I came into adulthood with a distinct sense of before and after. In the “Before” my mother baked bread and sewed my clothes. I spent summers half dressed inspecting ditches for tadpoles.  This was time “before”.  My father took me fishing with a stick and a line and a coffee can and my parents felt close and happy. And in the “After” time, came fine furniture, packaged food, ballet, jazz, tap and piano lessons, Sears… It seemed the more my parents had, the farther apart they grew. So in turn, I grew up trying to grasp this happier life “without”. Now I understand the naivete in that thinking. With or without, they grew apart because they grew–in different directions. Nothing to do with money, really just each unwilling to compromise. A natural story.
               But, these and other changes throughout my childhood did prepare me for the very meaning of this blog, the way to live fully, with joy and dignity in living “without”. Or rather, with finding the ingenuity within us, fine-tuning our problem solving skills, and understanding a way to live a rich life that doesn’t leave us feeling depleted.  I seek empowerment in living a little short handed. And I don’t mean sacrificially, but really coming to acknowledge what we really must have rather than what is just picked up peripherally.  
But this isn’t a soap box, many of us must live short handed because we must. And I am one of those people. We, a family of 4 live thinly. It is our choice and our circumstance. And there are two ways to approach this, live poor or live rich. So the question I challenge us to answer daily is, how do we find an interesting and enjoyable day with the life we have rather than with what what we can buy.
Please respond with your excellent ideas. I’m all ears.


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