What is enough? This question has been on my mind a lot lately. With an ever-growing gap between the haves and have-nots, is there a point where you have enough?
I think people would be a lot happier if they would stop and think about what it is they truly want. Not what society tells them they should want, not what ads tell them they should want – but what they actually want.
I mean, I could say I want a million dollars, and that sounds great, because I currently don’t have a million dollars. But is that really what I want? And would a million dollars be enough? What about 2 million? 10 million? 10 billion? How much of anything do you actually need?
Now, I get that there’s a difference between need and want. We all need a safe place to call home, to have our physical needs met (water, food, sleep, etc.), and love in our life. But how much of the other stuff in our lives is because we’ve been convinced we need it when we really don’t?
I think this occupies a lot of my thinking because I want to move and downsize. My current home is not a mansion by any means, but it’s still too big for the people who live in it. There’s a large room in our home that doesn’t do anything but hold furniture. We use it on the odd holiday, but other than that, it’s just a place that dust gathers.
I have a closet full of clothes, but I probably only routinely wear about 1/4 of it. Our kitchen is full of gadgets we’ve used once and then forgotten about. We have a treadmill, an elliptical, and an inverter table that no one uses. (We got rid of the punching bag and the weight set.) They, too, gather dust. You know, for that day when suddenly we all become fitness fanatics.
When I’m older, I don’t want a huge house to take care of. I don’t want to spend all my time cleaning things I never use. I don’t want to tie my money up in useless things and then sit surrounded by those useless things. I want to be able to travel. I want to be able to stay home.
When I think about what I want, I need to be honest with myself. For example, I’m an introvert and while I like to travel and see new things, traveling is hard for me. It’s a lot of ‘new’ getting thrown at me, a lot of social situations I’m uncomfortable with, and if I’m not careful, the traveling wears me down and I end up spending more time in a hotel recharging than I do getting out and doing the things I want.
So while I’d love to travel, selling everything and traveling the world for a while, while certainly possible, is not at all something that would suit me. My husband and I are fascinated with the tiny house movement and have often talked about buying a tiny house or RV and traveling the country. It seems like a great idea for me – I can travel and see things, but I have my own house/space to recharge in when I need to.
I don’t want to travel forever, however, and I will eventually want another house. A much smaller house, though. Two bedrooms, two baths – enough room for guests when we have them, but no so much space that I spend all my time cleaning.
I think for most people, it’s not that we want to necessarily be rich. It’s just that, generally speaking, if you have money, you have less to worry about. Some people will argue that point, but I think for the most part it’s true. Having money means you don’t have to worry about a place to live, putting food on the table, or having a medical issue sending you spiraling into bankruptcy. And I think that’s what we all want, really – to not have to worry. Money doesn’t solve every problem, certainly, but it solves a lot of them.
Of course, marketers and social media are very good at making you feel like you need ALL. THE. THINGS. Have an iPhone? Great – is it the newest one? If not, then girrrl, you need to get on down to the Apple store. I mean, who doesn’t need to spend $1000 on a new phone? Am I right?
And once you get it, don’t forget to let everyone on social media know you have one. What?! You don’t social media? Gasp of horror! How will you know your self-worth if you don’t have total strangers on the internet directing your self-esteem and validating your existence with likes and shares?!
Ok, that was probably a tad over-dramatic, but hopefully you get my point.
So, what does enough look like for you? Do you need a million dollars? A billion? A huge McMansion? A sporty supercar? A closet full of designer label clothing? Vacations all over the world? What is it you truly want out of life?