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  • iaindryden1

happiness vs money

Last week somebody gently scolded us, saying we were not successful, stating boldly that they were because they worked hard. They also said we were not positive. Had we been, we’d be fine. They laughed noting we don't have £50 spare for coffees and entertainment each month, saying it proved we were failures, although they avoided using that exact word.

The problem was that these people compare us to themselves and having this weekend visited friends who have everything, I can vaguely understand their position. Our friends have perfect children, three houses, one of which they rent out for a decent figure in London, they have great pensions and have a lucrative business as well as money in the bank. We, well, we've spent our life savings renovating this cottage and we live on State Pensions. Yup, I can see we look like failures.

However, returning from our friends' rambling home, we discovered our tiny cottage is warmer than their six bedroom, four bathroomed affair. Rather than taking hours to clean, it can be done in two hours. The garden, being relatively small, isn't a bore to look after either.

The people in the pub scolding our economic situation, were extremely proud to say they worked very, very hard. I pointed out that my wife worked hard. They didn't get called from bed deep in the night to attend to a patient. They didn't work non-stop for fifteen hours without a second to even go to the loo, let alone swig a hot drink or even have a bite to eat. Fifteen hours on her feet, every minute, yes, every minute. They didn't return home late, shower, stick something in the microwave, gobble it down, sleep and be at work within nine hours after leaving it. Day after day. Month after month. For years.

They laughed. We've been stupid. Chose the wrong profession. My wife health, me education. Neither great money makers. We smiled. Without education they might not have made their money. When they get ill, they'll need health care. They shrugged as if these are of no relevance.

We explained that we didn’t think it important to be single-minded about making money, calculating every step in the housing ladder, career ladder, and saving ladder. They laughed, said it was natural to be calculating. They were happy, had retired very (they used very a lot) early, had the house of their dreams, could eat out when ever and wherever they wished, regardless of the expense. And travel in luxury. Ho, ho, in luxury!

But we know they are unhappy. They moan about so many things. As does my half-brother, who is extremely rich, yes, extremely, but who is constantly afraid if becoming poor.

We worked out these people criticising us are wealthy from having sold a house they bought for a reasonable figure years ago in an area which has suddenly become very, very (yes, very) expensive, and buying a small one (much bigger than ours) in this very much cheaper area. That's the rub. Also luck in work - his boss liked him and gave him a huge share of the company. No more. My bosses have always liked me, but I never got given a share of the Education Department, (thank goodness).

Really, it doesn't matter that we struggle to get through each month. We're happy. That's what counts. That's great wealth. Yes, we might have missed many opportunities in life because we were not interested, or busy working for the welfare of others.

They chuckled, this mental state was proof we have a negative attitude. The solution is to do positive thinking exercises every morning and to think of ourselves attracting what we want. In their terms money, money, money? In our cases, happiness, but we already have that.

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