Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gratitude Friday (A Day Late) :: Homebodies

Yesterday we went on a mini day trip to Jacksonville. Our destination was Whole Foods. We don't have a Whole Foods here in Gainesville and I had been itching to check it out. So we threw the cooler in the trunk, loaded the kids into the car, and then drove two hours to go grocery shopping.

Admittedly, the kids didn't like this trip that much. The girl likes our usual grocery store where she can get a free cookie from the bakery, and the boy was disappointed to see that Whole Foods was filled with "healthy organic stuff." (We had kept that part a secret from him.) But you know what? Not everything is about the kids. Jay and I wanted fancy cheese, dammit!

After shopping and eating an overpriced lunch at the Whole Foods Cafe, we headed home. When we arrived, the boy raced through the front door yelling, "I love this house!" I knew he was frustrated about being in the car most of the day, but this proclamation still surprised me. You see, I don't love this house. It's a fixer upper that I'm tired of fixing up. The amount of projects coupled with the down turn in the economy have taken it's toll on me and I'm worn out. Plus, it's too big. I'm a small house girl. I want a tiny cottage. I appreciate my house, it sure beats being homeless...but I don't love it.

While I was putting away the food I thought about what he said and I realized that it isn't really this house he loves, but what it represents: security, family, fun, pets, restfulness, relaxation. He has a different perspective than I do. When I look around my house I see a frustrating amount of unfinished projects, floors that need to be swept, a living room that desperately needs to be painted, a couch with umpteen strange smells emanating from it, and so on. The boy sees none of that and he doesn't notice the smells coming from the couch.

When Jay and I decided to stop using credit cards and halt most of our unnecessary spending, something unexpected happened: Our family became closer and our house became a happier place. We've never wanted the kids to feel like they were having to sacrifice their fun because we want to pay down debt, so we don't give them a chance to think about it. We make being at home fun. We play a lot of games and watch a lot movies. We stay busy at home. We just hang out together.

Life certainly isn't perfect. There are still a lot of things the kids want that they can't have. There are a lot of things I want that I can't have. We have our problems.....but right now, being home isn't one of them.
(My opinion of Whole Foods: Way out of my budget for general, everyday grocery shopping, but perfect for the occasional cooler full of fancy cheese.)


kraftykash said...

Was it worth the drive? Just curious. :)

I get fed up with our place alot(specifically certain neighbors). You do sometimes have to step back and just say to yourself this could be soo much worse.

I think its great that you are working on the debt thing.
We are big time homebodies! In fact, sometimes Im here a little too much. But, Im with the boy, its always great to get back home!

Thanks for doing the Gratitude Friday with me!

Hotch Potchery said...

I live a few hours from my nearest Whole Foods and next week, I am taking a day trip to stock up on some fancy "healthy" stuff I can't get in my tiny town.

When we were our DIRT poorest, our family was by far the happiest...we walked, and talked, and played games, and watched movies...I miss those days.

Tammie said...

kash: for a once in a while thing, it was worth the drive. if i had a Whole Foods here closer i might go once a month or so to pick up a few things. they had a couple of good deals on things i normally buy. i definitely couldnt do all my shopping there, its way too pricey. but it was nice to get out of town for a while.
i feel like you, like sometimes im in the house too much. sometimes i need to be let out to socialize with the rest of society.

hotch: its funny how that happens isnt it? like, you're forced to realize whats important and instead of it being a total drag, you find out you actually enjoy it. we are genuinely having a good time and i dont even think the kids notice that we are cutting back all that much.

Daphne said...

Whole Foods (otherwise known around here at Whole Paycheck): since we live in an extremely foodie part of the country, we have every single variety of foofy-fancy-pseudo-healthy grocery store you can think of. I live about 2 miles from a Whole Foods. Terri and I go there every once in awhile as 'date night'. We try free samples, sniff all the fancy soaps and lotions, admire the produce displays, and get a couple of treats (usually a small fancy dessert, a new bar of fragranced soap or some kooky natural soda in an unusual flavor). It's fun every once in awhile but... yeah. Whole Paycheck.

I've noticed the same thing as everyone else -- when you majorly cut out spending, suddenly house and home and family become more precious. I'm not worrying about money because we just aren't spending it. So we go to the library, cook more, watch movies, spending time enjoying kitties, etc. It's very cozy and I really enjoy not worrying about money/figuring out how to spend it.

(and I'm totally with you -- I'm a cottage kind of girl)

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

I love whole foods for their dairy-free selection (esp. having two kids with dairy allergies) and their fruit! vegetables! cheese! deli! Otherwise, it is crazily expensive. And we're cutting back to and are pretty happy. So we stay home...together and hang out and play games. It is fun and not as chaotic as when we were going out every weekend.

Karen said...

When WF opened in Jacksonville I almost cried with relief--I had always lived near one and it's SO MUCH CHEAPER than other health food stores. That said, it's not helping the budget, not at all.

Dani said...

We don't do all of the grocery shopping at Whole Foods, but a nice chunk of change is handed to them each month. The Boy was obsessed with pop tarts for a while and I wouldn't buy him the ones in the grocery store, telling him they were full of rubbish. I found a healthy version at WF which he ate...although loves the kind with rubbish a lot more.

I happen to love my house. A lot. More than I should. I know it is going to burn.

Our family went through some growing pains when we changed our mind set about money. I didn't grow up with money so it wasn't a big change. The Mr. on the other hand is not a "let's just go for an evening walk and be happy" sort of fellow. So it was an adjustment.

Tammie said...

daph: i agree. the fact that i dont think about money (other than to pay bills) is a huge relief. i used to spend a lot of time thinking about things i wanted to buy...i still do sometimes, but not nearly as often.

not your aunt bea: i love the less chaotic feel about life now. its definitely a plus.

karen: you're right i was surprised to find certain things cheaper. (peanut butter, certain all natural bath and hair products) but the gourmet stuff is what would kill my budget. and that crazy overpriced, yet totally yummy, hot bar.

Shalet said...

There is a whole foods in our town but I can't remember the last time I was there. Our local market is very "foodie" and closer. Of course it costs more too so I have to be careful, use coupons, etc.

I know how you feel about home ... we bought our house new and have been there for seven years. In that time we turned a new house into a not so new house. It needs to be painted inside and out. It needs new flooring. It desperately needs to be cleaned. And on and on.... and yet it's home.

Sarah12730 said...

We live in an old - OLD - house. When I look at it, I see all the things that are wrong with it. The central a/c is too small for the house, there's a spot on the front porch where the wood is rotten, and on and on.

But, for 5th grade graduation, a friend and I watched another friend's 2 younger kids (because siblings weren't allowed to attend, which is another story altogether) and the best part about it, and why I will always offer to watch her boys in the future, was when I was pulling into the driveway with my 2 boys and her 2 boys in my van. I noticed the overgrown grass and sloppy yard.

But Lynn's middle son said "This house looks -- AWESOME!!"

I was blown away and will forever love him. I have no idea what it was that looked so awesome about my house from the driveway, but he maintained his opinion that this house is awesome throughout the evening, and let me know several times.

Also, our pallet nailed in the tree, aka "treehouse", is apparently also awesome.

So, I'm doing my best to try to view things from that perspective. Instead of "what crappy thing do I have to deal with today?", it's "I wonder what awesome thing is going to happen today."

Turns out it's happier to live this way.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Great gratitude post. =)
I so want to visit a Whole Foods store!

Betts said...

You are an inspiration! And I feel the same way about our house a lot. I want to hear about the cheese. Anything soft and stinky?

(Whew! I'm all caught up on your posts. You've been a writing powerhouse.)