My oldest daughter often jokes that I loved my ICT* more than I loved my kids. It isn't true but I did treat her like one of my kids, I even had a name for her. I called her Amy. (That is what I would have named another daughter if I had one.)
Anyhow, my ICT brought me so much more than money.
She taught me so many lessons in life.
That is why I started writing an outline to write a book, I planned on titling something like 101 Life Lessons Learned by An Ice Cream Lady.
Well that's about how far my goal for writing the book had come. An outline with about 82 of the 101 lessons mapped out.
But 3 important lessons I have learned in the past 4 years are encouragement, appreciation and joy.
Appreciation is the big one. I will go into the next two in my next few posts.
People make all kinds of judgements and comments about others without knowing the facts. They do it even though most of them have never even lived in the kind of lives of the people they criticize and judge for even a minute of their lives.
It is not easy living on a fixed income. Especially one below the poverty line.
You have to get really good at utilizing resources. It takes time. It takes patience.
For many years I have lived dealing with illness, pain, and worrying about how to make the money last til the next payday. I even lived this way when I worked full time. Before I became disabled I actually worked 70 hours a week to make ends meet.
But something I have learned is gratitude.
Every day no matter how difficult life becomes I make lists of what I appreciate. It isn't hard to do. Even when you don't have much.
For example, some jerk stole my ICT on Christmas day.
Well, I realized last night, that the past week has drawn me away from my appreciating and ricocheted me right into the pessimistic type of thinking that I hate to see in anyone much less myself.
I have never been much of a worrier either. So I am going to make a list of things I appreciate despite what has happened.
Today, right now I appreciate---
- that the jerks only took the ice cream truck and not both my vehicles. (I wouldn't have any way to get around now except bus if that had happened. )
- that they didn't try to invade my home or hurt any of us.
- all the loving comments, help, support and publicity that has come my way to help me recover my stolen vehicle.
- my warm home.
- I have met some really neat, kind, and wonderful people because of what has happened.
- all the food we have to eat.
- that it happened the night after Christmas day instead of on Christmas eve. (for some reason to me it makes it just a tiny bit easier to swallow how someone could do this during the holiday season)
- the love I have for and from my wonderful children.
- that I have had four wonderful years of using this truck that have brought me bountiful good wonderful memories.
- that during these years, I have met, served and enjoyed lots of wonderful people while doing my Ice Cream Truck routes.
- that even though it looks bleak now, we are starting a brand new year, and with it comes hope of better days to come.
- it only took me a week to realize I needed to jump out of the pessimistic slump and get back into being appreciative instead. :)
- the internet and the power I have with the tools it provides to all of us. (ie, facebook, blogs, google, etc....)
- my computer, printer and creative skills.
- today I appreciate that although there isn't much left after paying the bills to survive the month, I was able to get the important things paid.
- as Annie, so cheerfully says, "Tomorrow, is only a day away!" (we never know what tomorrow will bring and it can always be filled with wonderful surprises but they are especially more likely to happen if you expect them too.)
- despite whatever happens things always have a way of working out somehow.
- that last night or should I say this morning, or since last year, I had the joy of reading over 26,000 words of optimism, joy, encouragement and memories in my gratitude journals of how my ice cream truck helped me grow in joy, love, and spirit despite the many breakdowns, repairs and obstacles I dealt with over the past 4 years since I got it.
*ICT abbreviation for Ice Cream Truck.