If you'd told me when I was young and poor and living in the trailer park wondering if the car would start that I would one day be SO thankful for the experience, I'd have kicked you in the shin. I had the best mother in the world and she loved me unconditionally, but there were some serious hard times involving no heat, not enough food and creative toilet paper solutions, to say the least. Thankful? For that?
But I am just that. Thankful.
I realized that probably in my 20s when I was having other struggles. It made me strong. And it made me appreciative of everything. When I would see people who had nice things, who generally just had "more," I wasn't jealous, but instead I was hopeful. Hopeful that one day, if I worked hard, I, too, could have nice things. It was like an inspirational poster that flashed at me in neon "This is America and You Can Have Anything You Dream!"
I will admit to some jealousy in school. I suppose it was jealousy I felt when I saw all the other girls wearing Jordache and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans (yes, I'm that old,) but oddly, the girls who had those things and were NICE, I didn't seem to feel anything negative toward. It was the snotty girls who judged me because I didn't have those things that got me. So was that jealousy? I was happy for the nice girls who had nice things.
What I didn't realize at the time and found out later was that we were just broke, while their families were hugely in debt. Big difference. They had nice houses that were mortgaged to the hilt and their clothes were purchased with credit cards. My family was just at zero all the time. Never a negative number.
But as I sit in my own house watching Real Housewives, I am reminded of how truly blessed I am. Now I am sure there are some exceptions in some of the RHof...but in general, I am finding that I pity these people. I don't pity them because they have money. I pity them because most of them seem to have no grasp on reality.
Now I've been around wealthy people. Balanced wealthy people who at least have one foot in reality. And I realize that they have a whole other set of problems that comes with having a lot of money. But these people understand life. Watching the Real Housewives shows are like watching a train wreck and I just can't seem to turn away. They are so spoiled!
Again, it's not the fact that they're rich. I can't tell you how many times I've felt the need to "defend" the "evil rich" to ignorant people (like the rich needed ME to defend them or that the ignorant people would listen - Ha!) because of some ridiculous comment or another. Heck, I hope to BE one of the wealthy people some day if the whole darned country doesn't turn completely socialist by then. But these people I'm watching are just ridiculous! I'm not going to expound on that here - there are enough other places to bash the Real Housewives. But I am going to tell you that it reminded me, once again, how very thankful I am that I had the sort of childhood I did.
Because of that childhood, I am self-sufficient. I am strong. I am grounded. I am appreciative of every nice thing I have - all the way down to the quilted toilet paper that I didn't, by the way, purchase with a credit card.