Monday, February 28, 2011

Doing the most good

Our house has had it's annual sick for weeks in row time now so hopefully we're almost out of the woods. With the exception of a few cases of pink eye and some hacking coughs I'd say we've paid our dues for the year in terms of sickness. Right now the 3 youngest have pink eye...and a terrifying thought came to me today. You're never immune to pinkeye are you? If we don't stay on top of this it could go round and round until we would be a great cast for a horror film....like this guy.



ok so not really...he's way too sweet to be in a horror movie...maybe more like a "just 20 cents a day" commercial. If you don't remember that...then you're too young to be reading this. Anyway, poor Max....and now Henry and Holly. However, if you're going to be classified as sick, I'd pick pinkeye every time.

That commercial brings up something that I've been thinking about a lot lately. I've posted about something similar to this before. Lately I've been feeling what I would describe as the winter blues...boredom...not feeling fulfilled...whatever it's called. Anyway, so the family and I decided to venture out to the mall on saturday to shake things up a bit. To my surprise everyone in town was there. It made me more aware of how much people shop to give themselves a little pick me up. I know because I've done this and still do sometimes...a lot of times. It works...as does going out to eat...eating anything tastey...watching your favorite show...and probably so does doing drugs(though with swifter negative consequences often times). Anyway all of these things are quick fixes to boredom and seem to fill a void...but ultimately do nothing in the way of helping me have a fulfilling life. It made me a little sad to see how many people do this...and at the same time it was comforting to see that I wasn't alone in being so offbase. All this led me to believe that I need to spend my time on worthwhile things if I want to feel like I'm living a full life. But..man that's hard. I feel like I'm doing that when I'm being a good mom....that's hard to measure though. Sometimes being a good mom means your kids are furious with you. I guess ultimately doing service is the best way to feel like your life has been worth it...like your time was well spent. So in thinking about this I came across a website that talked about bakesales you can do to raise money for kids in Uganda...for things like running water, education, medicine, shelter, etc. What a great idea...and what a great way to get your kids involved and caring about people and understanding that not everyone has it as good as they do. The website was www.thecupcakekids.org for anyone who is interested. Anyway, from all this I started thinking about my life and the huge contrast in the way I live versus the way these kids live. How can I possibly live like this when there are so many that have nothing? How can I possibly justify new shoes..like brand new...when some people..especially kids...don't have enough to eat or aren't getting the medicine they need? I've talked to Daniel a lot about this lately and the only thing I can come up with is a sort of lame justification. I say that each of these small pieces(wearing new clothes, having a nice home, going out to eat with my famiy) is for a bigger idea...a bigger goal to create a safe and happy environment for my kids...to create memories...to fit in society where we will do the most good if we are accepted and have more doors opened if we aren't extreme...or perceived as whackos who live in the forrest and off of the forest. I then think but you can accomplish that goal with much less..and start thinking of ways to sell my house and live on less. I've got a feeling this will be a mental struggle of mine until I die. Why should I ever go to Mcdonald's when someone could use that money for something needed for basic survival? So, should I just give all my extra money to foundations that say they are doing the most good for the less fortunate? I don't think so...I mean giving to charity is good and I do give some money to charities...but I guess I selfishly want to be a part of the service so that I can see the results. Daniel and I have recently thought seriously about adopting a kid from Africa...talk about extreme...but after talking to some women who have done this...it seems that the only need for adoption is for kids that are older or disabled. That humbled me really fast....when I realized I wasn't the kind of person to actually take on something like that...I guess I feel like I would if I didn't already have 5 kids who already need so much of my attention. I guess I have a lot to think about in terms of how I want to move forward and spend my time. I hope I can come up with the right balance so that when I die I can look back and be proud of the way I spent my time and know that I did the most good with what I had.

1 comment:

Skip and Bonnie said...

wow, some deep thoughts. I agree completely. It is so gloomy outside and some days, last week especially, I just feel like staying in bed all day. And there is nothing that is better for that than service.