Wednesday, May 12, 2010

If you're happy and you know it ...

I guess my last post resonated with more than a few of you. I had a couple friends give me shoutouts on their blogs and write about what you don't see in their lives. I think my favorite comment was from Brenda, who said that she could either have her family or her house look put together, but never both at the same time. Life really is about trade-offs, isn't it?

I was thinking about that today when I read this New York Times article about Sandra Bullock. It asked the reader (so us) if we would take "her deal." Basically, would we want her fame and fortune (and a gold Academy Award figurine on our mantel) in exchange for marital disaster? I don't necessarily think it's always an either-or situation, but the question is definitely thought-provoking. And hopefully simple for us to answer.

{By the way, I love Sandra Bullock and in no way hold her responsible for her disappointments.}

Sometimes when I start to take things for granted, I think back to my glory days of dating (yes, I'm being facetious) and think how happy I would've been to look into the future and see who I ended up marrying. It makes me a flirt a little more with Nate and realize how great I've really got it. A few months ago I had a really rough day and Nate went above and beyond the call of duty to cheer me up. At some moment, I remember coming to the vivid realization that no matter how many times I failed throughout my life, I had succeeded when I decided to marry Nate. For all of my mistakes and shortcomings, I had made the right choice when it really counted.

And that isn't just the romantic musings of a newlywed. The article even says, "Marital happiness is far more important than anything else in determining personal well-being. If you have a successful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many professional setbacks you endure, you will be reasonably happy." Right there in black and white. And the author even has research to back it up. Research! haha... I love how we never believe anything until there is data to support it. As if after centuries upon centuries of matrimony we needed someone to say: marriage = good

The article then explains that evidently "being married produces a psychic gain equivalent to more than $100,000 a year." $100,000?!?!? That is a lot of money! And it's not $100,000 over the course of your marriage or your lifetime; it's $100,000 a year. That's incredible. I started thinking of all of the things I could do with $100,000 -- the vacations I could take, the clothes I could buy, the universities I could attend, the cars I could drive... and then it hit me that none of it would matter without Nate. So ya, I'd have to agree. He's definitely as great as $100,000. (Note for Nate: Don't even think of trying to use this little fact to convince me that you should be able to buy a new .... well whatever the newest gadget is this week.)

Now I'm not saying that if you aren't married, you need to run out and marry the first person you meet so you can be happy and get the equivalent of a $100,000 raise (hmm... sounds like the next government stimulus package). I do think that the quality of marriage must play a role in this whole equation -- after all, Sandra Bullock was married. What I am saying is that maybe we are all a little richer and happier than we realize. If spouses are worth $100,000, then what are kids, moms, dads, siblings, friends, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins, and neighbors (even the overly critical ones) all worth? Is it possible that we are all the millionaires-next-door and don't even know it?


Sarah C. said...

Glorious, doll. Truly glorious. I think we could all do to realize such things as often as possible.

Danny & Desirae Sommers said...

I have been married for 16 years. Danny is my better half and I have always focused on the family more than the house. You've seen my house, so you know how much I must put into them. And I have always known how much richer I am for having the good marriage I have. Money means nothing.

Passelly said...

Loved this post MC. All the money and success in the world is worthless if you dont have the right people to share it with.

Meg said...

I went to the NYC article and read it. The part about commuting isn't good since that is what I'm trying to talk Scott into doing in San Fran--- hopefully the $100,000 I'm worth to him will make it worth it:)