Growing up, I was never one of those in the clique who felt the need to keep up with the Joneses. Sure, there were items that the Joneses had which I liked and would have wanted, but my money situation wasn’t what theirs was. I had to work and to save the money to buy it or wait for my birthday money and add it to my savings in order to get whatever it was that struck my fancy.
Sometimes the working for it and waiting was better in the end although it was never easy to wait as a teenager, or as a young adult I might add.
Now I’m an adult and before the divorce, I had more funds and at one point in my marriage, I was able to splurge on items that we needed or wanted. Still what I desired wasn’t usually something to show off or keep up with the Joneses necessarily, it was because we wanted it. End of story. Not because the Joneses had a designer x or the newest y or the best z, but because we liked it ourselves.
I hate when people compete. It turns me off completely. It’s so shallow and sooo obvious. It grates on my nerves and goes against everything I am in being Authentically 50. It’s not to say that I don’t have some nice things from the marriage that I was able to keep. I do and I like them. But I’m more of a simple girl and sure, I’d love the diamonds, the big house and all the trimmings, but I’d want it to be filled with friends and family and not just as a showplace for someone else to make me clean.
I don’t like show-offs or braggarts. I like people who connect with kindness and I’m very appreciative of all of you! We are all different people, but the love which surrounds us, the love that we give out, goes far beyond the competition. Give me a kind loving soul and I’m in heaven. I don’t need all the superfluous baloney. Designer stuff is nice, but in the grand scheme of life, I now have simple needs. Comfortable warm house, loving atmosphere, caring connected family and pets and enough food on the table with some warm clothing and voila! I’m happy.
Would I love to be carefree about money? Yes. Would I love to win the lottery so I didn’t have to worry about finances anymore? Yes. Would I love to be a fairy godmother and share it with unsuspecting people? Yes. Do I dream about that? Yes. So I guess you could say I’m a complex girl because I like what money can do for me and for others, but I’ve found in my life that money is not everything. Things are only inanimate objects, but the key to my heart and my life are the connections I make with people and animals. I think that’s the legacy we leave behind when we die. Because as one smart cookie once said, you can’t take it with you.
My kids have had a tough time with our new financial state. But I think it’s a good lesson for them at this time in their lives. They appreciate more now than ever. For example, dinners out are a treat now and not an expected event. It’s more about sitting around the kitchen table and chatting than being out and about in one restaurant or another. It’s been a good lesson for us all. I came from simple beginnings, had a financially good married life for awhile and I am back to simple. I’m resilient and now my kids are learning the same lesson.