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I remember someone said to me, "Now I've arrived." It was because they had a big house, car, and her husband had a business making a lot of money.  I remember feeling sorry for the person, thinking but what if you lose all those things, what does that mean? A big house, car, and salary do not equal success or arrival. It doesn't mean you've arrived mentally, emotionally, financially or spiritually. It may just mean you've been able to accumulate some things, and hopefully save some money. This economy has exposed and made vulnerable many of those who thought they had arrived! In reality most people who thought they had arrived, had not.

Yesterday my parents celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. They are still together in love, happy, with eight grown children, 19 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. My Dad is 73 and my Mom 68. Many of our parents and grandparents stayed married, raised their children, worked their goals, and realized their dreams. They did it without debt, messed up credit, going broke, and with a sane mind. They have the right to say they've arrived, possibly.  

In their 40's and 50's their mortgages were paid off. It's because they had one mortgage and the equity wasn't used as a credit card. They lived within their means whether they had two, three, or ten children. And they had a plan to arrive at their destination—retirement—without owing student loans for themselves or their children. They usually lived in a decent size home, and prepared by having paid off cars instead of leasing until they die. While preparing to get to that place where they "arrived," our parents and grandparents were frugal, living within their means, saving, sacrificing, and preparing a way for themselves and their children. And in the process, most parents took the time without complaining to give us a well-rounded balanced life. It did not include all the anxiety, exhaustion, and impatience children get thrown at them today. Would most children today look at their parents and think, "They have arrived?"

I believe our generation and the next have missed the point. Money and material things are not the ultimate goal in life. Look around you; things are not as they appear to be with the people that have the big houses, cars, salaries, and all the expensive toys. For that matter, even those people with the small houses and cars. Possibly, you have arrived when things are in order emotionally, spiritually, physically, and financially. But really, life is an unknown journey and your place of "arrival" can be rescheduled, cancelled, or changed at any time.

At what point will you feel like you "have arrived?"

Sharman Lawson a columnist on Fabulously40, and a financial coach, speaker, and author of the book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever! Visit her website: [Link Removed]


Sharmanl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Djd258 wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • I am aware that I will never ever arrive materially.

      I believe I will have partially arrived when I can look in the mirror and say “I Love YOU“.
      When my children can look at me and say “mom you were right, thank you for your advice but allowing me learn it through my mistakes. ”
      I will have arrived when I hear GOD say “Well done my child, well done”

      And now I’m gonna go cry!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • Chile, the day I can say I have arrived is when I hear the Lord say to me "In you my faithful servant I'am well pleased you may enter in through the pearly gates."  That is then when I will have arrived, this life and all of it's possessions will soon fade away. I want my place in heaven.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • I “ditto” neicy. But there’s a lot of joy on the journey!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sharman G. Lawson wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • OMG...I agree with you guys, too. This world is not my home either. Even though I wasn’t even looking at it from the spiritual standpoint entirely, at the end of the day and my life—I want to see Jesus!

      Thanks!!!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jan 11, 2009
    • Say that Sharmanl! Speak that thing Amen.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      3sa wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • I personally don’t believe that one ever “arrives“.  Life is a journey, and death is only the beginning of eternity.  I believe you can arrive at goals or reach accompliments in this life but you never fully “arrive” anywhere.  To say so would be saying you‘re perfect or your life is perfect.  And we all know there are no perfect humans and not even a saint’s life is perfect.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Wittymom wrote Jan 12, 2009
    • I haven’t arrived, but I am well on my way!  Each day, each journey, each person that touches my life and vice versa, each change, each tear, each smile...yup I am definately on my way!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Saylor101 wrote Jan 14, 2009
    • Your all so great!   I HAVE not arrived.  I’ve had a good life, been lucky, always seems so - despite all it could always have been worse... I“m a HALF-GLASS FULL, Silver Lining, Pie in the sky gal.  But Arrived - OH NO.  So far to go...... so little time to get there!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ladysmith wrote Jan 15, 2009
    • Wow! I agree with all of you...I have not arrived. There is still much to be done and decisions to make. My take on it is God has arrived and set the path for us to continue on our journey and in the end “I” will have arrived when “I” am able to meet up with him.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Fabulousfefe wrote Jan 24, 2009
    • I am shouting at my desk. Everyone is so on point!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Waxwing wrote Jan 27, 2009
    • Gosh, you are so right about feeling sorry for people who judge “arrival” in terms of money and “stuff” - because it can be lost so easily. Everything else that you mentioned is permanent and feeds us.

      I suppose what they mean by “arrival” is “contenment” or “satisfaction“.

      For me, that point is reaching ” enough“.  There is a passage in the bible that says something like : Lord, I ask not for too much or too little, but enough.  

      I am definitely there. In fact, I have more than enough and I am blessed to have the time to help those I love and my neighbors. I have great people in my life, a husband sent from Heaven.  ( It has been so cold here now for weeks, and every time I put on my warm coat and gloves and snow shoes I say a little prayer in gratitude - I am warm and protected - that is enough...... I have arrived.)



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Coachmombabe wrote Jan 27, 2009
    • Mmmm, good perspectives! Especially considering our present economy!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jan 27, 2009
    • AMEN waxwing!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Saylor101 wrote Jan 28, 2009
    • Waxwing - You are awesome - without question.  No question the fact that I have not “arrived” yet is due to lack of discipline, personal conviction, and inspiration - I have so many more levels of personal growth to go thru before I have ARRIVED.    

      Looking forward to the journey.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Waxwing wrote Jan 28, 2009
    • mybabygators - hysterical !!!  You reminded me of a great quote that I read once by a female comic ( though I don’t remember who ) :  

      “Everywhere I go, there I am..... I have arrived ! ”

      saylor101 ; thank you for the compliment, but don’t be too impressed ! Believe me - I get frustrated, feel sorry for myself, yell at my kids and sometimes I wish I could just get a Louis Vuitton tote to make it all good !!!!  But overall, there is nothing that I want that could change my life in a profound and meaningful way. The journey isn’t over, this is the day stop on the cruise ship - and it is ok.

      The Buddhists believe that the majority of human suffering comes from worldly desire, in Christianity it is known as avarice : for power, for status, for stuff, for something different.  I tend to agree.

      My parents are the epitome of “enough” . They were both born and raised overseas on a small island that rivaled the third world. They don’t have much now, but they are sooooo content and grateful. Recently, we were expecting a storm and I called to make sure they had all their meds and food ( because I was going shopping ). And my mom said, ” Our house is full, we have potatoes, bread and milk - we’ll be set for days. ”    

      One final story, my dad was particularly poor. He had two outfits throughout his childhood, one to work in the fields and one for church. No shoes until he was issued boots in the army at the age of 21. To this day, he says, people need up to 4 pairs, depending where the live : rubber boots to work the land and for rain, nice shoes to go out in public, the best pair for church, and if you live in the cold, a pair of snow boots.

      I wish I could be more like them...I am not.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Saylor101 wrote Jan 28, 2009
    • Amen - your parents - they have arrived.  At least by most of “our” standards.  x



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