April 11, 2012 § 2 Comments
I think the hardest part for me is reframing what’s enjoyable. I’ve been raised, like most youngsters in American society, to think that going to McDonald’s and getting a Happy Meal is what you do to enjoy life. Or you get a new pair of turquoise and pink roller blades. Or you visit the Church of Disneyland on Sunday and get rock candy.
So you grow up thinking that’s what you do to enjoy life. That’s normal. That’s what most people do.
And when you grow up, get married, and have kids–or sooner yet–you realize that all those things that constituted the enjoyment of life actually constitute money and therefore the making of it.
Yet no one really taught us how to be grown up’s and live during a time of great depression, when our society is falling apart at the seems and there isn’t really enough enjoyment to go around, in the traditional sense of the word. Or shall I say, “societal” sense of it?
Here we are, not only scrapping the bottom of the barrel, but attempting to create a new lifestyle in this day and age. Reframe our way of looking at enjoyment. It’s taken me years to just drill into my skull that a tall soy vanilla latte does not equal enjoyment. That my day does not have to include going to a shopping center. And that Audrey doesn’t need entertainment that comes with a price tag. (Heck, at the moment, all she cares about is dirt and water.)
Rather than feeling pity for myself, I’ve decided to view it from a different perspective. I’ve chosen to see my lack of funds as a new lifestyle that includes more creative thinking and a lot less spending. We’ve learned we can live on less and be just as happy, if not more.
After discovering that Trever and I have both not been feeling positive for the past few years or so, we decided enough was enough. Getting down to the bottom of what was holding us down–besides our high hopes of getting out of debt and saving money for our future–was simply holding onto social morays that are outdated and irrelevant.
So we went back to the drawing board to see where we went wrong and discovered our childhoods entrenched in this line of thinking. Trever even realized that whenever he did an acting job, he was never told how much he made, only given money and told to spend it. When he turned 21 and got the majority of his savings, guess what he did? He spent it.
This idea of money is for spending has been marketed to us for decades. Even some of our parents neglected to tell us otherwise. We connect our happiness and enjoyment with how much we have to spend as if we’re still ten. But let’s face it: we’re not.
It’s time we stuck it to the man and said enough with silly consumerism as a lifestyle. Enough with spending a dime as enjoyment. We’re done with societal pressures to perform, succeed, and even feel the need to escape (on this thing you call “vacation”). It’s time to live and reframe. Reframe enjoyment.