As I read more and more articles on poverty in Philadelphia, I have decided to make a personal decision to no longer say I am broke. I expect it will take a while to remove the phrase, as such, from my lexicon but I am determined to do so.
For one thing, broke implies something is broken and we are not. We work just fine and quite hard, I might add, as do the vast majority of people in the financially challenged category.
To accomplish this, I might even employ a swear jar, instead calling it my “be grateful for blessings” jar or “be grateful for the luxury of choice” jar.
I didn’t really think about it until, dishing out a reprimand to the Pumpkin for turning her nose up at dinner once again, I reminded her that I never had such choices growing up. Food was put on the table and we ate it or went without. My mom never cooked multiple meals. The very concept of “what would you like for dinner” in and of itself is a luxury. For many people, too many really, it’s not what’s for dinner but will there be dinner at all. No money, no choice.
We have choice in our house. Every week I sit down to plan our meals and ask the family if there are any particular meals they’d like to have during the upcoming week. Like! That’s a luxury right there! Even if the meals are modest and budget-friendly, not like we’re eating truffles and salmon except this week we are eating salmon because the Pumpkin loves it and it gave me leverage for good behavior the entire weekend, but not truffles. Anyway, we can routinely eat things we like.
Likewise, I am trying to broaden our consumption of veggies so last week I purchased a $5 cauliflower. Never mind that I have no idea how a cauliflower can cost that much except maybe the same squirrels that devoured our garden also plagued the cauliflower farmers and they had a weak crop this year. Or, it may be the onslaught of creative cauliflower recipes I’ve seen on Pinterest that’s made it a highly-desirable vegetable. Regardless, the fact that we have a choice about eating a $5 cauliflower is something to be very grateful for.
All of the sudden, I was overcome with happiness and contentment about a cauliflower. Sure, there are things we can’t afford – many things. But, we can afford salmon once a month and cauliflower! Therefore no more complaining! We are not broke; we are blessed!
It’s very good for the soul to be thankful every day; puts things in perspective. During my walk home I try to think of five things to be thankful for every day. Often it’s a fairly routine list: our family, friends, jobs, the Pumpkin, etc. But, thanks to this cauliflower, I will be adding choice to my list of things to be thankful for.
If anyone is wondering about the fate of the cauliflower, I made this (Pork & Cauliflower) and it came out delicious!