I've been trying to avoid all of the budgetary
buzz in Washington. Navigating through the
reactionary rhetoric involved is simply more
than I can handle. Obviously a leftist liberal
like myself finds the very idea of "killing"
Big Bird or silencing our public broadcasting
offensive. As does eliminating after school
programs or meals on wheels. However I'm
also an adult. Therefore I know that we all
must live within our means whether we like
it or not. Hence I heartily agree that we must
spend less. However I disagree with how the
Republicans plan to do so.
Much like children of the great depression,
my generation was changed by the 2008
recession. Shaken to our core, many lost all
sense of security. Suddenly we had no upside,
safety net, or easy out. Since then we all have
slowly regained our momentum. Embracing
the fact that we can never go back - even if
we wanted to. Slowly we've adapted to our
compromised circumstances. Hence for the
first time in many of our lives we're investing
in our futures. I'm no longer willing to waste
my hard earned cash on short term gratification.
Rather I'm focused on leveraging my assets.
Budgetary constraints require that we all make
choices. For me that might mean the difference
between guzzling a Rioja versus a Chateauneuf
du Pape. Or igniting a Votivo rather than a lush
Cire Trudon. However we reach a point where
reality inevitably usurps fantasy. Whether thats
driven by budgetary constraints or a change of
heart depends on the individual. Part of me has
decided that enough is enough. Therefore I'm
rediscovering that less is more. And that a bit
of compromise is often easier than one thinks.
Plus in the end creates a plethora of long term
benefits. A penny saved is a penny earned...
After a lifetime of conspicuous consumption, I'm
becoming anything but a spendthrift. I've finally
figured out that just because something is beyond
expensive - the price doesn't guarantee it's value.
As I wander the hallowed halls at Bergdorf's I'm
taken aback by the crazy prices. Honestly, little
is worth all that. My favorite wardrobe elements
now hail from Uniqlo. Hence it's not unusual for
me to be dressed head to toe in an outfit that cost
under $100. And trust me, that's a huge transition
from my prior mode of decoration. So either I'm
a new man or simply an old codger who finally
decided to compromise his standards.
All that I know is that I'm finally ready, willing,
and able to compromise when necessary. Thus
whether that defines a state of detente or decline
is up for consideration. For the first point in my
life I'm happily living within my means. Which
eliminates a lifetime of financial angst. Could it
be that finally I've learned my lesson? My only
question is whether our political leaders and all
of the self-interest groups can embrace a similar
approach to redemption. Rather than bickering,
I hope the two sides can somehow meet in the
middle. After all, isn't that what "balance" is all
about? An equalization of everyone's priorities?