Archive for the ‘american affluence’ Category

Church Chat: Why More Isn’t Better (part II)

June 27, 2009

You might want to hurry and read Part I first? !

People say more is better. But what happens when you get to more? —

Well then.

You’ll simply want more. After all… if more is better, when you get to more— more will still be better, right?

You don’t really get ahead with that strategy, eh?

About 6yrs ago… I. Was. Miserable.

My husband was making more money then he likely ever will again. We loved the terrific town that we lived in. I had great friends. And our house was a charming 100yrold craftsman with parquet flooring and foot high crown molding of now extinct chestnut wood. (I’m talking amazing little home!)

Sounds awful huh?
So, why the misery?

At the same time: hubby was working 14hour days ON TOP of a 2 1/2 hour commute. Weekends were always iffy. I had 2 young children and at the end of just over 3yrs of this I looked at my husband and realized we barely knew each other and we were beginning to live separate lives. We were considering having a third baby and our house, charming or not, was too small. Should we consider a renovation and an additional $100,00 mortgage? Or moving to a larger home and (at the time home prices had increased to the point that our own tiny home had DOUBLED in it’s value..) affording a larger home would have been tight even on our budget. Plus those pesky student loans were still nipping at our heels.

We could keep on like we were:— Increasing our consumption. Forcing Dad to work more and stress about making partner. Yet feeling more and more guilty that he’s spending less time with us.

Right about this time I came across this book:

Your Money Or Your Life
By Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

It was recommended by a church leader in fact.

I was floored. As in socks completely knocked off.
There in Black and White on page 8:

(from a survey the authors took)

“…not only are most people habitually unhappy, but they can be unhappy no matter how much money they make. Even people who are doing well financially are not necessarily fulfilled.”

It seems when asked how much money people made. Across thevboard EVERYone wanted more. Even those making a substantial amount of money noted that they would only be happier with yet MORE.

Later in the book they ask the question: “Is More Better?”

on Page 12:

“We become habituated to expecting ever more of ourselves and ever more frm the world, but rather than satisfaction, our experience is that the more we have, the more we want—and the less content we are with the status quo.”

Oh my gosh! I think I had the deepest thought of my entire 30-ishyrs on this Earth.

Love the life you’re livin’
Enjoy the Journey
Life is a Highway

All sound cliche? Not to me.

There I was living the Great American Dream.. More Is Better— right? Or is it?
I was living fairly affluent by anyone’s standards. More comfortable than my childhood by a stretch. 401K maxed out each year… So why did I keep feeling like I wanted more? NEEDed more?

Whoa. What if more isn’t better?
What a deep thought.

I began to dream and discuss with my husband the possibility of selling our house, paying off the student loans and moving… somewhere.

Could we do it?
Could we get our lives back?
Could we harvest more out of life with less?

I’ll have to get back to you on that one… cuz I’m too busy living it!

Photos by: BrockBuilders, clspeace, bbaunach

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Church Chat: Living the Dream Part I

June 21, 2009

Do you ever think you are living the American Dream only to wake up and Realize:

Maybe Not?

house for sale on hemlock street in lake oswego, oregon - $420,000 - _MG_0243

When we moved last September. We hired United Moving Co. They sent a driver and he contracted a couple day laborers to load up and drive and then unload as well. This Driver and one of the laborers were a pretty sad sack of beans. They basically lived in the truck (yuck.) I estimated they were both still in their 20’s. And they basically drank themselves into oblivion nightly. {Let’s not think about how safe they were—still are? on the road.} We talked to them a lot while they unpacked our stuff and they were seriously intrigued by our Leave it to Beaver Mormon lifestyle. And yet they could not believe we don’t drink alcohol. Not even a drop. (I mean since they practically worship Jack Daniels..seriously this was shocking to them.)

So which is it? Are they Livin’ La Vida Rica? (as in happy joyful fulfilled?)


Are we?

There was a point about 7 yrs ago.
Where we woke up one day (yes that sudden) and realized we didn’t dream big enough? Huh?

  • We both dreamed of college degrees: check.
  • We both dreamed of leaving small town life and experiencing something bigger: check. (NYC big enough for ya?)
  • We dreamed of having a few kids, buying a home and holding a steady job: check, check and yes check.

Now what?

Does it seem greedy to dream of more….?

Or not?

Next episode: “Why More Isn’t Better.”

And yes I know it’s father’s day today… Happy Happy and lots of plaid shirts and ties to all the loving dads out there! Go see the cards my kids made and know that we are happy in our celebration of father’s day.. I just really needed to get this post started. I’ll finish it next Sunday… See you there.

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