Thursday, November 27, 2014

Surface matters

It is so déclassé to talk about money but it's one of many things I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving. Besides, the older I get the less I care about what's supposed to be right and wrong, and more about what is right and wrong.

Some time ago I read that women are less concerned about losing their looks than they are about not having enough money. I was somewhat younger then with a different view of things and could understand this, but not live in it. It just didn't seem to apply to my circumstances, not that I was ever overly gifted with money but I had enough. Losing whatever looks I had loomed higher on the anxiety list. I'm not proud to say that but I've gained perspective and the ebbing tide of my appearance is not as fatal as I once thought it would be. One, to my bipolar reaction of dismay and delight, I found nobody cares what I look like on the outside. No one. Two, I've earned every line, wrinkle, gray hair, and drooping whatever. This, at least, is what I told myself when applying paint and spackle to my face the other morning and found new wrinkles that appeared, totally literally, overnight. Ditto the solar lentigines, cruelly also called age spots, that spontaneously and concurrently erupted on my face the week I turned 60. I thought I had skin cancer. No, it was just a case of middle age, an untreatable condition.

But I am concerned about money. How many people can honestly say they don't care if they have enough to live on? So when Voldemort notified me a few weeks ago that he was likely losing his job at the end of the year, resulting in a 40% cut to my income, I expected to go into panic mode but didn't. This money wasn't going to last forever; it's just dying an earlier death than I expected, and I never spent like there was no tomorrow. One thing my parents taught me was how to save. I will be just fine on the remaining 60%.

This year, then, I remain grateful for many things:
   Enough money to live on.
   Good health and the health insurance that helps it to stay that way.
   Regular "employment" at our wonderful national parks, which allows me to live a vagabond life.
   My girl cats, both worthless animals.
   The friends I have had and the friends I continue to make along the way.
   My family: the kids, the grands, my sister, my brother, and all in-laws and out-laws. 
   My round-about family: HH's kids, who have treated me like family from the beginning.
   And finally and firstly, my dear HH, the best thing that ever happened to me.

Only one photo today. I'm so far behind. This is a hummer that zipped in and out of the garden at Tumacácori one day, feeding on aloe flowers. I was lucky to find him at rest.


Thought of the day:

I've never been a millionaire but I just know I'd be darling at it. - Dorothy Parker