A Full Tank

Being a single Mom and financially stable, may not coexist at first, but it was the most rewarding season of my life. It’s been a long road, but rest assured the road will lead to greener pastures.

The journey of the single Mom offers a continual concern over money. We lived in the country and drove 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store. I’d become dependent on my truck’s gas gauge to be accurate and indicate when gas was needed, until that one time we ran out of gas. It’s unnerving to break down on a country road with your daughter, but we called for help and it came. That was the last time I depended on a gauge in my truck and from that day forward I kept at least half a tank of gas in him.

Time rolls by and you figure out how much you can spend each week. You ask for a raise at work and take side jobs for extra spending like Christmas and birthdays. You’ll pile pillows on the floor and lay down side by side only to stare at the ceiling fan. A conversation begins as light-hearted giggling, but becomes deeper until you realize your voices are now a whisper and tissues are needed. You’ll take turns cooking so they can be creative in the kitchen, knowing full well you’re going to clean up afterwards. Those are the most memorable meals.

Over time you make more money, or want fewer things, but somehow time and money line up. My truck has gone from having half a tank to a full tank, but he’s not the only one. My daughter grew into a young adult and moved into her own home this year, but thinking about everything we went through to get to this point has me writing this with a full tank.

Feature Photo by Reed Geiger on Unsplash

Slow is Free

I was walking the neighborhood, and saw some friends outside, so stopped to say hello. One had a question about tea filters, and the best method for loose-leaf teas. When describing the type bag I use, her husband began nodding his head, like he could envision what I’d described. He said, “I’ll just order some off Amazon and they’ll be here tomorrow, or maybe even tonight!” Everyone chuckled.

In January of this year, I stopped ordering from Amazon. Delivery is fast, but I was hugely disappointed in the quality of product. What I’d ordered looked as if it had been opened and for all I know, could have been used.

This made me look at other areas of my life in which I was paying for fast, and PayPal was another. To move money from PayPal into another account was immediate, for a price. They take a percentage of the money moved, which bothered me to no end, considering PayPal did nothing to earn the money. I was paying for convenience. You can move it for free, but they warn it may take 1-3 business days, but the money shows up in 24 hours.

Free takes more time. It helps is to pay attention and take note when you’re running out of something. To order it ahead of time and not pay an extra fee for fast, because in more ways than one, slow is free.

Extraordinary Moments

I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments. They’re right in front of me when I pause and look. I was making a cup of tea for my daughter and me, and this is how I happened to sit the cups on the cutting board. Once the tea was finished steeping, I snapped this pic.

Tea_for_two

This happens often in my life. Things line up and the photo looks staged, but instead it’s called living with intention. To pay attention to detail. Everything that comes before the moment is what makes the moment extraordinary. When I showed this photo to my daughter, she said, “It’s so esthetically pleasing.” Usually what’s pleasing to the eye is like water for the soul, or it should be in my opinion.

I was listening to my Right to Write course, by Julia Cameron, and she was talking about having writing stations. Different spaces throughout the house to sit and write, depending on the mood. I have those, but not only for writing. I have spaces that soothe me, and each one has a different feel. One of my favorite spaces is the middle of my bed. Sometimes, in the evening I sit there and write after a long day.

One afternoon, I was sitting in the middle of my bed, on a Zoom, when my attention drifted away from the screen over to the corner of the room.

That corner of the room was being bathed in golden light, but for me it felt like another extraordinary moment.