The Karen Economy

This post is for this months What I Learned From Writing Project  over at Robert Hruzek’s Middle Zone Musings.

The topic is have you ever been the recipient of generosity? 

That question is the understatement of the century for me.  

Two years ago a downward spiral began into what became a rather horrific series of unfortunate events. To list them is almost absurd.

There is no way so much malady can happen to one single person.

Yet, my life has been a bit of a drama

In the thick of it, I had a rather high need new dog, a severely sprained ankle, another car accident ( my seventh!). I lost use of my right hand, sprained my neck and my back, had a husband who abandones us, eventually that ended up in a divorce 

It was at this juncture – this horrific you have got to be kidding place  – when a great friend said to me I’d be insulted if you didn’t ask me to help you…

My friend was absolutely right.  How positively insulting it was not to ask. 

I swallowed my pride? My vulnerabilty ?

What is it about asking for help that is soooo difficult?

I asked for help.  I sent an email with specific need and 27 people came to our families aid; we had help with car pooling, meals, laundry, dog walking, housekeeping and more.

People gave us gifts, money, dog food and baked goods!

I was so humbled by this generosity.  So humbled by the giving.  I was ever so grateful for the help.

We were the recipients of amazing generosity

Since, the situation has ebbed and flowed. 

Mostly it’s been more of the same; recovery from the accident, recovery from the divorce,computer challenges, car stolen, guns found in the stolen car, hand surgery…always something.

I have been known as the queen of barter for many many years, or the queen of practicums …oh you need someone to practice giving massages to?? Perhaps I can help you with that.

All in the vain of supporting my well being, my spirit and the crap that seemingly surfaces every layer of my life

Many are for services that I can’t particulary afford.  I have often asked for a barter or request sliding scale rates.  This was by no means to diminish the value of someone’s services. It was simply what I had to do sometimes to move forward.

A wonderful friend declared it as The Karen Economy!  She has never met anyone who has been ” gifted ” more opportunities for low cost services; medical care, free attendance to conferences, workshops, meals out.
She being one of the many who says to me — hey let’s go out to dinner – my treat!! Gotta love her for that!!

I don’t want to be viewed as someone who takes… because I am not one to take advantage.  I am the first to share my knowledge, my time and my resources.  Generous to the core. 

The fact is all I have to give now are the intangibles

I’d cook for you if I could – if I had more than 2 porkchops to feed my daughter and I.  Most of the time she and I are sharing one chicken breast because that is what we can afford.

This is not to create a feeling sorry for me. It’s to help you understand that the need is really there

I absolutely love to entertain.  Years ago, pre- spiral – I had a group of gals over and made a simple soup, shrimp quesadilla, homemade sangria feast.   The whole thing cost over $100.  For one meal!  In my world today that is a huge chunk out of my food budget! Simply not possible for me today.

How about a cup of tea??  I can do tea!

The truth is this amazing giving has been all that has kept me sane, well, and thriving. Otherwise I really don’t know where I’d be today.

This generosity has also been in the form of support and encouragement.   Despite all, I am currently at a wonderful threshold in my life!  Even if the platform is still part of this stupid spiral I have going on. My life has oooodles of opportunity ahead .

The consistant “you can do it Karen” echoes far and wide.   From people I have never even met, thanks to this blogging platform, strong ties to my community, networking groups and more !!

This is generosity at it’s best!!

Karen Hanrahan | Writer
Best of Mother Earth –

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7 Responses to The Karen Economy

  1. As always, Karen, I’m proud to be considered your friend. It’s absolutely amazing to see how the generosity of others has blessed you, and continues to bless you every day.Thank you for daring to share the story with us, Karen!Cheers!

  2. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Robert – what a delight you are and I too treasure knowing you and really – love participating in WILF- it is truly a safe place to share.

  3. pelf says:

    Karen, you are truly one of the strongest person I have met, in reality or through blogging. You have survived many accidents and surgeries and a divorce. Thank you for sharing your story with us. And with your story, I hope that it will inspire more people to be generous with their time, money and resources because for all they know, they could have saved a live. Or a few lives :D*hugs*

  4. Karen Hanrahan says:

    Thank you so much Pelf. What a delightful comment.  I love your turtle pictures at flickr!

  5. Karin H says:

    “How about a cup of tea?? I can do tea!”Don’t take me wrong, but that IMHO says it all, Karen.I’ve been – like many, many others I guess – in situations where you realise with hindsight everybody loves to give, specially to those who are in real need. All ‘we’ have to do is accept we can’t do it all on our own sometimes and allow others to gift their generousity.Not sure if this makes sense, but all the givers want to hear is your phrase: I can do tea ;-)Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  6. Karen Hanrahan says:

    it totally makes sense Karin –  I so love having you here at Best of Mother Earth!

  7. Karen Hanrahan says:

    it totally makes sense Karin –  I so love having you here at Best of Mother Earth!

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