We have Enough

If you are living a middle to upper-class lifestyle there are very few things you can’t get your hands on? More money, extra shifts, a smorgasbord of food, endless activities for your kids, closets packed full of clothes, seriously what do you NEED that you don’t have enough of in your life. Paula Pant often says, “you can afford anything but not everything.” Yet most days on the surface it appears we have everything. We live a life full of abundance. If you are making a nurse salary (even in the Midwest) you can “have it all.” When was the last time you were hungry and thought I can’t have food tonight because it’s ALL gone? Sure, I’ve had my fair share of ramen noodles when I hadn’t gone shopping for a while but within 5 minutes I could have had a taco in my hand for less than a $1. For goodness sakes, we bathe in drinking water every night.

So what are we doing?

I will tell you what we are doing. We are complaining about decision fatigue, so main choices, we feel jealous when the neighbor gets a pool and we are complaining about raises because we want more. Then we turn around and gripe that we have “nothing” to wear, we groan about mowing our large yards, and then argue that we don’t want to work so hard.

You’re not alone. I want instant dopamine hits from bringing more into my life. But then I have to rationalize what’s really important. Every choice can improve my quality of life or worsen it. Does the big house in the suburbs improve my life or does it increase the amount of time I have to spend at work and increase property maintainence? Does that new gadget bring me joy or add clutter to my space?

Time is running out…

The one thing in this world that is finite is time. Time is NOT abundant it will run out eventually. Once the moment is over it’s over. Once your 20’s are gone you’ll never be that young or healthy again. Seriously, NEVER AGAIN. My bones are old, I wish I enjoyed them more a decade ago when they weren’t so creaky. Once your kids move out, their childhood is gone forever. All those snuggles, GONE.

So what now?

Some might think this reasoning would make you save less so you could LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE NOW. I don’t believe that’s the answer. The sense of safety and security you get from having money ready for an emergency and for old age is priceless. It’s all the other white noise you need to remove from your life. Stop now, limit your exposure to advertisements and consumerism. Enjoy what you already have. Be deliberate with every financial decision to improve your life, not add to the chaos and clutter. Really think long term, if you buy this will this increase joy in your life long term or will it eventually become a stressor?

This is not to sound preachy this is a reminder to myself to be thoughtful on the decisions I make for myself and my family for our future life, not just in the moment.

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