Sunday, September 4, 2011
Be Careful What You Wish For
There is an old Russian proverb that goes: be careful what you wish for because you might get it. Initially, the proverb sound paradoxical. Wouldn’t it be great to have your fondest wish come true? It all depends on the wish and the rationale behind it at the time. We want different things at different times in our lives.
A close friend measures his business success by having a large home in an exclusive neighborhood. The problem with the showcase houses is everything is big about them from the gas bills to property taxes. They not only consume money, but time too with constant maintenance and repair. Then add to that neighborhood association that charges you a fee for living in the area, then saddles you with rules that make living there an ordeal. Finally, disgusted with the fact that the house consumed his entire income, stealing away any hopes of vacation or hobbies, he finally gave it up.
Once he gave up the house, he felt a huge sense of relief. Instead of measuring his worth by the house, he found other ways to find fulfillment because the house definitely wasn’t doing it. He chose to live frugally instead of going back to his initial wish for a McMansion.
My personal wish that I got and now I don’t want is the in ground pool. After a bitter divorce and a move to another state, I thought I deserved something nice and the pool was it. The first year was probably our best year together, the pool and I. It was probably because my brother-in-law came over and cleaned it a great deal. The second year the joy was a little less as I battled ducks for ownership of the pool and cleaned it a lot more. People who do not own pools are unaware how much cleaning and expensive chemicals it takes to maintain a pool. They are more trouble than the pets when you go on vacation because the pets you can board. The pool just turns green while you’re gone. By year four, all I could think of was how much valuable writing time I spent cleaning the pool.
By this time, I am thinking of moving to a home without a pool. Maybe the pool was good that first year, but each year it became progressively worse with a weakening pump, and an erratic filtering system. I joked my tan was not from paddling around in the pool, but by standing topside and cleaning it. Imagine working ten hours, then coming home to clean the pool, it doesn’t sound like such a great wish now? Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.
Is there something you wished for and did get, but now regret?