Mom always said, "Waste not, want not." I took her advice to heart, generally, and though at the time I rebelled against many of her non-wasting measures (like, washing out and reusing all plastic bags until they got holes--I resorted to poking holes in them, deliberately, when she wasn't looking just to get out of washing them!)

Once I was keeping house for myself, I found that Mom was a wise woman...right about a lot of things, including that "Waste not, want not." idea. Now I have kids and am making ends meet, I try to get into the spirit of "Wonder of the Wonders" Mom was talking about, with the waste thing. I'd ask my children eat up everything on their plates and wear those hand-me-downs. Our son still rides his sister's old purple bike with sparkles and dangling tassels.

I hope I don't kick up too much fuss among my friends here. There are a lot of defending of TV as a good source of information and advice on rooting out entrenched theories about how people spend their time, all of which I've since found very helpful to my thinking process. I made the observation that the only time really wasted is time spent doing something I really don't want, something makes no sense to me, and I am stuck doing it only because someone else is making me; or conversely, when I am being prevented from doing something that I really want to do. And I am bored because of this. Now, that is wasted time.

Somehow, that really made me sit up and take notice about this waste issue and the good and the bad of it. It took me quite some time to gradually come to notice and observe the occasions when I was worrying about waste to no good end. I do it to myself! I am inclined to eat up food the kids leave and food experiments that don't turn out so well--all in the interests of quelling waste (to the detriment of my girlish figure, if you catch my drift.) I realized I need to only eat things I really want and like. I have come to give myself permission to do this as I am learning to extend that courtesy to everyone everywhere in the interests of autonomy. I like that word autonomy--kind of rolls off the tongue. The respect thereof surely does improve lives in us.

I'm meandering off-course here. In figuring out my "Waste not, want not" issues, I had to apologize to our daughters for comments I used to make about how they use their rooms--which are mostly for storage in a whirlwind fashion; they think the floors are just big shelves, seldom spend time in there and even sleep in the family room. With hard thinking, I found that I had been coveting those spaces. I could use some more space for my crafty addiction, a retreat, or a padded cell! Just kidding about that last one...once I changed how I thought of waste and respected their choices in how they used their rooms, it somehow freed me up to consider the vast range of choices I have in using the rest of the space we do have! It was right there in front of me all along, but being stuck in that "Waste not, want not" rut hid plenty of options from my blinkered mind.

I still run up on plenty of hard places where I find myself kvetching about how money is being spent or how time is being used. When that happens, one of us eventually has the light bulb turn on in her head and remembers “Oh, yeah! It's time to go over priorities again and figure out what we really believe about what is happening and what could be better ways to get what we really want out of this!” Those old ruts run pretty deep. I fall into them when I am not paying attention. The bright side is that I do have a better idea about how to climb out again. Like my sweet husband always said, “There are three types of people in this world: those who watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those say what happen. Which one are you?”


0 encouragements:

True learning-learning that is permanent and useful,that leads to intelligent action and further learning, can arise only out of the experience, interest, and concerns of the learner.
John Holt
Real heroes are men who fall, fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they stayed true to their ideals, beliefs and commitments.
Actor Kevin Costner

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