Thursday, December 16, 2010

Free Mind, Costly World

A friend recently mentioned that she's sometimes down on herself for "not getting a better job where she can make more money"... It got me thinking (shocker!) People place too much importance on money - and believe that having money will enable them to be 'happy'. The truth is - we can't buy happiness. And you don't need to!
I'm not really much of a gambler, per say. I'm not into get-rich-quick schemes, or mansion-dwelling-dreams. My philosophy on working is "Work to Live, NOT live to work..." I've figured out my priorities, and I live, work, spend, and play accordingly. This is sometimes easier said than done, and is harder to accomplish when you share your life with someone - as each person's dreams involve different variables. But I think that's where the lines get fuzzy too... It's healthy to dream.
Joel's dreams often include things that I would not have even thought about - let alone aspired to. One such dream is that of his desire to literally 'snowmobile through the mountains' one day. Hm. If we never owned a snowmobile, I'd be okay with that. They are fun, but I wouldn't feel like I'm missing out if I didn't get to experience that again. Let's step it up a notch and say we did acquire the esteemed motorized sleds. I'd still be okay with local and north-woods-situated trails; Mountains not necessary. But who am I to bock at his dreams?? And who said that dreaming is a bad thing?? I think the key is to dream carefully. If you're setting goals for your future, but you are still living today - I believe that's the important balance to achieve. We can't forget to enjoy what we've already accomplished - 
I pretty much want to live simply... and simply live. When it comes to my lottery-winning aspirations, I would seek out a few, pretty basic things... A) No dependency upon work for survival [Specifically - Joel would be able to retire!] B) I'd definitely hire a maid, so I'd never have to bother with those more mundane life distractions involving vacuums, sponges, or fabric-softener; and C) We could experience nearly anything we want, with very minimal limitations. Last, but not least - I can only imagine the joy I'd experience as various worthy causes around the globe opened their bulky, anonymous donation checks. The first recipient of such funds would have to be St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I just can't think of a better place to start, or a more deserving institution. 
Thing is - while I may not have my maid, my husband around during the week-days, or my trip across Europe mapped out just yet - I still consider myself having 'won' the lottery of life already in many ways - and I can still give back.
Try taking a few minutes for yourself to just think about all of the valuable assets in your life: people, fond memories, abilities, fulfilled dreams, shelter, food, a means of earning income... Consider the simplest things, on up. A lot to be thankful for, right? And with all the money we'll shell out this season for people in our lives who may not even need the extra gadgetry, we can surely dig a little bit deeper to support a favorable cause.

TIP: Feels good to pay it forward! Please consider donating to St. Jude, or any other non-profit org that you feel is beneficial in the lives of the less fortunate.
A QUOTE: "Happiness isn't about getting something in the future. Happiness is the capacity to open the heart and eyes and spirit and be where we are and find happiness in the midst of it. Even in the place of difficulty, there is a kind of happiness that comes if we've been compassionate, that can help us through it. So it's different than pleasure, and it's different than chasing after something." ~Jack Kornfield 
WHIDFML: Kept the circle of love going by making my donation :)

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