Often, when we are engulfed by the cloud it is difficult to see the silver lining or even to imagine that one exists. But wise words are long-lasting for a reason. These economic times have presented personal challenges for many of us and have created a sense of uncertainty. Rather than focusing on the cloud, however, many parents are discovering the beauty of cutting back, living simply, and paying attention to what really matters.
Writer Maggie Jackson hit the nail on the head with her article Unexplained Benefits appearing in Sunday's Boston Globe. Being forced to reduce our consumption and to turn our attention to simple blessings fosters a greater appreciation of all that we have in our lives. Holistic Moms Network members have found that necessity is also the mother of invention: moms are find new ways to reduce and reuse, to grow and make their own food to save money, and the ease of teaching lessons about simple living when the drive to do more is diminished. We also see more clearly how fleeting material possessions can be and embrace the significance of sustainable living.
Similarly, we have seen both introspection and a longing for community. A desire to connect with parents facing similar struggles and to share new ideas for making healthy choices on a budget is bringing more parents into our network. Parents are looking for practical tips and a sense of belonging in order to wade through these rough waters. Our hope is that even as the economy improves, we will have learned some important lessons about what we value and what we really need so that the future continues to enrich our personal and familial lives.