the fact that people everywhere are cutting back, reevaluating their wants and needs, and thinking about the things that really matter. I believe things have been way out of hand, for far too long. I like the idea of having fewer things, but having those few things be more meaningful. You know, quality over quantity.

This just might be the year of the handmade gift. I hope you like scarves, washies, and painted flower pots. You just might end up with one :) After all, I'm continuing to take some of that good, old-fashioned advice: gifts from the heart mean more.

Blessings and Luck.


Greta said...

WELL SAID Cathy Lynn and nothing but truth in that for sure!

Trista said...

No wonder Kelsey loved you as her teacher. You write so beautifully and fostered that in her. Thanks. Did you happen to see the link to Matt and Karey(Vaughn)Crain's blog from our blog? If you haven't, you would love it.

Maria said...

I love your dad's quote!

I hate the news!

I think I beat you on sparse living...My TV's are 14 plus years old, 1 DVD player and a 10year old Dell, We don't have a regular cell phone (Trac) that is hardly ever charged and my answer machine is so old there is no caller ID on it and our portable phone is so old, the buttons stick.

Thanks for your home made make the best gifts!!

I did a family calendar with photos and everyone loved it and cut down on over spending at the holidays.

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