Saturday, March 5, 2022

What Does Success Mean to You? #Lent2022

 


I highly recommend the book "Maid" by Stephanie Land and the Netflix show that goes along with it.

I've only seen the first episode of the show, which prompted me to grab the book first, and they are pretty different, as is normal with books/movies.

Here's one line from the book that stood out, referring to her clients with huge homes for just two occupants, wasted food, expensive furniture that rarely gets used, and "Prescription pills littered the bathroom countertops and the medicine cabinets of most of the houses I cleaned... Maybe the stress of keeping up a two-story house, a bad marriage, and maintaining the illusion of grandeur overwhelmed their systems in similar ways to how poverty did mine."

This got me thinking.

As I drove the kids to a homeschool dance last night, I saw a couple of gorgeous, new, large homes on 143rd Street between Kenneth and Mission Roads. They were lit so perfectly with small spotlights, and one even had a bridge that you had to drive over to get to the home. I used to covet homes like that when I was younger; now I just think of how much time or money it would take to keep it clean and maintained.

When I'm working to make money *for* my family, it usually entails taking time *from* them, often for things we don't necessarily need. Last night I was grateful that I was able to drop some kids at the dance while others were content at home with other friends, a movie, books, homework. I was able to sit at McDonald's and work, which was good for my brain and for our family finances.

So many people think that being successful means having a cool car, a large home, nice clothes, a job with clout (doctor, lawyer, best-selling author, engineer, CEO), among other things. What does success mean to you? Having the car, clothes, home, job, as well as all the books, all the art, the biggest television, the newest furniture, fancy foods and drinks, and more?

This Lent, I'm really trying to inspect what success means to me and how I treat money, time, people. For me, Lent then should continue in that we take with us the lessons we learned each year on our Lenten journey. You, of course, don't have to be religious to do this :-)

I think it's important to read books like Maid and Nickel and Dimed (I'd love your suggestions as well!) to think about people and situations outside of ourselves, to be more compassionate, and to be more grateful for what we have.

Faith, Family, Finances

*Conversely, where do you think the "bad marriage" concept comes from? From one or both working so much that they are too tired for or don't have time for any meaningful connection? From having their priorities possibly out of whack? Instant gratification extending into unrealistic expectations from their partner?

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