I Think I know that people, looking into our lives from the outside, have the impression that we’re rolling in it.
That could not be further from the truth!
I’ll not deny that we’ve been fortunate(?) enough to have been employed always, to have earned a decent wage. No denying that. But, I know for a fact it’s not because of our connections, our “likeability” in the market place. It’s because of our work-ethic and ability. So yes, just to get things straight, we have earned well in life so far. We do live a very good life. But it’s not all roses and we work like dogs!
But, and here’s the big BUT ! We’ve not created the life we live today by being “mainstream” (oh yes, I can see the frowns now). Sure – we’ve used the mainstream tools of banks loans to assist in getting here, but we’ve never been mainstream in our acceptance of debt as the only way, of spending to the limit for the sake of the lifestyle. While we have lots of luxury and toys, none of those toys are uber-cool, cutting edge. We drive reliable but aging vehicles. Even the yacht, a perceived ‘proof-of-wealth’ item is a late 70’s out-of-style model.
No doubt, we’ve spent huge sums but on things that really matter to us. Houses and fittings for Sandy. Yachts for me. But none of that has been at the expense of savings and provision for tomorrow. None of that has been purely a spend. It’s always been “buy what other’s would consider unsalvageable” and put 1x money and 15x elbow-grease. To be honest, we’ve worked damn hard for the life we live.
This isn’t about boasting – heck, ain’t no one reading this blog. But it is about letting others know that it is very possible to live a very good life without fully buying in to the career-ladder-consumer religion that permeates the world we live in.
As my children start to finish up school, I’m loath to push them down the path I walked. I’ve not enjoyed the pressures of a corporate engineering career. The get a job, work hard, save for tomorrow ideology, while having paid the bills until now, has run it’s course in our lives. We are ready to relax a bit more now. On the other hand, work ethic is key, no matter what you work at. Without staying power nothing is going to be achieved in life. So, it is a challenge. How much pressure do I put on my son to finish school and get a job? How much is it me, wanting him to be self-sufficient? how much is it in his interest to become a wage-slave?
If I can provide them a safety net to allow them to find their niche in life, without focusing on the money but rather on the fulfillment, then I shall be happy with that legacy left them. And in the meantime, I’m quite happy to divert some of the funds previously reserved for study to the dream house by the beach … !