I was browsing MSN today and came across this article about "little luxuries"...things that can make you feel rich even in the midst of tightening belts and economic worries. The article talks about the benefit of "indulging" in things that may feel like a splurge, and how important it can be to find what brings you pleasure when times are tough...even little things that might have seemed unimportant before.
It got me thinking about our situation - we are weathering some really tough financial times (and have been for over a year now)...I am lucky to have a stable job at the local hospital but I only work part-time. Hubby has had a rough time keeping consistent income flowing in, mostly because he has worked in either retail or restaurant - either the pay is inconsistent because of tips, or the hours are getting cut back because of the economy. He actually hasn't been scheduled to work in 3 weeks (though there's hope of a new job on the near horizon..fingers crossed...).
When I started this blog last year, I never expected to NEED it as much as I do right now...what I have learned about living frugally and shopping smart is literally saving our skins. Some budgets squeak...ours screams like an extra in a Freddy Kruger movie! Because of this blog and the many wonderful bloggers I have learned from, I don't worry about whether we will eat well...there are certainly plenty of other issues to keep me busy.
But we have found ways to FEEL rich. Once in a great while we can indulge in special treats (Ben & Jerry's ice cream for me, Ginger Snaps for hubby). Since there's no money to go out, we have more game nights with friends at home - entertaining a crowd feels good even when it's on a shoestring! We window shop at our favorite stores and dream big about what we can do once things are better, just for fun.
The article says that "temporary bursts of positive feeling in your life -- whether it's affection, pride, gratitude, excitement, curiosity" can energize you and make you more hopeful and optimistic...it's an important place to find when you're dealing with big worries and tough situations. Our bank account might be laughable, but we LAUGH. We smile every day. We appreciate what we have and joke about what we'd do with that Publisher's Clearing House check.
What have you done to feel rich today?