I'm so sad for the growing number of people who are so hopeless about their financial situations that they are taking drastic measures. I don't even want to type what they are doing, but you probably know it. It has been all over the news. And even if you don't watch the news you can't miss the headlines when you sign into your Internet server. And the response from family and friends of those involved usually is something like, "All he had to do was ask, I would have helped him."
I've been thinking about this and looking at it from several angles. First, can you imagine what it must feel like to actually ask? Curing the "Recession" is not yet personal. It is a political statement of notice and worry. And gratefully so. But still, as Obama expressed, it has yet to reach the homefront. The neighborhood. The family reunion. It is only acceptable at a wider level of concern. When it gets more personal, financial struggle has a stigma and there is a lot of judgement around it.
Recently Camille went through a period of poor choices. I took this opportunity to allow her to experience self-sufficiency. I didn't bail her out. And within one month of her "broke-ness" she felt judgement by her friends. While she always until this point, had money in her wallet, her bills readily taken care of, and she was incredibly generous with her friends; within two months she was left out of plans that she longed to be included in because she didn't have a buck to spare. Just ignored and not invited. She was even told something like, "Money is the basis of our society. You need to figure it out." So sad. What else could have been said? Usually she just felt like the elephant in the living room. Luckily for Camille she is an intuitive, bright girl and she got right back on track. But what about the person who can't?
I'm feeling my social responsibility more deeply each day. Of course, I continue to notice (it's hard NOT to notice) the folks knocking on my window at stoplights. Here is where I need to not only practice generosity, but also practice tolerance. But what I am opening my mind and eyes to is...what about the person in my life who mentions a true, unexpected hardship that I know I could help simply by giving up a couple (nonfat) lattes or taking a hundred bucks from the bank to pay a bill for them that they are struggling to do? Sure, they are not destitute, but perhaps, just perhaps, my noticing and offering a helping hand might prevent a desperate reaction to a workable problem. Who knows when and how someone spirals down into such a funk that they commit some heinous crime. The friends and family of those who have fallen down this path certainly didn't know. And even if, when all is said and done, it's no more than a random act of kindness, that in itself is worth it. How wonderful to save someone you love from despair? Maybe they don't even know they are headed in that direction. Wouldn't it be glorious if your kind deed saved them from feeling defeated?
And you know what? I'm thinking this is not a responsibility. It is an honor.
I've been miserably missing many of my favorite bloggers who haven't done much posting recently. I go there and no one's home. AND NOW... I think I caught their bug, because I feel the Blahgs my own self. Hopefully inspiration is right around the corner. BUT...when one is *infirmed* a lot of knitting gets done. And a lot of quiet thinking.
There hasn't been any beautiful snow, only dirty snow and cold weather. Three weeks into Weight Watchers, and that too, has lost its appeal. Oh, I'm sticking it out, but feeling weary tonight.
You're probably glad I've been lax in my postings.
Things always look better in the light of day.
I'm gonna go knit.
Yes, I left on foot yesterday because I needed some fresh air and exercise. My destination was the B of A on Damen and North. I'd walked there with the baby many times in late summer, early fall. Something I didn't realize about living in the snow: all the deep slush that pools around corners and curbs. Never crossed my mind that such a soggy nightmare existed. And then when it snows on top of the ankle deep water...forgetaboutit. Needless to say, it took me 3 hours to get to the bank and back. My Uggs were soaked through (Thank gawd for the warm wool socks Heather knitted for me. After I ducked into the market for 2 produce bags to put over the wool socks inside my wet boots, I was fine. A crazy ass bag lady, but relatively fine.)
Later on the news it reported that 24 straight hours of snow had fallen (about 8-12 inches). I found it interesting that the city's full fleet of snow plows were out clearing the streets, 274 of them rolling up and down the streets of Chicago. They also recommended that you dig your car out while it was still powder, because they were expecting a big drop in temperature over night. So that I did. Bundled up again and went and freed my car of snow. The accumulation on and around my car was a good foot deep. Still? Yes, I'm in love with Chicago.
I did get wild good exercise. Also found a wallet and made a guy very happy. Came home and drank a hot toddy. And relaxed with a movie and some knitting. I got the baby sweater I knitted for my niece's new little boy blocked for finishing. Today I basically stayed in and finished the scarf I began knitting last night. It's been a good weekend for me. Quiet, relaxing, fresh, creative, exhilerating.
One more photo for Jo....hahahahahahaha YES! It still happens and makes me laugh too. Here are a couple shots I took out of my front doors early yesterday morning:
For the first time in my life I noticed that the weather channel online has an "Aches and Pains Index". Well, I never....I'm going to give it a test this week. The rating is a 1 to 10 scale (1 being the least amount of pain, 10 the worst). Tonight they say, is a zero. Wednesday is a ten. I'll let you know.
My second note is about the colors of winter. When all the flowers fade and the leaves have been milled back into the earth, new colors blossom disguised as raincoats, boots, hats, scarves. The hats and scarves (yes, and mittens too) are a whole new garden of beauty to a knitter. But it's there for all to notice. I sit in traffic and watch the passers-by. It's a virtual display of hue and texture. It's like the absent sunlight made its way through the darkened sky, unobserved, stealthily, and created a whole new array of color on an otherwise bleak sidewalk.
Resolution? I am going to do my best to respond to each comment made on my blog. I love comments, and I need to show this gratitude.
Otherwise, a quiet night alone in the house. Very cold outside, toasty warm in here. I'm hoping to complete my Hat Fit for a Boyfriend tonight. Then I will find a boyfriend. Then when I give it to him he will be so touched he'll offer to give me a great foot massage. I'll accept. Finally I will have to ask him to stop because he's been rubbing them so long it doesn't feel good anymore. He'll be disappointed but when I say he can brush my hair he'll feel better and smile again....
No, really I love this pattern because it is simply a hat that fits.
Thank you Timothy Leary.