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A Woman's Resilience and Strength: How My Mother Left Me
Strength and Resilience
My teenage daughters give me strength. They inspire me to work harder, to give them a better life than what I had at their age. We also laugh around most of the time. It makes them feel better when they see me happy. I felt better when I saw my mother smile. Especially at times when my heart aches, laughing more with them helps ease the pains of my life.
We plan mini and grand vacations months ahead to build the excitement. We talk a lot about the future -their plans after college, the care they will provide for me and their father as we age, and our dreams to acquire similar material things.
Not all days are always happy-together. In 2011, at the height of economic crisis in the United States, I was out of work for many months. We need to save money. We need to save gas. We don't drive around frequently on weekends anymore. Eating out on Friday nights is beyond budget.
I learned from my mom not to don't dump my emotional baggage on my children. They already have their own sources of stress. They definitely experience a lot of pressure in school and my girls should be coming home to a secure and a lesser-stress abode at night.
I have to deal with my scarce financial resources in a matured way. More than before, it is now necessary to be resourceful and use my ingenuity. I need to be resilient.
I surf the web and cook "something new" on weekends, eliminating 95% of our eating-out once a week activity. My daughters experimented on their cooking abilities too. They remember how my mother taught them to cook egg and other simple foods. They discovered that they can make delicious meals from what is available in the fridge.
We exchange praises in our discoveries and show appreciation with each successful recipe. We are imitating the food network show, to entice others, we eat with gusto!
Movie time at home
We like watching movies. Going to the movie house on weekends before twelve noon saves us almost fifty percent (50%) from regular price. We also make cinema alternatives at home:
- Renting movies (like DVDs) from the library is free
- Red kiosks inside the grocery rents a movie for $1 a day
- Signing up with Netflix offers free movies during the 1-month trial period. You can cancel subscription after the trial period and do it over again after six months.
- Borrowing DVD from family and friends
We pop our own popcorn and drink our favorite green tea from Costco. We make comments during the film, rewind funny or mysterious scenes. No movie rules to follow.
The tourist spots, museums, parks and beaches
I am flipping the pages of City tour guides and brochures, asking friends where the good picnic areas are or surfing the web for interesting tourist spots around. The beach became our regular place to visit.
I have few criteria in mind to consider where we will be going to, deferring the long distance driving even if it is worth the trip.
- It needs to be within 10-15 miles in distance
- It offers a unique perspective
- Its is free
It amazes me that there are many interesting places within my neighborhood which I will not be able to discover if I have money to spend in the mall on weekends.The small museums enriches our cultural knowledge. The parks and beaches gives us refreshing air of solace and tranquility.
Home garden, fresh and pesticide-free
I usually buy my herbs at the grocery store and they are a bit expensive. I toss out half of it when the leaves turn brown after a week. The idea of gardening sounds like my father who grew up as a farmer. They have a farm land to plant herbs and vegetables. How can I do that in my apartment? Flower pot is the answer!
It took me less than an hour to plant my favorite herbs at home. A friend who also advocates home gardening was visiting that time helped me to put it together. My total initial investment is $25 for the plants and soil:
- 25 lb potting soil
Since I am already making home-made meals frequently, I can now conveniently pick my own fresh, pesticide-free herbs through my kitchen window. At night, the rosemary is like a hint of perfume in the patio.
Just for Laughs
Surgeons Know Best about Engineers
Five surgeons were taking a coffee break and discussing their work.
The first said, "I think accountants are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is numbered." The second said, "I think librarians are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is in alphabetical order." The Third said, "I like to operate on electricians. You open them up and everything inside is color-coded." The fourth one said, "I like to operate on lawyers. They're heartless, spineless, gutless, and their heads and their butts are interchangeable." Fifth surgeon said, "I like Engineers...they always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end..."
Time to Explore the Personal Interest
My mother always emphasized that a good way to maintain my usefulness and self-worth is to remain productive. Being out of work is not a life threatening situation. Though economic hardship has greatly affected our lifestyle, there is time and opportunity to plan and re-direct my efforts to become economically fruitful again.
I recently explored an interest that is long been over due. Doing a lot of research work before, writing becomes more interesting as the years went on. But this time I wanted to write something for myself. I accidentally stumbled on this website called HubPages. It offers a platform to write topics that you can publish in the internet. Joining HubPages (HP) allows me to publish my articles which can also possibly provide a decent passive income in the future.
There are standout features in this website that help writers get the best out of its ability :
- It allows members and readers to post comments that help improve your topic or gives you an opportunity to write a new topic.
- It allows you to link other writer's relevant and helpful topics to your hub for further reading and reference.
- You can re-edit your own work even after you published it. This feature allows the writer to continuously enhance or update on the hubs.
There are other sites out there that can also publish your articles. It is up to you to decide which of these websites you like to be affiliated. If you will ask me at this time, writing itself is already rewarding for me. The future passive income from HP is a bonus that I can't refuse.
Resilience - Lessons from Grandma
During my financial trying times, i did not wait for the girls to ask me why is it that I did not have work. Neither did i feed their discouragement or resentment of our life's down turns. Early on, I already told them the words my mother gave me.
My mom constantly says, "We need to accept that there is time for everything. A time to be happy, a time to be sad. A time to be abundant and a time to have none" and she continues, "Always make it a habit to save money for the rainy days."
I subconsciously pass to my children my mother's wise sayings. She imparted her wisdom to me while I was living with her, as necessary as she feels she needs to do. My mother uttered these words twenty five years ago yet it remains fresh in a daughter's mind. I hope my girls will also remember me, in times they need guidance the most, and I can no longer be with them like their grandma.
Copyright © 2012 The Girls. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without permission prohibited.
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