When I was about 6 years old, there was a game I used to play. I would make a wish (often to live in a castle), blow on a dandelion with my eyes closed, and hope that when I opened my eyes, the castle would magically appear. It never did.
When I was in high school, I had a dream. I was going to go to UC San Diego for 4 years, get a B.A. in Sociology, and then go on to grad school. I would get a degree in social work, and get a great job, where I helped other people.
While in grad school, I would meet my awesome husband, who would have a great job, so we could afford a nice house. He would also love to cook, since I didn’t like it so much. We’d settle down and have a few children by the time I was 30. They’d go to daycare, and I’d be a career woman.
Oh, how things didn’t turn out the way I’d imagined.
I went to UCSD and got a B.A. in Sociology. And that’s where my dream turned into reality. I overslept the morning of the test I was supposed to take to get into grad school, so I didn’t have everything I needed to apply. Instead of going to grad school, I moved to Oregon.
I met my husband, who is awesome, but he is not a great cook. He knows this, so it’s OK for me to post it. He’s talented in many areas, but cooking is not one of them.
It took us longer than we expected to have children, and when our first was born, I quit my job as a teaching assistant at the Special Ed Preschool to be a stay at home mom. Our second was born when I was 31, and there were no more children.
Instead of being well of and able to afford anything we wanted, we have struggled financially. Most of that is due to our own choices. Some bad choices with credit cards, and some good choices with our careers. Good, in that even though we haven’t chosen the highest paying careers, our careers are very rewarding in other ways.
Would I change my life? No way! I’ve found that by wanting things, I have something to strive for. So what if I can’t afford a brand new wardrobe, every time I want a change? It makes me appreciate every new piece of clothing I get a little more. It makes me a little more aware that I need to take good care of what I have, because I can’t easily replace it. It makes me more frugal, because I need to cut my spending in some areas to afford what I want in others. It makes me a more responsible person.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being well-off financially. Being financially comfortable is a good goal to strive for. However, it’s good to have to work hard for a few things in life. It helps us create goals and good stewardship.
How about you? If a fairy told you that you could have everything you want in life, would you accept? (And I don’t believe in fairies, but I do love fairy tales!)
Photo by lil_miss_whit.
I’m actually in the same situation right now. Some things didn’t turn up as I’d imagine it would be.
I worked as a developer then promoted until I was manager. Then I aspired to be a business owner, putting a lot of my money into a business which right now hasn’t been very productive. Then I resigned and got a lower earning job and putting much more time into it. It turns out I haven’t ‘seen’ what I thought should have been happening. But I am still working on it.
Excellent post. I agree with you all the way. I will admit though that I wish there were times when life was a bit easier. We learn and become stronger through adversity. Consider it character building. Those that have everything handed to them are usually very shallow souls.
I always like to to be happy with whay I have and if I am unhappy, I try not to dwell on the past, but rather the future because I have a shot at changing the future . . .
Great post! I hear you completely. The paths I have traveled have definitely not been what I thought. Luckily, I have managed to enjoy life and be debt free. Good luck to you now and going forward.
When we got married – our income was amazing…and though we couldn’t have everything (like say a yaht though I don’t actually want one lol) we could afford to buy whatever we wanted within reason. We ate out several times a week and spent like there was no tomorrow. Then the economy happened and DH took a big pay cut. Then I got pregnant. Originally intending to put our littles in daycare, I didn’t realize I would want to stay home to raise them. Another pay drop. We’re at 45% of our income stuck in a big 3300sq ft + basement) house that we can’t sell in this market trying to make ends meet. It’s going fine but we’re learning for the first time in our lives to be frugal and we’re actually (in most areas) learning to love it.
My wish? Our house would sell, we could buy a small home in the country and have big gardens, can and preserve our own food (maybe have some chickens?!) and live simpler. But we are where we are and that is where I want to make the best of it!
Sorry – long comment! Great post! Visiting from A Simple Walk
I’m a little late with this comment due to being offline due to lightning damage to my ISP’s equipment. My answer: Empatically NO. I believe God provides what I NEED, when I need it. I am very glad I do not get everything I want, because sometimes the things I want might turn out not to be the best things for me. My needs are simple. My wants complicate my life.
Definitely a hard question for me to answer honestly. Part of me says no, that everything in life happens for a reason. That each good thing you realize is good from seeing the bad. The other part of me says yes, that I would like to have everything granted to me, that I would finally feel comfortable in life. But at what price? Usually stability doesn’t come that easy, so what price would I have to pay to be granted my every wish?
No, I wouldn’t take everything I wanted. You all have covered the serious side, so I’d like to look at a different angle. Tell me, where would you put it all? Can you imagine just how hard it would be to figure out what things you really wanted? Like, you want to decorate a room, but you can only do so much or it looks bad … so there would be ALL those decisions. Nope … life is more simple having to work for it. That way, the decisions come fewer at a time. ;-)
Not much chance of it happening, so I haven’t thought about it. My wants would be more for intangibles… health and happiness for family and friends – that kind of stuff :)
Tangibles just don’t mean that much to me as long as I have the basic necessities covered.
I probably wouldn’t accept it. It’s nice to work and make things happen for yourself. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
Excellent post! I had never really thought about it before, but after reading what you had to say I definitely have to agree with you. If you get it all handed to you with no work, it doesn’t mean nearly as much as if you don’t get some of the things you want and you had to work hard for things you have.
It makes one appreciate their lives much more!
Keep up the great work. Your blog is one of the very few that I have in my “Must Read” section!
Kind of a hard question. If I had everything I wanted I would be able to live in the sticks, be self-sufficient, and have enough saved for a comfortable retirement.
Things did not work out the way I had thought. I went to college to become an illustrator. But the economy was crap when I graduated and I took a “Joe job” for 2 years before landing in my first office job. I’ve switched jobs 5 times so far and worked my way up the ladder. Now me and my Wife do pretty well financially. But the state we live in ( CA) is way too expensive. So our dream is to keep on living as cheaply as possible, move out of state, buy a place in the country, and live life a lot more simplistically. Not sure if that will happen but we will see…
Great post! I feel the same way!
Absolutely NOT. The Good Lord put me in these places, brought me to these people, put me in these situations, and provided this life for me. Who am I to want more then?