Having it All

Having it All

Posted 2014-10-15 by Colleen P Moynefollow
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

What does ‘having it all’ mean to you? Having all of what - everything you’ve ever desired? We all know that’s impossible, and pointless. If we had everything we wanted there would be no reason to work hard or set goals or make plans.

It’s human nature to want things, but there's a difference between aspiring and longing.

The trick here is to set realistic limits. I could want a million dollars and a house on the beach, or I could want fame or the perfect body. Actually, I don’t want any of those things.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

I've set my goals rather lower than that, but still high enough that I need to work for them.

To me, having it all means a home in the country that’s cosy and easy to care for, enough money to retire in comfort but not luxury, a happy family and good health. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Image courtesy of hywards freedigitalphotos.net

I’m part-way there already. I’m in my fifties, reasonably healthy and living in a lovely little country cottage. I work part-time which gives me time to pursue other interests. Ultimately I want to retire from my job and put more time into my writing and my art, and to do this I’ll need to downsize a little more – which means finding a house with a smaller mortgage, but this is a compromise I’m willing to make.

I feel for those who dread retirement. Perhaps they think that their job defines them and that without it they have no identity. Maybe they see retirement as a kind of ‘giving up’ and letting old age take over.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles freedigitalphotos.net

For some, though, it’s because they have worked so hard to ‘have it all’ that they've tied themselves to debt. Retirement would then mean a drop in the kind of living standards they've been used to.

So, back to the question – what does ‘having it all’ mean to you? If you spend your days feeling discontented with what you have and longing for something you know you can never realistically achieve, then maybe it’s time to re-think. If the kind of life you’re living now is going to compromise your retirement plans in the future, then something needs to change.


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