I think of this quote all the time. I ain’t no Mother Theresa, but I sure did admire her work and her good heart. The words that she left behind are inspiring every time I read them.
Today I was talking to a store owner. She used her iPhone to scan something and I commented on how cool it is to be able to carry your business in your pocket like that. I totally reject upgrading my phone or paying for a data plan. I’m really not that kind of business. I don’t want to be on call, reachable at every minute of the day. It’s sort of like answering the phone on the first ring when that cute boy calls. Not my M.O.
We started talking and she said, “I don’t know how people ran businesses in the old days…” She says she carries her business in her pocket, checks emails while doing errands, is constantly on the run, working her ass off and barely keeping her head above water.
“How” she asks, “did they do it without technology?”
Hmmmm, how indeed. I’m not one to preach and never give my opinion unless it’s asked for. On the way to the car I told John, “DUH!”. In the “Old days” our “needs” were much smaller. We knew the difference between needing and wanting and were willing to sacrifice and save for the things we wanted. We NEEDED food, family, shelter, something to wear. We didn’t NEED the newest edition of the iPhone, or cable tv with 100’s of channels, a closet loaded with clothes and shoes, or a new car every time we got bored with the old one. In the old days, we weren’t worrying about keeping up with our friends (or the Kardashians), or making our business number one above the rest, or who Emily will choose on the Bachelorette tonight.
We were too busy growing food, hanging laundry, teaching our children manners, conversing with our neighbors and making the things we needed to live a comfortable life. We got up with the sun and worked without state mandated breaks and lunches because we had strong work ethics. We needed them in order to take care of our families.
Of course, the cost of living was much lower then, but so was the pay. I consider all things equal there.
My family (ok, me, but my family has gone along) has pared down to the bare minimum of living expenses. We cut the cable over a year ago, use things until the die (and take care of them so that’s a long time), shop second hand almost exclusively, and never hire people to do things that we can do ourselves.
My wonderful, shiny new husband unexpectedly lost his job last week, so I’m the rainmaker until he finds another one. That’s scary, but because we have been frugal we have some reserves to hold us over. Even then, I think this is a good time to simplify even more and focus on living a good life with what we have.
This week, I’ll be sharing lots of inexpensive recipes that can be made with food you may have in your own backyard (or farmer’s market). Recipes that won’t make you feel poor. In fact, they’ll make you feel happy and healthy! (no Top Ramen!)
Ready, set, GO!