dangerous.

the danger of writing a post about being authentic is then people will see you.  & that is terrifying.  before i pushed “publish” on my last post, i thought about what certain people would think.  i mashed it around in my head, wondered if it was worth the risk.  but i’m so tired of holding up a self that doesn’t mesh with my own soul.  so i published.

what i didn’t anticipate was how much more myself i could be if only i’d be honest & straight-up with myself in the first place.  all day after i wrote about food stamps, i felt lighter.  i felt more confident, which is counterintuitive.  how could i be more confident when i just told you we’d failed?  but maybe the succeeding is in the telling.  i don’t know.  i have fewer answers lately.

but what i completely failed to anticipate was you.  i don’t know that i’ve ever felt so loved, so surrounded, so a part.  a part, instead of apart.  i’ve gone such long years feeling apart.  what i’m realizing is that much of that is my own making.  i’ve missed out on so much deep connection because i was afraid you’d see me.  but i didn’t realize if you saw me, when we see each other, we are free to move into the beauty of who we were meant to be.  you spoke so many thoughtful, heartfelt words into the dark, terrified places in me.  you brought light & chased away darkness.

& that’s where the danger is.  when we see each other, when we connect & move toward each other instead of away, we become dangerous.  suddenly we are empowered to be who we’re supposed to be.  & that sets off a fantastical chain response:  our significant others, our children, our friends & parents & second cousins & maybe even our dogs are freed up just a little bit, taking a step out of the tangle that mires them.  where we can get down to the business of being ourselves.  seen & seeing.

a sweet friend of mine fashions beautiful signs out of old wood, & she posted this the day after i last wrote.  it is my new banner.

it takes courage to grow up & become who you really are.

–e. e. cummings.

yes.  i want to become more & more who i really am, & i want you to be who you really are, too.  we are art, the both of us.  &, if we can see each other, we can connect.  & that is one of the most important things in the universe.  we were created for beauty, to be the art we were meant to be, & we were created to connect.

check this out.
“where no man is an island.  it’s where you’re supposed to be.”

we were created for each other.
thank you for showing me a side of myself i didn’t know was there.

& thank you for giving me bits of your heart:  in your generous words, in your generous spirit, in your generous help.

with much love & tremendous gratitude,
~jill.
XO.

taking the polish off.


it may have been a low point.

i was riding my bike to the mechanic, where i’d dropped off our van an hour before.  the van was acting up, but our other vehicle, a sweet old pick-up a friend gave us, was sitting in the drive-up with a broken heart & a dead battery.  andy wouldn’t be picking me up with her.  so, to get back from the mechanic after dropping off the van, i threw my bike with an old plastic baby seat strapped to it under the hatch & drove off.

why was i riding back to the mechanic, then?  well, what happened is when i got home the first time, andy walked into the kitchen, a pokemon cartoon still playing in the background, holding his eye.  he’d had a tension headache for the last many days, & it had started to affect the vision in his left eye.  so when i got home, he figured he should probably call nurse triage & see if the faceless voice on the other hand could help.

she could.  she said “come in right away.”

so, i was riding back to the mechanic on my old bike, which i may have forgotten to mention andy picked up at the dump & fixed.  except for the parts that had since stopped working, like most of the gears.  occasionally, even, just for fun, the chain launches up into the gears themselves & makes an atrocious grinding noise, threatening to seize the whole vehicle up & leave me pushing her home.  i said an honest-to-goodness prayer this wouldn’t happen before i got the mile & a half to pritchard’s.  also, i’m not good at bikes or hills, & my pant leg kept catching in the gears.  until i rolled them up, which was adorable.

as i was riding, wondering if this was a low point, i ticked off some of the other foibles as of late.  the thermostat had blown on our water heater months ago, which meant the water either scalded or ran cold, depending upon how recently it had been reset.  this adventure kicked off with draining one late night before a roadtrip.  this is fixable, sure.  we are diy-ers, we-meaning-andy.  but, really. who has time.

this water adventure goes nicely with the leaking drain under the kitchen sink.  for some mysterious reason, the sink basin won’t hold water & fills the bucket i use for catching puke.  this gets scummy, too, which is nice.

there are more, if you’ve got time:  the outdoor spigot the kids broke, the clothesline the kids broke hanging clothes “energetically.”  these happened on the same day.

then there are the less humorous discrepancies.  i have half a head of hair.  usually this is uncoincidental to me, but occasionly when i am walking out of a woman’s bathroom & meet another woman who backs up to make sure she’s going in the women’s & not the men’s, well, i guess that makes me a little wobbly.

i have a little one who has had teeth pulled because they were literally rotting out of his mouth.  i was supposed to be taking care of my kids, & i couldn’t get this one right.  two of my kids had dental surgery before the age of 4.  how much of a fail is that, when you do everything to be healthy & you still aren’t?  it isn’t my fault, but truth is pretty irrelevant sometimes.

we are on food stamps, a fact i am so remarkably ashamed of, i tear up writing this.  when i am in the checkout line at the grocery store, sometimes i have to force myself to not look around, wondering who is watching me swipe my green card.  truthfully, in the 3 years i’ve been writing here, i’ve always felt like a liar somehow by not telling you our fullest story.  we’ve always believed God would take care of us, & when andy lost his last church job, well, there wasn’t much money anymore.  i always swore i’d never lower myself to take a handout, but, well.  pride is an awful thing.  every year the amount the government gives us goes down, which means that andy’s income has gone up.  i am humbled, & i am different.

i think these shreds, these bits i’d rather shove under the couch cushions & forget about, are the threads that were meant to connect us.  i don’t think, anymore, that we’re only to show our polished selves.  it’s our brokenness, our vulnerability that connects us to each other.

when i was a little girl & my hair started falling out, i made my mom swear she wouldn’t tell anyone.  & i didn’t tell anyone, either.  not my teachers, my friends, no one.  not in elementary school or jr. high or high school.  i was so deeply terrified of someone discovering i had bald patches.  & because i wouldn’t let anyone in, i kept everyone out.  i knew my truest self was irreversibly flawed & i wouldn’t be accepted.  so i never gave anyone a chance.

i remember when andy first saw the bald spots i had in college.  i decided one night while we were hanging out in my apartment i wanted him to know.  there is something so sacred about being known.  i started to tell him, & he said he already knew.  he’d noticed once, when i was doing somersaults or something.  & he didn’t care.  he told me i was beautiful.  i cried.  of course.

so, anyway.  i’m listening to jars of clay tonight, & they always crack me open.  i just didn’t want you to feel you were alone, that in any way you were less than.  because that’s not possible.  you were created for beauty, & you are.  we are all in the same boat.

hopefully, though, we are not on the same bicycle.
because that would be ridiculous.

p.s. –after some steroids, andy is just fine.

unfinishing the lawn.

“just crawl up into the hay wagon & throw the bales down.  then put ’em in your car.”

i imagined the pause in my brain, the “um, what?  by myself?” to be audible. but the friend i was with didn’t blanch, so maybe i was the only one that heard the hesitation. i mean, i grew up on a farm, but i don’t know a blame thing about hay or hay wagons, & just shimmying up into one. . . well.  i felt the uncertainty, about hay, about gardening, about all of it in the way i remember feeling, standing in front of the big double doors at the hospital with a newborn in my arms.  only less life-threatening.

i did the climbing up, the throwing down, the loading, & no one said i didn’t belong in the hay wagon.  in fact, on the way home, i kept hearing bruno mars/mark ronson’s song, “uptown funk” with the catchy “don’t believe me, just watch” line.  i sang it at the top of my lungs rolling down the highway between all-kindsa farm country while the toddler slept in the back.

stripes & plaid, baby.

this, as you know, is plan B.  we had planned, in our master plan of britz life, to move to a homestead-ish place, erect a small living quarters, & begin tilling up the land.  we aimed to grow things.  to become a little more self-sustaining & self-sufficient.

andy has felt this way a long, long time about sustainability & self-sufficiency.  me, i’m later to the party.  but about a month before my hay wagon debut, i’d been grocery shopping at wal-mart when i was struck with the sad desperation that without a store, i couldn’t produce one iota of food for my family.  this has always been true, besides a sideline of kale that grows like a weed in my tiny garden.  for some reason, though, this bothers me now.  me & wal-mart, we just got personal.  i don’t appreciate your ease anymore, store.  you are stealing from me a self-sufficiency common to my grandmother.  but no more.  or, at least, i hope no more.

don’t believe me, well, we’ll just wait & see.

so, since we still live here, in a decidedly developed neighborhood, we are taking out the lawn.  unfinishing it.  food not lawns, as they say.  i’ve been working my arms out with a claw-like tool, shredding grass into shaggy orbs that get discarded in the ravine behind our house, while andy is the mastermind behind the design & layout, & all the hardest labor.  i’ve been planting seeds. some days with help, some days solo.

this happened for ten minutes one day.

we’re expecting, too.  chicks.  (come, now.  the newborn reference was not a lead-in).  fifteen little ladies on schedule to arrive next week in a box at the post office.  which is super exciting, except that we know nothing about poultry.  maybe less than nothing, if that’s possible.  these will be chickens for eggs, as opposed to chickens for meat.  eventually they’ll probably be in my stew pot, but here’s hoping that’s a long while off.

so, that’s where we’ve been.  in the yard, at the library for backyard homesteading books, bent over pencil-and-paper charts at the kitchen table to keep track of this newness.  cutting down trees, dragging limbs (tree, not child.  well, sometimes child.), sitting around a bonfire roasting hotdogs cuz mama ain’t got no dinna plan.



we’re giving square-foot gardening a try.

thal even put together this from the small living part of the treehouse tree that came down.it’s a heckuva lot of fun.  work, smashingly harder work than i’ve done in a long while, but fun.

& the bruno mars song, then.  you may as well watch, whether you believe this can work or not.  by myself, i’m trepidatious.  we’ve planted potatos upside down, tilled up already-planted peas.  i’m working around the schedule of four children (really?  didn’t i just feed you?).  andy suddenly has oodles of work.  but God pointedly has us here.  so, we’re not solo, whether we feel like it or not.

halle-freaking-lujah.felled tree for an outdoor table in the garden.  or smallish boy platform.  

unfinishing the basement.


it was the tall, four-legged orange tool-thing he set on the table that made me laugh.  the bottom third of an orange giraffe.  what it does?  i still don’t know.  I was sitting on the couch reading, balancing a toddler holding a knitting needle, while the huz walked a steady stream of tools out of the garage & into the house, across the kitchen, & down the stairs.

you see, we live in a house too big for us.  we had planned to move, to downsize so we could spend our time on more important things than a big house.  but Jesus is crazy, & here we are.

our main level is where we live, where we do all our art & cooking & reading & running around.  we would be fine if this were all we had.  but.

we have an entire second floor beneath us, with another entire living room, another bathroom, & so on.  it feels just that:  & so on.  to our family of six, it is superfluous.

so, we decided to unfinish our basement.  to move andy’s t-shirt room out in the main living area, scootch what was there upstairs or out the door, & then bring down armloads of tools & set up a maker’s space.  we had wanted to build a workshop outside, but we built it inside instead.  (work in progress. always, right?)
we never could’ve done this five years ago.  at that time, before we stuck our toes in the waters of minimalism, we had a houseful, with books stumbling out of bookshelves & teetering stacks creeping up the living room walls like literature ivy.  we had large & antique pieces of furniture, plenty of them heirlooms.  we had toys tumbling out of every crevice, never having thought to release anything into the beyond.

& then, one evening, sitting among stacks in our office with a toddler, a 4-year-old, & a 7-year-old in & out knocking all this important-ness over, i said,

“this is enough.”

we started just with that office, with one small stack in the corner, decluttering one file folder of manuals to appliances we no longer owned.  carload after carload filtered out the door.  garage sales were set up & torn down, again & again & again.  good homes were found for many heirlooms on craigslist.  the ten or twelve bins of kids’ clothes were siphoned down to one.

we brought the kids in on this, too.  i’ll never forget the day i took out their toy boxes, stored heaps in the basement, & set up just a few most-loved toys on a small bookshelf.  i did it at night & expected to wake up to their disappointment with their possessions having been stripped away.

what happened was the utter opposite:  the kids walked around their room, eyeing their toys as though they were in a toy store gazing on brand new things.  to them, they sort of were, having been hiding at the bottom of bins & boxes, the whole myriad of what they’d accumulated on display at all times, until that morning.  suddenly, they could see their favorite things without being bogged down with hoards (literally) of superfluity.

instead of tears, i got glee.
(& eventually they whittled the stored toys down themselves.)

the other bounty i harvested from our going minimalist was a truckload less picking up & putting away.  with less mugs in the cupboard, there are fewer dishes to wash.  with fewer toys, there is less mess (not less creativity or imagination.  truth!).  with a streamlined closet there are streamlined bodies.  just kidding.  (but fewer clothes means far less decision-making every morning.)

which brings us to now, when we’ve essentially given away our basement to the business.  do we miss it?  nope.  andy has room to breathe for t-shirt printing, & i have half the house to clean.  maybe someday, when the house is full of gangly teenagers (OY. VEY.), we’ll repurpose this space again.  but for now, this is the tweak that works.

plus, we saved ourselves thousands  of dollars by converting the basement into a t-shirt shop & a maker’s space instead of building two additional outbuildings.


but what, really, does this matter to you?  maybe nothing, but maybe you’ve been frustrated with the volume of things you have to manage.  maybe you’ve been rethinking the layout of your home but are afraid to do something different because it’s unconventional.  (unconventional can be scary;  i get it.  i came home once with a hoop in my nose.  that was a little scary.)

but our spaces should be like our lives, full of intention.

minimalism only means removing the things in your life, whether it’s possessions or commitments or whatever, so there is more room for the most important things.  like this guy.
so, give it a whirl.  you don’t have to cancel whole floors in your house.  but you could repurpose a drawer or throw out all the mangled twisty ties that get tangled in the scissors in the junk drawer.  you could donate those jeans that don’t fit & haven’t for years.  it’s okay.  you’re fantastic just the way you are, & you don’t need old jeans telling you otherwise.

& if you need a little inspiration, i’ve had this song on repeat all week:

because the truth is, we are all enough, & neither our stuff nor our homes define us.

keep tweaking the machine, friends.
it’s getting good.

XO.
~jill.

we don’t have to do this.


i’ve got birthday party hangover.  you know what i’m talking about:  too much sugar, more coffee than necessary (such a gray area), the full feeling of having gathered your tribe to love on your kids for a few short hours over food & drinks & good conversation.

yesterday we celebrated my middle kids’ birthdays:  thalia turned 9 last week, kieran nails down 6 on friday.  i, because i am an american parent with a bit of means, had been fretting over this day for some time.  i do this every year.  am i the only who does this?  maybe.

it goes like this:  what food should i make?  who should come?  what present(s) should we get the kids?  what should we do for a theme?  we’ve always had a theme.  will the kids that come fit in our house, now that most of the basement isn’t play space anymore?  will they be bored with smaller space & far less toys?  am i doing enough?

then i roll these thoughts around in my head for a couple months, tacking up mental sticky notes to address them, crumpling up the bad ideas & scratching out new ones as the event gets closer.

but that’s just the problem.

event?  my kids don’t need an event, they need a birthday party.  (i use the term”need” loosely.  again, the privileged “problem” of our first world.)  in this day of pinterest, putting on just a simple gathering has suddenly become a hard road to navigate.

i was talking to my dear friend beth about this on the phone last week.

“come with low expectations.  we’re just doing a party.  no theme or anything.  just simple,” i said, a little sheepishly, putting it out there to see if that was socially acceptable.

“i love parties,” she said, meaning the kind without extra extraness.  just gather us together to celebrate.  enough. done. it’s okay to drop the guilt.

of course.  i felt myself relax out of the pressure i had let build up.  that kooky pressure we put on ourselves to perform superhuman feats of extravaganza for our children’s parties, or for any reason, really.  first tooth?  have a parade.  easter?  we’ll hire the bunny.  christmas?  let’s not even go there.  i’m joking, of course, but kind of not really.

i read an article a couple weeks ago about a mom who was skipping all the birthday fanfare for her only child this year, an 8-year-old.  instead of renting the venue & buying the gifts, the party supplies, the paper goods, the food (that was acceptable for each & every food allergy or sensitivity to all her little boy’s friends), & then entertaining all 30 (what?) kids for the afternoon (hold on.  i’m tired just thinking about this. . . .), she took her son & a friend to a posh hotel with room service & cushy bathrobes instead.  to her, that was the simpler solution.

which makes me think:  we don’t have to do this.

somewhere along the path of the last decade, childhood in this culture went from ordinary to super-ramped-up, high-input, all-in-all-the-time.  if you think back to your own childhood, it was not like this.  it was simple.  maybe even a little dull & boring (God bless you.  you’ve just proven the reason for your highly innovative spirit.).  as kids, we were not catered to.  our parents didn’t make up events for us.  our birthday parties didn’t have themes.

[caveat:  if you are the mom (or dad) who enjoys big events with fanfare & have the means to do it, don’t let me steal your thunder.  carry on;  as you were.  but if you’re like me & dread feeling like you have to perform to be a good mother or spend more to make an event “memorable,” let’s just drop this issue, shall we?  we can give each other permission.]

so this year, we sloughed off a little more cultural expectation, stepped a little further out of the standard american box, & had a simple, un-themed, no-games, slightly dull (perhaps) birthday party.  we blew up balloons & hung streamers & made food & served ice cream.  we invited family & friends, the kids received gifts, & my MIL brought a pinata (which we filled with fruit juice-sweetened treats & chocolate.  & homemade, personalized buttons.  okay, a little hoopla.)

my kids felt loved & celebrated.  done.

no complaints about our smaller space or fewer toys or theme-less party or that where the kids mostly played was 37 degrees & outside.

as i snuggled my six-year-old last night at 10:30pm do you know what he said?  i asked him, “so, was it a good birthday party, kier?”

one word.  “GREAT.”

i think we’re on to something here.

: : : :

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superheroes.


i was standing in front of the bulk bins at the store, contemplating dry black beans versus canned.  i was having a momentary existential crisis, churned up by beans, of all things.  black beans, of course, stood in for bigger money issues, which at the moment were giving me both a headache & a stomachache.  (such a funky-looking word, eh?)  i was not winning the war for valuing true wealth. i was losing horribly, actually.

as i walked back & forth anxiously between shelf & bean bin, i had to stop & ask for a good word:  “i’m screwing this up, not getting the peace part right at all.  please help me see what my life is really about.  i can’t see straight.”

i replaced the can of black beans & walked back to the bulk section, picking up my old granny jar to fill with flour.  as i scooped light brown powder into my gallon jar, squatting on the linoleum floor, an elderly woman pushed her near-empty cart alongside me, scanning the shelves & moving slowly.  she looked a little lost.  she was so small & frail.  she looked like she needed a thousand hugs.

i suddenly wasn’t thinking about myself.

“what is that?” she asked, eyeing my jar with the 1970’s red & yellow lid.

“spelt flour,” i answered her.  “i use it instead of wheat.  some of my kids are sensitive to wheat, so we use spelt instead.”

looking over the small collection of items at the bottom of her cart, she said, “i’m not supposed to have wheat.”

“you should try spelt,” i said, enthusiastically.

she looked warily at the rows & rows of indecipherable bin tags.
“maybe i could get someone to help me. . . .” she said quietly.

i nearly cried.

“I can help you,” i said.  “i don’t mind at all.”

“oh,” she answered, slightly embarrassed that she’d need help, that this tall bald woman was her solution.  “i just had eye surgery.  i can’t really see all those numbers.”

{GOOD GRIEF.  what had i even been complaining about in my head meager minutes ago?  i may have a tight squeeze in my checkbook, BUT WHO CARES.  I CAN SEE.  & i can move any-which-way, & i don’t have to relearn how to eat at 80 years old, &. . . .}

i crouched down easily in front of the bin near the floor, suddenly feeling like an acrobat, & scooped flour until she told me to stop, just 3 or 4 shovelfuls.  what a small amount, i thought.  of course, it is:   she’s cooking & baking only for herself. {GOOD GRIEF.  i have a husband happily alive at home (at least he should be.  who knows what the kids have done in my absence.) & four lively, huggable children.  i am not alone.  not even remotely.  (not even when i want to be.)  GOOD GRIEF.}

after i tied up the plastic bag for her & wrote the bin number on the twisty-tie, with “spelt” beside it in small block letters, i handed her the flour.

“that’s so sweet of you.  thank you SO MUCH.”

& then she wheeled her cart down the aisle, while i rethought my life.

: : : :

we’re powerful, aren’t we?

i didn’t plan on being anyone’s superhero, but sometimes that’s who we are & where we are.  sometimes there are people around us that need something from us:  a smile. a kind word.  a little help.  a pat on the back.  a scoop of flour.

miniscule things that take miniscule time or effort.

we each have a power to wield, for good or otherwise, every single day.  with our spouses.  with our kids.  with our co-workers.  or with grocery store clerks or the mailman or our kid’s teacher.  with tiny old ladies at the store.

to think i nearly missed it because i was obsessing over meaningless numbers in the bean aisle.  to think i nearly missed an opportunity to put value into the world because i couldn’t see out from under my huge self.

GOOD GRIEF.

give me clarity, or send me home.

slightly off center.


you’ll forgive me when i forget we’re not the normal ones here.  on top of that, i’ve been thinking a lot about wealth lately, reading ben hewitt‘s Saved:  How I Quit Worrying about Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World.  tantalizing, eh?

we’re long past chasing traditional wealth, andy & i.  pretty much we stared her down when andy went into youth minsitry & i into english (an english major gets you nothing but stacks upon stacks of filled notebooks.  & a really strong sense of grammatical errors.). we decided, matter-of-factly, that we’d find our wealth elsewhere.  to be clear, youth pastors don’t make heaps monetarily.

now, of course, andy works for himself in our basement.  in fact, we just converted the family room into a t-shirt room, & the t-shirt room became a maker’s space.  we were living with a fully finished basement, which felt kind of silly.  we were never down there.  now we live upstairs & work downstairs.  but i suppose that’s another post.

anyway, when you work for yourself, well.  working for yourself means sometimes you just don’t work.  & me, in charge of the brood & the castle, i add nothing monetarily to the pot.  (i just stir it. . . .)  so if there isn’t t-shirt work, the living is slim.
i’ve never questioned that this wouldn’t be bad.

going without?  how is that a good idea?
isn’t that what we’re all afraid of, at the bottom of ourselves?

turns out, yet again, i am wrong.  you, i’m sure, are used to this by now.
let me tell you how this time.

friday night is pizza night here.  but this past friday leif had been sick most of the day with a nasty cold that moved into his ears so that he complained of his mouth hurting, even.  so, he & i spent some quality time curled up with ye ‘ol phone watching old mickey mouse cartoons.  one cannot make pizza dough from under a whimpering two-year-old.  i revised dinner in my head, & my first thought was takeout, or the wal-mart equivalent.  but honestly, even if we had a spare twenty on us, i wouldn’t spend it on dinner (unless we had celebratin’ to do, like thalia’s 9th birthday tomorrow – woot!).  oh, heavens, no.  that sweet bill would head straight into debt repayment or the travel fund.  which meant i needed to rethink dinner myself, as inconvenient as that seemed, as mickey mouse courted minnie on my (cracked, shared) handheld.  an hour later, the toddler wiggled out of my lap, no longer in pain, & went off to town with daddy, leaving me & the five-year-old to make dinner:  pizza dough, as i’d intended.  & was i inconvenienced?  again, heavens, no!  i was tired, but not inconvenienced.  i spent the late afternoon with the five-year-old who stayed home & rolled out pizza crust with me, i got the laundry in from off the line (our dryer has been out of commission since christmas day.  blessing, not curse.  truth.), & i caught up with the dishes (by hand.  dishwashers, though we have one & don’t use it, make me crazy.).  i felt rejuvenated by my diy-ness, flexed my resourcefulness a bit, both of which sprang out of the kind of necessity that my grandmother would have laughed at.  making dinner inconvenient?  i think i can hear her laughing. . . .

this is only one teeny example in the giant story of us.  for some reason unknown to us, we are being pressed down into whoknowswhat financially.  & the pressing down, the going without, the do-smaller-things-than-you’d-planned revisions continue to be good.  blessings, not curses.

i don’t understand it, but obviously that’s not my job.
there is a different kind of wealth here in the lower realms.

a couple weeks ago i woke up to this tangled idea of wealth, like a cat sitting on my chest.  as i came slowly into consciousness, with a toddler pressed into my left bicep, it occurred to me, “i have FOUR children.  how rich!   i could sell them they add so much richness to my life.”  in that moment, i felt a true & abiding sense of wealth.  “here they are, all in my house, under my control, & healthy, smart, & strong.  i might have it made.”  i am really & truly wealthy, & i felt it.  that kind of wealth feels good.

so, all this to say, i have no plan to begin chasing big cars & fancy furniture.  i will never sign up for a cruise.  my life is working just fine, even when it’s skimpy.  we’ll stay here, slightly off center.  but what i do plan on is continuing to chase hard & fast, nose to the ground-like, the portions of my life where true & abiding wealth lie:  family, friends, faith, health, meaningful work.  joy, peace, love, kindness.  & i will continue to redefine wealth, tacking on hefty items like resourcefulness.  ample free time.  open calendars.  hugs in great number.

& just for kicks, i bet we could throw in all the little things, too, after we’ve totalled the big ticket items.  wealth like sun warming the table in morning’s light.  little or big arms around mama’s neck.  a heartfelt apology, given or received.  clean clothes.  favorite ratty ol’ jeans.  full tummies.  a movie loaned from the library.  none of these things are expensive, but i’m darn rich if i can lay claim to them.

aren’t i?