To want to be content with 'less'

(35 Posts)
PaisleyPrint Tue 14-Jan-14 14:31:49

I don't make much money, and sometimes I get so insecure around friends and slightly ashamed that I haven't 'succeeded' the way they have.

How do I cultivate contentedness with what I have instead of this rumbling sense of unhappiness and low-level bitterness?

(I know the 'less' I'm talking about is not even a real 'less' seeing as I'm typing this from my laptop in my warm, safe house)

clarequilty Tue 14-Jan-14 16:24:14

Another helpful thing to innoculate oneself from the culture of narcissism is reading literature from, say, the 19th century. Something that has stood the test of time.

bebbeau Tue 14-Jan-14 16:30:38

OMG mrstp that link is truly eye opening

i am in the top 0.25% by income as well, who'd have thought it

so why can't i buy a house or have more holidays grin

Gladvent Tue 14-Jan-14 16:34:49

Pinterest is a million times better than magazines. Lots of ideas and 'ooh that's nice' but without the stupid £50 lipstick adverts.

If you were my friend or child I would be very proud (and prob a teeny bit jealous tbh) that you have a thing that you love, are qualified it, and you are making a living from it. Not many people have that.

BrickorCleat Tue 14-Jan-14 16:36:09

clarequilty I absolutely agree, and how clever of you to say so.

Similarly, looking at art and stars reminds us how small we really are and how insignificant in both time and space.*

Ignore your parents, OP. that's their bourgeois issue, don't make it yours.

*<checks cake tin to ascertain I haven't just necked two hash brownies. Man.>

Ragwort Tue 14-Jan-14 16:41:16

Bebbeau - I am also in the top 0.25% blush - I always compare myself downwards so I always feel incredibly blessed with my lot in life - trouble is I am married to someone who always compares himself upwards - & he does have a few incredibly wealthy acquaintances which in my opinion gives him such a skewed view of life.

I do quite a bit of voluntary work, at the moment I am helping someone who is literally homeless. He told me a wonderful story today - someone approached him this morning (he was asleep) and left him a full breakfast - cereal & milk, a bacon sandwich and a flask of coffee. No note, no expectation of thanks. It is stories like this that make you realise what is important in life. smile.

CynicalandSmug Tue 14-Jan-14 16:52:42

I look at this way, I have had a great education, have lots of amazing people in my life, I'm fit and healthy, and I do not have to depend on a man for money or company. So I'm not rich, so what? I have me, and I really like me.

CailinDana Tue 14-Jan-14 17:06:42

It sounds like you are going through what a lot of people go through in their late 20s/early 30s - realising you don't and possibly never will met the expectations your parents/society had for you. You can berate yourself, feel inadequate and disapponted or you can accept yourself for how you are and be happy with it. The hard thing is accepting that your parents don't approve of you but really that doesn't matter, their disappointment is their problem not yours. You are your own person and you don't exist to fulfil their dreams.

You don't have to be content with "less" because you are not "less" just different.

Tabliope Tue 14-Jan-14 17:14:02

Somehow through my 30s and 40s I've pretty much completely detached myself from material things. It basically started after I had my DS. I wasn't working and mixing with young, single people any more, spending money on clothes and stuff. I'd already ditched the magazines which I recognised fed the desire for stuff. A couple of tough years where necessity made me very frugal helped, so I was out the habit of shopping. Maybe age has contributed too but what I value is no longer material.

I only go shopping when I need something - it's worn out or broken (apart from for my DS). I think that helps as you're not seeing things and craving them. I was in town earlier to buy a music book for my DS. For convenience I parked in John Lewis's carpark. Had a shock at the cost of it - £4 for up to 3 hours. Bought the book then thought it's the first time in town for a while I'll have a look around. I spent 20 minutes looking round and thought there's nothing I actually want. I don't like clutter. I don't want possessions. I value experiences more than possessions. It's very freeing not to crave anything material anymore.

PaisleyPrint Tue 14-Jan-14 18:04:16

Tabliope I really want to be like that, in fact it is my 'thing' for 2014 - detach myself from excessive materialism,

so far the steps I have taken or will take are

1.) Reduce TV watching & completely stop magazines
2.) Begin volunteering with disadvantaged people/at a homeless shelter
3.) Work hard on self-acceptance
4.) Keep a gratitude journal

PollyPutTheKettle Tue 14-Jan-14 23:09:19

Yanbu. I have been giving this a lot of thought lately. We are
Lucky, Dh and I are relatively well off but it I so easy to be drawn into believing it's not enough I am always looking upwards which is terrible. Worst of all our kids are materialistic and 8 and 6. They simply have too much. Toys, bikes, daytrips, TV, classes for this and that. Dh and I want to stop all this. We have started by cancelling the cable TV kids channels. All activities will be free from now on and no meals out. I want to instill that sense of appreciation we had by having bugger all.

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