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I need some Hope today!

March 13th, 2009 at 07:04 pm

I've got a cold, and so instead of laying out a budget and my current expenses and evaluating the cost of phone plans and bundles, I've been glued to CNBC and MSNBC and Fox and CSPAN...and even though my finances aren't a catastrophy, it feels like they are. Every one guessing on how bad it will get, how long it will last, what else might happen next.

That Audacity of Hope seems rather audacious.

But if I don't find the hope, I won't stop fighting to make things better. A good part of the financial recovery relies on believing it can get better, and it will. Even though it takes a heck of alot of work, it WILL be worth it.

I've got to believe.

And so...I search back through the hard times to see how I've made it through to the other side.

I started life seriously poor. I was a late life baby, and my parents had grown up during the depression. They knew how to stretch a dollar, or coupon, to get through tough times. But Daddy was a farmer, and just before I was born there was a drought. The crops dried up, the chickens died, and the dream for my parents quickly became a nightmare.

I started life finding meals out of trash cans.

My father had polio and could barely walk, but he took a job as a custodian, and worked hard. Mom had been a pastry chef before she married, and she started a bakery in our home. She fed us the "scraps": crusts cut from little tea sandwiches becamse our French Toast. Cake trimmed to level a wedding cake was layered with pudding and marshmellows to make a fantastic trifle dessert.

Me, I was the dishwasher, unpaid other than the benefit of food on the table. And trust me, when Mom is catering five weddings, with wedding cakes serving 500 people, there are alot of dishes! But we got by. I started giving piano lessons, watering and gardening for a neighbor, keeping score at bowling alleys, anything to contribute.

My Mom's business took off, and she published cook books, taught at the local college, ran a business. My brother was sent to a top university on her dime.

My sister and I had to pay our own way, being girls and all Smile. But we worked hard, got scholarships, took out student loans, graduated with honors and advanced degrees. We got the high tech jobs, with the high tech salaries and benefits. We spent, we saved, we invested, and we spent. Yes, we spent on things that don't seem so important now, but when you work 100 hours a week to get that top salary, the fact that some is wasted on restaurants and fresh produce that spoils because you aren't home to eat it, well it just doesn't seem foolish at the time. It seems necessary.

But life is a balance, and at the peak of our "financial" success, DH and DS both got cancer, and I was badly assaulted. As we recovered, we decided to take some time away, retire, live off of the interest from our investments. Which seemed quite reasonable ten years ago.

DH has managed things well, we didn't lose huge sums of money in this "downturn", but we also struggle with all the basics of everyday living that everyone else does. Gas, electricity, buying healthy food, making ends meet when they seem miles apart.

And so, today, I need some hope. Hope that life moves forward to better times. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and burned it many times over. Yet here we go ago once again.

Times are tough. So am I. There is reason for hope. I just need to find it.

But first I need to blow my nose, have a cup of tea, and turn the channel.

7 Responses to “I need some Hope today!”

  1. jillybean Says:

    There is reason to hope, as I have been reminded in my own life recently. I'll say a little prayer for your family. I do find turning off the tv helps (unless its a good "fluff" show). Take care.

  2. momcents Says:


    Turn off the TV! Say a prayer of thanks for the things that you have. I did hear that in a recent speech the President said that in order for the new plan to work there needs to be optimism and confidence.

  3. littlemama Says:

    Flash, I could almost picture your mother making the trufles with the cake scraps. Sounds delicious!

    Thnaks for posting.

  4. MICLASON Says:

    Well.... things might seem bad, but, if anything, I'd say your personal experience shows that things DO get better!
    I'm sure the fact that you have a cold makes you less optimistic than usual!
    turn off the TV, make yourself a cup of tea and get some rest! everything will look better once you can breathe normally!

  5. flash Says:

    Thanks for the cheer. Actually things really do get better. DH's cancer had a less than 1% cure rate, and he's been cancer free for 10 years! It's just the "here we go again" feeling of starting over. We retired at 40, did some consulting and little jobs here and there, but I had an accident around a year ago and I had hoped to not struggle back into the work force at this point.

    I took a nap and feel SO much better. Thanks everyone!

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    I can't believe that I missed this entry until now. And I am so glad that I saw it!

    I was really touched by this entry. It makes all that I have gone through in life so far seem petty and childish (not that I'm saying you're doing anything to make me feel bad about myself or anything).

    But anyways, may you find that hope and peace of mind that you are looking for. Please do take care.

  7. mary Says:

    i ask god to look over you and yours,just when you think yor out he steps in to let you know that it was just a test.and from the sound of it you past. just keep your head up and befor you know it your reward will be there.

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