Monday, April 14, 2008

Acting My Wage!

Well, what can be said but it's the end of an era.  A pretentious, ostentatious Texas-style overindulgence of the 1980's era, but an era none-the-less.  The stainless steel leisure-class status symbols which previously donned this wrist are kaput. 

My Rolex and Baume & Marcier have bitten the proverbial dust, and while the Rolex can be fixed for $1500 (yeah, riiiight, I'll just write a check--not!), the B&M (wow, didn't see THAT abbreviation coming!!!) is discontinued and the parts are no longer available.  

So, I must learn to settle for looking like I like I make enough $$ to wear a watch from WalMart.  Hmmmmm...interesting new path for me.  Actually acting my wage!  (Which was $2.50 last month, ha!)

So, it's either enjoy the $15.00 watch I got at WalMart (which is truly super for workouts, btw), or NOT enjoy the $15.00 watch I got at WalMart.  We have all sorts of options in life.  We can enjoy what we have, or we cannot enjoy it. 

Luckily I've spent the last two years working intensely on ridding myself of my materialism.  God has been very helpful and I've put a lot of time, energy and prayer into it.  And I've made huge progress.  Maybe this is like the final test for me.  No Rolex, no First Class airfare, no private islands in the Caribbean, no BMW, no first row seats, no country club, no whirlwind trips to Europe, and no Nile cruise.  Just WalMart and Days Inn.

And I ask myself, can I be happy living the Middle Class Dream?  Can I be happy spending wisely and counting my change?  Can I be happy being ordinary, and taking the kids to Pizza Inn buffet ("the best ever!" says daughter)?  Can I be happy carpooling and making the kids choose one sport or extracurricular activity?  Can I be happy as a member of the hoi polloi with my ego extracted from the car I drive or the watch on my wrist?  Can I be happy being where I am now?

And if the answer isn't yes, then I'll end up like those old women in Iowa, where I grew up.  They were poor, and bitter even late in their lives that they didn't "have means."  Everything was about coveting the wealth of others--and yet these ladies were Christians!  They started their sentences strangely, even when talking about tea: "well, if Ebeneezer had been as successful as your dad, then I wouldn't have to get two or three cups from this bag," or, "your mom always had such lovely china and silver, I'm afraid these cups will just have to do."  Bitter, coveting and complaining.  Not a great way to spend your last days.

The sign on my microwave says, "Contentment is not found in having everything, but being content with everything you have."

It's a goal.  I'm not there yet.  But, I'm closer than I've been my whole life.

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