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Letters From Listeners
How to Feel Joy When...
How to Feel Joy When...

Lately, I have felt like a lump of coal pushed in from all sides, so much so, I've said, "I'm 'pooping' diamonds."

My mom passed in our arms less than 2 weeks ago, my poor dad (married 59 years) is a wreck and needs a lot of help adjusting and lives 5 hours away.  The economy continues to crush my own family, so much so, the bills are behind and any extras are out of the question, much less Christmas presents. Oh yes, and carpet beetles (who knew there was such a thing) have invaded my bedroom and closet and are eating our best clothing which we can't afford to replace. My extremely bright pre-med minded and capable daughter is a senior and we are at a loss on how to pay for college.

This is enough to go hide in a hole. I know now why we aren't gifted with crystal balls. We wouldn't get out of bed in the morning.

I've had to do an extreme amount of flipping my point of view around. My mom lived a long 82 years.  She showed and taught us much; the biggest being that we were so incredibly loved and worthy of the best of intangibles in life. The second being that, when things go to Hell in a handbasket, you fall together, not apart.

There is a maintenance person at our school who had to take in 5 of her grandchildren, and she needs Christmas more than we ever did. Our efforts however small will be concentrated there instead of on ourselves.

I have a car and gas to go home to help Dad, and he is appreciative. My husband and children have been gentle and kind to me since Mom died, running interference where needed.

My husband continues to interview seriously for jobs (he is self-employed now) and has made great inroads even while running his own business hard. He has even taken a second job to improve things. He is smart, driven, and loves me like mad even after 23 years of marriage.

We have a roof over our heads and have never missed a meal.

I'm in a full-scale war with the bugs-- perhaps brought in when I bought some used clothing from a thrift store. (Note to self: next time they go straight to a washer or dry cleaners)

I spend much time seeking and applying for college scholarships. Fortunately, my child's grades, test scores, activities, and inner character will qualify her. A great community college in town is the last resort and would be fine for freshman courses to transfer elsewhere later.

So, Dr. Laura, I say make a nice ring out of those diamonds.... and, if you have to, even a matching necklace.

Thanks for all you do.

Tags: Attitude, Budget, Christmas, Economy, Finances, Holidays, Joy, New Attitude
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