Keeping Up With The Joneses

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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.

 

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17 Responses to Keeping Up With The Joneses

  1. TJ Fox says:

    I have always been the same way. Yes, I like nice things. I tend to manage to find the most expensive item in the store to like without ever looking at price tags. A big portion of that is because I value quality above much else. Just because I like those things, doesn’t mean that I have to have them or really even want them, I just appreciate them. The older I get, the more simplified I want my life. Hubby and I have talked about the potential to downsize when the kids get older because we want more time to be together and do things we want than time spent taking care of stuff. Over the years I’ve joked about the huge houses, as pretty as they are, I would never want one for the simple reason I would never want to clean that much space!

    What means more to me than things is spending time with people I enjoy and that enjoy me in return. Sharing life’s moments and memories. Laughing and finding joy. Every once in a while that comes wrapped in a thing, but the thing is just the wrapping. The joy comes from what that thing means to me and my family, how it makes our lives better or more comfortable or the thought behind it if it was a gift.

    My mother has always been about how things look on the outside. It drove me nuts as I just never really cared or understood, especially because it only ever seemed to make her unhappy. What’s the point if it doesn’t make you happy?

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      I agree with you. What’s the point if it makes you unhappy? My exlaws were always about the superficial stuff and then complained about having to pay for it or how they had so many houses that they had to keep up with and so on. My feeling is have it, enjoy it and don’t flipping complain. If you don’t want it, then give it up, but I have zero sympathy when you are complaining about all the houses etc. you have just to brag about having them. It’s just ugly to talk that way. That’s one of the reasons I’m relieved to have been ousted from the herd. LOL Being grateful for whatever you have is one thing that I honor.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TJ Fox says:

        What is worse, is when that need to compete is with your own child. I never realized it was even happening until Hubby said something. Even then it took a long time for me to really admit it. Most parents want their children to succeed and maybe even do better than they did, but for some reason, my mother couldn’t stand it if I had something she didn’t. Not that what I had was something she would have ever wanted, but if I had it and it was something that could be said to be status elevating (not that we were of any class to worry about status in the first place), she had to have it, but better. She was equally covetous of my relationships with people in my family. It was really sad that even when she got all that stuff, she was still just as unhappy and complaining about money as ever. I don’t miss it. Not one bit. Sometimes you also have to be grateful for what you DON’T have. I don’t have that crap any more. I also don’t have mountains of debt that only prove I’m incapable of making smart choices. I’m very grateful for both of those things.

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      • janieleeds says:

        I agree with you TJ! I’m grateful you don’t have that in your life either! My exMIL competed with me even though she had way more money that we did. It was bizarre. She was generous but always had to brag about having the best or the worst of whatever (which I realized was a form of narcissism). She also wanted the best for her son and his wife, but also wanted to have even better than we did. It was a merry-go-round that I’m happy to have been jilted from now because when we were in the marriage, it was awful.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TJ Fox says:

        I don’t think I will ever understand why people have that kind of need. It just blows my mind.

        Like

      • janieleeds says:

        Me too….me too…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. L. Rorschach says:

    I’m the same way. I appreciate quality… but I too have had to make dramatic financial adjustments since my marriage ended. It sucks, especially for my kids. We’re living on a super tight budget.

    Like

  3. SDC says:

    This is lovely! 😍

    Like

  4. Great post! I wish more people thought like you did!! I was joking with a blogger friend about how small my kitchen is, and if people saw it, they’d think I was nuts, because even expectations of kitchens have gotten out of hand! Promised her I would do a post on how I manage in my teeny kitchen!!

    Liked by 1 person

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