I must confess…I feel like a failure in this group. I had such high expectations, but then life took me through a series of turns I hadn’t expected, and now I’m feeling burdened with this inability to keep up with these amazing women who are literally eating nuts and grains in order to become a better woman. Me? Not so much.
I’m not sure if it’s the timing that’s off, or if it’s just me who’s off. All I know is that so many “things” have attacked me all at once I find it hard to keep up. I can’t sleep at night, which in turn prevents me from waking up early or even allowing me TAG. I know. Shame on me.
Through all the turmoil of our current financial situation, my mother is now facing not only terminal cancer, but emphysema. In her crass denial that her lifestyle has nothing to do with her newfound killer, she has now turned against me in adamant anger and hurling hostility.
Meanwhile, my car is on E and the red light is blaring. The pantry is not stocked with pastas, rice, flour, sugar, and spices. The only $160 I had to spend on food this month went towards items from a bulk grocery store that could feed us for 30 days: 10 pounds ground beef, a whole pork loin that was cut up for six meals, 6 pounds bulk pork sausage, French toast stix, English Muffins, a tub of mayo, 1 pound bag of frozen corn, 4 pounds of bacon, 3 pounds of butter/margarine mix, 3 dozen eggs, and dare I say it, 2 enormous bags of sour cream and onion potato chips at a fraction of the cost of any local grocery store. Now I’m really in deep, right?
That trip cost me $105. Now I had $55 to get 2 gallons of milk, 2 loaves of bread, two boxes of cereal, fruit bars/snacks for Tavin, a small bag of carrots, bag of onions, bananas, canned tomatoes for homemade marinara and meat sauce, and orange juice that’s not really orange juice but some kind of goofy juice-like concoction that there’s more of than regular juice and $2 less. That trip? $47. Since then (Friday morning), I’ve already had to buy two more gallons of milk at 3 bucks a pop. That leaves me with $2 for...well, nothing much.
We are watering down the juice to make it last, and cutting our portions down to make the meats last, and eating minimum vegetables in order to make what we had left from last month’s frozen bagged veggies continue to last through this month.
If anyone thinks we eat like crap, I’m sure they’re right. But we have limited funds for food, and I may not be feeding my family veggies and tons of wheaty grains, but I’m feeding them on a finagled budget. I have to be clever and resourceful with what little we have, and it has to go faaaaaaaaaaaaar. I may not be a woman of noble character in that regard, but I sure know how to squeeze a quarter through a dime hole.
I came home Friday morning after my shopping experience feeling on top of the world that I had just accomplished making $160 stretch for a whole month. I spent the rest of the day figuring out menus for every single day, for 30 days, carefully plotting how much of each item I would need. Had I spent most of my money on fresh veggies that would only last 2-3 days, we may have eaten better for those 2-3 days, but we would starve the rest of the month. So I failed this test of “noble character” endurance. And I shamefully stand by, feeling like a flee on a tick, as I read everyone’s brave approach to such a difficult calling, because I can’t do it.
(And please don't misunderstand my $160 for groceries as a complaint...it's a blessing I had even THAT much!)
Now, the one bag of chips that’s left (yes, we ate the other bag already) in the pantry will NOT be thrown away, as I am not a proponent of throwing food away at all. And…it will taste incredibly good when my mother yells at me for dumping all her alcohol down the drain and throwing out $200 worth of cigarettes so she can breathe and not fall down because the alcohol combined with her meds makes weak. So I’m saving them for that special moment when I will cry out to God with my lips, and feed my soul with chips. Again…fail, I know. But…good news is: at least I'm aware of my weakness.
What do I do now that I’ve failed on all fronts of being a woman of noble character? How do I participate and feel the other ladies pain when I’m not suffering my own? Do I do what I always do and just quit, or do I venture on in hopes that regardless of not going Vegetarian for 10 days, and not being able to be woken up by God at 5 AM, that I will still have a place in Women Nobledom?
I will feel awful knowing that all those noble women are eating like squirrels, while I’m living it up in the lap of meat luxury for the next 30 days, because eating right makes money tight.
My deepest respect goes out to all those brave, God-fearing, remarkably strong-willed women who are doing what God’s calling them to do. Bravo, ladies! (tipping my hat, while backing out with my tail between my legs)