Do You Suffer From Money Envy?

Oh, my friends, I am overwhelmed with feelings of envy.

Let me make this perfectly clear — I am very happy where I am. My husband, my grandkids, my own two kids. I couldn’t ask for more.

Yet here I am, asking for more.

I think I watch too many TV shows where there are actors making $20,000 an episode, the CEO of Ceasar’s Palace and the Vice President of Food and Beverage at Ceasar’s judging Hell’s Kitchen finalists, Gosford Park where the really rich do nothing but eat and languish while the servants have a world of their own, restaurants that serve exquisite meals that make unique appetizers at $30 a hit, people who vacation in Hawaii then the Alps then France and barely feel the breeze on their hair.

I am suffering from rich people envy.

I will never be in that world. Point blank. I will never have the money to stay at an exquisite resort in the Rockies or have a beach front apartment in Honolulu or have a cocktail at the top of the Eifel Tower. And in some realms that is okay.

I have taken the slow road through life. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, I have worked all my life in order to have a comfortable place to call home, send my kids to school, pay for their sports and their pizzas and some of their college. I tried starting my own business, which didn’t take off as I thought it would. So backwards the finances went, until I found a job at a catalog distributor.

I will never be able to take off for the weekend to New York City or dine at Guy Savoy’s in Caesar’s Palace. Most of those things don’t matter to most of us. And it doesn’t matter to me most of the time.

But now and then I feel a bit melancholy that I never became a money maker in life. That I never became a vice president or executive director of anything. I never became a famous author or consultant. I never have been able to live in the top third income bracket.

Yet I am okay where I am today.

Maybe it’s because the road in front of me is shorter than the road behind me, and you can’t change your past. I suppose if I were to do my life again I’d change a little bit here or there, but I would still go bowling with friends where I met my husband and driven my kids to school every day just so I could have a conversation with them.

Would you change any part of your life? Just a smidge?

Do you ever suffer from “money envy”?

Sometimes I’m ashamed that I envy the money life. Why be envious of a life you will never have? Your family never had? Would I trade anything I have today for that golden ring?

I think a lot of this insecurity comes because I’m almost old enough to retire, and my past was never on the money path. It’s easy to look back and think I should have done this or that and it would have made a difference.

But that’s not true.

I may not be an executive of a company, but I’ve worked hard and well in all my jobs, traveled to Cancun and Las Vegas with my husband, I go camping and on ski weekends and I’m blessed to have both of my kids in the same state. I may not vacation in the Bahamas but camping in Sturgeon Bay is just as rewarding.

I think we all suffer from money envy from time to time. It’s what we do with that envy that counts. Acknowledge it, thank it, and get on with your life. You can’t change your choices, so embrace the ones you’ve made.

You’ve made them for a reason.

Garage-Envy

gold-chrome-wrapped-bugatti-veyron-owned-by-flo-rida-looks-grotesque-61670_1I am suffering from a bout of garage-envy these days.

I know it’s not the most controversial or personal subject to stress about, but for me it’s a malady that can never really be cured.

I don’t think I’ve had a garage in 40 years. First it was growing up at home, then an apartment, a townhouse, then a bungalow, then a B&B, then a bottom flat rental, then my current house. Unfortunately, none of of these humble abodes bode a garage for me and my flashy vehicle.

We have a pole barn/garage these days, but there’s no way to squeeze my fancy 2005 black Buick Sable in there — not with the boats, decoys, snow plow blade, workbench, mowers, toys, yard rickrack, spare tires, boat parts, camper, trailers, and other assorted oddities my husband cannot live without.

I know living “in the country” (as so many people like to refer to a mile out of town) has its perks, but often garages aren’t one of them. When we had our house built, there was barely money to build the house, no less an attached garage. We needed a pole barn (which is almost the size of the house) to house country paraphernalia, but the paraphernalia soon turned to collections and old stock and a holding spot for my son’s paraphernalia until he moves in a month.

Most of the time I don’t mind going straight out the door and a few steps over to my car to go to work. But come winter, those few steps become starting the car, scraping the windows, wiping the foot of snow off the hood, losing my shoe in the drift, etc. I envy those who have remote start, heated seats, Sirus music — anything and everything I don’t have.

Come spring I kinda get over the freezing fact, but move onto the real garage-envy stage. Shiny, clean cars laugh at my dirt splattered, mud puddly fancy 2005 beast. It’s like they’re saying, “Ha! I slept inside last night! Where did YOU sleep?” I then begin to feel more like a hillbilly and less of a contributing member of the work force who happens to drive an antique car.

I know you say, “Go and build a garage!” At this point in my life, I’d rather spend a couple of thousand dollars elsewhere. Like going to Ireland or Italy or buying a hot tub or something. Or saving for that fantasy world called retirement.

And besides — with my luck, that cute little 2-car garage next to my house would fill up with outdoor paraphernalia faster than you can say Jack Rabbit.¬†Who will also have no place to live.

Too many duck decoys in the way.