How do I turn a blind eye?

November 2, 2011

There are so many things I am looking forward to about our upcoming move. However I am, per usual, going to take a moment to mention one of the largest things I am least looking forward to. Although we currently live in an upscale community, we do not live in an atmosphere that is quite as affluent as the one I’m moving to.

When I say affluent, I really mean something much more. We are moving to a community that is very spoiled and very showy. And I say this as someone who is spoiled and showy at times. The problem I have with this is two fold. For one, I will never be able to keep up. So I will constantly find myself, who has been extremely blessed, feeling inadequate.

Second of all, it seems like everyone is very cookie cutter. So despite my drooling over everyone’s fancy bags, designer shoes and uppity gym wear, everyone looks the same! And as much as I strive to have nice things, I refuse to spend a fortune to look exactly like a thousand other clones!

So how do I, in an affluent, showy community, keep a down to earth perspective. And on top of that, how do I raise socially conscious children who understand that the world has so much less than our immediate neighborhood?

I have such an internal struggle. On one hand, I can’t stop but oogle the possessions of the people around me. On the other hand, I’m disgusted by what I see. I’m disgusted by the thought that respect and prestige should come from the name on your handbag, yet I want the handbag.

Is it any different than following the trends that celebrities set for us in magazines and tv? Is it wrong to work hard for your money and enjoy it? Maybe because the people I see are not the ones working hard for their money. But who am I to talk? My husband is slaving away at his job while I peruse the mall.

As an adult, I still struggle with these issues. How am I to help my children through these issues? How am I supposed to convey to them how lucky we are for the life we have when the people around them have so much more? How am I supposed to educate them of the challenges others are up against when it doesn’t appear that anyone around them is struggling? How do I teach them and myself to turn a blind eye to the labels flaunted around me? And will this be a conflict I will be up against the rest of my life?

8 thoughts on “How do I turn a blind eye?

  1. Pingback: The Ark | mommy's two cents

  2. Heli,
    You are an amazing person with an amazing family. Just be yourself. I TOTALLY understand the craziness of the neighborhood, but be true to yourself and your family. Your mom did an amazing job showing you what is important in life, and I know you will do the same. Don’t worry about these people. BE YOU!

    • Thank you so much Mara for your support. I think I need to keep you in mind because I think you always have had such a good outlook on matters like this. I think I need to keep it all in its proper perspective. I think surrounding yourself with people who are like minded helps. So we need to hang out more, k?

  3. I must admit, however ‘upscale’ the new neighborhood is, I totally wouldn’t want to live there. I’d rather surround myself by people who like me (or, as often happens, not), for who I am, not what I can afford. Are you sure you’re making the right decision? I’m not trying to say you’re not making the right decision for you – perhaps you are – but I don’t think its a good sign that you have this dread before you even get there.

    Of course it’s not wrong to work hard and enjoy your money. But if you’re working for the money to buy the things that don’t really bring you that much joy… then you’re on the wrong path.
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    • I’ve been thinking about what you said. I guess there are certain values that I have that override my discomfort about living around more superficial people. For instance, our new neighborhood is walking distance to my husband’s office. That means that he will have much more time to spend with us. I think I just need to put these superficial things in their proper perspective. Thank you so much for your feedback, it always good when I’m forced to think 🙂

      • Just saw your reply! Glad it got you thinking. As long as there are some aspects of it that you value more highly than the ones you dislike, I think it’s still a good move. Walking to the office is a great reason in my book – think of all that extra exercise and family time your husband will be getting!
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