Your Kid’s Majoring In What???

I just finished reading a great post from one of my favorite bloggers which I will reblog as soon as I’m done writing this great piece.  I can only do one great thing at a time, sheesh.  Anyway, in it, he poses an interesting question about the collective sanity of our culture in which we work decades at a job we usually just tolerate (if we’re lucky), in order to pay for all the things we consider important.  Things like, shelter, furniture for shelter,  indoor and outdoor improvements for said shelter, clothing, cars etc.  These are, admittedly, all important things.  But, at some point, we become the hamster on the wheel, frantically working to pay the mortgage, real estate taxes, cars, and credit cards, just to name a few off the top of my head, as we continue to require bigger houses leading to more stuff to put in them, cooler cars etc.  Add into the mix kids and, forget it, it’s all over.  Then it really gets crazy – more clothes, food, cars, insurance, food (those pesky creatures insist on eating every day), tuition and definitely a whole lot more alcohol (for Mom and Dad, that is).  We think of ourselves as a civilized people and, yet, our lifestyles turn us into crazed wheel-spinning rodents.  What’s that all about?

It’s a lesson in deciding what’s really important in life.  I recently had a very interesting meeting with one of my daughter’s music teachers and he was very honest about his career in music.  He happens to be a highly regarded teacher, performer and composer and he lives a comfortable life.  Comfortable for him and for what he wants in life.  He told me how much money he earns in a year.  In the eyes of many ambitious, status-climbing peers, it probably doesn’t seem like much.  His wife is a professional woman and they live in a very nice, but decidedly, modest home and have very simple needs and wants.   The best part?  They are content and happy.  What a great way to live.  And, here’s the icing on the cake – they love their jobs.  How many people can say that?

This is why my husband and I have been our kids’ biggest cheerleaders when it comes to finding what they love and going for it.  People look at us like we’re crazy, but, they’re probably going to be working the next four-plus decades of their lives.  That’s a long time to hate your job.  Our sincere hope is that they’ll be able to get up every morning and look forward to going to work.  What a gift that would be.  I can just see the smug look on some of your faces as you read this.  I know, because I’ve been on the receiving end of that look from a lot of people whose kids are all engineering majors.  You’ll be eating your superior attitude when, as I fully predict, my four children (yes, you too, Mike – you know you’re Brian’s favorite go-to producer) will be standing together onstage to receive their multiple Oscars for Best Picture, Best Film Score and most likely a few more Best things.  You’ll see…

But, back to the whole idea of being content and not being caught up in all the “things” that can distract us, I’ve been on a kick for years (decades?) to simplify my life, but with kids, it’s not so easy.  They’re just expensive.  Period.  I mean, they’re great and all.  But, man, they cost a lot of money.  The older boys agree that we should have stopped the madness of bringing home new babies at the half-way point in our haphazard family planning.  The younger ones aren’t so much in agreement.  Truth is, my husband and I could have lived a much more comfortable life without kids, but, wow, we would have missed out on so much cool stuff.  Yes, difficult moments, as well.  But, isn’t that what makes the awesome moments (though sometimes, fleeting) so great?  Stop thinking about it.  The answer is YES!  It better be yes, or I’ll really be depressed.  No, it’s definitely yes.  Yes…it’s yes.

So, I guess what I’m saying, in my roundabout way, is that life is too short to spend running wildly on a wheel to pay for more and more things to make us happy.  Those things usually just add to the frenzy, especially when the payments for them remain long after their shine has worn off.  Being happy doesn’t have to break the bank.  Just enjoy the simple things in life.  They’re all around us…

P.S. Read the following reblogged post, “El Paso Caveman”…

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