Thursday, March 27, 2008


I once knew a man, friend of my fathers', who used to say "I like nice things". He was a very successful businessman with a history of, shall we say brutal successes. One was considered luck if, having done a deal with him, one survived with the skin on his back - because the shirt was gone for sure. That combined with an almost shark like sense for businesses that were bleeding and weak - ripe for the kill, so to speak.. His explanation of his success was always simply "I like nice things". That was it. He liked nice things, and he was willing to do whatever it took to get them and keep them. That said he was very kind and generous to my father, and I will always be grateful for that.

Now here we are, as a culture, doing whatever it takes to get and keep "Nice Things". In itself, that isn't bad, of course. I like nice things too. The problem occurs when the acquisition of those nice things involves giving up too many other, important things. Like home and family.

I plead guilty here. I work way too much, and so does my wife. But for some reason, I don't have much in the way of "nice things" to show for it. I have a decent house in a decent neighborhood - no McMansion for sure. I drive a ten year old used minivan, and thank God for it, because there's no way I could afford to replace it! I look at our income, and am amazed at how it seems to evaporate. Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and say to hell with it all, pack the kids up in the van and just roll. To Montana or somewhere. I know that's not realistic, but DAMN. I just can't seem to see the way out. Perhaps there isn't one. Just keep my head down and keep paying off debts and wait to get out of the tunnel. I just hope I make it out of the tunnel in this lifetime!

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