Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The 'Once In A Lifetime' Trap


Feeling groggy from a sleepless night, I boarded the train to the rat cage.

This time two women interrupted my state of daze by rushing into the coach, gushing enthusiastically about their common friend's engagement. Immediately, I snapped into a state of alertness.

Okay, wait...I did not eavesdrop. They were literally yelling at one another. 

Alright, alright...maybe I did tune in a little to their conversation. But hey, when the train is packed like a can of tuna, conversations are audible. Yea...yea, stop acting as if you don't understand what I'm talking about. 


"OH....MY....GAWDD! Did you see the ring?!", the first lady shrieked. 
"YEAH! Wow, it must have broke the bank!", said the other. 
"Well, YEAH! I mean, it's only once in a lifetime, so yea, he should be spending on it!"
*Next station....beep beep beep....the doors open and both of them rushed out of the train in their corporate outfit, totting their Celine handbags*


That, right there, is what keeps rats in the rat cage till they are 65.

I mean no disrespect, but I'm tired of hearing the "once-in-a-lifetime" justification. 

If you haven't already known, I'm in the midst of preparing for my own wedding and every...Wait, I mean EVERY vendor that I spoke with gave me the, "Well, it's a ONCE IN A LIFETIME event, so you'd want to spend a little more on this and that and this and that..." justification.

Okay, wipe that disgusted smirk off your face. I'm not the Grinch. I do believe in celebrations but society expects us go over the top with celebrations or anything else, for that matter of fact.

"Good" is often insufficient, "Great" is still lacking. They are looking for the "Over the top factor".

All this, at the expense of your freedom.

The Once-In-A-Lifetime (OIAL - pronounced as oil) syndrome is YOLO's twisted cousin.


Think about that.


I mean, if you think about it, heck, almost everything happens Once-In-A-Lifetime. Your birthday this year is going to happen Once-In-A-Lifetime - you will turn 35 this year and you'll never be able to turn back the clock.

Does that justify throwing a Great Gatsby birthday bash every year?

Now, think deeper. Every single day is Once-In-A-Lifetime. Every second that passes us by? We're not getting that back.

So why do we glorify certain events (which are reinforced by society) when we FAIL to realize that every single second happens Once-In-A-Lifetime and what are we doing with that?

Are you neglecting every minute of your life by making irresponsible decisions and instead, choose to glorify a few events just because society tells you to do so?

Embrace the fragility of life and the beauty of it being transient. Every moment happens only once in a lifetime.

I feel for those who break their bank and go into debt to finance extravagance - objects, events, symbols.

At the end of the day, hype fades, objects lose their glimmer, guests leave and decorations are torn down. What remains, have to be something worth fighting for.

Otherwise when we say our vows, it will be "till debt do us apart".


Freedom For A Lifetime


The road less traveled - which is the path to freedom provides so much more. It gives more than it takes.

When I add to the freedom bucket, it gives back in dividends. In fact, it is a fountain that gives back every quarter for a lifetime.

Because once the bucket is filled, what we have after that is freedom.

Why be happy over things that happen "Once In A Lifetime" when we can strive for "Freedom For A Lifetime"?

Because freedom is the kind of extravagance that makes me happy.


Think For Yourself


Next time, if you hear the OIAL justification,

Avoid it.

Avoid it like the plague.





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14 comments:

  1. Reminds me of this old sketch about what happens when you shop for wedding stuff.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gimiDBAK2wA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilarious!! Thanks for sharing that Lianna.

      That was precisely my point. Haha...

      Cheers,
      Josh

      Delete
  2. Literally every moment is once in a life time. Every single interaction you have with any person will never happen again just like that. The crazy thing is that they act like the moments now have no effect on any of the moments in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right??

      Oh god, I just don't understand why we tend to play down our 'everyday' moments and only gravitate towards a few big events in our lives.

      Every.Moment.Matters.

      Cheers,
      Josh

      Delete
  3. Once in a life time doesn't mean you should go all out and spend all your money or put yourself in debt. You're right that almost everything in life is once in a life time opportunity, it's best to avoid that excuse to spend money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. More needs to hear this.

      Cheers,
      Josh

      Delete
  4. Great article. I have this mental rant every time I hear someone say "it's once in a lifetime." I really enjoy your blog and writing style. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess you could relate to this post Jeremy. Thanks for the kind words and welcome to this little white space.

      Btw, your car wash idea is pretty brilliant! Is that a side hustle? Or are you going full time on that?

      See you around the blog,
      Josh

      Delete
  5. That is so true! I hear the occasional "once in a life time," excuse every now and then, but also a lot of "YOLO." It's really not a valid reason for splurging.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Advertisers even use YOLO as the basis of their campaigns. The sad thing is it seems to be working.

      Delete
  6. Great post! I know someone who is always saying "You don't XYZ every day." Like you don't come to this particular restaurant everyday so order the most expensive dish. That kind of thinking gets you into trouble quickly for all the reasons you laid out. I think the bottom line is going over the top with spending all the time doesn't make you any happier, just as the fancy wedding doesn't make your marriage last. We also like to remind ourselves that everything doesn't have to be our favorite--life is not about collecting gourmet preferences and then satisfying them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then these very same people grumble and complain about inflation, and the government's lack of help, etc. - when the root of the problem actually lies within.

      You are right to say that "life is not about collecting gourmet preferences and then satisfying them".

      Welcome to the blog,
      Josh

      Delete
  7. Once in a lifetime is such a bad excuse, right up there with yolo, which pains me to even write.

    I mean sure your wedding is a big day, but are you going to remember if you rode in a big limo with champagne or took a big SUV over, probably not. You will remember however if you put it all on a credit card and have to pay it back.....YOLO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Steven, if I'll only live once (duh..), I wouldn't want to spend that one precious life paying off debts.

      Oh god, the irony of YOLO.

      Welcome to the blog,
      Josh

      Delete