Before I was laid off, I loved to go to the mall and buy a new lipstick or eyeliner. Now, I must watch my budget and I derive happiness from being frugal. It makes me proud of myself to see something I would have bought while I was working, that I can now walk away from, knowing I cannot afford it. It makes me feel like a bonafide adult.
I am 'cheered up' by helping my mom with her grocery shopping, errands or going to the doctor now that she can no longer drive. She is very appreciative and that makes me feel good knowing I am needed.
If I am feeling insecure because I no longer indulge in luxuries, such as trips to the salon, or new clothes, nothing cheers me up like a stranger telling me I am beautiful.
When I come back home after a busy day, helping my mom or my daughter or ex-mother-in-law, my new rescue Scottish Terrier, is so happy to see me that it brightens and makes my day. My canine companion lets me know I am loved.
My BFF, who lives in N. Carolina calls me everyday. We have known each other as best friends for 20-years. We talk about everything. If I am angry, tired or at the end of my wits, she makes me feel valued, special and loved and I love doing the same for her.
Ironically, when I was still working, I had all the spending money I needed to buy whatever I wanted, but little free time to enjoy shopping. I was always rushing and the things I bought were a temporary fix for real happiness. Now, I have little money, but enjoy life more with time to enjoy artistic endeavors, such as painting with oils on canvas or writing.
Though reality dictates that we need money to eat, house and clothe ourselves, time is of equal value to feed our soul with those things that make life worth living.