A few years ago, I was given (by my sister Sarah, who is very awesome, but that is beside the point) a book called Freedom of Simplicity. I began reading it twice, but put it down. This is atypical for me, but I began the book again, determined to finish it.
Things that I value include accepting your current position in life, facing the day with dignity, respecting yourself and your neighbor. I believe in contentment.
I put money aside for retirement, but something about our whole American paradigm of working, saving, and planning of retirement goes against some fundamental part of my belief. It seems to go against the importance of now. This goes with many other things I believe, like a job should not define a person. We should not be entitled. Gratitude is chief. But there's something off putting to me about maxing out things for the future, while ignoring the here and now.
Some context for the thoughts - I moved cities recently (nearly two years ago) for a job that I felt was the right move. I moved to have more of an impact, to do more with the skills I have, to hopefully better the world. This included longer hours and a major pay cut. The move was lateral, expenses speaking, so the cut in pay effects spending, entertainment, and savings.
There are a few ways it must effect these things. But I think that - recently - I've been more of a complainer about the lost pay and current situation, than I have been someone who deals with, accepts the moment, and lives according to the values I profess to believe. In some ways, I've been very vaginal in how I process the cuts, being overcome with lack, rather than being filled with thanks for what I have.
Or, perhaps more accurately, I feel entitled to have, which puts me right in the camp of feeling that I hate most. It's the opposite of gratitude.
The thing I want to do, as in: act with regularity, is being content with less, and being more thankful for that less. It's become apparent to me that I need to alter my thoughts of contentment. To think of what's in front of me, rather than what's next. I need to alter my perspective of what possessions are and how to spend/use my money. I know the paradigm is necessary on some levels.
But I intend to switch some goals. To have x amount to give, x amount to save, and to be content with the rest. It's needed. It's where I'm at, and I think the book - Freedom of Simplicity, will be an aid in that.