In past years, I have stacked boxes, bags of clothing and household items on my porch for a tax write-off/donation for others. Seriously, being self-employed, you look for every deduction you can get. Taxes are pretty much the death of me these days. After 13 years in the same home, we have amassed a ton of crap and well, I come from a long line of hoarders. We might just need that sweater from 1988 because there will be an 80's party, SOMEDAY! We might need to barter with other people left behind with our shoes and socks for a loaf of bread because others didn't plan so well. The box of 5021 keys will be the odd key that will open up an old lock into fortune and wealth mainly because, our ancestors were a strange and non-trusting lot.
I have only had one garage sale and felt the fruits of my labor were not worth the weird strangers pawing through my stuff. Let's face it, my temperament is not really made to argue about a $10 Coach purse that someone wants for $5.00. I might just beat you out of my garage sale with that said purse for the stupidity of your actions.
Lately, I have started eBaying crap that might have a 'bit' of value if it is from a something more than Justice or Old Navy. $200.00 later this month, I'm really wondering why I just gave everything away without any minor effort of making some money. At least trying to recoup some of my investment on these indecisive kids we have in this fort.
Last week, a friend shared with me about 24 children from Africa who were visiting for a small amount of time to perform and raise money for their village. After two weeks of screaming sessions with the girls on their clothing options, I donated seven bags of clothing for these children to wear here and warm weather clothing to take back home for their village.
The deep-hearted smiles and thanks they gave us was truly humbling. We do have too much. Americans on the whole have too much. Last week when Celia screamed her coats and sweaters were ugly, I decided it was time to know what being poor and without really means. I started looking for opportunities to volunteer and give their stuff away to others who are in need and might actually appreciate a Gap sequined sweater. By volunteering and giving, I mean THEY are going to be the ones to give it away, go through their closets, purge and have discussions with other children how tough their lives are in comparison.
I found this list "50 Acts of Kindness by Kids for Advent" today on FaceBook. I am implementing these daily acts in our lives on top of other acts to truly know what it is like to be thankful for what we have and what we don't.
In a world of mean-assed selfish assholes, I am trying to show the girls what it is like to be a true human with the capability of compassion and caring. The world is way beyond our wants and needs sometimes.
I try to show the kids, hey, sorry we aren't living in a mansion and making a shit-ton of money to give you every trip and desire you want but, maybe, just maybe, if you work for it, share and give, the need for stuff (that is just stuff) wanes a bit. Seriously, you can't take this crap with you when you die. The trip to Disney is just that for the living left behind. The deceased is giving two shits. They are somewhere else other than in this gluttonous human world.
I only hope I'm 'doing it right' in this parenting thing. It is so hard to give your kids more than you had without making them selfish non-caring assholes. While being poor ourselves.