Did you know there are vintage Golden Wedding Anniversary Cake Toppers? I must confess I didn’t until I ran across this one in a local shop. At just a few dollars, I felt justified in adding it to my collection. I’m not sure I’d ever want that particular shade of gunmetal gray in my hair, but at least husband and wife match.
Back to a few dollars.
These are tough times for so many of us. Reading your comments on the Thrifty Living posts has been revelatory. Every one of you has a story, whether it concerns job loss, retirement on a fixed income, illness and medical bills, lack of health insurance, putting a kid through college… I could go on and on. Many times I have been moved to tears. You are all so brave. You’ve written from the heart about your own struggles and I thank you.
So when I read blog posts here and there in blogland that continually center on accumulating things one after another, I must admit I get more than a little turned off. It just seems so inappropriate in these times. I should clarify that thought. We all love a deal. When we can find something for a song, or snag something at an auction or estate sale for next-to-nothing, recycle by purchasing something vintage, find something on the side of the road and remake it – that calls for Hurrahs all around. That’s being thrifty, creative and thinking outside the box.
Taking something you have on hand and rethinking it is a great idea. It’s not about accumulating but it is about using what you have.
I understand the thrill of buying something new. It’s a high. I’ve felt that high.
Let me tell you, the high I get from recycling, reusing, and finding some little treasure for a few dollars is much more satisfying.
Would I like to get rid of this well-over-twenty-years-old-loveseat and buy something new? Something that is a wee bit more comfortable? Yes. But that’s an expense we can’t handle right now. So I make it as pretty as I can with what I have and that’s just fine.
All you have to do is watch the nightly news or read the comments on our Thrifty Living Series to know that there are so many people out there who are struggling to survive. Many have lost their pensions, their homes and are trying to make sense of this new world we live in. And I’m the first to say I love pretty pictures and beautiful homes. We all need to dream. But even more, I love seeing a ‘make do’ kind of attitude. The creativity that arises from that mode of thinking is amazing.
Some of my favorite pieces in my home have come about from thinking: What can I do with what I have?
Of course, I made this discovery because I had to. It was and is a necessity.
I don’t begrudge anyone what they have or how they spend their money. It’s their business. I just find posts about living creatively on a very small budget more enriching. I’d much rather read about a headboard that was made out of scrap lumber than read about one that was custom-made with expensive fabrics.
I’d rather read about someone spending a few dollars on flowers to pretty up a room than see a room re-done for thousands and thousands of dollars.
Or read about a lovingly hand-made item that adds a level of warmth and comfort to a room.
I’d rather see a kitchen re-done on a small budget than one with all the bells and whistles.
This has become my own particular sensibility. And I’m grateful for it. It allows me to be thankful for what I have, if only for a moment in time. It allows me to look around our little cottage and think, “It’s fine just the way it is, but maybe I can use this fabric in my stash to….”