Thursday, July 20

When is Enough Enough?: Part Two: Gluttony

This is Part Two of a Two-Part Series on Gluttony

Why can't I be happy with what I have?

I have a good job and I do freelance. More freelance than I need. Denver is a cool town but I long for a "better life." I want more snow, more rain, less traffic, nice people, and so I think, wow, it would be the life to live in a smaller setting with progressiveness and opportunity and lower cost of living such as Burlington, VT, or Portland, ME, or maybe even Ithaca, NY. If I move there, then I forfiet my good job for quality of life. But what is Quality of Life? A good car? a good house? A safe place to raise kids, good places to eat, attractions, culture?

What is this fascination with getting more, doing less lifestyle frame of mind?
I now have 6 pairs of shoes. OH, but I need this many shoes and I can prove it.
One pair for gardening, Two pairs for work, One pair of summer clogs, One pair of running shoes, and One pair of hip, cool everyday when you are not working shoes. See.

Does one need two iPods? I now have two. One I got 3 years ago, saved every penny and justified it since I am a music buff and it changed my life having my entire music collection with me at all times so that when I want to listen to Jazz, I can. Or if I get a craving for Iron Maiden, I can. Or if I want to listen to old 80s or new Foo Fighters, I can. Without fumbling through 30 discs and jewel cases in your car. I deserved that iPod. But fast-forward three years and "oh, the new video iPods are out." I wait, and wait, and wait, and justify and justify to the extent of ripping and iSquinting 30 DVDs in preparation for when I get another iPod. But for what? our Honeymoon? Oh but wait, I could use it to put design comps to show clients. On a TWO.5 in Screen? come on! Anyway, I love the new one but did I really need it?

This could go on an on.

I don't like to bitch and complain....ok, yes I do, sometimes, but why is it so bad to want things?
If I work hard, make ok money, why can't I treat myself? When is enough enough? Do I have to justify everything I buy as a necessity?

Here is a story I got once while on an interview. This guy cared more about telling me abouth is new Harely, corvette and 4,000 square foot house in a gated community than he did about finding out if I was qualified for the job. I did learn a valuable lesson from him though. While spewing about his luxuries, he began comparing himself to his former partner at the job. His partner was 55, stingy as a nail, saved every penny and never treated himself or his family. Brought his PB&J every day and saved saved saved for his retirement. Then at 55 he died of a heart attack. He spent his entire working career saving for death. He did not splurge and reap the rewards of his hard work. He may have been happy but it sounded like he struggled and sacrificed too much. So the moral of this story is, treat youself as long as it does not hurt or affect others. LIVE. p.s. I didn't get the job.

Does anyone out there have their own opinions on this?
I would love to hear some ideas and feedback. Thanks.


Unknown said...

I am totally on the same track as you, Dave. I think it comes from us growing up in an era of somewhat blooming independence.....cable TV, a micro wave, a Sony Walkman is now replaced with TIVO, ordering food online and IPODs....I like the toys I cell phone coming out? I want to NOW...
We grew up with MTV's little icon or the moon man...and now today, MTV hardly plays video's...but thats ok, we have VH1 and VH1 Classic.....I think you are right on the mark.....*I* made the money, why shouldn't *I* reap its beautiful rewards? I stand next to you, fist in the air, Ipod in the other, READY for the spoils of good living........

davegannon said...

Wade, thanks. I think it is important to save, and be responsible, the pressures we put on ourselves to make a better do what? Buy MORE stuff we really don't need? If you have the luxury to make a good living, pay the bills, own a comfortably-sized home, a reliable car, and vacations, why would you want to put yourself in more stress to make more money, so you can buy more stuff, so that you can feel better? My next piece will be on another example I heard recently. Thanks.

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