Most folks know that during WWII there was rationing of certain household staples, like sugar. During the War, people understood the necessity to reduce, to reserve things for special uses, to plant a Victory Garden as a means of self-sufficiency, to do without because they had to and it was the right thing to do.
That certainly isn’t the case anymore. Nobody of any means, or even those folks without means but with credit, does without. Candy isn’t just on Halloween or holidays anymore, cakes aren’t just for birthdays or celebrations, roast isn’t just on Sundays. If you want it, you can get it, whenever you want.
So is this a good thing? On the one hand, people have access to comforts that make life more pleasant, more enriching, which arguably is a benefit. On the other hand, we don’t respect the specialness of anything because we have it all the time. I realize that this train of thought leads into my previous thoughts on Patience, but it is more about observing the landscape within than the changes outside.
I’ve always been Instant-Gratification girl, because I do believe life to be “brutish and short”. You gotta take your happiness where you can get it, eat dessert first, get those great shoes before they are sold out, yadda yadda yadda. I’m all about Seize the Day. But I’m beginning to think that the philosophy of the Dead Poets Society really only works if you are on the short term track. Life is a long-haul, at least theoretically, so perhaps burning through all the fuel early on isn’t the best idea (how’s that for some mixed metaphors).
Ok, so what does all this rambling mean exactly? Well, I’m not totally sure. I’m wrestling with some gators right now – gators that keep me up at night, that make me wonder if I am doing what is Easy, or doing what is Right, gators that question my Live for Today kind of thinking. I think that I’ve made some choices along Life’s road that were the equivalent of bingeing on candy because it tasted so good; now I have the sugar hang-over and the tummy ache. Things that taste sweet now can leave a bad taste in your mouth later. Rationing the sugar of our lives rather than bingeing on whatever tastes sweet in the moment, seems a bit more wise to me. What is the Sugar? I think it is different for everyone. For some people, it is materialistic crap. For others, it is hanging onto things, people, places that just aren’t good for them.
Part of my journey into making a Home is about cutting back on this Sugar. Like all cravings, it makes it difficult to do without it – at first. But time will help with that, I’m sure. If I ration the Sugar and leave room for other, truly sweet things to take its place, I think my home will be a more satisfying place for everyone. All this sweetness ruins my appetite for what is real.