Things have been so dark and so stressful for so long now, in this country, as well as around the world, that I’ve been challenged sometimes just to get up in the morning, have you? But since women tend to keep everyone else’s boats floating, we can’t sink into despair, even if we want to. We must find ways to carry on. I love that phrase from WWII England, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” (I also love the corollary “Keep Calm and Carry Yarn” and I make sure I do!)
And so I’m up every day, heading in to work, then home to work again, and trying, in the process to hang on by my fingernails. Prices rising, earnings stagnant, debt ceilings cracking, interest rates going up on everything, joblessness and layoffs, and politicians who only think of the next election cycle: this scenario has plagued me, and I’m sure you, for months now.
But I will carry on, and this is where I want to focus – I will carry on, with style and beauty, and a grateful heart. Because for all that times are very tough, and politicians elected to do the right thing can’t seem to understand what that means, the saving grace, for me, is thrift (in the nicest sense of the word – that of “Oh! A bargain!” and “Oh! Look what I unearthed from the attic!” and “Oh! This room looks so much better with less clutter!” and “Oh! Thrift shopping is a terribly fun game!” and “I’ve been trying to eat healthier and testing out vegan recipes is au courant and also good for the planet while being less expensive, too!” and “Yes, my mind is so much calmer with quiet and focus and gratitude.”
Thrift and Gratitude.
Can you tell I’ve been reading Ban Breathnach again? I have. And she’s got something, you know. We each control our emotions and our thoughts, we can choose what we focus upon. And in this respect: the abundance and plenty of love and friends and not of the angst and "stuff" that has been cluttering our homes, our lives, our minds...
It’s a matter of working with your head, recognizing that hours alone by the computer or in front of the TV just closes you in on yourself, that getting out into the world, taking a walk, meeting friends for coffee or tea, joining a book club or a walking group, dropping by your favorite yarn shop for an hour of knitting with whomever drops by - these take you out of yourself, away from the incessant, stress-producing “name-calling and blame-game-one-upmanship” of cable TV news. How about a potluck supper party with your neighbors – find out who has what and resolve to share(lawn mowers, hedge clippers, slow cookers, pressure canners, sewing machines, novels?), and who is up for a morning walking group?
So this blog will be changing it’s focus from a haphazard "environmental, craft, shop local" blog to one that looks at these elements as a means to creating a beautiful, sustainable life. One steeped in gratitude, one that does, indeed, seek to keep more wealth (not just $$, either!) than slips through one’s fingers in what used to pass for “normal.” Buying less, saving more, but doing thrift with style. Care to come along with me? We can share “elegant economies” together as we do!