Monday, June 15, 2009

When Does More Become Enough & Who the Hell are the Joneses?

Is it an American thing, a Californian thing, a generational thing? When did we become obsessed with getting more, having more, wanting MORE!? Bigger houses, bigger cars, expensive jeans, the perfect highlights, the 'best' schools, the most fab kiddos, etc, etc, etc..... It's exhausting!!! These damn Joneses and keeping up with them is getting OUT OF CONTROL!!!

Who the hell are the Joneses? My little sister just became a Jones =), but that's not what I'm talking about. Though some days her child free life does look quite appealing. In recent weeks she could be found in Mexico, at a NBA Finals game, a Dodger game, a party....oh, to be her!!! But now I'm getting sidetracked.

Let me tell you something about the Jones family. They have the house/car/looks/kids that you think would make you happy. You know what happens when they go to their bosses/family's/friend's house? They see things that they wish they had. That's right! There's always a bigger, better Jones family. I've seen it with people I know. I go to their house & wish I lived in something like theirs...something my entire house could fit into the living room of. But guess what? They wish they lived in a better neighborhood, had a car like their neighbor, or a better job. When does 'more' stop and 'just right' begin? I'm here to tell you the answer is NEVER!!! Inside most households its just the same shit, different day.

You know what wanting more has given us? LESS!!! Less time with our families, less fulfilling relationships, less growth, and ultimately, less happiness. Now don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with wanting more from your LIFE, but more/better stuff is not going to get you there. In fact, often times it is the 'stuff' that impedes us from achieving the life we really want. It's never enough, so you never stop wanting. And more often than not, the accumulation of more coincides with the accumulation of debt and in the end MORE stress & LESS happiness.

I'm stepping off this crazy train. Ok, to be honest, I have to. After losing my job, we are learning quickly how to live with way less money. But the biggest surprise of this whole situation is that I am happier learning to live on less. The joy of a fancy car can't compete with the joy of no payment! I love dinners at home. They are healthier, cost less and are so much less stressful than getting a 3 year old to behave in a restaurant. And less "stuff" means less waste & less damage to our Earth.

I am going to actively resist the urge of more. The best way I can think to help me is by replacing the typical "more" with things that I truly want more of and focus on those.

My New More List:
  • Patienence
  • Giggles
  • Babies!!!
  • Love
  • Family time
  • Finacial freedom (less debt!)
  • Outdoors
  • Reading
  • Time with friends
  • Organic/environmentally friendly solutions that are affordable!
What's your 'more' list?


  1. Great post and oh so true. I myself have always wondered who those damn Joneses are too. Seriously I'm at point in my life where I'd RATHER have less. You hit the nail on the head when you said more stuff =more stress. I <3 you!

  2. Congratulations on disembarking from that crazy train!
    A simple life = a happy life. "Stuff" just complicates things, and how on earth could having "stuff" possibly make you feel happy??

    Happiness is inside you - inside all of us. All you have to do is be still and silent and let it emerge - I promise.
    A walk through the bush or the beach or any nature, really, will help you get in touch with you. I do it daily and I need nothing to make me happy.
    A fruitless search for material things causes stress - the opposite of happiness.
    Live Life Happy!

  3. Good thoughts Tara. Cheryl and I have been in that boat for a while now. Working with people who own homes, cars, etc. can sometimes lead to frustration. A couple of years ago, we resigned ourselves to the idea that God just wants us to be content, and that is what we have been working towards every day since then. It's a daily journey of everything you said above, and in my opinion, trusting God to provide what He knows you need in your life. Sure, i would still love a house someday, but I want to be content where I am now, and that is the journey. Good post!