Saturday, March 27, 2010

Living without.

Here in the illustrious Midwest we, well, reuse things. Many of us hit the Goodwill prior to going to the "real" stores.

Today, something different happened. My husband took our son to several sales. Estate sales, church sales, things like that. Normally we go, spend money, find things to possibly re-sell or just hang on to. Our son loves this stuff and many times we can please him and not spend a lot of money. For example, the boy came home with about 6 cookbooks, a video and some other stuff all for about $2.00. It isn't living cheap or anything like that. I think it is more, living with what you need.

For instance, we are planning ahead for him; our son will have a career and a job. As of today, someday he will become a chef, and if we are lucky he will work in his own place with that, what will he need? Well, some signature recipes, a book or two and a large variety of cookbooks for ideas. This kid's cookbook collection would make a librarian weep. He has all of them he can get his hands on. Really, and he has versions that I know I have never seen.

Because we had forced "lifestyle changes" about a year ago; we have learned to pare back. We are hoping to teach this simpler lifestyle to our son. He was overjoyed today with some .25 cent cookbooks and a video. It isn't because he is disabled. He knows to appreciate what he has and if we don't use it, sell it or donate it for someone who does. When he does sell something, he does donate 1/2 of the sale to charity. He is trained/taught to think of the less fortunate and help out with service clubs or whatever is available.

Providing him the litany of things i wish I could do for him, am I back at self pity and the whole "self medicating" thing or is it better that I teach him to live within his means? I will admit, the first weekend after the "lifestyle crash" his TV burnt out. It was caput, no hope of further survival, and no way we could afford to purchase another one for him. We had a 20 year old TV in the attic, we got it down, and installed it in his room. Believe me, this old TV has the basics. I mean, basic, it will run the vcr and dvd player and that is it. Now is that a bad thing? Poor kid has cable in his bedroom, but can't play video games. Oh well. It is better for him to have to get off his butt and change the channels manually (remotes don't work with a TV this old). At first he wasn't happy about it, but he is learning to not constantly turn the TV on and off and found out that if you do that too many times, it will make things harder for you in the long term. No more TV in the bedroom if he ruins this TV set, we would have to find another one and he will be out of luck for a long time.

Although, going without is hard. There are many things I miss (like being a girl and getting my nails done). Is it better to live like we have or better to make do with less? I know I am good where I am. I would like it better if the house was paid for... but until it is, we are living without and using up what we have and working through the ick.

Believe it or not, our Aspie son acclimated to living without better than we have. If we challenge our kids, they will rise to the challenge...

Something else to think about isn't it?