Thursday, February 26th, 2009

What is necessary for survival?

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harrietthespy

Starting this last Wednesday of the month of February (and the months thereafter), we’re introducing a guest blogger on this site. It’s our way of getting our readers more involved, while highlighting the writers among the Rhodia community. And we are proud to say that we’re getting some good, solid writing. Our introductory guest is Jennie Newman from Houston, Texas. With her style of writing, Jennie can easily have her own personal blog, and should. While we’re waiting for that, we’re providing a space for her, here on RhodiaDrive.

By Jennie Newman

Several weeks ago, my life changed when my husband was laid off from his job. In order to financially survive this situation, we both agreed we would only spend money on items that are essential to our survival. When we were having this discussion, in my head, I was assessing what was necessary for survival. Right after coffee came notebooks and pens. I know in his head he was thinking bread and milk.

What he was suggesting is no regular trips to the office supply store or online spending sprees for new notebooks and pens. Wow- this is going to be hard! I don’t like this economy one bit! Somebody has to do something – quickly! Does that economic stimulus package include anything for new pens and notebooks? I need a rebate check or a coupon or food stamps for Staples.

It’s not that I am completely out of notebooks and my last pen is running dry. If you are reading this then you know that is so far from the truth. No, I have many. Right now I see no less than 100 pens and 20+ notebooks waiting for my attention. This doesn’t count the ones put away in the closet so as not seem gluttonous. The endless quest has become a habit. I buy because I am in love with the thought of what it will become for me. I am in search of the one notebook, planner or pen that will release the inner genius and help me draft the masterpiece of my life.

I have journaled in one way or another since I read Harriet the Spy at the age of 8. I thought it was important to record the comings and goings of my family and friends in case I needed the information to solve a mystery later. I kept a locking diary under my mattress for years. In it, I recorded things my older sister did to annoy me and which boy at school I was infatuated with. As I grew into an adult I journaled the heartbreak and joys of life but mostly the mundane routine. Sometimes I write poems or draw pictures or paste something meaningful in the journal. It’s my way of getting things off my mind.

So while I have enough stockpiled to see us through the hard times as long as it doesn’t last more than 2 or 3 years, I have to retrain myself not to reach for that great new 3 pack of pens as I check out at the store or not forget my current situation when I see a Pilot G2 in a color I don’t have. This economy is taking its toll on all of us.

Of course, my husband’s job search would be much more productive with the right tools. A planner to record interview appointments, a notebook for tracking job opportunities and of course a new pen to use… I’ll be right back.


6 thoughts on “What is necessary for survival?

  1. I just started a new job myself, after being jobless for two months. While it is not the most ideal one, reading and posting this last night, I am reminded to put things in perspective and to be thankful for what I’ve got.

  2. I just started a new job myself, after being jobless for two months. While it is not the most ideal one, reading and posting this last night, I am reminded to put things in perspective and to be thankful for what I’ve got.

  3. Try selling some stuff on ebay then tell your husband that the money is for your notebook fetish :) Plus stuff is cheaper on ebay…

  4. Try selling some stuff on ebay then tell your husband that the money is for your notebook fetish :) Plus stuff is cheaper on ebay…

  5. For me, bad economy=bargain hunting.
    I definitely can’t afford boutique notebooks, but composition notebooks on clearance? YES.
    Also, a lot of times, just browsing fulfills my stationery pronz need for the week…
    I did just get a hand+book journal, though..

  6. For me, bad economy=bargain hunting.
    I definitely can’t afford boutique notebooks, but composition notebooks on clearance? YES.
    Also, a lot of times, just browsing fulfills my stationery pronz need for the week…
    I did just get a hand+book journal, though..

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