Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Myth of More

Growing up, we always lived in a big home. We always had the best back yard with an in the ground swimming pool and my dad always drove the newest luxury cars. Until I was 10 years old. That was the year my parents split up. We had to sell the big, beautiful house and move in to an apartment. Still, it was the biggest model in the complex - 3 bedrooms. We moved a couple of more times after that, but never again did we have the kind of luxury I experienced in those first ten years.

I have lived in this same house now for almost 13 years. It's small. It's really small. It's really, really small. There are days that I long for space. Every now and again I get the comment from different family members, "Can't you move?" or "Wouldn't you be happier with more room?" The answer is yes to both of those things. Sure, we could move to a house that's a little bit bigger but in all honesty, moving is a lot of work and I have to really think about why we'd be doing it. Has anyone ever died from sharing a room with a sibling? Probably not. Has anyone truly gone insane from sharing one bathroom? Possibly (there have been days!). I think that for us, we are doing okay, we're not thrilled to be here, but we're okay. We don't have secure/guaranteed incomes and we each never gave a thought to the importance of credit way-back-when but in all honesty, it wouldn't have mattered.

You see, my standard response to the family members that ask us why we don't move to someplace bigger is "Did having a big house make your marriage any better?" (considering that the 3 that would ask this are all twice divorced, the answer is always 'no'). That normally keeps them quiet for a while. My dad moved to Boca mainly because of the social status that gave him. He works his deli 7 days a week alone because he cannot afford to hire or keep help because of the cost of living in such a place. My sister was looking at million dollar homes to rent. MILLION dollars. There are three people living in the home. I can't wrap my brain around it. We watched so many friends lose their homes to foreclosure or have to sell to downsize due to layoffs and whatnot. I don't want to live that way. Neither of us are big career people. I'd rather have my husband home on the weekends. I'd rather be able to go on a vacation once a year that is paid in full (and not on a credit card). So many marriages fail because of financial strain. I don't see the point. If we go in to debt because of medical bills or something of that nature, I could stand it. But to go in to debt for a second bathroom is just not worth it.

It all comes down to wants and needs. There will always be things that I want. But I thank God every day that He has met all of my needs.

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