Thursday, September 30, 2010

Purse strings and heart strings

I've decided something: I love having an income.

I had an on-campus job when I was a student, but with the time to work only about 10-15 hours a week, if that, there wasn't a lot of money pouring in that didn't go toward rent and ramen.

When I put in my application to be a bartender, I specified that I only wanted to work 20-30 hours a week. I didn't think I could handle much more than that, at least to begin with. Well, the bar has been short-staffed for a while, so my 20-30 hours magically multiplied to full time. Some weeks it's a little more, and some a little less, but overall, I've been working a ton.

Lina, who nannies regularly for two families and picks up odd nannying jobs for another two, has also been pulling in a fairly decent amount. Now, I'm not saying that we're rich. I'm just saying that we have an income.

It's wonderful.

We can afford milk and butter that come from cows that haven't been treated with hormones; we realize over a week before rent is due that we actually have that in the bank, and that we'd already paid our other bills, and we still have some to put in saving; we don't feel guilty if we splurge a little at our favorite thrift store.

I also hadn't noticed how being a college student had made me stingy.

It's hard to share your plenty when the plenty is scarce, when "abundance" means you can buy Shredded Wheat cereal in the box and not the knock-off in the bag. I hadn't noticed how accustomed I'd become to a look out for yourself first mentality.

But now I find myself with an income. And for the first time in a long time, I find myself wanting to give. This past Sunday Lina and I visited an Episcopal church that we both fell in love with, and they have lots of ministries. And I want to be a part. I want to fill the little plastic wagon in the narthex to the brim with juice boxes. I want to pour out because I can.

Because I have an abundance.

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