I have been rightly chastised by beth to write a new blog post, so I am.
I've been thinking lately about rich and poor. Not in a giant mansion versus homeless beggar, kind of way necessarily, but in a bit of a more personal way. I've decided to do landscaping again this summer, and though at first I had a bit of anxiety about joining up with a company I'm not sure I 100% want to be associated with, I am really looking forward to it. The other day, at work a guy sat down at the bar for a drink and started whining to me about his job (bartending somewhere else) and ended saying "well, its way better than working manual labour for that kind of money" and the very first thing I thought was "Not its not!", so I felt very validated in my choice of summer work. That being said, working landscaping has been the most financially friendly thing I've done. The hours and the wage work out to be pretty nice on my bank account, which is a good thing since I've been pretty lousy to my bank account lately!
The thing is, I have this feeling that I think I'd be really good at being rich. Not in a "I want lots of wealth" kind of way, but I think that if I came into a windfall of money, I would handle it well. Of course it would change the way I think about things, but it would be mostly in good ways. In generous ways. In respectful, thoughtful ways. It wasn't until this week though that I started thinking about why that is. And what I came up with, is that I am also really good at being poor. Though I am under no impression that I am in any way "poor", but I almost enjoy the way my years of being a student and my summers of volunteering and now my flitting from job to job in search of something I really love has taught me to live from paycheque to paycheque frugally without restricting my lifestyle too much. In other words, I have learned how to watch my money without being cheap about it. And though I understand the importance of saving up money for whatever the future may hold, I also know that this is the time in my life where I only have to worry about me in a lot of ways. If I have food and a place to live and an outdoors to appreciate and friends to share it with, I really don't have to worry about much more. I have not only learned how to deal with my kind of "poor" well, but I have fallen in love with it. Living this way has taught me things I'm not sure I would have been able to understand any other way.
..Rather than going to the movies or some other costly activity, I choose to walk around the city and in the river valley. And during these walks that I have found that I am ridiculously passionate about the nature that surrounds me and the people I share this city with. Which in turn leads to an involvement in issues of environmental consciousness and social justice.
..Rather than driving to the grocery store for bread/cake/granola, I often chose to make it myself from ingredients I have in my house. While I sit kneading bread and peeling apples and mixing rolled oats, I learn the importance of time and supporting of local agriculture.
..I watch the birds outside my window and listen to music and dance alone in the kitchen while I wait for the cake to rise in the oven and I learn what it is to understand myself. The crucial importance of listening to me and discovering more about who I am.
No, I would not trade my lifestyle for anyone else's in the world right now.
Soon regular schedules of landscaping and long hours of fantastic "manual labour" will fill my days with busyness and excitement, so I will savour these moments of lingering winter stillness while I can.