In these tough economic times, I find it hard to breathe sometimes. The rising gas and food prices, chip, chip, chip away at what little sanity I have left. No, Mr. President, I don’t own a Hybrid, and making five more years worth of car payments just to get one doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m drowning as it is, why add another millstone around my neck?
Then I notice my piano bench. It’s surface is scratched and has sections where the finish is worn thin—blemishes I choose not to fix. Each one stands as a reminder of my first year of marriage. A time when we had even less, yet we survived.
Back in a basement room of the first hotel ever built in the city was our apartment. The place had no air-conditioning, a little space heater that in the wintertime did little to heat the space, and pipes showing above where sections of the ceiling were missing. Yeah, it was a spider infested, fun place to live. In this 100-year-old location, my piano bench became our table. We didn’t have money to buy one, and my very wise husband refused to use a credit card. (Remember that make due or do without I talked about)
It took me six months to save enough for our first $100 table and set of four chairs. Six months of meager burnt dinners served on my piano bench. (Dinners we laughed at, but ate.) And homework done on its surface while kneeling on a warped wooden floor.
After hearing the President’s speech this week, I realized there was more intelligence in the marks on my piano bench than him, or his spend more and we’ll eventually pay for it attitude.
Tighten your belt, there’s more you can do, each groove in my piano bench reminds me. Don’t wait for the conspiring men running this country to do it. We have to learn to be happy with less. And not just until the economy recovers—forever. Do you really need that brand new car every two years, or the fancy house you can barely afford? What if you never ate out again, is it really such a travesty? Expending all our effort to acquire money, power, things, doesn’t change the end result of this life. You’ll die, and none of it will be going with you.