Thursday, February 26, 2009
Raising the White Flag
Working in the world of interior design for many years, I always felt pressure to dress stylish,(I tried) wear my hair in a current style, (my hairdresser tried) drive the status car (never bothered trying), keep my own house on trend, (it looked good in 1995) and keep up with all the latest and greatest in home decor.(I kind of did do that one.) But I gotta say that since all this melt-down in the economy has occurred, I really feel like the pressure is off. Since business is so slow, I haven't had a need to shop for new clothes (no where to wear them), I now have a chance to grow out my short hair, (no one will see it go through that ugly phase), my new modest Saturn Aura Hybrid seem tres PC (hulking SUV"s and Hummers hanging their headlights in shame all over the neighbourhood) and my own house with all its warts and aging appliances feels downright virtuous. (not to say I am not still longing for a set of those cherry red front loaders!). I can breathe a sigh of relief because in my mind, the competition is over. I have raised the white flag. Thank god for that. What the hell has everyone been thinking these last 16 or 17 years? I remember what I lived like before that - it was right around the time I met my husband and I lived alone in a small 2 bedroom apartment, drove a used VW Jetta, still scrounged second-hand shops for unique pieces of furniture and shopped on Spadina for bargain clothing. I had few things of any great value and although I always wanted nicer things, I am quite certain I never would have gone gazillions of dollars into debt to have them. (once I ran my Visa up to $1200 and it took me ages to pay it off - seems laughable now). Essentially, I spent what I earned and even saved a little. Although my husband and I have never lived beyond our means, (ok-so we have a line of credit - but we pay it off every year at bonus time) I have been truly awed by people much younger than we are who have racked up so much debt over this time period, that it must be difficult to sleep at night.....and for what? Are they happier than me? I doubt it. When did "things" become so important that logic blew right out the window and "more, more, more" became the mantra of the masses? I for one am going to enjoy this next decade of living real, living truthfully, living thriftily (way more challenging and rewarding than whipping out a maxed out credit card) and with any luck, our kids will become the most balanced, spiritually evolved generation and protectors of our planet. They won't have to feel the pressure to compete for things like the generation before them. And that's a breath of fresh air.