Used Up, Worn Out and Tired of Making Doing Without

I’m not confident that this World War II poster and advertising slogan can persuade me to cheerfully suffer through much more of the effects of this recession. But it is good for a laugh to see how American women were encouraged to support the war effort by making do with the rationing of some consumer goods. In the same spirit of looking for the best in a bad situation, I’ve made my lists of what I’ve used up, worn out, made do or did without this past year.

Use It Up: I live by the pantry principle at my house and store basic items in my pantry of what we eat and use. I took the last bottle of nearly eighteen bottles of oil from my shelf the same week I was asked at church to teach the story of the widow of Zarephath and the miracle from her cruse of oil. Even though I bought another bottle at the grocery store to replace it, I’m sad to say I no longer have the stocked pantry I once did. But the Lord’s sustained us, too, as we’ve used what we stored in times of plenty.

Wear It Out: I didn’t patch my husband’s pants while he was leaning over to fix the lawn mower, but I did reinforce the stitching on my son’s backpack at the beginning of the school year. Last week, though, it finally gave way and the strap broke for good. He said, “Mom, I can make it work until the end of the school year.” I knew from my last patch job that I would need to shop for a new backpack mid-season. I threw out that frustration in a status update on Facebook. A little fairy answered and sent us a new one Fed Ex. It arrived yesterday.

Make It Do: My husband loves long hair, which is good because I haven’t paid for a haircut in six months. It’s a great time to grow it out, right? We’re also making do with a Netflix movie  for date night instead of the theater. And the generosity of our neighbors to take us out for a night at one of our favorite restaurant tasted more than good to us.

Or Do Without: Q-tips, contact lens solution, batteries, light bulbs, the dry cleaner, a toner cartridge for the printer, new shoes, unnecessary driving, soft toilet paper, car washes (I love Scribbit’s story on how they manged without).  What haven’t we done without? If I’m honest, I can answer that, as well. Family dinners, genuine friendships, an increase of patience, talk time with Paul, more love for my kids—each alone could probably build my morale enough to see us to the end of this.

How about you? What would you add to this list?

The World War II poster is in the public domain but the image is courtesy of  Northwestern University Library.

1 Comment

  1. DO
    Feb 11, 2010

    Toilet paper. Like a lot of things, we used to always have tons of toilet paper around but with fewer trips to the grocery store and the stock run dry, every time I find myself stranded, I hold my breath while someone searches the house for a spare roll! You know it’s bad when you find yourself rationing your squares!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *