Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I got nothing to grateful for

There - easy.  Nothing to be grateful for.   Not one little thing.  Nothing.   Life is unfair.  It seems that the vile are ruling the world and that hateful behavior is the norm.  The whole holiday is a sham.  No one even likes turkey.   Nothing to be giving any thanks for.  “It stinks to be me” is the universal sentiment.  The planet is going to pot and you either care or think well it’s sucks anyway so the science is not relevant.

That is what it feels like.  This is my favorite holiday.   Yet more than ever somehow it feels like the above.   If we let it.

I have so much to be grateful for.  My blog, which is read across the world.  It reminds me how good technology can be, it can connect us.  We do not always agree but at least when you are reading something you are paying attention to what the other has to say.  Besides you formed an opinion reading that first paragraph but if you got to here you know that reading just a snippet tells you nothing about the entire discussion.

I am grateful for friends the females who this year are all distracted by the outpouring of what each and everyone of them has experienced in some form at least once, most a lot more than that, in various degrees.  They stand tall, they make others laugh, they are not victims they are survivors and while this is like a tsunami boy are they the Damn it’s Got to Stop brigade if I ever saw one.    They make me stronger, they make me laugh, they hand me wine and tissues when I cry (or food or just an ear).  They have opinions, they vote, they contribute to life.  Thankful to know them, to hear about them, to be a female.

I am grateful for men friends because the ones I know well are not in that pool of sewage that seems to have at some point washed over too many of their gender.  Because they are raising children who are better than the ones in the past.   I love the way you guys think, it is so much more straightforward, good balance to the tangle of yarn most of us women use.  I am grateful for the differences between us and for the laughter, flirting (that you know how to flirt and can differentiate between it and harassment seamlessly) and the feel of you.  You are awesome, you are not the ones in the media, you are the men we hope our children turn out to be, or marry, or date.

I am thankful for family because the boys have taught me to strive to be a better version of myself and to love infinitely.   I am thankful for my mom who has always been strong and that wind beneath my wings like the song says.  My cousin who always had and has a smile for me since I was small and thought she and her sister were the coolest girls ever, I was right.   My husband who works to be a better father than the one he lost at a young age to our sons.

As for the holiday it was a moment in time for groups of people who would later hurt each other, one more so than the other, had a feast.  There is nothing better in the world than people sharing a meal.  The turkey is not most people's favorites yet it appears at both native born and immigrant tables.  Often surrounded not by the traditional things we see in pictures for those who adopt this land as a home but by their own flavors and smells.  A good metaphor on a table of old customs, new customs and a moment not to think of wrongs but to argue as family and close friends can with passion but not hatred.

I can go on and on, I am glad to always have a beach to go to, to paint, to write, to love, to be loved, sex, books, art, travel, New York City there is so much this would not be a blog but a novella.  There is much that can be made better, made more equitable in the world but if we do not remember to be grateful what's the point of making anything better. 

So go forth, eat more than you should, give a thanks for whatever it is that you find good and most of all remember it is as easy to notice the negative as it is to be thankful for what you can do that's positive.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING - let them thanks begin

Saturday, November 18, 2017

From only child to chosen sibling - guest blog

My best friend, chosen sister, wrote the below one day and sent it to me.  I can relate to so much of this - I would not change being an only child because I have the good fortune to have met people who are my chosen family and she is my sister-other half-bestie.  She knows when to tell me I am better than I am currently feeling I am and when to tell me to cut the crap and get over my own issues.   She is having her recurring 29th birthday soon and I love her dearly for everything she is.  

This morning on the Today Show there was a piece on Sisterhood and the special bond between sisters. They had Hoda Kotb and Savannah Gunthrie and their sisters talking about their special bond and showed images of them playing when they were young. Being an only child and having only one child, I sat there wondering if I missed something not ever having the experience of having a sister or a brother. Is my child missing something never being able to experience that bond? As I sat there looking at the old photographs that they were showing on the TV of the siblings playing with one another at the beach or at a playground,  I think back to my old pictures of just me.
People think of only children as “spoiled”, never learning how to share, getting what they want and maybe even thinking that they are entitled, “it’s all about us”.  So I sat there reflecting on my life a bit. Was I spoiled? Was it all about me? As I thought about my life as a child, I saw a child that was always looking to be accepted. I would give away my toys, books, anything really just to have friends. I was always trying to be with the popular kids and when I made friends, they were the most important people in my world.  I did not fit these ideas of an only child because I was always sharing, giving, loaning my stuff out so that I can be accepted. I now see that sometimes in my child. 
It was hard growing up as an only child because although I made some really good friends along the way, in the end, they always went home to their siblings and I always went home alone. Even in high school where I had many friends and was always invited to different parties and gatherings, in the end, I went home alone. It wasn’t until after college, when I started to realize that it was ok to go home alone. That not everyone is going to like you and that is fine, as long as you are honest with yourself and everyone around you. You need to be who you are and have your own opinions. I think sharing experiences with a special friend made me come to this realization.
When I went to Hunter College, I didn’t realize at the time, but I would come in contact with a person who has grown with me and has guided me to become the woman that I am today.  I took a History of Art class. It was my first semester and I didn’t know many people. I would hang out in the back of the cafeteria, which is where most of the Greek and Eastern European students would hang.  Trying to be accepted again, not knowing my way around school yet, not sure of myself in any way. The class was a lecture class and then we were split into small groups. As I entered the small group, I saw a girl who I knew from HS. We had never spoken in HS, she was friends with some people that I was acquainted with but we never were in the same group. I would always see her in the smoking yard, smoking a cigarette sitting on an old tree stump. She smiled at me, I smiled as her and the lesson in Art history continued. During our break, I found her in the bathroom smoking a cigarette. She looked at me and said “St. John’s Prep, right?”. I said “yeah, smoking yard?” She said yes. Then we walked back to the cafeteria together. She was hanging out with the Greeks in the back also. We started talking and we became friends, not best friends, but friends. We started going to the same college parties, we started going to the same clubs, playing cards together in the cafeteria, studying cafeteriology
One year, I think it was my 22nd birthday, I decided to have a party at my parent’s house in the Hamptons. It was a cute little house that my dad had bought with his friends with the thought of later selling it. It was a kooky house with wallpaper on everything. It was November and cold outside. We had a few friends over and we just hung out drinking beer, having fun, and playing cards. As the night wore on, we had one too many beers, smoked way too many cigarettes and my friend from Art class and I got into a game of backgammon. I am not sure who won that game, or if we ever even finished it. All I remember is that we laughed all night long, reminisced about the neighborhood we grew up in, realized that we were both only children and that around the same time in our life we inadvertently stabbed ourselves with a lead pencil, therefore creating a blue lead spot in the same exact point, on the same hand. From that night forward, we became the Blue Spots. I didn’t know it then, but I had just found my sibling. 
This woman has been with me through thick and thin and I have been there for her also. She sometimes tries to hide when she needs help or support, but I pick up on the clues and show up anyway. We have driven cross country together, been on the boat ride from hell together, drank “a little bit” of retsina together, went to a gay bar in New Orleans together, went swimming at night in the Aegean together, peed in the Nevada sand dunes together, ran out of gas in Red Rock WY together, held each others hair back when we were hugging a toilet, held each others hand in support of one another and still laugh together when we hear the name Flouskakos. All of these experiences have given me the strength to overcome obstacles and have given me the self confidence to be myself and to like who I am. There is no question in my mind that no matter where I am in the world, or no matter where she is, if either one of us needs the other, we will be there for each other. I was there for her when her father died and she flew half way across the world to be with me when my mother died. 
We support one another, we listen to one another, we give advice to one another, but most importantly we do not judge one another.  I know that I can tell her anything and she will be my rock. She knows that she can tell me anything I will be hers. She gives advice to me when I need it, and is there to listen to me even if she doesn’t agree with the mistake that she feels I may be making. We both know that if I make that mistake, we will be together to pick up the pieces and move forward. We don’t get mad at one another because our relationship is one of understanding. Her mother said it best when she said “ I made one, and then two years later another woman made one”. This is what it is like having a sibling of choice.
Although I may never know what it is like to have a natural, by birth sibling, I do know that my sibling of choice has helped me become the woman that I am today. We have had a lot of fun and exciting experiences in many different areas of the world. We have had a lot of difficult times, trying times, and challenging times but we take the challenges and make them into opportunities. 
For many years, I was asking, even begging my parents for a sibling, jealous of all the kids who had brothers and sisters to play with. Looking back, I am happy that I found another only child to create my own sibling bond with, realizing how lucky I was to have a choice. Siblings do not have the opportunity to chose who they have as a sibling. They may create a bond or they may not. Being an only child, I have had the opportunity to find my sibling and create a lasting Blue Spot bond. We may not have old pictures of us together playing in a park or at the beach, but we have a lot of experiences that we have shared and a lifetime of memories that have made us who we are today.

I am hoping that my son will be as lucky as I was and find another only child to create a never ending bond withto have his own life shaping experiences with.

I love you Blue Spot.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Stranger Things

I needed to take a break from writing the blog.  Like many I am emotionally and mentally drained by the state of the country, the world and the lack of discussion that seems to have infected our lives.   There are no conversations, we are all guilty of this, there is only your side and my side.   For many facts no longer matter, for those for who they do shouting them does not make them easier to hear on the other side.   We cannot go on like that, I cannot go on like that.  I am not that person - I am a facts person, I am a debate person, I grit my teeth and support your right to an opinion, not when it differs with mine but because it may differ from mine.   So I needed some soul searching, recharging time.  This blog was never meant to be my political platform only, yes it is sometimes but it is not it’s main purpose.   So here I am back, on a day where I can take my frustration and actually do something.  It is voting day - a most precious of rights that I never miss because I know what it is like to not have them.

On that note when I was thinking of blogs and having my current events swirl it felt a bit like I was in the Upside Down.  Now if you are a fan of the show “Stranger Things” then you know what that is, if you haven’t seen this Netflix original it is the place in the show that is our world, but dark, infected with shadows and monsters, where nothing thrives.   

My boys and I started watching the show last year, season 1 debut.   It is not for those who scare easily but my boys got my scary movie/show addiction.  I love them, my father and I watched them when I was a kid.  I refuse to watch torture films, they are just disturbing.  I still cannot hear “Jeepers Creepers” without remembering one of the more horrifying movies I saw of that name.  Yet a good jump scare and this girl gets a thrill. 

Why do we love “Stranger Things”?   We waited for it an stalked it on line until we saw the second season, doing our best not to binge watch and to prolong the experience.  We found ways to sneak it into our days to finish the second season and then complain like we did after the first that there were no more episodes.   

It is a clever show, the main characters are kids who are put in the position to use their wits to defeat something that many adults don’t even realize is present and dangerous.   It gives my boys and I the opportunity to talk about what “we” would do.  I love the 1984 setting, yes I am reliving some of my youth.   The music is spot on, the trends exactly as I remember them.   The angst of that age not that different than some of the angst kids today experience.   I watch with fascination how easily people turned into "old people" who complain that kids are loud, that they are not as polite, that they don't listen, that they do things like drink and misbehave.  I have a hard time not reminding them that most of us did those same things, some less and some more, but we laughed at the people who made those same arguments.  

Watching the show gives the boys and I a chance to talk about me at that age, at their ages.   It gives us family time.   We have to sit close, there are scary scenes, it makes us angry that there is a conspiracy behind this.   It shows the characters dealing not only with the netherworld monsters but those that kids face day to day, bullying, falling in love, unrequited love, uncomfortable situations, not being heard because they are kids.   

Spending time with kids while they still want to should never be turned down because around teenage years most want time with friends, I did too, and that is what will happen.   They will come back around as adults for the most part.  I treasure the time I have with my boys, we share info, we laugh, we build trust.   

So find your “Stranger Things” if you can and enjoy the parenting moments you get where there is no  discussion on homework, activities, you saying no, them rolling their eyes.   Enjoy the togetherness and build your memories together.   Otherwise the overwhelming crap in the world will take more of your time than it deserves.     Oh and if you were wondering - we look nothing like this picture, my family growing up never did either because one of the first rules of my parental home was change from your outside clothes.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

When disaster strikes ..this who I see as Americans

In the recent news from around the world there reads an underlying "I knew it"  tone.   The despots and dictators seem to like the whole nationalist undertone they are seeing, they should they use it in their own justifications.   The rest of the world though has always had a bit of a chip on it's shoulder about the U.S.   Now they say it - see I told you so -- they are arrogant, only care about themselves, are bullies. Yet I wander much like we assume things by seeing them on tv can we all do what Depeche Mode says and "let me see you make decisions without your televisions?"

Some of it is warranted.  In many ways the US is this giant baby that looks over the world.  The curiosity, the sense of possibility, the occasional drool, the odd naiveté that always thinks it can do something even when chances point to no.  It is omnipresent even in countries that denounce it, it after all is part of that conversation just as much.   It is also temperamental, needs a lot of attention and somehow has a lot of adult powers that took others whole centuries to get to and then cede.

There is also a small wrinkle of the nose at a place made up of people who left the countries that wrinkle said nose because these were not the upper echelons, so how could be bigger, faster, wealthier now ?  These were the poor, the down trodden, the ones from countries that told them not to dream big, not to think they can get out and they did.  They not only did but then they were the ones that have had to help these worlds that they left behind.

I am an American by choice but it has been hard for me lately.  I know that many are struggling. I am angry to know there are people in this nation who go to bed without food, children who cannot get an education, people who cannot get medical treatments because they cannot afford them.  There are people who want a job but jobs were taken by technology.   These are scared and angry people but they seem to be scared and angry in a misdirected way.  They forget their ancestors were treated as bad or worse then they want to treat people today.  Your anger should be at those that hold the power to offer opportunities not the ones that want them the same way you do.

This is America and these past few weeks we have seen devastation from fires and hurricanes.  I do not see people there who are anything but Americans in need.  I see others helping one another and sending relief aid and money where they can.  I see people mobilize and ask the famous JFK question not what can this country do for them but what can they do for this country.  For their fellow Americans who when the waters and fires came were not spared or engulfed because of who they love, the color of their skin, the god they prayed to or didn't.  They were Americans, ordinary people who just want what pretty much people around the world do.  To take care of their families, to have opportunities, to be treated with dignity and respect.  Most of us see those who help but there are a few folks who seem to only focus on those who loot.  The looters are the small minority and should be punished, the helpers are the majority of us.   When you focus only on the negative it says everything about you and your smallness.  It is easier - but we do not do easy in the US. We are known for doing what is in our wandering spirit - we do what we are told we cannot.

It was the anniversary of 9/11 this week.  I am always reminded of the quiet way this vast city I live in was full of grey people, made so by ash, where we asked each other what can I do to help.  I am reminded of the quiet way people from across the nation and around the globe offered comfort and help.  I am reminded of the way we as a country are known for our generosity across the globe when disasters strike anywhere.

I love American optimism, it is easy to make fun of it, but without it there is no hope, no making the impossible possible.  Those who want to deny us optimism want to have us live in the dark while they guard the light switch.

People - treating each other as people - helping others when they need it.  That is the American people that I cherish, those are the people who are patriots.   Be the Americans that the rest of the world is annoyed by, the baby with a lot of toys but who shares some and who is full of that infectious giggle and curiosity. They may be annoyed by the baby but let's face it they will tolerate it and know they need it, we do not want to be the sullen teenager.  We are better than that, flawed, with a nasty past, but with a connection in this land someone chose to come to or someone chose to stay in.

We are the best when disaster strikes so maybe we can continue to the best when the fires and the waters recede.  I am an American by choice because I believe that we can do better and because I think we are pretty great already in so many ways.  We can be the greatness we desire or we can be the disaster -- I chose to believe that what we see in times of trouble is the greatness that we can sustain.  I chose optimism not nationalism.  I chose to be patriot enough to be awed by these acts of kindness and demand more from our government to help it's people, because we are bits and pieces of the world and the world is watching.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Looking backward

Much like many of you I see a lot of memes on FaceBook and Instagram, some of them so clever I tip my imaginary hat to the person who created it and some so ridiculous they make me laugh.

I see a bunch of them with the Like and Share option at the bottom that go something like this - group of kids, picture roughly from 70s or early 80s based on clothes, outside and the tag lines are lengthy tomes to days gone past, childhood activities that I engaged in as did many of those of my or older generations and inevitably they end with "I am glad I grew up then and not now or Too bad kids these days will never know the joy of" like and share.

Yes I had fun doing those things that most parents today would not let me do  - run around the neighborhood without supervision, without cell phones, with streetlights to guide me to my curfew for most of my childhood.  I rode in cars without seatbelts to go to the beach with baby oil, SPF no where to be found.  I drank from and partook in opening fire hydrants, played tag in the street with parked cars for base and on coming traffic being dodged.  I made my own play dates by knocking on doors and asking if someone could come out and play.  I watched R rated movies by sneaking into the theaters and watched like 6 movies on hot summer days while paying for one - the a/c was a good thing.   I jumped subway turnstiles and no one tracked my phone, since they didn't exist, to know that the place I claimed to be was no where near where I actually was.   TV was on when I did my homework and the phone was attached to my ear as it was to the wall cord.

That nostalgia is great - it doesn't mention that crime rates in NY where I grew up were about double than they are now, so no people it wasn't "safer" as that statistic applies nationwide.  It doesn't acknowledge that kids disappeared, that pedophiles existed but we did not talk of those things, that kids were abused.  We did not know the sexual predator moved in because there were no sex crime registers to alert us to that.   You knocked on doors and for the most part you were safe but no one told us to watch it even when they probably should have.   Teachers sometimes abused kids physically and verbally and we kept it to ourselves because rarely was our side taken so it continued and for some scarred forever.

We do not talk about the crack vials I saw rolling around subway cars or that the kids who were in need of special services were highly unlikely to get them or even be identified to need them, they were odd, weird, tortured often, too often.  There were kids who were gay when we were growing up and there were kids were transgendered it is just that we did not think of what they needed, we did not think of them at all or if we did we were too often told they were abnormal.   Those children do not look at these memes with fondness, that was a dark time for them.

There were good times then and there were many things that we have evolved from, sadly not enough and not all of us.  This nostalgic look is often about our need to hold on to our youth, our wonder at the great times and people that were and may still be in our lives and for some a false reality of a time that exists as "perfect" but in reality at best was "perfect" for them at the expense of others.

Kids today will grow up and see their own version of memes, whatever they will be in the future - holograms per chance.  They will pine for days of apps that were not virtual reality based, for days when they do whatever it is they are doing today.  They are not missing out they are growing up doing the things they need to that make them happy.  Their kids will roll their eyes and not see what the "advantages" were just like ours smile and nod at our stories.

It is good to share our stories with our kids, they will see us as the kids we once were, funny, confused at times, feeling things they might be feeling.  They will get a kick out of how "hard" life was, goodness how did we survive without On Demand and streaming services?.   They will find us retro. We all wish we had the freedom of childhood that you appreciate so much more as an adult.   It is not better it is just different.

I look backward, kind of like I flip through pictures, to smile at that moment in time not to pretend that it represents every moment of that time.   It is ok that our kids are not growing up like us for me - they are growing up like them and maybe we could learn a few things from that too.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Raising Sons

Image result for mother with two boysI remember being pregnant with my first child and knowing that I would find out the gender of the baby. Now some people like to wait, for the surprise they say, I for one wanted to know.  I also quickly found out after giving birth that there is no lack of surprise, for knowing the gender means you know almost nothing anyway once the baby comes.  I wanted to know because I wanted to prepare for the colors, not a big fan of mint green stuff and yellow that seems to be norm when you don't know, and I wanted to think of a name.   It was same with second child.

As a pregnant mom I thought it would be crucial that I take a baby class, I did not babysit and neither had my husband, my exposure to babies minimal and frankly I am not a baby person.  They smell good and can be super cute but I was never one to rush across a room to offer to hold a baby. In case you are wondering I did question my maternal instincts as I was a hormonal, pregnant mess but apparently and luckily for my boys they kicked in as needed.   I still do not rush across a room to hold a baby.

I was and am shocked at how many times I have been asked the most bizarre questions about being the mother of boys or been offered sympathy for they must be "a handful".   Aren't all children a handful?  Even when they are not misbehaving they are challenging because they are ....kid.  Not boy kids or girl kids but just kids.    I know my friends who have girls get the same unsolicited sympathy "ooh you have to be careful".   Don't we all have to be careful and teach our kids how to make good choices no matter if they are boys or girls.

I love my boys and the older they get the more I enjoy the way we interact.   I had fun when they were little with them, was amazed to see them develop and now am watching them evolve.  I had a long discussion with my oldest son the other day that went something like this.

Me "I am a feminist"
Him "No you are not"
"Umm yes I am why would you say I am not" sit up on couch, defiant tone in my voice evident even to me
"Because you know ... because those people hate men"
"Please stop right there you are talking about extreme people who may just also be feminists and I am talking about feminists.  Do you even know what a feminist is?' Tone calmed down since apparently there is nomenclature not sexism at play in son
"Yeah they don't like men "
"No baby they just want the same rights and opportunities as men.  I do not want to be a man, never have, I like being a woman and I like all those things that make me a woman but I just want not to be told I cannot do something because I am one and I want to be paid equally for whatever job I do that a man might be doing"
"You sure that's what a feminist is?"
Ends in hug ... long discussion ensued all good.

Raising sons for me includes teaching them to be kind, prepared for choices and fair.  Raising sons means teaching them about their physicality - that they are strong, that they can overpower or that they can use that strength to help when someone isn't strong enough.  It means teaching them that what they constantly say they love about their mom is that she is a feminist even though the word has taken on a negative connotation.   Amazing how media has made people asking for equal rights into some weird fringe element - shouldn't people who want to mistreat others based on appearance be the ones feeling like the deviants?

It means having hard conversations with them about the power of permission that has to be given to them when they are with a partner.   It means telling them to be careful with potential sexual predators.  It means teaching them that it is amazing to be a man, to be who they are, to understand that they should be proud of themselves, confident to pursue their dreams and that all of that comes with the help and support of others not at the expense of others.

It also means that I need to understand that they are different than I am, in reactions, in emotional intelligence and that I am here to help them grow into men not to make them into my image.  I think that might be a good parental lesson for raising kids and one, difficult but needed, to follow.

I think I am raising good kids, not perfect ones, good boys who will be great men and amazing people.  I still get the ridiculous "I bet you wished you had a girl" statement at times, but frankly no.  I did not wish to have girls or boys I wanted and got to have children who I admire for who they are - and I got that.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Money, money, money

There are two songs that come to mind when the word money comes up for me.  The first is ABBA's "Money, Money, Money" and the second is "How much is enough?".

I am pretty sure that is not unique to me but putting it to music might be.  Music is never far from my mind and it is background in my head for most of the things that mean something to me.  Before you wonder I do not mean I hear music and not understand that it is a conscious addition to the emotion I am feeling - meds not needed (yet).

Recently was texting with my friend who is reading a book about the relationship we have to and with money.   As a woman of 50, as a woman period, money and I have a relationship.  It has not always been a healthy one and yet it was also an empowering one as a woman.  It is now becoming a side note as a means to the end that it should be for me. 

I do not understand the whole "you don't need money" line.  Usually uttered by those who do not need money, because anyone who has ever struggled with it knows you do need it.  I am not sure how those "you don't need money" folks pay their bills, manage their basic needs without it, hence my sarcastic cynicism when I hear it.  They often "do not need it" because someone has always made sure they get it if they do.  

We revere it, we make it evil, we want it, we hate that others have it, we blame those who don't and on a personal level it makes multiple parts of our lives possible. 

Interestingly enough it is money, or your lifestyle as currency, that is often quoted as the root of all evil. That's some power we ascribe to it.  For me money is not the root of all evil, or evil.  It is power and money used in conjunction with small minded meanness that makes it from a means to ruthlessness.

As we get older we hope we have enough to not be a burden during the part of our lives where we no longer are working.  We wish to be independent, to be able to help our children as much as we can so they too learn to think about money without wondering how much is enough and switch to thinking how much do I want to be as (insert career choice here).

As a parent I have always taught my kids, so far, that money is not infinite, nor easily replaceable while also giving them not only things but experiences.  I spend my money when I can on vacations with them, I have not replaced expensive electronics because they lost or broke them until they could save up some contribution to the replacement or fix.  I want them to know that it may be only  $5 but that $5 is part of a bigger pot of money that we use to give them the things they have.    I am not sure yet how well I am doing since they are quite young.  

The harder part is something I needed to teach myself.  You cannot fill a void with money, you can pretty it up, you can cover it in lovely things but you cannot fill a void.  It is easier to do it with buying things but it is like the little boy holding the finger in the dam.  If something is not fulfilling I am now looking for what that is and then looking to see how I can appreciate myself enough to know I deserve that void filled.   

Money doesn't buy happiness but it does make things happier to not have to worry about how to pay your bills.  If we have extra maybe we pay it back to others without having to forgo our entire share. It is ok to want and have the higher end things in life but maybe we can take a page from the minimalists and stop before we have more of those things that we can ever use.   I want to have money to continue to travel, to eat at great places, to buy my artist supplies (and boy are they pricey), to write on the gadget of the future and yes to have some things I really do not need but just want.  I do not rely on money for the contentment that I will find enjoying a walk on the beach, time spent with those who care for me and I for them, laughter, passion and all those other experiences that I plan on keeping priorities. 

Money, money, money we can manage it but it should not manage us.