Tag Archives: keeping up with the joneses

Happily Ever Never


coverIf life never got any better than today, would you be okay with that?  That also means that life would never get any worse.  Your today would be your everyday, nobody would die, nobody would move, if you are married you will always be married, if you are single you will always be single.  If you were told that this was your lot in life, TODAY, would you be okay with that?

It’s an interesting question because we are hardwired to create plans, goals and visions.  We are educated and told about all the things we should seek from our parents.  As we get older that pressure mounts because friends, teachers and society gets involved.  We all want the latest gadgets, trendy clothes and haircuts because frankly, we are brainwashed to want them.  Keeping up with the Joneses you know?

I once read that unhappiness is not an issue with what you do have, but a desire for what you don’t.  So, if you could turn that around and stop craving the things that you don’t have…would you be okay?

That’s the funny thing about life.  When it’s good, we don’t want it to change.  When it’s bad, well we can’t wait for tomorrow to come soon enough.  But, life is ever-evolving, ever-changing…so even if you never gained a pound, never ate new foods, never left your apartment, never sought a full-time job, never tried to date…things would still change outside of your control.  Your parents will age, your plants may wither, your neighbours may move, and your precious ipad could break.  Nothing really ever stays the same.

So, I guess the key is not to look at the big things as your life all the time.  Don’t focus on your failed romance, your fight with a friend or your unknown career path as whether or not you have a good life.  Try to focus on the tedious day-in-day-out and look at the little changes that take place everyday.  If you look long and hard at your day, everyday….maybe you didn’t change your job, your boyfriend or your apartment…but hopefully you did change your underwear.

Focus on the little signs of good you have in your life…the ability to sleep in, choosing your own TV shows, cooking your own food, spending money on vacations of your choosing, knick-knacks nobody else has input on and KNOW, know that even if you found your dream job, could afford your dream home or met the love of your life…some things would change for the worse.  Some of the things that you think of trivial in your mundane little life would be the very things you missed greatly once all your dreams came true.

The grass is always greener my friend, so maybe accept that your life is a washed our Polaroid and just look carefully at your background.  Maybe there isn’t a picket fence, but at least there is a lawn.  Couldn’t say it better myself…http://tinybuddha.com/blog/why-the-grass-is-never-greener-and-how-to-be-happy-today/

People think life is short.  Nah, life is long.  The next great thing will come to you.  Just be ready and let it.  – George, Go On

The Ginga Ninja

Chris itsnevertoolate-redM

If You’re Happy and You Know it, Lose Your Phone



Did you know that the internet and cellphones, these wonderful, amazing, technological advances have actually added to people’s general unhappiness with what they have? We have all the information we ever wanted at our fingertips, a way to not lose somebody at the mall and a way to keep in touch with all the pen pals we ever met. Yet, often we feel empty…unfulfilled and unloved, why?

Well, the thing is…once upon a time, if you were out for dinner with your friends, you were only out for dinner with your friends. If you were unhappy with your job, your spouse knew it…if you were unhappy with your house, well, frankly, only your close friends, neighbours and family might know. Nobody cared what you ate for dinner, how many geraniums you planted, or how angry the old lady at the crosswalk made you. Nobody cared whether you threw a crappy birthday party, and lord knows, nobody wanted to sit through your boring vacation photos.

Photos were limited and carefully chosen. Ads were a novelty, correspondence a gift, houses were probably cleaner and more time was spent on passionate hobbies. When we broke up, we might have heard a rumour or two or bumped into them and their wonderful new girlfriend 5 years later, but we didn’t get the never-ending barrage of new haircuts, trips, weddings, birthday parties and flavours of the month like we do now. No, now we are all glued to our devices to one up another, see who is thinking about us, what’s going on, and to have 24/7 validation for the meaningless life we really lead.

Social media is a very dangerous tool. A tool that makes mothers feel bad about the birthday parties they didn’t throw, the cakes they didn’t bake, the vacations they can’t afford and the divorces they lived through. A tool that makes children feel less popular if they aren’t on it and pressured to do things when they are. A tool that makes single people sit through never-ending baby photos, stare into the eyes of happy couples and families and constantly be reminded of the ruins they didn’t visit or condo they can’t afford.

With so many more things than we ever had…and so much more access to friends, family and information than ever before…why have we created a society that is more discontent than ever?  Well, life is now just a big, public game of keeping up with the Joneses. Except the Joneses are now your elementary, highschool and university friends, co-workers, exes, some guy you met on vacation, some neighbour you haven’t seen in 10 years and some girl you talked to twice online. The pool of people to compare from is larger than it ever was and the access we have into people’s lives is overwhelming.


And I’ve had this very conversation with a loved one. A successful, but incredibly frustrated loved one.  Very seldom do people post photos of their children telling them they hate them, the moment they sign the divorce papers, the visit to the ER, the funeral of their father, or the day they were handed their pink slip. She made sure to tell me that behind many of these beautiful family pictures and smiling photos are bad marriages, financial woes and a general feeling of despair. But, would you show that publicly? Of course not, because that wouldn’t get you many “likes” now would it? And that would be too real.

No, we now live in a world of trying to convince everyone how great our life is, when in reality the people sitting on their front porches reading a book without an instagram account are most likely the happiest there are. They are living in the present, in their own life and don’t give a damn what anybody else is doing. They are the ones who despite being called dinosaurs are indifferent to Bobby’s barbecued ribs, Sonja’s newest marathon, Alex’s latest trip to Japan, or Tommy’s favourite beer. They don’t give a damn that they have less quote-on-quote “friends” and they don’t give a damn if their selfie was unliked or their slippers are uncool. No, on a Saturday, all they want to do is turn up the music, clean their house and remember what it was like to be a kid…and maybe, just maybe…pick up that cellphone…and call their mom.

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. ~Confucius

The Ginga Ninja