Thursday, January 26, 2017

Currencies of life

It's been an interesting week in this country, in my the lives of people around me.

Sometimes, I see things from the fringes of the hustle. The world is in a mad hurry to get somewhere and I am just stuck on the edge, watching it all unfold.

This week, on long drives to Utah, late nights in the hospital, middle of nights not sleeping, I have thought about the currencies of this life I know.  What is the currency of happiness?  The currency of joy?  The currency of hope?  Success?  One could go on and on.

As I caught glimpses of the 'March of Madness' last week in DC and around the country...(I know it wasn't called that but it seemed like a bunch of angry women with some disorganized thoughts.)  I really didn't get it at all, nor did I really try to understand the crusade. It seemed like one, unbecoming, ungracious, expletive and any worthwhile message was lost in the foul cries of anger.  I have nothing against women marching, I knew a few who attended,  nothing against those women wanting to have 'FUNding' for Planned Parenthood, having their lady parts treated as what I'm not sure, but because it's not my Currency.  These aren't the things that bring value to my life.

But, in my own restricted world, I've been challenged in a different sort of way.  My kids.  In a subtle way, they have questioned why our lives continue to be so difficult financially speaking.   I think it's because they are facing a little crisis of their own personal economy; what can they do to bring value and purpose to their life when they are fighting a losing battle against chronic health conditions?  They feel the fear that comes when being in bed for three weeks straight, has become a reality that was never dreamed of.  They are wondering, in their own way, what the currencies of value are in their own lives.

So, quite unexpectedly, I found myself in a march of sorts to justify to my kids that things are just as they should be in my life...I mean, for the most part.  Generally speaking.  I hadn't realized that they sometimes see me as one who is throwing away some talents and skills and taking small, meaningless jobs like janitorial stuff when I could be making a name for myself like my Wasband, who has the same career I have, only he works with multi- million dollar budgets.  He's been published in many hard bound books and magazines and he is very good at what he does.

I was ready for this confrontation, but honestly surprised by it. I thought they understood me better.

It was a perfect opportunity to explain to my kids that perhaps they misunderstood what the currency of happiness and success was to me.  Being a mom is my currency.  When people ask what I do...I tell them I am a mother. Being a designer is just a job to me, it's not what I do.   I could drive down just two streets in this town and point out a dozen or more businesses from restaurants to banks, to hospitals, retail shops, schools, churches and medical clinics that I designed yet no one knows anything about that.  Not even my kids really.  I just do my work and walk away.   I don't attend ribbon cuttings or open houses.  I don't display my business cards...getting praise and recognition is not my thing.

My thing..I explained to one of my kids was getting up at 3:30am to show up to my job at an Architecture Firm by 4:30am so I could take my lunch break at 7:30 am, drive home, wake up the kids, make them breakfast, read scriptures, pray and take them to school...  Then drive back to work until 3:30pm when I would pick them all up and spend the rest of the afternoon helping them with homework, activities and making hot meals we enjoyed together.

My thing...I explained is cleaning someone else's house so I can come home and take them to a doctor's appointment or several doctor appointments.

My thing...I explained is working on some small design jobs on my computer so I can work while sitting near them for endless days in the hospital.

My thing...I explained is seeing them learn and grow and stumble and fall and pick themselves back up and struggle and triumph and hurt and love and succeed and find joy and show love and serve others and be kind when kindness is hard and forgiving when an apology never comes and understanding and temperate and peaceful and compassionate...and to think that we went through all of that together!

My thing...I explained...Is them.

When you know your currency of life, then every decision you make becomes easy...will it add value or not?  And that is how I have lived, however poor against the yardstick of the worldly economy it may seem.

That's my thing.  That's my crusade.  That's my march, my currency...the things I value the very most.  



  1. Love,love,love this post. I have never understood some women's need to have a career. I know many work because they have to, and I have too at times...but I have never, ever felt the drive or desire to do something that would take me away from my family. From the every day things that are what being a mom is made up of. It's all I ever wanted to be. I so wish for you that you could just care for your kids without having the pressure of making a living too. You are the strongest person I know... hands down.

  2. I am moved. I love thus, and I love you!