Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Grass is always greener

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence...or so you've probably been fooled. I'm sure you've heard that phrase more than a few times over the course of your life. The only part of that sentence I really take issue with is the word "always." Using absolutes tends to get you in trouble. That's why I like to say, "Always remember to never speak in absolutes." Just because I say that doesn't mean I'm really good at believing it though. 

It's really not all that bad to envision the grass on the other side being greener. It means you're a dreamer, a visionary - capable of setting your sights on something greater. Just like with many things in life though, it doesn't mean you're right. Nobody reaches great success without making mistakes or having failures along the way. You learn from it and move on. At least that's what you're supposed to do. 

On the flip side, thinking the grass is always greener on the other side will set you up for a life of disappointment. Jumping from one thing to the next without intelligent forethought is a dangerous game to play. It's particularly dangerous if you don't have the option to jump back over the fence back to where you came from or if the next fence is way off in the distance. 

You've probably seen a bit of this in the news lately with the handful of celebrities who "pledged" to leave the United States if their choice for president didn't win. Well, great for them. Most of the people making that statement are rich enough that they probably already have homes in other countries anyway. At the very least, they have the financial resources to make a go of it. The funny part is that the grass isn't necessarily greener over there. 

I have been hearing Canada as the first option for relocation from many of them. The first thing I have to laugh about is that Canada's immigration policy is far more stringent (as it should be) than we have here in the United States - so good luck getting in. Then again, money does talk so maybe they have a shot. 

If it weren't for the fact that it's currently the liberal crowd running for the Canadian border, there would maybe be a case for hopes of better health coverage. Since it's not the anti-Obamacare conservatives heading north, let's just pretend. They'd get to Canada for the "free health care" only to find out that means they have to wait an eternity (months - not a 30 minute office wait) to get some fairly basic medical procedures. A free society can only support so much actual medical benefits. 

Taking it down to a level most of us have experienced, there are times in our careers that the grass looks greener on the other side. It may be the working environment, the pay, broken promises or just a general desire for change. There are many reasons you may think something different is better. In some cases you'd be right and your career will advance because of it. The dreamer in you will have taken a chance that paid off.

Then again, which is more often the case, you will probably find things to be about the same as they were before...on average. The pay might be better, but you never get any time off to actually spend the extra money you're making. Maybe the health plan is better, but you find you have no room for advancement. Once you average everything out, it often ends up about the same with hopefully an overall increase in the average. Worst case would be realizing it was a horrible mistake and you're sprinting for the next fence to jump over. 

For the younger crowd who may not yet have an extensive career, the same greener grass idea is experienced when dating. To me anyway, the purpose of dating was to hopefully find that one person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. (FYI - I did. Success!!) Part of dating though is that for everything you find you like or love about a person, you also find things that don't quite match...or end up being deal-breakers. The relationship ends and you jump the next fence. 

I remember having a conversation with one of my former girlfriends where I made a comment like "if we end up breaking up...." As you can imagine, that got a response of "What do you mean if we break up? Why would you say that? What makes you think we might break up?" Well, you never start dating someone planning for a breakup, but since you've (hopefully) ended it with all your previous relationships, why would you automatically assume this is "the one?" That's why you're dating - to find out. 

Well, I've rambled on probably longer than you would have preferred so I'll wrap it up. Long story short - appreciate what you have and don't be afraid to be content. At the same time though, know what your dream is and be aware of whether you're still moving towards it. Until next time....