When I was young, Mom bought a Christian Dior nightgown for Grandma F at Christmas. Although I do not actually know anything about Christian Dior, apparently the name alone was worth the one hundred dollar price tag. That seems like a lot of money for a fuzzy, pink, floor length nightie, and it was even more, comparably, back then.
Grandma opened the gift and was literally flabbergasted. She didn’t speak. She nearly cried. Maybe I missed something? The nightgown meant the world to her. Mom made her promise to wear it that night.
That was likely the only evening that it saw sheets.
Grandma cared for the nightgown like it was a precious jewel. She lived in the same small house, built with the supplies available during war time, for at least four decades. She wore clothes that made sense, polyester, because you need not iron them. She worked for a church, paid cash for her brand new, Plymouth Duster, and was frugal, yet entirely thoughtful and generous.
Christian Dior was the clothing of royalty. So when she died, maybe a dozen years after receiving the gift, the new gown was neatly folded in the drawer, worn once.
Today I was in my closet. I flicked through the options. I don’t keep things I do not use or need (the exceptions, precious gifts and art). But the last few months have been a whirlwind of requirements, even if the mandate was to rest. And, as an excuse, I will add that Goodwill and other collection sites, and the stores that sell the second hand products, have been closed for Covid 19. I have several things in the closet that can be used by others now, or thrown away. They don’t fit into my current life. My current life has very different needs than the one I lived a few months back.
When we all think about the best way to live life, there is an intricate balance. And the balance shifts with the situation.
I divorced at the time when Nyasha and Shante were heading to college. The only balance in my mind, financially, was their emotional well being (retaining a sense of home), and their capability to do the dance through the educational system. Balance looked completely different than the decade before, and I certainly had no vision or interest in my own decades to come. I was required to focus.
During the Covid-19 virus pandemic, I see a lot of people dancing with decisions. The acts of saving, waiting and balance are forefront. And of priority is life. The choices they are making can mean life or death.
Some people are choosing to work in order to eat, sensible if done safely. Many work from and have children at home, and could choose to spend time in parks or playing at the beach or grabbing a board game. But they struggle with the order of things. I promise that the kids will never be young again, and I promise that you will never regain the opportunity.
Sometimes, when it comes to money, people forget to plan. They use credit to live beyond income, and forget to pay themselves first with a savings and retirement accounts that exceed ten percent of what comes in. That simple tactic, especially when a person begins it in their earlier years, will tackle emergencies and reduce life stress in an inexplicable way!
And others save too much. They over plan out of fear and do not live in the present. Covid 19 is a time to use money for safety, for balance and recreation.
What would you do if you knew you would have terminal Covid 19 in two months? And how would you change that if there was a chance of coming out of the hospital care, and beginning a new life? We are all faced with this. We should all ponder it.
What does balance look like in the world of practicality?