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The race to keep up with the Jones’.

sourced from google images

Today I am pondering two modern trends that have crossed my path this week, and wondering if they are somehow connected.

The first thing I am concerned about is the rise of the ‘aspirational’ Australian.

This week I heard some very wise words from an unlikely source. I was lamenting the state of our house to a visiting tradie, and saying how I would dearly love to move into a new home without all the problems.

"McMansions" sourced from google images

Not only a new house, but one in a ‘better’ postcode. Like the ones 300 metres from my door. (It will probably come as no surprise that Chris calls me a “postcode snob”).

“Phil” kindly pointed out how new homes still have problems.

Perhaps Phil is, like myself, a fan of The Boss and is recalling the immortal lyrics:-

“Poor men wanna be rich, rich men wanna be king. And a king ain’t  satisfied till he rules everything.”

Phil suggested I try to be happy with where we live now, and make the most of the house we have. As he said, “Otherwise you’ll spend all your time wanting to be like those people in Brighton. And the people in Brighton spend all their time wanting to be like the people in Toorak. And the people in Toorak….”

Enjoy the Boss singing it below. And check out “The Big Man” all in white – RIP Clarence.

Why are Australians like this? And is it only just Australians? In fact – is it only just Melburnians?

In Tassie, where you went to school was a big deal – while you were still at school. But once you hit the hallowed halls of Tas Uni, your school became largely irrelevant.

But I remember being asked where we were going to send Chloe to school when we first moved to Melbourne from Perth. Chloe was six months old.

I remember being worried we didn’t have her name down on “lists” (for particular schools) by the time she celebrated her first birthday. And another mum from school telling me how we were going to ‘disadvantage’ her if we didn’t send her to a private school.

While we might scoff at the notion of a private school education being of such vital importance (hey, Chris went to the same public high school as Princess Mary – and they and quite a few others have done all right for themselves!), the fact seems to be that in Melbourne, at least in certain circles, it is an all important key to the door.

Two doctors and a lawyer...who would've guessed it??

So is insisting your child go to a particular private school another aspect of the aspirational lifestyle?

And here is where the other modern trend I have been pondering comes in – the pace of modern life. Of being so busy, particularly with work, we don’t have time to spend with family and friends we might actually want to spend time with.

Last weekend we caught up with friends very dear to us (see photo above). Friends who at one stage in our life were probably the most important people in our lives. When living in Perth, they were our family/counsellors/life coaches as well as our friends.

Before last weekend, we hadn’t seen them or their children for 18 months. Not for any particular reason, just because we have all been so busy.

How can we allowed this to have happened? How can we not have found time to spend time with them, and watch their children grow and play with ours?

I guess we have been too busy leading our aspirational lives.

Although to be honest, we should know better than most about how important it is to spend time with loved ones when you can. Loosing your father(in law) and beloved younger sister(in law) within 18 months of each other, tends to bring you some perspective on this.

sourced from google images

I don’t know what the answer to all this is. Perhaps there isn’t one, and it is just too hard not to lead the modern lifestyle of busy, busy, busy.

But this week, I am going to try to take a small break, and make sure I put spending time with a loved one ahead of work (domestic or professional).

Just as soon as I finish the washing. Or ironing. Or serve dinner. Oh, and there is that letter I promised to send through to my boss…

Cheers till next time,

Ali.

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