Things I’m lucky enough to afford

I have to take a moment to count my blessings, especially because my husband’s job enables many of them. (He himself is one of my many blessings, as is the fact that he pushes himself so hard to work during chemo—especially given the fact that most people at his job don’t even know he has cancer.)

Last night, I booked regular service from a lawn mowing company, as well as having our front lawn reseeded because our lawn looks patchy and shit. You may not understand how big of a deal this is to me.

Neither my husband or I grew up with any household help, whether it be a housekeeper or a lawn mowing service. What’s more, I think his mom and stepdad actually enjoy taking care of their own lawn, like some kind of sickos. (That’s said totally as a joke but literally everyone in our house absolutely hates it.)

On a whim, I also looked up housekeeping services and decided it wouldn’t be worth it. I can keep up with most of it myself, with a little help from the kids. I get it all done, just maybe not as often as I’d prefer. (Now if someone would come over and just clean the window sill behind my kitchen sink, I’d totally take them up on it. I’m too short to reach and too lazy to bring out a step stool.)

I can really see the value of hiring a clutter organizer but they would have their hands full just dealing with my bedroom and closet. I know those rooms are messy but I just don’t know where else to put stuff.

Still, hiring a lawn service just feels so bougie. I feel vaguely ashamed that none of my kids thinks it’s even worth the effort to do it for the same price as I’d pay the service. I did offer, even though I know they wouldn’t do as good of a job. In this regard, I think maybe we spoiled them. I know my husband had to do it growing up and he didn’t even get paid.

But still, I feel so extremely fortunate to be able to afford it. We haven’t really done much to try to make our lives easier in any way while my husband goes through cancer and we don’t have tons of people offering to help, either.

Similarly, I really like that thanks to my husband’s income, I can afford to go looking for random GoFundMe campaigns and the food bank and find people to donate to. I get a great deal of satisfaction out of doing that small bit of good in the world. It makes me sad that I probably won’t always be able to do that, as I expect to be pretty poor when he’s gone.

And I suppose it would make more financial sense to save that money instead but that just feels so selfish. When there is so much genuine suffering in the world, how can I just close my eyes and ears to it and pretend I don’t see it? I always said that if we ever had enough money to do so, I’d want to help people with it, and it makes me feel good to hold true to that goal.

What will I do when I can no longer afford to help anyone? Hopefully, I’ll still find some other non-cash way to do it, to whatever extent my illness allows. And maybe, just maybe, someone will decide to pay it forward and help me when I need it. But even if they don’t, it wouldn’t change what I’m doing now.

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