Friday, March 19, 2010

Wealth... of baloney?

So the other day when I wrote about Suze Orman and feeling poor after watching her show, I realized, especially after a humbling comment by my dear friend Shannon, that I sound like an ungrateful, whiny, SSB-like, jerk.

I wasn't complaining about our own financial state. At least I didn't mean to be. We have been blessed. We did indeed go through a dirt poor, watering down our Flavor-Aid, eating only rice-a-roni and quesadillas, being vegetarian because we couldn't afford meat, watching our 13" TV with rabbit ears that was propped on a metal folding chair from an old stake center renovation, deciding between paying our tithing or buying food period. It was tough. And because we went through that, we realize just how blessed we are to not have to worry about deciding between two good things (i.e. paying tithing or eating). The contrast is stark. And I often think of those times with fondness, and look how much we've been blessed and thank the Lord for the comforts we enjoy.

What stood out to me about watching Suze's show is that pre-show I felt pretty darn good about our financial state: we've saved, we've been careful, and we've only spent money that we had. Post-show I felt like all my efforts to save and make smart purchases, and be a wise steward over what we've been given were not enough, that somehow I needed to be pulling in $20,000 a month, and that I needed to have a quarter of a million in the bank for retirement.

That contrast was pretty stark too.

So that's why I wrote about that. I was surprised at how inadequate I felt our actually adequate finances are. And I really meant it to be light and fluffy and more like, "Wow I didn't know I needed that much money." I'm guessing it didn't come across that way.

And how I must have sounded got me to thinking about how I present myself in general. I know I come across as whiny and ungrateful. So I whine, and yet I get to sew and shop and travel and do all these wonderful things. And I must seem like a huge jerk. That's probably because I am to a large degree. Don't you love how I have these bi-monthly epiphanies that encourage me to be a better person, all thanks to the blog. (Thanks, as always, for the therapy.)

There are wonderful things* happening in our lives that I am so eternally grateful to God for, but we're not ready to share them with the www yet. It's been a long time coming, and the wait has been hard. I've been impatient and childish and unhappy and haven't had a great attitude. I'm imperfect (ever so). Thanks for bearing with my impatience and whining. I'm sure that I will still find things to whine about, because, let's face it, that's my nature.

On a lighter note, I've started on a new project that I'm excited about: a pencil skirt made from upholstery fabric. I sure hope it turns out.

Also, it's about time that TC and I did some furniture rearranging and redecorating, so that should be coming up soon. It's always a challenge to find just the right furniture for just the right price though.

* not a baby


  1. I don't think you sound whiny. At least not whinier than I am...

    And I love how you have to immediately have to clarify that your "good things are happening" is not a baby. People haven't been bugging you about that, have they? :/

  2. I'm excited for the good things. I hope it's news about what I think it's news about! And I don't think you're whiny. Not in the least. And watching Suze Orman always makes me feel like I should be making a lot more money.

  3. You didn't sound whiny. And as tragic as my story might have sounded, it was me whining too. We alway were able to pay our rent, and we never went to bed hungry (when we weren't trying to lose weight.) But you're very, very sweet to offer your help.

    Blog reading, in and of itself, sometimes shows me how petty and crazy I am. I can be reading about someone's fight with cancer and then noticing their great headscarf and in one second flat I go from "I am so lucky to have my health" to "I wish I could afford a silk scarf." Happily(?) then I usually go to "Shut up, Shannon. You don't have cancer."

    So, I'm way human. I'm going to work on that. I swear. But not today because this afternoon is pretty much devoted to luting after the Liberty of London line at Target. We'll see if I end up feeling poor because I can't afford the bedding set, or rich because I can afford a new scarf. (I'm getting the scarf either way.)


Tell me something good.