Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Daily Thoughts, 1-6-09

So the recent holidays brought with them a flood of company. And while that is usually enjoyable, it has brought a single question to my mind. We’re not exactly flushed with money currently. That should be no surprise: we have two kids and are living in one of the most expensive regions in the US. So while we make a living that in other areas would be a really good one, it is just getting us by here. Our families know this, and when they come to visit, they very graciously stock our pantry, buy our gas, take us out to eat, etc. I don’t want there to be any gray area on this fact: they are more than generous to us, and we completely appreciate it.

But money is a sticky subject, and it always comes with strings, even if they say that it doesn’t. When someone is offering to pay for your meal at a restaurant, you would let them choose the restaurant, right? That’s just good manners. So what do you do when they are offering to fill your fridge, but they don’t have the same food values that you do? Let me explain.

I’ve been doing a lot of research about food. And even though it is more expensive, I believe that it is important to buy locally, and buy fresh. I also like to buy organic when I can, but the term “organic” is almost worthless since big agri-business has caught on to the trend. I consider this as an investment in my community.  It is important to spend your money where you live, on businesses owned by your friends and neighbors. After all, they are voting in your community, their kids are going to school there, their tax dollars are going there, etc. It is all part of living in society. Better food is also an investment in my self. And hopefully by spending a little more on food now and making better choices, I’ll save big bucks on my health care through the years. And most importantly, I see it as an investment in my kids’ health. By teaching them to think about what they put into their bodies and make smart choices. I think exposure is key. It is not that I want to completely ban all junk food, but I want to teach them to take it in moderation.

But not everyone feels this way. Some people, like my parents and in-laws, feel that one should just spend the least amount of money on food, no matter what. And I can understand that, especially in these lean times. It does seem silly to spend more money when you could be spending less. But just because I respect that view, doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with it. So what do I do when they’re paying for the food?

My gut tells me to just let them buy what they will, but honestly, I long for the day when I don’t need them to fill my pantry at all.  My thoughts are, if I want to receive, then I should just shut my mouth and be grateful. And I am grateful. I am overwhelmed at the help that they have given us. On the other hand, should they have more respect the for the way I live my life and the choices that I make?  What do you think?


I cannot wait for the day when I can afford to buy enough food for my family and company, and then this won’t be an issue at all.