Balancing Frugality

Radiation 18 of 35. Chemotherapy 3 of 7.

Frugality is in m blood. My nature is to make sure my (and my family’s) needs are met before sharing resources. This comes from my upbringing, as my parents were poor immigrants to this country to had to fight and scratch their way through life. I remember my mom clipping every coupon and saving those green stamps (remember those!) that I think you got as loyalty rewards.

In college, my mom worked in a McDonald’s where she got to keep the sandwiches that were too old to serve. We got our hair cuts at a cosmetology school. Eating in a restaurant was definitely a special occasion. It’s my nature, and I’m trying to do better.

Over the years, Erin has tried to pull me out of my penny-pinching shell. She regularly donates to NPR, the Human Rights Coalition, gives micro-loans via Kiva to poor folks in Africa or wherever. Once, she met a (probably homeless) man that was shoeless, got his size, and went back and gave him a pair that were sitting in our closet unused. We are the yin and yang of this equation.

If I learn nothing else from this experience with cancer, it will be generosity. We recently wrapped up a fundraiser auction to help with the coming onslaught of bills, and I was absolutely floored at the spirit of giving I witnessed firsthand. Many items in my auction sold for more than the actual value! This makes no sense to my logical, linear brain!

I’m going to do better. It’s not much, but I took the first step yesterday and donated a non-trivial amount of money to a stranger hospitalized with a liver issue on GoFundMe. For you generous, giving souls out there, this may be no big deal. But it’s a big first step for me.