I can't remember the last time I bought a toy for my 12yo. And rarely for my 8yo.
Christmas and their birthdays are the only times I buy them non-essentials. But even that is changing.
They use their own money for "fun" stuff.
I don't know if it was deliberate when I started doing this years ago but it's evolved to the point that they don't even ask anymore and they accept it as my MO.
In fact, I started to actively have them choose between physical objects or experiences. This was borne out of financial necessity because as a single mom, I need to prioritize my expenses.
Since both their birthdays are in January, this past winter I asked them if they wanted gifts for Christmas and their birthdays. Or I would take them snowboarding for a long weekend in Mammoth. To my surprise, they both jumped on Mammoth without hesitation, foregoing presents.
For me, getting divorced was a huge lesson in detaching myself from material possessions because I had to let so much of it go when I downsized and my budget shrank.
But it was immensely freeing. I'm learning what makes me tick.
So now it's become important for me to teach my kids to detach themselves from needing material things. Not to identify themselves by what they have.
It's particularly challenging because we live in an upper middle class neighborhood amongst million dollar homes.
Their friends often have the latest gadgets.
I want them to learn that it's the experience of being with their family and friends that's most important. Because that's what will give them happiness, beyond all else. Whenever they have tough times, they know where to turn to for their anchor. Not drugs, food, smoking, sex, stripping. At least, that's my hope.
Paraphrasing the comedian Chris Rock, my job is to keep my girls off the pole.
I digress again.
The idea of attachment is so important that it's a foundation tenet of Zen Buddhism.
Attachment is the root of all suffering.
The origin of suffering is attachment.
It's something that I'm working on myself. To maintain the emotional discipline to become outcome independent.
As you walk your fertility journey, look at how you deal with the trials and tribulations. Do you contract out of despair and hide from the world? Or do you make an effort to reach out to your community and have fun even though that might be the last thing in the world you want to do?
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