I was scanning the local newspaper last night. Sean and I were unwinding from our days with a glass of wine. His days spent fighting The Suits and managing a staff feeling the despair of January and pep talking them into wrangling every penny out there to maintain every one's jobs. It really does come down to that. Budgets have to be met and exceeded. Everyone is being pushed harder and harder to squeeze what blood is left under that stone. My days are spent managing the home. Kids, cleaning, errands, groceries, cooking, finances, the usual Goddess stuff.
We're enjoying our second glass of Malbec as I turn the newspaper page. "Apple unveils iPad tablet-for $499!!!!!! The 3G models will sell upward to $829!!!!!! Who the hell would shell out that kind of money?????? Lots of people I guess. Supply and demand maybe? There are those that love these types of toys. Is it a must for a tech geek? A must for a busy professional? I love gadgets, but honestly don't even know my own cell phone number. I've not even bothered to learn how to set up my voice mail.
Adjacent to that story "Food aid falling short in Haiti." There was an AP photo of a woman in Port-au-Prince making round swirl patterns in the mud on a brick sidewalk. The photo was beautiful. A shadow of a woman falling over these repetitive concentric designs. In the corner of the photo was a skeletal dog sniffing the ground. I read the caption "Made of dirt, salt and vegetable shortening, these cookies were already one of very few options for the poorest in Haiti even before the earthquake." COOKIES? I looked at the photo again. This woman was baking cookies on the hot road. Cookies made of dirt!!!!!!!
My friend and I were discussing tragedy, earthquakes, floods, famine. We were sharing the idea that it's almost heartless to go about your daily business knowing so many suffer around you. Sean and I were wondering where to go for holiday this summer with the kids. We thought of a Disney cruise or maybe Club Med in the Dominican Republic. For the four of us with airfare...about 6-7 thousand dollars.
How do I balance all that I have when there is such a gap between the have and have nots? I sent money to the Haiti relief. It wasn't much, but I had to do something. We're thinking seriously about fostering a Haitian child and we've made some contacts. Some days it's too much for me to bear, watching CNN and seeing those children wandering the streets with a dead look in their eyes. If it is too much for me, how must it be for those trapped, homeless, orphaned, destroyed, torn apart?
So much of this misery happens here, in the States everyday, happens in our neighborhoods, on our own streets. We've decided not to do a big expensive vacation this year. We are going to visit Sean's brother in Maryland and spend time at the beach, getting too much sun, laughing lots, eating great food and sharing ourselves with family.
The most I can do is give to others when I can. Donate food to local pantries, hold the door for someone coming out of the gym, let someone go ahead of me in the grocery store line, not get pissed off when I let a car out in front of me and they don't wave a thank you. I need to remember to pray more, to count my blessings, to love my husband and kids more and more, to have patience, to just slow down and take each day as it comes, as it's meant to be....a gift.