Thursday, April 19, 2012
Who Am I.....really...
I also identified with this young lady, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and her family's struggles as pioneers starting over and barely making it through long winters of near starvation and unfriendly Indians in the American midwest. She was a survivor, a real spunky kid who would do anything, eat anything, whatever it took to make it til spring.
I once sneaked a peak in one of my brother's journals as I was waiting for him to make a pot of tea. I found that he compared me to this fictional character:
"As God is my witness they're not going to lick me. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over, I'll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again."
Here's my Tara, my little homestead on the prairie. I planned well, you see, nestling up to my land are several fields of potatoes and occasionally a field of soybeans. I've also heard rumours of quail or partridge in my forest. And if all else fails I'll raise me some chickens...and when a hen is done laying I'll feel no qualms about wringing its scrawny little neck and throwing it in a big soup pot! (Yes, I'll pluck it and gut it first - sheesh!!)
So even though the government wants to mess with my pension and even though I'll be living on less than half of what I am now I know I will survive. I hope I won't be reduced to boiling birch bark for tea and scrambling for grubs - I know you'll send me a care package if I need one! I've lived frugally all of my life and can't imagine living any other way. Even though I don't blog about money as much as I used to it's still something I think about every day. I don't really consider myself a personal finance blogger so much as a personal LIFE blogger so I hope you're not disappointed by my lack of financial updates and what have you. Nothing much changes from month to month.
I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination and I'll always have to pinch my pennies and stretch my dollars. It's what I do - I'm a survivor. As opposed to when I lived paycheque to meager paycheque back in my 20's and 30's I DO feel rich now in comparison. I have some savings and own my condo and I'll retire without debt other than my small PEI mortgage. Although my dad felt my best quality was my SPUNK I feel it's my resourcefulness that keeps me going. As a single mother of one it took some ingenuity and juggling of funds to keep a roof over our heads and food on our plates but I did it and can now look back on those as some of the happiest in my life.
I had no benefits for seven years and relied on a daycare subsidy while I taught part-time. The worst time was when I had to pawn some jewelry in order to pay some utility bills and use a credit card to buy groceries. But, you do what you have to in order to survive. Day by day, year by year my financial condition improved, especially after I managed to get a permanent contract with benefits. Now I have 20 years in, lots of seniority and although our school board is laying off 104 teachers as of today, I'm not one of them. I'll put in my remaining couple of years and move on to the next stage of my life. And I'll be rich as long as we're not talking about monetary riches!!
How has your life changed over the past 20 years?