Something crops up to totally undermine my fiscal self esteem. Big Sigh, I hate that feeling. I really do.
Like most people, I have my issues. Feeling insecure about myself when I'm feeling down is one of them. I let those nagging horrible feelings come through and surface in my mind and I play my own set of head games until I can snap out of it and "get a grip". This weekend was one of those head game weekends.
I visited some of my cousins I've not seen in ages. Like ten years plus. They only live 2 hours away, but it could be 20, our paths just don't cross that often. This past weekend I made an effort to touch base with them. And it cost me my sanity for most of yesterday.
It goes without saying that the Bankruptcy was more than a little hiccup in my life. Compounded by other personal and professional non successes last year made for a really crummy 2007 for me. 2008 is getting better, but it's by no means outstanding, but definitely better than 2007.
Fast forward to dinner yesterday afternoon. I'm sitting at the table listening to my cousins talk about homes, jobs, kids, trips, hobbies, and it all sounds so much better than my life. Almost without exception, my cousins are married or partnered up, own their own homes, have successful jobs, own successful businesses, and their kids are nice, well mannered, smart, bright kids. They really are. In one respect I'm very proud of my family. We are second and third generation immigrant offspring and they have lived the American dream. My grandparents came to this country with $30 in their pocket and knew no one. They raised 4 kids and supported and sponsored literally dozens of other relatives who made that trans Atlantic crossing to Ellis Island. The conversation was not about one upping one another, it was a passing of information on to the cousin who has done her own thing for so long and to get me back up to speed on the family. I'm pretty certain too that they don't have a ton of credit card debt or have faced bankruptcy either. Not 100% sure, but pretty certain. I felt like I had been left in the dust of my go getting relatives.
It's just tough for me to see what they have accomplished and for me to wonder why I can not or have not been able to compete (for lack or a better term) on the same level they have. I live in a shoe box house with bad flooring and a funky roof leak, they live in lovely suburban homes with hardwood floors, and granite and cherry kithens, they have family Sundays, I have Sundays at the laudromat. They have trips to Tuscany each year (rent a villa for 2 weeks), I had a trip to Canada for someone else's family party.
Maybe it is comparing apples and oranges, and usually I'm pleased for other folks who are able to do these lovely and fabulous things. This time, I really felt like the poor relative. I just felt out of touch and out of step with what the rest of the family has done.
I really hate those feelings...