Sunday, January 11, 2004

Not much to report, aside from beautiful weather and a few muddy walkways.

Living in the country can be great and for those who have made a choice to live rurally or have lived there all of their lives, but it presents its own set of challenges.

among them are limited choice of readily available consumer items. There is always the internet these days, but one is not assailed by signs, windows and shops everywhere. Nor can one really easily indulge in the suburban and urban rites of "shopping," unless one counts the occasional WalMart or Associated Food Store.

These can be great when one has chosen to not immerse one's self in the consumer economy to the extent that many in our times and society have, but at times it puts one at a marked disadvantage socially when competing with others in the marketplace, whether speaking of jobs or commerce.

Sometimes, this disadvantage is nothing more than psychological. When one takes TV or movies as the cue for social currency, one can feel pretty low when living in a disintegrating century-old home with a coal stove and fifteen year old autos. The inferiority complex I'm speaking of is very subjective and results from a loss of perspective. The ideals behind conscious frugality or even, poverty are pretty difficult to maintain in our society. Much works against such a position, through the media, social pressure, and even engineered obsolescence.

But I am committed. In many ways, we are locked in. Six children on a single educator's income is an exercise in frugality.

When there is expectation to continue education and training and supplies and curriculum needs that are unfunded by the workplace. It adds to the financial pressure. Not at all insurmountable with a little bit of creative thinking, but still, going somewhat against the flow of the majority.

Feh. Things work out. Money isn't everything, but it sure does open doors more easily. Without it, ya just gotta think harder.

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