I suppose for no particular reason, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about just how small my life is. I don’t mean I have a terrible life (because I don’t…..MANY people have lives 500% worse than mine has EVER been). I guess I just mean that my life, in general is very small. My job is perfectly OK……and what I do is important, but it doesn’t have a sense of IMMEDIATE impact on the lives of hundreds of people. I have a few friends, and that’s great and I appreciate them….I really do. But, y’know……few people ever really seek out my opinion or my input.
Some years ago, I ran a medium size business (got out of it….too stressful for me)…..I sometimes remember those times, and think about how people would stop chatting with others and turn and listen to what I had to say. Now, one might argue: ‘Here’s a guy who obviously got too much emotionally from his work, or at least tried to.’ and those people might be right. I don’t know…..I’m just feeling a little mopey, I guess. I’ll snap out of it, I always do.
So, I’ve had a lot of things happen over the past several months. Oddly, most of the ‘bad’ things really haven’t happened to me (in my personal life)…..it’s just stuff in my professional life etc. Last week, I testified in a divorce proceeding (that was also a custody situation as well) for a long-time friend/co-worker. The whole business lasted ALL DAY. I was so exhausted when I got home……it was a beating. This, after spending quite a few-dozen-hours on the phone with said friend over the past few months (not complaining…..just takes a lot out of you)……in the lead-up to this giant event. You know, maybe I would have NEVER wanted to be an attorney…..that stuff is rough, man. It was such a sad, painful event…….but in the end, my friend ended up with custody and they’re divorced…..it’s over. He gets child support, too…….not a lot, but it’ll help.
In the U.S., we’re allegedly past the Great Recession now. I suppose, by-and-large, my family’s finances are better than they were 18 mos. ago. My wife and I have been through some dark, dark, DARK TIMES as far as money is concerned. We are (I guess) the average American middle-class family (although, “average” and “middle-class” are ‘moving targets’ when it comes to definitions these days). There’s been a lot said and written about personal finance over the past 5 years or so.
Personally-speaking…….I have gone through such a metamorphosis about how I think about my money. I literally cant stop myself from laughing whenever I think about how the words “happiness” and “money” used to be linked in my personal world-view. I didn’t even know it was so severe until it started to change…..and change it has. I don’t at all believe that I’m in any position to give anyone advice, except to say, “If you want to know how to do it all wrong…..then look at how we did it.”
Two final thoughs while I’m waxing on about the Almighty Dollar:
Stupid Debt will destroy you. Most of how we get into debt in America is via Stupid Debt. Generally, so long as its a small house and you have a nice, polite, tidy little mortgage (with a stable interest rate)……a house is Smart Debt. Other than that, though, Stupid Debt will be your ruin…….take my word for it.
If you’re buying to make yourself happy…….you’ll NEVER BE ABLE TO BUY ENOUGH to reach that point……..never.