Sadly, I have now run out of Appalachian Rosemary cheese. It came as part of a gift for Howard, but I claimed it once I tasted it. He claimed the Grayson, so we were both happy. Only now I’ve run out. sigh. Expensive cheese is one of the things I miss now that we haven’t money to spare.

Another thing I’ve missed is the Carl’s Junior guacamole burger. I got to have one today because Howard’s sister treated all of us to lunch. It was a fun trip. We all got to eat, the kids got to run like hoodlums through the play structure, and the adults managed to have a conversation over the shrieking of the children. And I got my huge, messy, yummy guacamole burger. I miss guacamole.

I also miss ordering pizza. This lack was ameliorated greatly by the Strohls who gave Howard a pair of gift cards for his birthday, one for Pizza Hut and one for Cinemark. We used them periodically over the course of the year and managed to make them last until September. The cards are all used up now, but I’m still overflowing with gratitude.

Know what I don’t miss? I don’t miss living a life so stressful that we threw money around to try to solve problems that could be managed easily by less stressed people. I don’t miss retail therapy. I don’t miss having kids who are accustomed to having treats bought for them every time they entered a store. I don’t miss having kids who refuse to eat anything but chicken nuggets. I don’t miss sitting amid mountains of Christmas wrappings and boxes with piles of new toys abandoned all over the house and wondering why I spent so much on toys that are already broken. I don’t miss having Howard gone all day and away on trips at least one week per month.

On any kind of scale, the small things I do miss are by far outweighed by the things that I’m glad to have gone. Having less money has caused us to prioritize and focus on what is really important. I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t cheese, guacamole, or pizza.