But I think I’m going to celebrate it without feeling guilty about it, Catholic upbringing notwithstanding.
I’m good with money. I was brought up frugaler than frugal and have found my own happy medium as an adult. I’ve been poor and I’ve been higher income, and I’m happier being higher income (to paraphrase Mae West). But I remember the poor well enough to not want to have to go back to it, which leads to saving!
My kid is (knock on wood), relatively well-behaved and adorable. I credit an excellent preschool for most of this and my DH for the rest. Though I do my best not to destroy things, mostly through benevolent neglect and lots of cuddling.
I have the best husband on the face of the planet. If anything happened to him I would be devastated. He and DC are currently happily vacuuming while I sit here typing and thinking about how I’m the luckiest person on the planet.
Even our cats are great.
I’m not at the tippity top of my career, but some of the folks who are at that tippity top know who I am. I had a solid education and I do good solid work, even if not as much as I would like to do. Sometimes projects work and sometimes they’re not really salvageable, but I keep plugging on. I try my best to get my students to become critical thinkers and to stop hating math. I’m lucky to be at an institution with great colleagues who seem to think I’m on track for tenure.
And you know what, I’m not going to apologize for my success. I’m not going to hide it. I’m even going to *gasp* do the forbidden and brag a little. In addition, I’m going to appreciate the luck we’ve had and thank previous me for the hard work she did to help me get where I am.
And you know what else? I’m going to say that a lot of folks in my circumstances would be complaining up a storm. They’d hate living in a small town in a red state, or they’d complain about their husbands and kids and cats and stress and so on. People can find all sorts of reasons to complain about things.
In college I had a professor who invited some of us to her house once where we met her husband. It was like the Jack Sprat of optimism. She was a bundle of happiness who always looked on the bright side and he was a depressed pessimist. While I definitely appreciate the pessimists (they provide the back-up systems), I kind of thought to myself that there’s something to be said for looking on the bright side of life. To, you know, “change what you can and accept what you can’t,” like in the poem. (NB… I think there’s something about granting serenity in there.)
So when I’m not happy, that’s what I try to do. Fix the problem, or fix my way of looking at the problem. So I focus on the amenities and remember about compensating differentials. I try to compare myself to the billions of fish in smaller ponds (though sometimes it gives me a big head) and use the few thousand big fish in the bigger pond as inspiration and role models.
I know circumstances will change, and we’ll be thrown curve-balls, but I’m mostly optimistic and determined that we will turn out ok in the end (so long as we have our health, which we may not always– that is my biggest fear).
And, of course, I’m saying it to you all on an anonymous blog because this is something I can’t say in public. I can’t even say it on the mother’s forums. They attack. But gosh darn it, I’m glad I can’t share their problems and I’m glad I appreciate my family and am not in debt (even though I make less money than they do) and so on.
Do you ever feel guilty for being better off than other folks? Do you ever wish you could smack people upside the head and tell them to fix their problems instead of just complaining about them? Do you try to always look on the bright side of life?