I do apologise for the rather bleak picture and the solemn quote (don’t worry…I’ll lighten the mood next week!) but…the fact is this is reality for many people so I didn’t want to put up a ‘diluted’ picture.
When Do You Have Enough?
I’m bashing out this post after an eye-opening thought-provoking moment that has just occurred in my kitchen, on a Monday afternoon as my eldest does her homework, the other two play upstairs having finished theirs and the dinner is simmering away. I was due to go to the supermarket after the school run to do the weekly grocery shop having not done it this morning, as I decided to blog, and we desperately need food as the cupboards are bare and there is hardly anything in the fridge or freezer.
Well I Thought We Didn’t Have Enough Food Or so I thought. More on that in a sec.
I mean there is more empty shelving than actual food in the fridge, the ‘carbs cupboard’ only has half a loaf of bread, a Ryvita packet and some Maltese galetti (sort of like water biscuits), the storecupboard cabinet (canned food, pasta, grains, lentils, pulses) has visible spaces on the shelf and the snacks cupboard is definitely running low. So basically we have hardly anything left. (This always reminds me of a good friend during my London days; she used to describe the food situation in her house as rain or shine.)
Yet, despite the apparent tragic impoverished circumstances of my kitchen,
me being me (ie a legendary procastinator) I just could not summon up the energy and will to spend the required hour and a half driving to the shop, doing all the shopping, queuing up, paying, hauling it to the car, driving back and offloading it all. Yep, housewife of the year. Obviously I’ll have to buck up and do it tomorrow. I was desperate not to go the supermarket which would mean leaving the kids alone and delaying dinner (and a blog deadline) so I looked again at that sad-looking fridge and opened the forlorn cupboards again. I walked back over to the fridge and looked at it again, (maybe I thought if I stared hard enough, I’d realise my eyes had in fact been deceiving me and food had been there all along).
That’s When the Eye-Opener Happened
I wondered whether I did in fact have enough to get through this evening (thankfully dinner was already taken care of), the following morning’s breakfast, not to mention the kids packed lunches and my own lunch and possibly even dinner. You KNOW what I’m going to say don’t you? Yes I did. In fact, I had enough to put together – wait for it – 9 meals. Yes NINE! I’d gone from famine to feast in just a few minutes without leaving my house! And in that moment, as I reassessed my formerly ‘disastrously understocked’ fridge, I actually felt a bit ashamed and realised I really am a product of my generation, a generation that has – maybe unintentionally – developed a greedy mentality through having grown up in the comfort and affluence of the West. A generation often unable to recognise when we have enough…more than we need in fact. Our vision has become so skewed.
Now, I don’t think I’m a ‘greedy person’ by any stretch of the imagination;
far from it actually. I’m generally content with little…more of a ‘want what you have, not have what you want’ sort of person. So I have to ask, if I’m such a glass half full rather than half empty type, (and yes I suppose I could have used that quote in this post!) then why on earth do I not see my kitchen as half full, not half empty?! Why do we see problems when really there isn’t one? Of course, I could extrapolate to so many other areas of life but I think you get me.
Now I know 100 people could read this post and each of those 100 people would have a different financial status; some perhaps very well off, some in the middle and others prone to struggling their whole life to make ends meet. And yes, life really has become expensive. But that’s just it. Whilst property prices, the cost of a meal in that fancy restaurant and various forms of taxation have indeed risen since we were all children, the fact is we in this society are propagating this belief that life is expensive left, right and centre. When actually, maybe just maybe (this is my theory) It’s really only as expensive as we want to make it? If we think we need that shiny new car, summer holiday, dream house, weekend get away, buzzing social life, this season’s trendy clothing, the coolest gadgets etc in the belief that these are all ‘must-haves’ crucial to our happiness, then yes our life will probably be one destined for great expense.
This central message exists in many different forms.
You’ll probably have seen memes about being richer than most people in the world if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your body and a roof over your head. I honestly believe in this so much. I’m sure I drive my kids mad with the whole ‘no you can’t have the blue plate because there’s nothing wrong with the red one you have because you’re just damned lucky to have food on any plate in the first place!’ sermon, delivered from time to time.
So, I have to say, harsh as the picture for this post is, the message is so very true and apt.
Now more than ever.
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