We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, March 24. 2012
In youth, one needs and wants stuff: a roof over one's head, maybe a spouse, transportation, some domestic machines and comforts, recreational toys (guns, tennis raquets, boats, speakers, etc), appropriate clothing, and decent schools for your kids.
In midlife, one begins to hunger for an accumulation of life experiences - or at least I do. I haven't wanted any stuff for years except maybe good cigars, good food at good restaurants, interesting beers, books, and Teaching Company CDs. I buy nothing else anymore - not even an iPad. Well, I did need to replace a couple of computers recently, and it did not go very well. I guess I'd buy more art if I had money to burn, because I look to look at pictures.
My skis are 12 years old, as are my ski boots.
I do not say this from some sort of moral or anti-materialistic standpoint; it's just something I noticed. People tease me about having inexpensive cars and obsolete cameras, but that isn't on my life agenda right now. My father-in-law has always advised "Do it now. Later, you won't be able to enjoy it."
To read things, learn things, go places, see things, do things. That's what I want. What I want is my good work, one cultural outing per weekend day (just one per day, mind you, Mrs. BD), time with my spouse, friends and kids, good energetic manual labor at home and at the farm, interesting and adventurous travel, and a tangible relationship with God.
I sort-of gave up on pursuing the rational goal of financial security long ago: it's a fool's errand, one keeps raising the bar - it can be life-destroying. Furthermore, whenever you think things are going swell, a surprise happens to mess it up. Everybody worries about money, even Warren Buffet. Worry is part of life but it should not be allowed to get in the way of living. Otherwise, what's the point?
Do you feel the same way? Or am I suffering from "Midlife Disorder"? (If so, I sure hope this is only midlife, and that there is a pill or an app for that.)
"What I Want"
Bird Dog @ Maggies Farm writes for me and many other in Getting stuff vs. getting experiences - Maggie's Farm when he talks about his "wants:" To read things, learn things, go places, see things,do things. That's what I want....
Tracked: Mar 24, 17:18
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Bike commute, photograph ordinary things, dog, scientific computing which has always been a hobby as well as a job.
No cultural outings, thanks. They're crushing bores.
I am at the age where many have a “mid-life crisis”. I find that instead of wanting to buy a sportscar and spend time with strippers, I want to sit home quietly, reading about ethics.
I wish I could travel, but understand why my choices have made that difficult.
I am poorer than most around here, I think. But I still have too much stuff built up from younger acquisitive years. I wish I could afford to fix up some of the stuff I have (house, car).
Foxmarks ... When you reach our age [80's], you always have too much stuff built up. But that can be more fun than you'd think. You can be very selective and gift your relatives or dear friends with something you've cherished and kept in good condition for far longer than most people do. I've had a 1991 Volvo station wagon for twenty years. It has a stately appearance, relatively low mileage and has never been in an accident. I have adored it all these years, for its dependability and charm. Some friends of ours, about the age of my grown children if I had any, had always admired it, so I swapped things for it with them. They tell me proudly that every time they take it to a garage, folks want to buy it from them.
Then, there's what's in the garage. My husband's Honda, which is about five years old, is there, plus a lifetime collection of power tools, a lovely Honda generator in perfect condition, which I no longer need because I had to give up my orchid collection, woodworkers' chisels, etc. from Downs' Dad, who made beautiful woodcuts as well as writing novels. They were rusting away quietly, since our hands don't work very well any more.
There are several ways to deal with this oversupply of "stuff." You can keep it squirreled away, unused until you die, or you can offer it to your dear ones. We chose the second option. Our dear friends who are far more vigorous than we, are happy to have the gifts, and they have already rescued us from several minor emergencies for which we are deeply grateful.
On top of that, it just makes us feel good.
I do not share your penchant for travel BD, nor do I spend money on conspicuous consumption.
I am still trying to get my debt paid down and am gaining on that. If I just had everyone paid off I would be in good shape.
Financial security is important. I don't want to spend my declining years commuting from a seedy one room apartment to work so I can smile and say, "Welcome to Wal-Mart. Would you like a cart today?"
OTOH my Significant Other agrees with you. She says, "When you are on your death bed you will regret you worked more and traveled less." I doubt it, but that's what she thinks.
Anyway, I am happy being a hermit. Who wants to waste their life waiting in crowds, lines and traffic?
"Do it now. Later, you won't be able to enjoy it."
You sound like the song from Porgy & Bess, "I've got plenty of nuthing, and nuthing's plenty for me." Do I agree with you? No, absolutely not. Having strived for financial security and achieved it, at least in a modest way that suffices for us, my wife and I are doing in retirement the things we never could have afforded to do---or had the courage to do---when we were younger and were working. Backpack to Fiji when we were young? Never would have done it, I'm sure. But in a few months we'll be sailing off to Fiji to view the solar eclipse and explore some of the best coral gardens in the Pacific. Blessed with exceptionally good health for our age, we're enjoying a lot of the things that in our youth we set our sights on.
As for dining in good restaurants? Been there, done that, boring. Give me a Nunya plate lunch from a food stall in Singapore. These days, I can afford to hop on a plane whenever I want, if I want, to satisfy a craving to experience something I've dreamed of...not that I would spend my hard earned money on a complete whim like that. Read books and listen to lectures? Did that for years, now just too passive an activity for me, unless I plan to USE that information to DO something, to create something. Expensive car? No, but I do own a mid-level Lexus because the total price to own is lower in the long run, I expect. Same for shoes: always buy a good brand, like Bally for instance, because the product will last a lifetime if properly cared for; it'll be cheaper over the long haul. That's the advice I got from MY father. Expensive camera? You bet: something I can grow into and use to challenge myself to develop a new skill, even if it takes me 10 or 15 years.
It's reassuring, very comforting, to grow old knowing you have enough money and your financial security is no longer a major concern. The key is to know when you've saved enough so that you can stop worrying about acquiring more. Above all, truly believe in the old cliche: money is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Yes. Well, Marianne, I would never have imagined you are in the 80's. ;-)))
I am as "poor" as foxmarks, don't have the wherewithall to travel - or, actually, the desire. (I enjoy the exotic "food photographs" immensely, though!!).
However, being well educated and well read, with a great imagination, I have a lot open to me that some people don't - I am currently working my way thru (Dorothy Sayers' translation of) Dante's Divine Comedy as Lenten reading, which is turning out to be NOT penitential at all!! Just a lot of fun....
And, I, also, have a library of Teaching Company CD's ;-)))
All I have to do, in the end (that is, eternally), is please God. All the rest is icing on the cake.
(But, my garden is awesome!)
This gave me an insight into my 23-year-old son, who is in the acquisitive stage of life, while my husband and I are downsizing. Downsizing in a sense, though, since we are building a home on our tree farm. Of course, 60 is the perfect age to take up farming! For us, that is the experience we desire.
I remember walking out of a store about 15 years ago, amazed that there was not one thing I wanted to buy.
I agree about financial security. We've been debt free, including cars and mortgage, about 20 years now. But what is security? I know that inflation or health issues could hurt us significantly.
Seriously, worrying about how to live makes me want to die. I want to be a tree.
buddy dear ... Don't worry about being a tree. If you play your cards right, and arrange to be buried in the right place, you'll end up being part of one.
Some time ago, I decided that life had four stages:
Feeling like crap
Still feel that way.
for the God-cues-in-language file:
(guns, tennis raquets, boats, speakers, etc)
--okay, okay, but NOT Reid and Pelosi. I do not like them in DC, why would i like them nearer me? Bad enough in Speaker's Well, but in my storeroom? What the hell?