2005 was an extremely lean year for us. Howard had quit his corporate job and we had not yet released the first Schlock Mercenary book. I watched every penny, knowing that the longer I could make the money last, the longer Howard could stay a cartoonist. All our resources were tracked and carefully managed. This included outgrown clothing which was carefully boxed to wait for the younger sibling to grow. These boxes of clothing sat in a row in our garage, and I kept careful inventory.
In 2006 we released the first two Schlock books. Our long-term financial prospects shifted dramatically. My purchasing and resource management techniques changed in response. At first I still stashed away all the outgrown clothes, then I began to be more selective, only saving a few items. Later I noticed how the six year gap between my daughters was sufficient time for styles to change, and many of the clothes I’d carefully saved were being discarded in favor of hand-me-downs from more recent sources. So I shifted to giving out-grown clothes to friends and neighbors who could use them right away. I figured it was my turn to be the one giving out bags of clothing instead of receiving them.
All of this is on my mind because today I dug through the last of the boxes of carefully saved clothes. My youngest two are now the same ages that my oldest two were in 2006. It gave me pause to pull out Link’s old clothes and remember what life was like when he wore them. We had a good life then. We have a good life now. They are just different shapes of good. I miss the slower pace, but I love the exciting things I get to do now. I don’t want to go back. I’m happy to continue forward, shaping my present so that it brings me good tomorrows and a wealth of things about which I can be nostalgic in years to come.