Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Would You Rather....

Would you rather

A) earn 50,000 a year while others make 25,000


B) earn 100,000 a year while others make 250,000?

When Readers Digest posed this question I picked A, much like everybody else so they say.

 I have to admit that when I first chose, I thought I was being frugal.

Actually in all honesty I think what happened is given the choice of the two I believed I wouldn't even need 100,000 to be happy.

Someone with less than 20,000 yearly thinks that making an extra 30,000 sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Then I kept reading, trying to see if the article had a point..... it did!!!!

(this is surprising only because I rarely seem to have a point when I ramble about random things... although that may be why I'm not published and Mr Stewart Foxman is.)

The point was we all suffer a little bit from the "Keeping up with the Joneses"  syndrome.

 (nobody apparently is trying to keep up with the Kardashians anymore.. the Joneses must be slightly more attainable...)

 Actually to paraphrase the article, people are willing to forsake a doubling of salary just so they can outspend their neighbours.  We all just want more more stuff than the next person.

psshhhaw I said... I'm not that shallow... I don't need other people to gauge how happy I am... and then I thought about it... I have a lot of time to sit and think about things like this, as I have an hour drive to work every morning.

 So during this mornings drive I convinced myself that I chose A because I believed 50,000 was enough to make me happy.... especially since if no one else made that much the cost of living would have to go down and I'd be able to get everything I'd ever dreamed of.....

... it had nothing to do with at least I'd have more money than everyone else.

 At this moment of self-celebrating-clarity the Turbine Truck passes me. This is a long-haul truck that is carrying HUGE steel cylinders through the narrow roadways. I've met him every workday for the past month.

 There is always a string of cars behind these trucks, as there is a half hour stretch where you simply can not pass. Driving behind these massive trucks probably turns that half hour stretch into something more like 45 minutes to an hour.

 (I'm not rambling here.. I promise I do have a point)

 This morning I decided to count how many vehicles were subject to this torment.

Eight...... as I counted them I thought to myself, "well I may have a long drive to work but at least I'm not one of those cars....."

... uh.... wait a minute.... did the sight of someone less fortunate than I just make me happier about my own situation??

 no, I'm not that shallow... remember, I just figured that out. Just a flukey coincidence That I hate being stuck behind trucks and I decided to be happy that this morning I wasn't.

 As Karma would have it...I promptly turned the next corner and found myself squarely in behind a large slow moving log truck..... Today of all days.

 Now not only was I stuck behind something on the Port Motoun Road, which in itself drives me absolutely bonkers.  But I also had the weight of a guilty conscience for not being as much of a "love thy neighbor" type Christian as I thought I was.

 I decided not to bother thinking about either thing and started wishing for the zillionth time this summer that I had a car with air conditioning (see, the $50,000 would actually be quite useful to me)

 And on the next turn I see a gaggle of cyclist straining with their orange vests and high flying tail flags to get up the steep hill that I was easily coasting down in my non-air-conditioned car.

Then without a chance for me to tell it to zip it's lips, my subconscious  managed to mummer "Well, you don't have air-conditioning but you're sure as hell not as hot as those poor people"

Any self riotousness I had left, flew out my open window.....

So now I choose to accept it....

 I may buy my sunglasses from the dollars store instead of the Gucci web-site.

 I may have purchase my Steve maddens from Frenchies for $4 instead of $400 from a boutique downtown New York,

 I may not want to go $400, 000 into debt just so I can have the biggest, bestest house on the block.

 But dammit I can't help but gain a little peace to my mind to hear someone, somewhere has it a little worse off than me.

 According to Foxman, that makes me human, which in turn makes it impossible for me to be frugal.

According to my conscience, at least I'm not as bad as so-and-so down the road.....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Brick by brick

If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be.
Now put foundations under them."
~~~Henry David Thoreau

I tend to build a lot of castles in the air.. in fact I'm pretty sure I need to apply for a second zip code those castles have grown so many.

Some of these castles I've abandoned. I realize now that it's not actually ideal to live in seclusion on the Island for the rest of my life (I like society, most of the time).

I've also given up on becoming a runner ( I just honestly can't give enough damn to keep going).

I have to admit I've let the castle with me being a coupon queen become a little dusty ( first you have to find the coupon, then you have to WANT what it's couponing for, then you have to find the damn product, and if you're prudent enough to actually BRING the coupon with you to the store you still have to actually USE the product in the end... that's a lot of work to save 35 cents)

Another one of those castles included updating every day.. a new and funny quip about life each morning... why not, I have interesting conversations with my clients everyday. I should be able to put one in blog form.

Hell I spend a half hour every morning mindlessly biking around, why not use that time to think of something funny, then sit down, enjoy my morning coffee and breakfast and write.

It was a grande plan m'am, and as grand plans seem to do... it collapsed.

Turns out, I actually have other things that are more important than a daily rant.

Also turns out, a daily rant takes more time to type and post than it does to simply actually RANT about something.

And as you may have noticed from a previous post... it actually does take a lot of concentration to not end up in the ditch while biking with a 45pd Husky attached to you.

Not to mention that my morning coffee and breakfast is actually quite enjoyable because I have NOTHING to do but enjoy my coffee and breakfast.

But I'm not ready to put this castle in the marathon-coupon-hermit category... I simply need to reconfigure the floor plan...and maybe try to post once a week......

I hope.

Just as I'm learning that the house building process takes longer than expected ( yes people told me it would, but who wants to believe everybody else??) I'm also learning that you don't just pick up someday and jam Blogging into your life.

So I'm going to start slowly, one weekly ranting brick at a time. I still have a faint sliver of hope that someday I will be so good that I will be posting everyday....

Perhaps I should start taking my laptop with me on my bike rides....

Hey I have a turbo stick, I can post from the ditch if I have to.