When I asked her if she wanted this to be anonymous or with her name, she said: "No anonymity needed. I shout my truths loudly and unapologetically from rooftops." Excellent courage and power.
Feast of Plenty
This will be the first year that I will not write several checks to charitable giving and 503 c organizations. Goodman, Second Harvest, Common Wealth. I don't chip* anymore. This is the first year that my children and I will not go to Farm and Fleet toyland to purchase gifts for children in the Goodman Center holiday gift sponsorship program.
No, this is the year that I ask the Goodman Center if my children can be sponsored. Boy - age 7 - loves Rick Riordan books and Legos. Girl - age 5 - any little toys she can use to manipulate and play out her world.
This is the year of foodstamps. This is the year of eating out of the free box at work. This is the year of filling my van with gas only $15 at a time.
For the past 13 thanksgivings, I have played host to 15 - 30 people, friends and family. No turkey smaller than 15 pounds. I bake at least 5 pies. But not this year. There is no feast to prepare. No tradition to uphold. People ask what I am doing tomorrow - I don't know - plans still up in the air - invites expended not yet accepted, It is irresponsible to have made these choices? Tomorrow my children won't be with their extended family or doing the usual things. Is this building resilience? Is this me helping them build resilience and freedom of choice or am I cracking their little worlds apart? Both.
But even in this less than abundant material state, I feel abundance. I feel an abundance of freedom. There isn't filling a grocery cart anymore - it is eat day by day. What do I need today. Trust that it will be there. Universe - I would like a periodic chart for my kids to hang on the wall. Behold, a neighbor with one stashed in her basement now coming out on loan.
But facing that biggest fear, death, makes the money fears laughable.
I can stare out at a lake from a lonely bedroom with plenty. I escaped the room for scraps, love and freedom. Trusting this path and feeling abundance with fear buckled in beside me.
*"I don't chip anymore" refers to this program: http://www.communityshares.com/community-chip/