Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Bear Necessities

The neighborhood we live in is full of the Joneses...Granny Joneses that is!  You want peace and quiet, come spend a day on our block as the average age of one of our neighbors is 50 or older!  I absolutely love it though, there is so much to be learned from these older folks.  The reason I call them the "Joneses" is because they love to keep up with each other and gosh darn it, after all those years of scrimping and making do with little, I think they deserve it!

This last summer "Design-Crete" was all the rage and everyone (except us) on the block was lining up to get their sidewalks ripped out and new, shiny and “designed” sidewalks reinstalled.  My hubby and I would share a chuckle when the Design-Crete truck would pull up in front of yet another neighbor's house and the workers would tumble out, laden with tools and buckets.


“Well, now the Smiths (names and resemblance to any specific persons is purely coincidental) are getting their sidewalk done, that's cool!”  Would I like our sidewalks to be able to compete with the jazzy works of art embedded in nearly every yard on our block?  Oh yes!  So why not?  The answer is rather simple yet sensible…boring even: WE CANT AFFORD IT RIGHT NOW!

There will come a day when we can, it will more than likely be when half of our household is no longer single-handedly keeping the majority of Huggies factories in America afloat!  It may be even further out; maybe after the kids have attended a few proms or gotten off their braces (knock on wood for that one!).  Or maybe, by the time we can afford it, we would rather spend the cash on a trip to Fiji.  The point is, why not wait?

St. Martin trip: Fiji?!
We were raised by a generation of hard-workers that didn’t mind saving until they could swing it.  They didn’t mind making vacations an annual adventure (or camping it up verses doing it Hilton style) instead of monthly.  If keeping up with the Jones meant debt up to their eyeballs, then they weren’t afraid to say a word that makes our generation shake in it’s boots: NO!
Kids LOVE camping...and it's so cheap and easy!!
I say let’s take our lifestyle down a notch when were in our 20s and 30s and be proud to drive a used mini van, to grab a deal at a garage sale and to clip a coupon from the flier because it means that we are going to have some cash in our pockets when we are in our 50s and 60s instead of sitting on top of a mountain of debt.

It’s okay to not have perfect furniture sets, hot tubs and vacation homes if it means the things we do have don’t actually belong to a pencil pusher sitting behind a desk at the Visa company.

What’s wrong with sharing a laugh with our peers about being cheap or having some things we can’t do or buy right now because it’s not the right time to enjoy it?

What will we have to look forward to if we get EVERYTHING right now?

One thing I am looking forward to in the future (hopefully before I am setting my teeth on my night-table at bedtime) is watching those Design-Crete guys tumble out of a little truck in our driveway where I’ll be waiting to greet them with a stack of cold, hard cash that we saved for…although by then, I may have new hopes and dreams and that's okay too!

In the words of the very wise Baloo the Bear (from “Jungle Book”), “When you find out you can live without it and go around not thinking about it…then the bear necessities of life will come to you!”

1 comment:

ScatteredButPresent said...

Love this post are so creative and i love your posts.