Future Fantasy/Mo' Money Mo' Problems

What is your future fantasy? Mine is owning a charming Villa somewhere near the Mediterranean coast, where in the meticulously kept gardens, most of our food is organically grown. Very similar to that movie, Under the Tuscan Sun.

Sound nice, right? The problem is that, in my fantasy, there are no problems. In my head, it all seems picturesque and relaxing. But the reality of that fantasy would be much more complicated. I mean, first of all, I’d probably have to learn another language. And it would take a lot of time/money/energy/attention to furnish and upkeep that lifestyle. Okay, say I somehow had enough resources to hire tons of people to run that little fantasy – the reality is that I would HATE that. It would put me in charge of a roster of employees that I would have to spend a lot of time/money/energy/attention to oversee. And all of my friends would live far away.

The point is, in the fantasy, I imagine that getting what I want means that all my problems will suddenly evaporate. But the reality is that as we move from phase to phase in our life, each phase just comes with a different set of challenges. There is just no such thing as a life without challenges. And often, the more we have, the bigger our challenges get. #momoneymoproblems

It’s easy to look around at people we know (or see in the media) who have more than us and think, wow, that person’s life is so cool and fun and they don’t have problems. But if that were true, then all of those people would be happy all the time and wouldn’t ever get angry or upset, right? They wouldn’t feel like they have to keep on climbing up the ladder. They would be happy right where they are.

It’s also easy to let our fantasy take hold of us and make us think we are really UNhappy right now. But if you’re life experience is anything like mine, then you’ve come a long way from where you once were. Maybe you went from depending on your parents to making your own money (maybe you are the parents now and have people depending on you). Maybe you’re in a relationship and/or you started a family. Maybe you’ve had some adventures traveling to cool places. The point is, relative to where you started, you’ve probably gotten a lot of what you want. Did it make you happier?

For most of us, we’re onto the next thing we want/need before even realizing we’ve already gotten a lot of what we want. It’s like the ending in Under the Tuscan Sun, when Diane Lane’s friend has point out to her that all of her wishes have been granted. Sometimes, we just need to pause and look around to notice, that right now, life’s not all that bad. In fact, as I'm typing, the sun's out and it’s all pretty good.

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The Hungry Ghost - Tara Brach's Take

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