Create. Use. Re-Use. Reinvent

Create your life, the kind of life you want to live, and everything you want to achieve in it. Use and re-use all the inner and outer resources available to you. Constantly renew yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Keep yourself in constant motion, in harmony with the universe and with nature, to live a happy and fulfilling life. (We aspire to inspire you!!)

The following is a blog entry from 2022, from my previous blog and I wanted to make sure I "recycled" it and because good and positive things are meant to be shared, I decided to do just that today and share this "old" content that never gets too old and contant that can inspire many in many ways. I hope you enjoy it.

When we re-use, we conserve and we save our planet, or money, out time, our energy, and our power, to enjoy those things for a longer time, in the future. Not only are we the beneficiary of our choices, but others as well will be greatly affected for good, when we choose to be thrifty.

Growing up in the Rain Forests of Panama, deep into the jungle, 2 hours away by foot, from the closest little town, I learned that being thrifty was not a choice but a necessity. My family and I didn't have the "luxury" of buying new clothes every month, every 6 months, and not even every few years.
We learned from a very early age that we needed to take good care of our resources, including our clothing, so they would last for a long time.

Besides learning to mend our clothes, we also learned and accepted the fact we would inherit our older brothers and sisters, and cousin's clothing, and our little brothers and sisters, and our cousins, would inherit ours.

We were a very large family with a lot of kids, having also a very extended family.
Growing up I saw my grandmother and my mother sewing clothing on antiques Treadle Singer sewing machines, (If you are not familiar with these types, these are the ones that had a pedal, to be able to saw) I used to admire the very beautiful chocolate tin boxes my mother and my grandmother recycled, full of multi-colored buttons of all shapes, sizes, colors and designs. Besides clothing, my mother and grandmother saved and re-used cans, glass, fabric, and many household items.

After my grandmother, and my mother finished altering, mending, fixing and renewing all of us children's clothing, they would use all of the leftover materials to make quilts, blankets, pillowcases, and stuffed pillowcases with the smaller tiny pieces of fabrics, so there were never leftovers to place in the trash, and only after several years have passed, when the bedding was very old and unrepairable, that was used as cleaning rags, that were disposed of, only after the fibers on the cloth, were completely broken.

My grandmother and mother saved and fixed zippers and re-used them. Any metal parts present on clothing were given to someone that fixed shoes and had special tools to gather those pieces and make good use of them. My grandmother and my mother also mended clothing for others, especially single men that worked in the farms nearby, or women that were professionals, worked and lived in the city, didn't know how to saw, were very busy and had a favorite piece of garment they loved so much, they wanted to get fixed.

Growing up in Panama, and knowing what I know now, I wish yard sales, state sales, swap meets, thrift stores, and secondhand stores would have been "A thing" back in that country and back in those days, but they were not.
When I was growing up, anyone using secondhand clothing was considered very poor, and nobody well off, or even the average working Panamanian, or middle class, would openly admit, they inherit and used clothing from their siblings, but specially from strangers.

Being thrifty was a "Tabu", showing off, spending like there was not tomorrow and living above one's budget, if there was even a budget, was the "thing" and many people found this way of life more exciting and more acceptable in the society I grew up in, than recycling.

Needless to say, my family and I were considered very poor by the standards of many, and well, they were right, we lacked a great deal of material things, however, the resources the land we lived on provided for us, was a very rich one, and we surely took advantage of that, to be able to survived, and by surviving we enriched our life with so many wonderful trades we learned.

Moving forward to 2020 and I almost felt I was once again, living in the Rain Forest of Panama and in a third world country.
Maybe I was not enjoying all the benefits of working from the office, but I would make the most of what I had at home. More than any time before, I needed to make sure I remained thrifty, and I was not wasting time, nor energy, but I was re-using and saving.

And I worked at home for 1 year and 6 months. During this time, besides creating my own urban garden from leftover fruits, seeds, vegetable and roots, I also renewed my wardrove, and I dressed very stylish every day of work, wearing new outfits I created almost every day, from my old quality clothes.

I put on my makeup, and I smiled wide and looked out the window to the beautiful scenery before my eyes, before I started to work every morning. I was trying to convince myself and I knew everything would be okay, and everything would pass, and better days were ahead of me.

And more than anything, I went back to my roots and what is important for me and what gives me the most joy, my art, my talents and how that can benefit me and others, so I spent a lot of time designing, re-designing, fixing, mending, building, making and learning wonderful things than I am able to share with you now.

And fast forward again, here we are, and it is 2022, and now we are facing inflation, and once again, it seems as if we are giving a lesson to learn here.
And we still must live life, and we want to live and enjoy life to the fullest, and many of us want to continue being fashionable, stylish, look good, wear clothes that are unique and that are pretty, however, we need, and we want to save money, so, what better way to do all those things than by being thrifty?

"When we re-used, we conserve and we save, our planet, or money, out time, our energy, and our power, to enjoy those things for a longer time, in the future." Think about it this way: Imagine: You have the power now. You are wearing that unique second-hand fedora hat you reinvented and the beautiful suit you made from an old dress you had.

You are walking the streets of that beautiful clean city you wanted to visit for so long, the one you were able to travel to after you saved all that money by not buying so much trendy clothing you verily used over Summer.

You have a lot of time to spend on your vacation and all your energy is now used to plan your next trip to another clean paradise. Not only were you able to afford and pay for your trip, but you had enough money to spend on your trip.

People look at you in that unique and beautiful Fedora hat and suit and people ask you where you found them, and you respond: "These are limited edition pieces, made just for me." You then smile and you know now that being thrifty is that cool!!

I cannot help it but to think and to hope and to wish, better days are ahead if we are coming soon, I have a certainty about that. We must be positive, and we must be thrifty.

-La Niña Internacional-

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