You already won

When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.

– Benjamin Hoff, Lao-tse. The Tao(ism): (or Wisdom of Pooh)

The other week I was at home browsing Zillow to find my dream home. My wife and daughter were running around the house playing (well, my daughter was playing and Erica was simply trying to keep up) and I was trying to model out how much house I could really afford.

To afford a house in my neighborhood where we currently rent a small but nice 2 bedroom detached home, we would really have to stretch the budget and maintain a high income. But just maybe it’s a good idea if my spreadsheet told me it was okay.

This is the modern “can I buy a house in my bougie neighborhood” game, courtesy of the modern home ownership industrial complex. 

This particular game says once you a buy a beautiful home with the nice open concept kitchen and beautiful bathroom with rainfall shower heads, you will have the family life of your dreams. 

The irony is that while I was trying to see if I could afford it, I was ignoring the fact that I could be enjoying my family right now.

Don’t let the game distract you from realizing you’ve already won.