I wish I had time to think of some witty post, but like many of you – I’m working hard to keep my stride. I’ve had some job interviews that required gas money, and I’ve been thankful to work many hours on my feet as a cashier in a retail setting. So, I’m mostly tired these days.
Thankfully, I’m getting some paychecks that are helping my son and I to eat more than cereal this week, and that’s something we’re both grateful for. First big meal (you won’t believe it) was Shipwreck. That’s what my brother-in-law calls it, though I grew up with it called Goulash. I have found so many names for this ground beef in a tomato sauce with elbow macaroni pasta, that the name changes with the optional ingredients thrown in for fun. It’s certainly as different as meatloaf might be from home to home, and just as much a comfort food that always tastes better as a leftover. Surprised? Well, truth be told, I think we were both looking for some comfort, and this might provide it at some level.
We have a Christmas tree up, and it’s pre-lit with multi colors. I bought it with great joy last year :). I have the box of ornaments out, and I have one ornament I got from a cookie exchange at my sister’s home last weekend. It’s a pretty angel, and I know she’s a bit lonely. Maybe tomorrow I’ll get her friends out of the box and deck the tree :).
As my son stood in line at a store, he heard someone behind him saying, “People that don’t have money think it will solve all their problems.” My son let the guy know he was something of a fool for making that statement at the time, but as we were talking it over we finally got the gist of the offense figured out. Poor people (people like me – with a minimum wage job and Unemployed folks with no income like my son) aren’t looking for money, really. What we’re looking for is a means to provide for our physical needs like a home and healthy food, first. Then we hope to find a way to get the things that will support those like a trustworthy car, one phone option (to get keep in touch with employers and family), and some way of providing for our futures. All of these require an income, and a job is the best way to do it and feel really good about yourself. So, it’s not really “all about money.”
We’re not looking for special vehicles, awesome homes, or even whipped up computers and television connections that can only be numbered in triple digits but never really used. Money is the common specie used in trade and barter to acquire those necessities. I do some work, I get paid money that will be used anywhere I want to use it – which is why I want money more than food, cars or other things that need to be sold for money before I can use them to get what I really need. We both agreed there are some folks so poor they only have money. We’re not that kind of poor, but – well, we’re frustrated.
We’re both able to be employed, and in my case I am skilled in clerical work and that pays better than minimum wage with my skill levels and experience – usually. He’s done more skilled trade work in a variety of settings and very willing to work. We’ve submitted resumes and filled out applications galore – with few results. I had someone call this week and ask what we needed most, and I answered “encouraging and supportive comments” were very helpful. We’re not looking for handouts, though we’ve had to swallow our pride when some have come our way. This is a desperate time, no denying it.
My son got to help some friends out here and there with some brute strength or photography, and that helped him to feel a bit better about himself as far as having some value, too. This is the hardest part of being idled – feeling as if we’ve no value, because we’re not being picked up as valuable when we apply for jobs. It’s a tough market out there, and we’ve got so much competition for very few slots. That’s just the truth of it. Many jobs were closed down and will never return because of automation, too. This makes it a true challenge for anyone looking for traditional work situations.
But – there is still joy. When I got to go to the cookie exchange last weekend, I was anxious driving there (I was running late) but the drive back was wonderful! I love to go for rides and drives and the route I took was mostly farmland, so it was peaceful and lovely. Christmas carols playing on the radio kept me entertained for part of the journey and then I turned them off so I could talk more with my Creator, who sent His Son to rescue me from eternal death. We had a lot to say, and it was all very good.
I still find anthems to keep me going, and here’s one that blesses me as we begin Christmas week. I have worked on a church musical as a makeup artist (apprentice level only), and the story of Scrooge’s lesson on Christmas touches me in a special way. I even have some cute mouse ornaments of the three Angels and Scrooge that I treasure. Here’s a lovely song to help us stay focused on the things that matter most. Bless us, Lord. God bless us one and all…
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