Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"It's not a lie..."

The remainder of that statement is, "...if you believe it."

It's a direct quote from George Costanza on an episode of Jerry Seinfeld.  Yes, I am actually quoting George Costanza!  I've done worse in my life of which I will not speak, except to my priest.

My response to George is, "Yeah.  It is!"

Let's talk lies.

People are uncomfortable with this subject and insist they never lie.  Really? 

Politicians lie all the time.  Parents lie to children.  Drivers lie to try to get out of tickets.  Children lie to avoid getting into trouble.  But all will tell you, they aren't lying. (Oh, no, she is NOT trying to call me a liar!! Here, hold the keys to my Jaguar!) 

The worse lie?  The lies we tell ourselves to the point that we believe them. 

How much are we lying to ourselves?  Lessee....

We lie about what we need to have in our lives, mostly, our lifestyle, our homes, our jobs, what's on our backs, stuff for our kids, to like, or to be liked and admired.

We try to live lives that look successful (financially!), knowing there's a problem with paying the electricity or being broke from taking care of grown children, and have nothing saved and nothing of the hard-earned money working for us, anywhere.

A very independent and strong single friend has a beautiful large home of her own.  She, to many, appears to be living the 'good life'.  Before you think I'm about to throw her under the bus....let me tell you.  She's wisely saved and paid off cars.  She wisely saved and invested and put down money to have a home built to her specifications, sold it, made money, and was able to put down enough (with left-over funds), to relax about that house.  She has mentioned that if she ever lost her job, she could make the payments working at McDonald's.  Now, that's planning. 

It's the kind of forward-thinking and planning we all should have.  Being adults, we are way past the immediate gratification stage of development.  That's for infants.  They want what they want and want it NOW. 

Here's another example:  my husband is the 'good one' with the money.  I have NO problem handing the responsibility over to him and he's comfortable with it.  In a marriage, you can't lie to yourself or spouse about your strengths and weaknesses.  I know about it but don't have to deal with it.  That works for us.  We have 'board meetings' regularly to see where we are and to plan.  Find what works for you.  It's not a control issue.  It just works.

In handing that weakness over, he has managed to place us in a position of comfort, if not material wealth.  Our mortgage is less than a third of our neighbors.  It's a simple small house and it's ours.  I'll be honest.  Until we win a lottery, we won't get to travel as much as we like and my hair and nails are done at Salon de Sucarichi.  I've said before, I'm not a shopper so my clothing budget is what some would call pitiful.  However, we enjoy ourselves and eat well and more healthily now than ever before in our lives.  We don't lie to ourselves about the 'deal-breakers', either.  Tommy wants to eat out occasionally and I like to buy books.  Obviously, we have simple needs.  This is something that, if we had young children, we would teach them.  The more you have, the more you worry about.  The lie is that you still need those things no matter WHAT!

It's important to consider your own deal-breakers, honestly, and work within the confines of some tough decisions.  We are not rich and may never be, but what we are is satisfied with what we have and are still ready for emergencies (Thank you, Suze Orman!).  The smartest things I've heard her say was regarding standing in your truth.

What we have, I wish for everyone.  I would love to know that everyone can lay their heads down at night without the stressors that keep many up from chasing after the Joneses.  That is the true blessing.  You DO realize that The Joneses no longer exist, right?  That's the lie. They are an illusion.  The Joneses represent the tremendous amount of debt our country and citizens have incurred over the period of many years.  The Joneses dissipated into an atmosphere of greed and pride.  Finally, they couldn't keep up with themselves.  Hopefully, they have seen that not living above your means is no longer the answer in this economy.  Live BELOW your means (another Suze-ism!) as financial matters improve.  I do still hold out hope that it will.  That's no lie.

If I could do anything with this blog, it would be to convince everyone that it's not the address, the dress, make-up, hair, nails, or car that make you "YOU".  You were who you are long before the capability of getting things.  One day, you will be you in the grave without those things.  It's inevitable.  Life is short.  Pursuit of stuff makes it even shorter.  Your things don't stay with you, but those you show love and kindness to will always be there for you.

I have one last thing.  There may be some readers, thank you, that noticed the absence of the ads on this blog.  I tried it, then realized I don't want the interruptions in thought nor do I want any readers to think I'm trying to make money from their time.  That is not why this particular blog is being written.  I'm no fool.  Everyone wants to make money.  I just don't want to do it that way. 

Thanks for reading and have a blessed rest of the week, All!

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