Friday, May 20, 2011

I've Got it Pretty Good

1. My wife's Baby Shower is tomorrow.
2. Which means that my dad, my brother, and I will be driving a bunch with my brothers dog.
3.  And in the end, we already discussed getting DP Cheesesteaks.  I don't post on Saturdays, so I thought I'd gloat today. :)

After reading The Jungle, I've been thinking about other books I've read and movies I've watched that tell a similar story.  The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men,  Far and Away, Cinderella Man etc.  They are all stories about real groups of people.  People for whom the question of, "What are we going to eat tonight?"  was said with a little more reverence, and a very different meaning.  When someone died, they really did have to discuss how the funeral was to be paid for, and a 'Pauper's Grave' was something that was a real option.  I know they're all just stories (except Cinderella Man, he was a real guy), but it seems fairly accepted that they portray real life for some people.

Then, I think about myself, and I think about how I sometimes say that I'm poor.  And in comparison to many people I am, but these kind of stories make me pause a little before saying it.  My wife and I looked at baby gear before we even 'pulled the goalie.'  We wanted to make sure that we could pay for another little person before we made one.  So, we made a spread sheet and started doing our homework.  We discussed car seats, with features and safety ratings, that snapped into matching strollers, that were called 'travel systems.' We looked at neutral colors (because we don't know what we're having, and we want to be able to use the gear for our next child).  We discussed pro's and con's of high chairs and 'pack'n'plays.'  We talked about cribs and their different features.  In all, we looked at a spreadsheet and the total was around a thousands dollars (which didn't include diapers, or wipes, or anything of the like).  We saved for a long time, and we knew that the baby shower would come and people would ease the burden, but we wanted to make sure that the baby's well being was on no one's shoulders but our own, so we saved and got ready.

And looking back on it, I remember making what I like to call 'sacrifices.'  I stopped myself from buying games, movies, or books that I wanted.  We ate out less, and made more meals.  Yet, as I look back at the immigrant workers, or the people of the Great Depression, or the people of the Dust Bowl, I can't help but see how blessed I am.  Sure, I went without a few niceties so that my kid could come into a house that was ready for it, but that's all they really were, niceties.  We discussed something called a pack'n'play, a cage for the child.  I can't imagine anyone of any of the categories talked about previously ever even thinking about buying a pack'n'play.  I've never truly been poor.  I don't know what it's like to not have food, or lodging.  I don't REALLY know what's it's like to fear losing my job.  Sure, I've never wanted to lose it, but I always knew that I'd be taken care of.

As I write this, I wonder what my point is.  I guess what I'm really trying to say here is that I don't have it too bad.  I have my piddly little problems that I deal with, but I don't know if I know what bad problems really feel like, and I'm grateful for that.  I've had a good life, just thought I should admit it.

Have a nice day.


  1. Everything will be ok. I promise.

  2. ::hugs:: I have had these thoughts many times while contemplating the place of others in the world and the hardships they face. I'm not wealthy, never have been, but I'm grateful for what I have. You have an appreciation of the world that a lot of people never get to.

  3. I think it is human of us to want a little bit more than what we have, and to also think about ourselves before others. But it's not being selfish. It's looking after you and the ones you love. Sure there are poeple out there far worse off, but your immediate concern is your life and your families. It's not horrible to think this way.
    We are not rich people either. ALthough I did loose my job, and we had to give up a car, and our health is not very good at the moment, we always have our money on budjet and have our bills paid, good food and a roof over our heads. Anything better than that is just a nice bonus.
    And then after all of that, if you CAN afford to give a little time, or money to those in need, well then we truely are blessed.

  4. Awesome post!
    I wish more people would "prepare" for a child like you have!!!

  5. @OT
    I wasn't saying it wouldn't. I know it will. That's what I feel so good about.

    I sure try to. I'm still not as good at noticing as I'd like to be, but I'm working toward it. :)

    Agreed on all sides. Everyone goes through good times and bad, but we need to notice the good through it all.

    Oh, my wife has OCD (literally) and I'm a compulsive worrier (which I'm trying to stop). We couldn't 'not prepare.' :)

  6. My son and I chopped down a tree the other day. Doable. But getting it's roots out? Whoa. This makes me think about pioneers. There are so many before us who have paved the way. I'm glad you notice things like this because I need reminders.

  7. Sounds like you're prepared and appreciative. I think you'll know what I mean: first world problems, aren't they?;)

  8. @dbs
    Yeah, I've never even worried about the roots of trees I've helped cut down. Our ancestors really did some amazing things.

    I think I know. Problems are extremely relative. I actually really enjoy the way our world shows at least a few of the things happening elsewhere so we can see that we really don't have it so bad.