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I’m Finally ‘Successful’

July 14, 2014

It’s happened! I’ve finally achieved my childhood ideals of success!

I grew up poor. Not can’t-afford-a-meal-poor or living-on-the-street-poor, but my idea of poor.We lived in a small house in a  small town. It was a  hot dogs and mac n cheese and one slightly-less-used car every 10 years type of existence. McDonald’s on Friday night was a treat, and movie theaters and the mall were almost unheard of. My Mom stayed home to raise my sister and I, and my Dad had his own business and worked harder than anyone I know to provide for us. The funny thing about small towns is that sheep ranchers are willing to pay their bill before the plumber leaves their house, but the doctors and lawyers need 3 statements and 6 months to pay up. That can stress a family’s finances. But I digress.

When I was young I started gathering ideas for what things made someone really successful. Things like brand-new cars and mansions were not on that list. No, my mind couldn’t fathom stuff like that. Being married and having a house and kids were just normal, so those weren’t on the list either. Everyone I knew had two parents and a happy existence, so that was simply a norm, as well. There were three things that really stuck in my mind as things that only well-0ff people had. First was a pair Oakley sunglasses. $150 for sunglasses? That was just unreasonable. The most expensive sunglasses we ever got were about $15 and those were high-end! Oakleys were a true status symbol. The next thing on that list was a boat. My Grandfather had canoes, he built and raced them, so that was pretty normal. But I only got to ride on a power-boat once, and even that was a little pontoon boat that my neighbor took us out on for a special occasion once. Boats were cool and only successful, cool people had them. The third thing on my list – a pool. Oh, yeah. I only ever got to swim in a pool at my neighbors’ across the street a couple of times. They were well-off. Their Dad owned a store and they always had newer cars. The YMCA had a pool, but that was like $5 a person! Unheard of. Other than that, there was the lake to swim in. Only really successful people had their own pool.

My husband is a mechanic at a motorsports shop. I get a nice discount on my Oakleys. I own 2 pairs right now, and that’s not counting my FlakJackets that disappeared last year. Oakleys are great.
A few years ago, through several instances of good deals and trading, we got a boat. It’s an ’87 SeaRay and I absolutely love it.
This week we achieved the final marker of success. Yes, we got a pool! We bought it used (of course) and worked for 2 days to level and prep the spot. It was a lot of work, and a fair bit of money, but it was SO worth it! We spent the vast majority of the day yesterday in the water with the kids. The only whining was when they had to get out 🙂

My husband has different ideals for success. He grew up having a boat and swimming in his friend’s pool. Neither of us was rich by any means, it’s just all a matter of perspective.

I know that my children will grow up with their own aspirations and goals. I just hope we can give them the best view of life that they can get. Even without our really cool stuff we manage to have great times and amazing adventures. Whether we’re driving across country, riding in the mountains, floating in the lake, or hanging out in the back yard, there is always something to do and some way to enjoy our awesome life together.

Oh, and did I mention that I also have an underwater case for one of my cameras?!? Because I love it! 🙂

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