Saturday, December 26, 2015

Happiness At Whose Expense?

Fall 2015...Travel to Napa Valley on our way to Tucson AZ
It seems that everything has a cost. Even the freedom of retirement comes with a price tag. Hopefully, someone in the retirees family is not paying dearly. But that is what happens many, many times.

Restaurant in Rutherford Ca.
One of my commenters said something the other day that made me stop and think about the price paid for being happy. I told about our snowbird lifestyle and how free we were. She said that freedom had so many meanings for her but being free to travel was not something she was going to get to do for a while. She said:
Right now, we are the somewhat caregivers of my elderly parents who reside in a nursing home. My sister didn't want to help so she felt FREE to move 1,000 away.  
One sibling simply left town and did not offer to return so the other sibling could have a month or two of respite. It seems very unfair doesn't it? I don't know the whole story in that particular case but I do know about my own life.

In order for my husband and I to leave Oregon for six months, our children take on the responsibility of checking on our house. At one time our cat lived with my daughter for the winter. She finally told me that the cat needed to learn to travel because my plan was not working for anyone. We did take the cat from then on and it was a lot of fun for us.

Parents are often willing to grasp happiness at the expense of their children. Our story of the cat is just a small taste of what can be done. They will expect support so they can live beyond their means. Or they will expect to move in with their children when they wish or invite themselves for extended stays. The list of Parental Sins are endless as we grow old.

So I am here to ask you, "What would be the price for your total happiness and who will be paying for or someone else?"

It is just a thought.



  1. I pay for my own happiness. My kids do nothing for me. It has always been the other way around.
    I babysat for free. They stayed at my beach home for free. I even loaned one of them money for a down payment on a home, interest free. That was 10 years ago. I'm still waiting to be paid back in full.
    This Christmas I ran away from them. Let them do their own holidays. And foot the bill!
    There's no price tag attached to my retirement. I earned every single nanosecond of it!

    1. Good for of the great secrets in life is letting/making our children stand on their own two feet. Everyone is better for having done that.

      Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!

  2. What a question! The price for my retirement happiness was working 40 years and making two or three good decisions --typical of a more humane former economy-- so we wouldn't be a burden on our offspring. I delight in watching them progress in the world and refine their marketable skills. I delight in their happiness. Sometimes we go see them in their cities. We sleep in hotels. There are 2 cats that live on our roof, have hunting rights on our property and we have no idea who owns them. I could go on, but I believe I have adequately defined happiness as a parent and grampa.

    1. You always say what I am thinking and perhaps even living. I like the idea that we are very family oriented why being as independent as hogs on ice. It has always worked for our life.

  3. My parents paid for me; I pay for my kids. I pay a little for B's happiness; she pays a lot more for mine, but seems to enjoy it so who am I to question?

    1. I think the difference is that you do it out of love. Each of those people you mention did the same in reverse for those around them.

      A life that is "all about me" can never be a happy one and it certainly does not make those around that person happy. In fact, in many cases those around that person will pay over and over.

      Don't question B's motives because, like you, there are no ulterior motives. :) It is all about a generous spirit.

      Thank you for your comments Tom.


Leave your thoughts...I am interested.

Featured Post

Five Little Ducks...stories played out!

The children's song about the little ducks leaving the nest to fly away has always been one of my favorites.  Every mother has seen thei...