Sunday, January 29, 2017

Redefining Success

Have you been watching any of the Tiny House shows on TV? It seems that every time I turn around there's a new one, and now there's a show called Unplugged. It seems there's a big trend these days towards simplifying one's life.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s when everyone was getting bigger houses, bigger cars, more stuff..."keeping up with the Joneses" was THE thing to do. Nobody knew who the Joneses were, just that we were all trying to keep up with them, and that meant buying more stuff, including living on credit cards and loans because we couldn't afford all of that stuff, so we had to make small payments on it and stay in debt. The more you had, the more successful you showed yourself to be.

I remember at one point in my teens, right after my parents had just finished a very large remodeling project on the house we owned then, overhearing them discussing that each had considered suicide so that the other would own the house free and clear and be able to pay off their debts. My father earned a good income as an airline pilot, so it's not like we were poor and shouldn't be able to afford it all...they just had a lot of debt from auto loans, credit cards and now the loan on the house for the construction because greedy banks loved people like them who had good credit and good incomes and encouraged them to overstretch themselves. I'm just glad neither of them decided to actually act on those sad thoughts.

Now I see the pendulum swinging the other way and a lot of people, mostly younger but not all, choosing to downsize their lives and get rid of all of that extra stuff, choosing quality over quantity and smaller over bigger. It's making me look around at my own house and all of the stuff I I really need all of this? (The books and my card decks are a yes, the rest is what I'm questioning. 😉)

I think it's great to see this change in what success means, and healthier for people. Now success is defined by how much freedom and quality of life you enjoy and people are starting to actually LIVE again.

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