Sunday, December 17

Food And Shelter, Room And Board …

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I am thankful today.  I do not have exactly what I want, but I have everything that I need.  I do not have any heat, but I can cook food and use the stove and the oven again.  Someone else around here has heat, and I may be a beneficiary of this as it hasn’t been less than 60 degrees in this apartment.  The electricity is on, and I have been in an apartment without any electricity or any heat before, so I am better off than I have found myself in the past.

I do not have the perfect job, but I do make enough money to pay my bills.  I still owe the IRS, I still owe student loans, I still owe on credit cards, I still owe for utility bills for previous addresses.  I have a cell phone that I pay $15 a week for.  This allows me to do whatever I want for 7 days.  The only thing I do not have for that is data, but I can text people and I can talk until the battery runs out, then charge the battery up, then talk again and repeat the cycle until I knock myself out.  I tried paying for minutes, but that does not work for me; I need the insurance of being able to use the phone for an hour or two at a time under the right circumstances.

I can keep track of $15.  I can’t keep track of 600 minutes or differentiate between daytime and nighttime minutes.  I got on the Internet with a phone plan I had with Sprint and ended up paying $75 for 15 minutes.  For $75 I can talk on this phone for 37 days, and I can text people as well.  I thought text messaging was for kids and teenagers, but it works well when I do not actually need to speak with people.  I had a problem with the Internet, and I used the chat feature to speak with the representative on how to fix my problem.  I did not need to speak with him because the problem was not getting onto the Internet, but figuring out why it was so slow.  The speed went back to normal by the end of the conversation.

Then again I already had my theories because that is what I do on a daily basis.  The only difference is that I do it over the phone.  Some people need to speak with someone in person, and that is where I come in.  Did I also mention that I have two cars, but enough gas to run one of those cars.  The other car has a flat tire and probably wouldn’t even start.  I wasn’t looking for two cars, but to make a long story short, this is how things turned out for us.  Eventually that other car will be of use to me, but for now it is just there when I do not want the inconvenience of having to wait for my wife to pick me up for work.

When I met my wife, she was everything that I needed; people did not understand our relationship but we are still together after 14 years.  I’ve met other women here and there, but there is a difference between what you want and what you need.  You want someone superficial that is perfect in the eyes of society, but that is not necessarily what you will get.  If you get her, you may not necessarily keep her.  I’ve known guys that said that they would be that perfect boyfriend, or the perfect husband, when they get this women, and some do and others do not.  

But I have been known to be superficial in other ways.  I always had to have the perfect clothes and be surrounded by the perfect people.  I would check for designer names and I had to know how expensive it was, even if I didn’t pay much for it myself.  Nothing in my life has been perfect.  But I have always been of  a mind to solve problems.  If I did not have a lot of money, I found a way to get everything that I needed.  If I never had any problem, they never would have been solved, and I would be a different person. 

People complain because they had a perfect life at one time and their ideal life is out of reach.  They had money and that perfect person, and now they are without money, and that perfect person figured out that they were better off on their own.  I’ve heard people say that the only people that serve God are losers that do not fare well in life.  I am not interested in being a loser, you wouldn’t want to listen to anything that a loser had to say and you wouldn’t read anything that I had to write.

If someone is talking about God do you automatically assume that they are a loser?  I certainly could not carry myself as a loser.  I tried looking the part, but that did not necessarily change anything for me.  Of late I figured that instead of trying to psyche myself out by dressing for success I will allow how I truly feel to dictate how I look and take it from there.  As in love people are with the idea of looking as though everything is more than what it truly is, I would rather be upfront with you.  If I had $200 for an article of clothing, and I did not have any bills to pay and it would not hurt me to pay $200 for an article you might see me wearing that.  But if I could only afford $20, that is what you are going to get.

If I just had to have something but was only comfortable with parting with $5 you will get that too!  So I make no apologies for the used cars that I have.  They’re not $20,000 cars, more like $7,000 cars, and that is what you are going to get from me.  I live in the ghetto, and am not ashamed because I do have a place to stay and I still have a job.  A lot of people live in $300,000 houses that do not have a job, and aren’t going to get a job any time soon.  A lot of people live in $400,000 houses that are about to get their electricity turned off; I have what I need in my $150,000 apartment in the ghetto, or maybe more like $95,000 because I am sure that the landlord is making something on this deal.

Why aren’t we thankful for the little things in life?  Instead we complain about we don’t have, and what we will not get.  Is it because of all of the external influences that sell to us and are constantly advertising their products, ideas and services?  An insurance commercial shows a couple in a difficult situation.  Once the insurance agent showed up and started to work on their claim, they wanted to trade in each other.  The girlfriend wanted a new boyfriend, then the new boyfriend wanted a new girlfriend.  

Our life is the never ending quest to “trade up” and get something bigger and better, only to learn of the demands that new thing has of us.  Is it okay to be content?  Is there something wrong with me for not wanting more?  Do I want the responsibility that comes along with something more, the demands that it has for me?  I had a house before, but I did not have enough money left over to pay for repairs.  I barely had enough money to eat, and I was house poor.  But I am not going to live in an apartment forever either.  My cars will wear out, my clothes will wear out, my relationship will face new challenges.  Am I going to face these new situations head on, or will I retreat back into my shell?  Everything in life changes, and you can never stay in your comfort zone for too long.  Yet I am someone that resists change.  I have the basic necessities in life, but I should have more.  Is the point of having more to give back or to put yourself into a situation where you are a more responsible individual …


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