And so we are coming at last to something I have longed for, something I've wanted for many, many years: normal. My husband is ill and my belly-button is still not healed but soon, please God, those things will be behind us and ordinary life will be in front of us. Right now, I don't have to stress about money, or work, or really anything at all. I have less time, but it doesn't really feel that way as often as I thought it would because work stays at work for the most part.
So what shall I do with the free time that I have? What do I do with all this drive, passion, and energy?
Before I used a lot of my free time for money-saving activities and money-earning activities. I did freelance writing, I did crafting, I did penny-pinching. But I don't really need to do those things now. Yes, that sort of thing will help me pay off the house a little bit sooner. But is that little bit worth it? If I did all of those things when would I ever relax?
I'm sure many of the habits of frugality I have contracted will remain. And because I was too sick to go to the craft fair this year, the stuff I made for it also remains. Do I go next year? As I get farther and farther away from that other life that I wanted to escape from so intensely, crafting starts to seem kind of silly. I knew that I could work all afternoon making gift bags and earn five dollars, but I was so eager to do any little thing I could to escape my situation that I didn't really mind much. It will be interesting to see if all of that gradually fades away.
More importantly, I think when we have a big change in our lives is a good time to think about our values and our spiritual goals. So the question I'm asking myself is also: What can I do for other people? How can I get into habits of generosity? What would happen if I used what little free time I have now to make other people's lives brighter? I have that gift – the gift of lighting up a room when I walk into it, of making people feel more cheerful, of making them feel special, of helping them to see their gifts. I suppose most noble thing to do would be to work for the poor and downtrodden, but I'm wondering what I can do for friends and family first.
I guess what I really thinking about is how I can make my new goals match my values.