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It shouldn't be this hard

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by alleyallen, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    OK...I start this with the understanding of how it could turn out, but what the hell.

    There was a great episode of The West Wing in Season 3, I think, called 20 Hours in America. A two-parter. And in it, Toby and Josh meet a guy in Indiana who has been taking his daughter to visit Notre Dame. The man was so incredibly proud of this, and he started talking about how life is supposed to be hard, that through hard work and reaching your goals, you feel richer than if you actually had millions.

    But then he says something that's really stuck with me.

    It should be hard. But it shouldn't be this hard.

    And, unfortunately, that's what it seems like life has become, from a financial standpoint. For millions of Americans. For me.

    I like to think I'm a good person. I work very hard at my job and in raising Little Man, I pay a mortgage on a house my ex and I got together five years ago. I own my own car and have zero credit cards or credit card debt.

    And yet, despite getting paid more than I ever have in my life, I sometimes wonder if even I could make it, given my circumstances.

    I've felt the way of financial need before, but never have the stakes been so high as they have since Little Man and I became a family of two.

    It just shouldn't be this hard.
  2. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Alley: Amen. That's a terrific episode of one of my favorite shows and it really strikes a chord with me.

    You're 100 percent correct: It shouldn't be this hard... but of course, I have no solution.

  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    All I can say is Alley is right on. Feeling your pain, best of luck.
  4. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    Money issues will come and go many times during your life. Don't panic, just as quickly as they came, they are likely to go away.

    I had no money when I got out of school and I ran up thousands of dollars of debt just to get by. Then, a new job came, money got better and I did much better job of paying attention to my finances. Pretty soon, I was out of debt.

    That lasted awhile. I took a better job for more money, sold my house and bought a new one. But the economy sucks. My $50 in gas each month has turned into $180. Everything else is up. I am carrying a little debt and I slowed putting money away for a rainy day.

    But I already see relief. Just got a 5-percent raise -- the highest in awhile -- and the taxes on my place went down, lowering my payment almost $100 a month. I also finally paid off my car.

    The tide has turned.

    Just keep plugging away, do the best you can, don't waste money (especially when things are tight) and things will improve.
  5. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I lived most of my life worrying about money every minute of every day, tossing and turning through every night worrying about how I could possibly get to the next month. I'm hardly rich now, but in a position where I can mostly live without that constant stress. And my life is completely different.

    Poverty kills people from the inside. Best to you AA.
  6. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    My mom and dad had totally different approaches to money, which was one of the reasons why they split after 28 years.

    We didn't have much money growing up and my dad was always the one who said no. He didn't want to do anything special or anything fun because he said we couldn't afford it.

    Mom on the other hand was always pushing the envelope. She would splurge on something so that we could all enjoy it and then save in another area to pay for it.

    Two different approaches to the same problem. One person enjoyed life. The other bitched about it.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That's a tough line. I think most of the "stuff" you buy is not really worth it, especially if money is tight.

    But I think experiences and travel are worth it. You'll remember them for the rest of your life.
  8. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    "It shouldn't be this hard."

    1. That's what she said.

    2. I didn't read anything else in here yet.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    George Carlin is gone but we've still got BBAM.
  10. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    I was thinking maybe Alley was having an unfortunate experience with Viagra.
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    there is no 'should.' Things are what they are. 'Should' means purpose and design, which existence lacks.
    One should always put oneself in a larger historical context.
    My parents grew up during the Depression, so I've had a lot more advantages than they ever did. They were also much more frugal during their early adulthood than I ever was.
    Gen-Xers are behind Boomers on scale of comfort, when compared age to age, but we're better off than a lot of other generations.
    You could have been a 14th-century peasant.
  12. ArnoldBabar

    ArnoldBabar Active Member

    I think about that all the time. What are the odds of me being born a white male, to a solid middle-class family, during peacetime (in my military-eligible years), in the most prosperous nation on the planet? Really, no major obstacles of any kind.

    I could have been anybody, anywhere, at any time. I look at the starving children in the Sudan and think, there's absolutely no reason I couldn't have been born as that person in that situation. It kind of blows your mind to think about.
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