The Pursuit Of… Happiness!

by Tammy Taylor

It seems in our culture there’s a constant struggle for more.  A larger house, a newer cell phone, a flashier car.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with pursuing the things you truly desire.  But I think many times the drive for newer/bigger/better has nothing to do with things that we ourselves want.  Oftentimes it’s false wants brought on by looking around to see what everyone else is doing. Self-depreciating thoughts sneak into your mind: “Judy just got a brand new car, now I hate mine because it’s an older model”. or “I don’t feel professional anymore because this is last year’s outfit.”

So often we’re looking at what others have and measuring ourselves and even our worth against that!  Instead of the never-ending battle of pursuing things, I want to strive to pursue HAPPINESS instead!

What is the Pursuit of Happiness? Instead Of The Pursuit of More STUFF, I'm Focusing On what I have! I don't think it's healthy to constantly measure your worth with what others have. #TexasHomesteader

Satisfied With ‘Enough’

Although it seems to fly in the face of society norm, my goal is to be satisfied with ‘enough‘.  But what is the definition of enough?   It’s not about deprivation, but about being satisfied and even happy with last year’s outfit if it looks great on you!  Perhaps it’s enjoying driving your older car because it still looks nice & it’s completely paid off.  It’s appreciating your current house because of all the great memories you’ve made there.

Think of it this way: You’ve worked hard for the things you have, now it’s time to sit back and enjoy them without quickly pushing them aside so you can be grabbing at the next big thing.

How Does This Affect Relationships?

And I wonder, when you’re satisfied with the things you’re already blessed with it just seems logical that you’ll find less need to buy more & more to clutter your home and your life.  Less clutter = more space in your home, more peace with yourself and your life. And how could that not carry over into your relationships?

What about the way you parent your children?  If you were satisfied with the possessions you already owned for both you & your children could it make you a little less harried. Maybe a little less stressed when dealing with your little ones?

Or what about your marriage?  If you’re not trying to buy more-more-MORE there’s no need to work so much overtime at a job you hate to be able to afford the newer/better whatsit.   What does that mean?

Well it could mean that after a hard day at the office you can come home & just spend time together talking, sharing, LIVING.  How can those relationships not be healthier??

What is the Pursuit of Happiness? Instead Of The Pursuit of More STUFF, I'm Focusing On what I have! I don't think it's healthy to constantly measure your worth with what others have. #TexasHomesteaderPhoto Credit:  Cynthia Taylor

The bottom line is that there’s nothing wrong with buying what you want, just make sure it’s for the right reason and you, your family & even your wallet will be happier!

~TxH~

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33 thoughts on “The Pursuit Of… Happiness!

  1. Terri Presser

    Exactly right, we need to be so careful about why we think we “Need” things. I think we need to be happy and content with what we have. We have really had to learn that, with some months being very tight financially, but we are learning to be content more and more and we feel so blessed to be where we are and to be a family going through it together. Thanks for sharing this great post at Good Morning Mondays. Also you were featured this week as one of the top 3 posts. Blessings

    Reply
  2. Doug Barreto

    You are absolutely right. I worked for a large corporation years ago making over $35K a year. I left it because it wasn’t making me happy, matter of fact I felt it sucking the soul out of me. I gave a way most of the cool “toys” I thought I needed. Turns out I really didn’t. I am still in my homesteads infancy, almost a year now and making on average $280/month right now. I had bad critter problems last spring and summer. Here in Arizona, we’re in the 15th year of a drought. All the wildlife is starving and the rabbits and all the local varieties of squirrels razed everything we planted to the ground. I’m talking flowers, herbs, veggies and that was with having 2 rows of chicken wire, a field fence and a partial block wall around the beds. Fortunately, the dogs kept the coyotes and bobcats away from the chickens and sheep. I have taken added precautions this year and over the top of the raised beds I added 1/4″ hardware cloth, let’s see them get in there now. But I couldn’t be happier. Yes, I have to budget carefully and plan ahead but I wouldn’t trade walking outside and gathering fresh eggs or being in the field for the birth of a lamb for anything.

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Good for you Doug! I know what you mean, my executive position with a company I had a 21-year tenure with was killing me. Office politics, deceit, impossible deadlines and favoritism was rampant. I knew I couldn’t stay there. I was nervous to make the financial jump but as I sit at my computer in the mornings working on the blog or researching planting schedules listening to the radio droning on about always-present traffic snarls on my typical commute route, I gaze at the serene beauty just outside my window & know I’ve made the right decision for me. Just today I was able to be present when a new calf was born, we’ve seen almost every calf take its first breath of life and yes, it’s amazing. Glad you’re following your heart – you won’t be sorry! ~TMR~

      Reply
  3. Patricia Krank

    This is a great post. A quote this week from an online study I’m taking was, “Are we building graves of craving or living lives of gratitude?” It is so easy to get caught in our culture of never enough. Time to give thanks!
    Blessings to you,
    Patti

    Reply
  4. Brittany

    Wise words! We are working on this. We’re getting a nice tax refund and instead of spending it on stuff, we’re gonna pay down my student loans. Thanks for joining the #HomeMattersParty – hope you’ll join us next week too!

    Reply
  5. JES

    Amen, in order words, no more keeping up with the Jones’s! I agree with your sentiments here… Learning to be content is key. Our old pick up used to drive me nuts because it doesn’t have an A/C and the summers I would swelter. But now that I have gotten used to it, I would rather keep the old thing because it certainly isn’t worth spending the extra money on. The fact is I got used to it! And I like the idea of knowing that if the tractor broke down, we have the extra funds to fix that (being that is our income maker) (because we didn’t upgrade everything we own) and that is real peace of mind too…

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Absolutely Carole, you don’t have to deny yourself the creature comforts to be able to realize when you have enough. It’s that constant struggle for more, more, MORE that can wear a person out. ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. goodie odom

    A post just fitting for my no spend year.So far I only caved once,but I’m not beating myself up.It is a goal not a punishment.I went through some containers in my shed ,packed with clothes.Since I love upcycling I pulled a lot of the tops out and in the process of making new ones out of them.One of a kind and no money spend.I also don’t like clutter so we uncluttered the house last year.It is so nice to be able to relax sit back and not worry about having to clean extra crap.It’s easy living for me….

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Yea Goodie, great job! In this culture of bigger-badder-better it’s hard sometimes to step away from what the advertising moguls convince us that we NEED. It’s worth the effort though, life has been so different since I’ve turned off the bombardment. I especially love your comment “…not worry about having to clean extra crap”. YES!! LOL ~TMR~

      Reply
  7. Sarah E. Albom

    I totally agree! Modern advertising and the see-it-want-it behaviour we have developed has pushed us into a downward spiral that can not end well. If people not only stopped wanting what other people had, but stopped judging what other people DIDN’T have, I think society would be much better off in the long run.
    – Linking over from Meet Up Monday Blog Party

    Reply
  8. Jenn

    It’s hard to do when you play the comparison game! But I am convinced that the happiest people in the world are those who see the value in relationships and laughter and nature. I strive to find those things and not worry too much about things money can buy.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Co-Hosting Tuesday with a Twist #45 | MsMoozys Open House

  10. Joyce @ It's Your Life

    This is so true, but some people also buy stuff to fill a void in their life. Either way it should cause you need something, not because you want it, or for statues symbol. I look at it like this, the more stuff I have the more I have to clean, yuck who likes to clean? Thanks for sharing on Tuesdays With a Twist, I’m featuring this post tomorrow.

    Reply
  11. Sidney

    I so enjoyed this post because about 1 1/2 yrs ago I began to develop this “state of mind”.
    I have decluttered, re-arranged and made do with my things and it has brought peace in my life.
    Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  12. Debra @ MsMoozys Open House

    This is a great post, something I am working on as we speak. I am going to be featuring this post on Tuesday with a Twist this week. Please stop by, it will be live by Tuesday morning. Thanks again for linking up with us. Have a great weekend…

    Reply
  13. The Quintessential Magpie

    Amen!

    I was just thinking about this yesterday. And you nailed it with the comment that we need to be thankful for the blessings we already have. I try to buy things I like and not what is the latest trend, or if it is a trend, I need to at least like it.

    xo

    Sheila

    Reply
  14. Zee Southcombe

    This has been a big goal for me over the past year(ish) – to be content with what I have, while striving for more. Not more stuff, necessarily (although there are certainly some material things on the list), but more life, more contribution, more health.

    I’ve noticed the more blessed and thankful I am, the more I can work on myself and the more I can give to others. It’s a win-win, basically.

    A wonderful post – and there’s a lot more people thinking along these lines now, so I wouldn’t ‘worry’ about it not being a social norm 🙂

    Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Yes, Yes, YES!! I absolutely love your line “I’ve noticed the more blessed and thankful I am, the more I can work on myself…” I agree. The advertising execs are screaming on the television about “you need THIS to be happy, you need THIS to be successful” and sadly many people fall for that thought. ~TMR~

      Reply
    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I think many of us are in the same boat. I went through my younger years just thinking the pursuit of ‘THINGS’ was just what a grownup was supposed to do. Thankfully with age came wisdom… ~TMR~

      Reply

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