Thursday, April 3, 2008

Haves and Have Nots

I'm a Have. I know I am. I have a safe place to live, I have a stable job and income, we don't ever have to eat pancakes for dinner. We can buy things new or used... we have the luxury of choosing. I am blessed to have hot water and electricity whenever I want it. Heck, I even have money in a savings account. That is a blessing.

But sometimes it's hard to remember how lucky I am. Sometimes, when I see other people buying new cars or getting fancy new computers or spending way too much money on clothing or going on amazing vacations, it's hard not to be jealous... not to be mad that I'm still making a crappy wage, and so is Husband. My sister makes more than Husband and I put together.

I don't think I ask for too much in general. I don't need/want designer clothes or a fancy car. All I want is a home. A real home. I'm almost 30, Husband turns 40 this May. And we live in a crappy run-down condo in a crappy suburb. We have no yard for the Bean and Pup. No privacy from noisy neighbors (who smoke and stink up the building).

It's hard sometimes not to be jealous. And I feel bad about myself when I get all pissy about things like the size of my paycheck because I am lucky. Despite my griping, we are able to pay our bills each month, we have manageable debt (in the form of school loans and a mortgage, not credit card debt), and we're even saving for Bean's college fund. We have food in our fridge and clothes on our backs, the Bean gets to go to a safe clean school each day.

Anyway, sometimes I just gotta remind myself how lucky I am. I'm lucky to be a Have, and I need to stop comparing myself to the Have Mores.

10 comments:

mamabear said...

i think it's human nature to always want more. even the "have mores" look up at someone and say "damn!"

Jennie said...

Also remind yourself that sometimes the have's can't afford it either. Some/most are building a debt that will eventually catch up with them.
It's good to save, and hell you just went to Vegas.

EcoGeoFemme said...

I feel the same way sometimes. I'm usually most comfortable (happiest) when I have friends who are in similar financial situations. Currently, the friends I see most frequently spend a LOT more than we do, which can be a little tough. But I always come back to the same things as you, I have everything I need, way more than most people in the world, so I should be happy with that. Plus I know it's not ecologically sustainable to buy all that stuff.

ScienceMama said...

Dude, I totally just went to Vegas AND got a tan. I'm a Have.

(I'm just a Have who pines for a house...)

ScienceGirl said...

There will always be "have mores," and some will even rub it in your face. At least you can say that you've earned what you have, and that you are living within your means. You are a Have!

Jenn said...

I do this constantly, every. single. day. But lately, I also try to see things in a "grass is always greener" way... There are loads of things my brother and family (for example) have... cars, house, child, vacation (they actually get to go away, I get to go home to mom's), savings... but I think he sees it from the other side: living abroad, travel for conferences, university education, a city life. We've picked different routes in life and right now there are a lot of differences in our haves/have nots, but if we're both reasonably happy with what we've chosen for now, I'm pretty sure it will all equal out in the end...

arduous said...

I heard once that the rich are actually less happy than the middle class which, frankly, doesn't surprise me. When you have a big house, and private school tuitions to pay, and several BMWs, you have so much more to lose, you know? And I don't really think all that stuff makes people happy. Most people are happy the more time they get to spend with their friends and family. A lot of rich people are rich because they are ALWAYS working, constantly on business trips etc, etc.

That said, I think it is patently ridiculous how under-valued scientists are by our economy. Stupid capitalist economy.

Amanda said...

I deal with this, too. My younger brother fresh out of college makes three times what I do. I'm trying to look at things the same way that Jenn does. I have fun at work (most days), a fun boss (I'm definitely a Have here), and I get to travel a lot (Major European Conference). So, I'm trying to remind myself of all the extra perks I have that don't include disposable income.

Julie R said...

I can relate to this. I have a PhD, for goodness sake, and the only living room furniture I have is the futon I bought my first year of graduate school. I know I'm lucky to have food and a roof over my head, but I would love to have something more concrete to show for all my years of hard work.

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