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Not what we have but what we enjoy

Maine Loon Swimming

“Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.” – Epicurus

In the 1950s the average home size was just under 1,000 square feet.  Today the average home size is 2,300 square feet.  The family did not grow, in fact the average family size has actually gone down since the 1950s.

Remember back when most families had one person working and one staying at home with the kids to ensure they ate, got dressed, made it to school etc…?  Remember when people ate together at the diner table in the evenings?

What happened?  Extreme consumerism happened and it was a slow and deliberate process.  We have been duped as a society by retailers and marketers.

Do you need a cell phone, newer car, bigger home, new clothes?  We are bombarded with messages every day via media and peers regarding what we own.

If you purchased a car that cost you $3,000 and has some dents and high miles, will your friends say “nice car”?  Not extremely likely (unless your friends are also simple living folks), but if you buy a $20,00-$30,000 or more vehicle your friends will give you plenty of positive affirmations on your purchase.

My own example is the home we purchased just last year so we could be 100% debt free.  We moved from a highly desired area to another town in Maine.  The first question we received from folks was “why?”.  To this day when we say we moved from one town to the other, we get those same questions with a perplexed look on their faces.

Somehow we had by choice taken a step back in our status as measured by society.  Our family felt 100% differently however.  We knew by taking a step back and buying a more inexpensive home we would become free.  You see in our family’s world freedom is greater than status.

The funny thing about our move is we actually enjoy many aspects of our new location more.  We miss our friends and running by the farms that were right by the house, but we have alternative favorite things in our new home.  We found local trails to enjoy and we are closer to grocery stores and other local attractions.

Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” – Epicurus

If you constantly are looking for affirmation from others or want to impress other people, you will never have enough.  The bar is raised constantly as judged by the constant increase in the average home size, household debt, etc…

Our family, friends and life experiences mean more than any things we could ever purchase.

Avoid trying to keep up with the Joneses and remember there can be a price to pay if we try and keep up with them.  Sometimes we get exactly what we wish for.  When we live to our means one small bump in the road can derail us (layoff, family illness, household emergency, etc…)

Don't try to keep up with the Jones

Keeping up with the Joneses can have a cost.

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