Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Art of Giving

Here we are in the middle of a recession and I'm re-doing my bathrooms.

Believe me, I'm not the kind of person who enjoys renovating houses. (I'm one of those rare women who hates to shop.) I've kept up with maintenance, but haven't had any major work done around here in 14 years. The last time I think the bathrooms were done was in '78.

So why spend money now?

Because I had a bit of cash on hand and thought, what the heck, why not put some people to work?

(My decision was helped along by the fact that my Formica-clad counters were falling apart, but really they've been falling apart for years.)

I know it's counterintuitive, but I've found that there's no better way to cope with feeling depleted than to dig deeper into my heart, deeper into my pockets, deeper into whatever hole I find myself in and give more than I think I have left to give.

I'm not talking about going into debt. I'm talking about spending some of my reserves. By investing in others--by investing in hope--I instantly maximize my return. Not of money, of course. (Who knows if I'll ever recoup the cash I've put into this project.) But of joy.


  1. That's a wonderful way to look at it, Prill!

    We just dropped a large chunk of cash on a new couch, and it was a spur-of-the-moment thing! However, we do have the money. God really blessed me with a lot of speaking engagements last year and into this year, so we are doing fine. So why not share it with others by putting some back into the economy?

    And my husband still swears he should've purchased stock in Bath & Body Works - he says I will single-handedly keep them in business!

    L. Diane Wolfe

  2. Anonymous9:00 AM

    I can't believe I know of another woman who does not like to shop! I don't really care for it either. That was not always the case, I will admit. But ever since I found my passion, shopping no longer serves the void I felt when I did shop, which was only a temporary fix.
    It was so refreshing to read how your shopping though brought you JOY and helped others. Now that is what it is all about! Here! Here!

  3. Anonymous10:05 AM

    Now you know two women who don't like to shop. But I never have!

    About every three or four months, we have our contractor come over and begin a new project. Our house is a work in progress, but it's almost complete. And we love our new granite countertops!

    We still have the master bathroom to renovate, upstairs to recarpet and a fence and deck to replace. But...over the last three years, we've gotten a lot done. We're closer to having this old house in tiptop shape, which means we'll probably be moving soon. Ha!


  4. I love all you ladies! We're kindred spirits, aren't we?

  5. What a wonderful, giving way to think about the economy. If those who have a little extra would use their money in ways that contribute to the economy, we'll be out of this in no time!

  6. Anonymous11:18 AM

    What a wonderful way to look at life! Enjoy your "new" bathrooms!

  7. Anonymous10:06 PM


    That is excellent. Reminds me of the quote from
    "Hello, Dolly" where Dolly Levi is looking for a sign from her departed husband about whether she should marry the next guy (played by Walter Matthau in the movie with Barbra Streisand). He's generally a skinflint, so he surprises her when he says, "Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow."

    Good for you!

  8. Thank you so much for showing that the world does not stop when we hit the down button on the economic elevator. Yes, times are tough but as with all cycles, I'm pretty convinced we'll eventually come out of this one, hopefully wiser and behaving somewhat differently. Life goes on...but with every dismal report in the news, it can keep pushing people back down. I think if more people looked at what they could positively do each day to keep moving the world forward we'd get to the other side of this faster and in much better shape.

    FYI, I'm not a big shopper either -except for Stew Leonard's, but I'm really there just to munch on the samples and listen to a song. :)


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