Grief

If you asked me one week ago how I would deal with the loss of a loved one, I would have told you I would accept it. I would have said that I believe they go to a better place free from the troubles of this life. I would have said that their memories keep us strong and I would be thankful for the time that I had to spend with them.

And then, I lost my dear cousin who was only 31. He was loved by everyone and everyone loved him. It was completely unexpected and all of the platitudes and expectations of loss mostly went out the window. I discovered that losing a loved one unexpectedly feels a lot like a slap in the face to your soul even if you consider yourself a positive person.

While it may have been o.k. in the past to attend funerals where lives are “celebrated” and where people “rejoice”, when you just wish you had more time with an exceptional person, it doesn’t seem so appropriate any more. The only thing I can think of to say for hurting people is “I am sorry for your loss”. If I ask how I can help, there probably isn’t a way they can think of, so, it is best for me to just help how I can. Buy a meal, send a card, clean the house, feed the pets.

In trying to discover something, anything positive on which to focus when thinking about this past weekend, I discovered something of which I am proud. I was my best, most authentic self. The person that I have always wanted to be, the giving, caring, loving person I strive to be, I was she. Therefore, Kevin, thank you for many laughs, lots of fun and for helping me to be the person I have always desired to be.

Minimalism and Me

The older I get, the less I really know…or at least, that is how I feel sometimes. For instance, after being a thrifty person for a while, it took time for me to see how it tied into other aspects of my life like being healthier and more environmentally responsible living.

Well, sometime last year I discovered a name for my “just get rid of it” tendencies…minimalism! Wow. If I could have told my family years ago, “I am just a minimalist” they might have had a better understanding of why I didn’t want their clutter in my room. My mom wouldn’t have been so worried when I would purge my closet every few months. Maybe they would have just said, “OOhhh, she is one of them.”

Discovering that I am a “minimalist” truly gave me the boldness to get rid of more things I didn’t need, without apology. I no longer need to make excuses when I ask people not to by Bean toys. If they question our lack of television, I can just say, “oh, many minimalist do without a television.”

I remember one day last year some friends with small children came by the house. Toward the end of the visit, the dad began walking around the house like he was looking for something. Finally he said, “So you don’t have a TV, what do you do for entertainment? I see you do have a CD player and books, that must be what you do.” It was very amusing to me how uncomfortable he became at the thought of us sitting and staring at the walls because we were bored to tears.

Being a minimalist has given me so much freedom to hone in on what is truly important to me. I, like most people, don’t do well with deprivation. I would not want someone telling me I can only own a certain number of items. I love the lightness of being that comes when I get the unnecessary out of my life.

Minimalism has become one of my favorite topics in the last year. I have much more to say about it, so stay tuned.

The Cheap Thrifty Frugal Queen

I am one of those people who was born thrifty (or frugal or cheap, whatever you want to call it)! I remember saving my little babysitting money so that I could buy a special baby doll, selling brownies at school to fund my camp trip, working a little part time job to pay for senior activities. I didn’t like asking my parents, or anyone, for money. When I got to the university, I worked my way through school and graduated with no debt.

I remember all of that, but I attribute one person to my decision to be debt free… my boss…when I was 19. At that time I was working at the corporate office of a home furnishing store. My boss was 24 or so, just graduating from a private university in town. She was telling someone how she went bankrupt because she was in loads of debt. She had her boyfriend crash her car somewhere so that she could get insurance money and buy a new truck.

I was HORRIFIED and determined that I would never, ever be in her situation. I found it appalling that she could even brag. The next day I heard a lady on the radio named Mary Lynn Hunt. She opened my eyes to the fact that people do get in debt, but they can get out. Listening to her lead me to Dave Ramsey, who lead me to Amy Dacizyn. I was reading get out of debt books for fun! I found a way to make my meager salary last and do all the things I most wanted.

I have never looked back. I am blessed to have learned many valuable lessons that have kept me through my single life, my married life and now my single parent life. I believe that if you are in debt, you can get out… and most importantly, you CAN live most of your life debt free. I am proof!

What is a SPOC?

In trying to decide what the best name for this blog should be, I had several ideas. I bounced some ideas around with my brother and I came up with SPOC. It simply meant a single parent of color. I thought I was so brilliant, until I looked online and discovered others have thought of SPOCs too. Still, it fit me.

In my daily life, I see myself as a world citizen. I feel, for the purpose of this blog, the importance of stressing that I am a person of color, simple for the fact that people often feel that what I do it special. I would like to refute that and open your eyes to the fact that you can do it too. It does not matter whether you are single, married, have children or not, if you are alive and have the desire to live differently, you can live a debt free life of travel and adventure too.

I don’t meet single parents like me often. If you are reading this, I would love to know you are out there! Drop me a line.

Welcome

Rejoice single parents, you can still live a life of adventure. I am a single mom of one and I am here to let you know that we too can live the life that we want to live. I know that not everyone wants to travel the world and experience extraordinary events. Some people are content to stay home and are satisfied with putting food on the table week after week. That’s fine if that is TRULY what you want to do. But, if you are like me and the day to day life is just not enough, join in on my adventure of life.

I am not here to tell you how to do the things I do. There are plenty of people out here that offer that kind of advice! I am here to share with you what I do and tell you how I make it happen. I work a 9-5. I also work in a field that is not well paid, yet my child and I travel to a new country yearly. We live a simple, wholesome, debt-free life of adventure and expectation.

Come join our journey.