Monday, March 2, 2009


I was watching Oprah today (I know, I know but she's OPRAH!) and the show was about, what else, the economic downturn. She had two families on who were conspicuous consumers and they both took part in an experiment where they tried to live more consciously. No spending on non-necessities, no TV, no Internet, fewer toys, clothes etc. While I can't really relate to the over the top spending these people were doing, the crazily overstocked pantry of one of the women struck a chord with me. She said that she shopped everyday and while she always made sure she was getting a bargain, she was buying much more than her small family could eat in a year. I mean she had BOXES and BOXES of pasta and granola bars and rice and shampoo and cereal and chips... Yet it struck me that there was something appealing about that for me. Not that I keep crazy amounts of food in my house but I can understand the comfort that having food brings. My husband once observed after we had moved that I never really seem settled and comfortable in a new place until I have filled my fridge. It made me wonder where that comes from - as a child we never had empty cupboards, there was plenty of food and I never had any idea about whether it was had for my parents to fill those cupboards. We always had enough of everything. I've wondered if my full-fridge thing has some bad connotation, if it is indicative of something missing, something I feel like I need to fill. I realized today that it is just the opposite. I don't covet designer labels, I gladly accept hand-me-downs for my child, we don't drive a fancy car and we want for nothing. Our lives are full. My full fridge is my daily reminder of my bounty - I am lucky that my fridge is full and I am even luckier that when it is empty I don't have to worry about how I will fill it again. I have to say that I agree with Oprah when she says that this economic downturn may be a blessing in disguise - it may force us all to think about what is important to us. Sometimes the things that give us comfort and security are empty and we can do without them. But sometimes the things that give us comfort and security make us realize how full our lives really are.

I think when it comes down to it we all have simple everyday things that make us feel safe and comforted - I'd love to hear about what yours may be!

Photo by The Vegerator

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