Am I Living Or Surviving?

Jacksonville, Florida
June 9, 2012 4:39pm CST
My sister told me today that she could never live the way I do. She said she would be miserable. We were talking about how I don't get to get my nails done or go out to dinner all the time. They go on vacations and do tons of things all the time. She said she would much rather do those things than just survive like I do. She said she doesn't think I have any fun or do fun things in my life. So I thought about it and thought about it. I never really thought about the fact that there is a difference between living and surviving. I just do it, it is my reality. I don't have the extra money to do fun things all the time, taking care of our kids comes first. I now realize yes I just survive. So, have you thought about the difference between the two? Are you living or just surviving? Would you change it if you could? I would, I definitely would like to live more but I just don't have that option...
6 people like this
28 responses
• United States
10 Jun 12
Answer me this, does this sister have kids? Does she have a loving , respectful hubby? I think it was wrong for her to compare her life with yours. Everybody has their own definition of happiness. See I almost killed myself because I Thought I Had to want what others said was normal to want. It took some time but I Now know Everybody is different. Ask yourself this, are you happy? Do you enjoy being with your hubby and kids. I mean if given the choice between Not being married to your hubby and having money to " have fun" and having life as it is what would you choose? Raising children and being a good wife to Hubby Is not just surviving. It is sad that your sister can't see that.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jun 12
I didn't answer your question! To me having to live what others say is the way to live is just surviving. Living means doing Exactly what you want to at least 95% of the time.80% of the time if you are a parent.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
10 Jun 12
YES! Living means doing what you want, which may or may NOT have anything to do with what anybody else wants or thinks is right. I love my life, I never base what I do on what other people think. When people do agree, it's really nice, when they don't, oh well, doesn't change me, and I'm honest about that from the start - so people don't have the right to complain. It's not like I hide anything or pretend.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Jun 12
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
10 Jun 12
For me it's not necessarily a monetary thing. The difference between living and surviving for me has to do with having your freedom. I know far too many people who are in controlling relationships either with parents, other family, or a partner or spouse, and anybody in a situation like that regardless of their 'lifestyle' is NOT living. For the record, some people don't really like to go get their nails done lol. I will get a mani or pedi from time to time, I took my daughter on Mother's Day but when you look at all the people who have fake nails and get them done every other week, heck no. Do YOU think you do some fun things? Not everything fun requires money
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
10 Jun 12
The difference between living and surviving is the degree of happiness you have, regardless of the outward signs, regardless of what others consider 'success', regardless of anything really.
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
Interesting different perspective and very good point. I was controlled for years from certain people and I put distance between us finally and now I am so much happier! I think I do fun things. We take the kids to the park, they go outside and go in the pool and I go in with them, and if we have extra money occasionally we take them places just not often. I think to my own standards I am living just fine. I have my husband and kids by my side and I am so grateful for them. I would not be happy without them in my life and all of the money in the world. My life would be incomplete and empty without them...
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13207)
• United States
20 Jul 12
Then you are living, not merely surviving. You know what matters and so does your family. Ignore the haters.... many people who hate and point fingers and 'need' certain things that are not true needs are just insecure and jealous.
@bounce58 (17550)
• Canada
13 Jul 12
I do think about living vs. just surviving. If it were just me alone, I don't think I would have any problems with just surviving. Even if all the people around me seem to be 'living it up'. But I do have kids. And sometimes I have doubts that I might be depriving them of 'living' if I don't let them experience a few things once in a while. I don't have a lot in terms of means, so I just put my bar really low.
• Jacksonville, Florida
13 Jul 12
That is how I feel too. I feel like our children are missing so much. I feel like we are making them have a horrible life and that is the last thing I want for them. They are my world. I just feel bad that I cannot give them the extra's in life. =( It doesn't help that their cousins get so much and my kids always have to hear about it all. My kids are so grateful for everything they get, they only feel bad when they hear about things their cousins got to do...
@bounce58 (17550)
• Canada
13 Jul 12
Don't worry about it too much! I think that as long as your kids have what they 'need', I'm sure they will understand it when they grow up. And I think that when they do grow up, and would have the means for themselves, they would have a better appreciation of things.
@peavey (15869)
• United States
10 Jun 12
What is surviving to one is living to another. I don't get my nails done, either and I don't go out to eat of go to the salon to get my hair done every month. I haven't been on a real vacation for a few years... but I'm doing much more than surviving and I think you are too. I enjoy my life. My house, my garden, my crafts and so on. You enjoy your kids, don't you? And your husband and your house? Don't let someone else's definition of "living" define yours. From your posts I've read, you're doing far more than "surviving." There is much more to life than taking vacations and getting your nails done.
• Jacksonville, Florida
11 Jun 12
I agree, there are different perspectives on it. I enjoy my life too. I love spending time with my husband and my kids. They are my world. I do gardening and I love that. I also love being here and scrapbooking. I was okay with my life until she said that... Thanks Peavey, you made me feel better again about my life. =)
@peavey (15869)
• United States
11 Jun 12
Good! I mean, you're welcome.
• China
10 Jun 12
Every one has his fate and his own way to go. Some people are born to have a carefree life and can enjoy the life a lot,while some are girdled by many matters in their life. I don't think surviving and living are very different, if you think taht the present life is what you want and there are a lo of things you cherish in your life. What kind of life I am living means little to me, that I know What I want matters.
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
Some people just have different lives and maybe cannot understand others lives. I have my husband and kids who are my world. If I did not have them but I had tons of money I would not be happy. I would not want to live without them.
• China
10 Jun 12
Enjoy your life.
@marguicha (80590)
• Chile
10 Jun 12
Living and surviving is a problem of perspective. Your sister would be miserable living as you do and you proably would not like her life if you could have it. Many years ago, we talked about this with a friend and discovered that we needed a lot less money to have fun than poor people need. We are happy buying a second hand book and reading it so we don´t need the latests gadgets. I don´t go to a restaurant unless I´m invited, but I love to cook and invite my friends to cheap gourmet cooking. I have been thinking for about 8 years wheather I should get my nails done. Most of my best clothes are over 10 years old but I feel great in them. I´m living, friend. I´m even living and not surviving even now that I must only plan my life for 2 and a half months at the most because of my lymphoma.
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
I agree. I would NOT be happy with the way she lives her life either. The difference is I never say that to her and never would because it is HER life. I mind my business. I am old fashioned that way too, I get my books from the thrift store or dollar general, so much cheaper! My clothes all come from the thrift stores. When I actually get to go shopping that is where I get them all, lol. I am living too, just without some luxuries that she has...
@marguicha (80590)
• Chile
10 Jun 12
I am a sort of gambler, friend. So I´d bet money that she´s not as happy as you are or has the meaningful life you have. When people think that living is having "things" it is because they are quite poor in what really matters. Don´t mind her: you know better.
@dobsyto (299)
• Bulgaria
9 Jun 12
Well I think that most of us just surviving these days. It is really hard to have fun when you have so much problems on your head. I think that we make our life how we want it to be. If you don't like the way you live why not try to change it. This is your life and you have to make it by the way you want it to be. I think I'm also like surviving because it is really hard to have fun. However I always find some time to go out with friends or go to a short holiday with my family and try to relax and forget about all problems I have. I really want to change something in the past and make my life easier but unfortunately this is the life and we can't change the past but I believe that we can change the future. We should do our life better one and if we can and we really want it to be than we should just make it.
• Jacksonville, Florida
9 Jun 12
I think your right too. Most of us are just surviving unless they have a lot more money than the rest of us. I like my life, it is others that have a problem with it apparently. Lol. I do wish we could go on vacation but there is no way to have the money to do it. Not unless I start growing a money tree in my yard which I am pretty sure would not work either. We are poor, matter of fact we are WAY below poverty level. But we have a ton of love for our family. Our kids know without any doubt that they are loved so very much! That is what is more important to me. They are taken care of and loved. =)
@dobsyto (299)
• Bulgaria
9 Jun 12
I could tell you that if you have a people in your life who love you and people that you love than you have everything!
@marianne87 (3526)
9 Jun 12
We struggle to make ends meet. Yes, if I had more money, I would like to have some little luxuries. But my kids come first. I have never had my nails done, my sister cuts my hair, and the closest thing I have to a dinner out is taking my kids to McDonalds occasionally. We're not living in luxury, but we have what we need, and that is enough for me.
• Jacksonville, Florida
9 Jun 12
I am the same exact way. Everything you described sounds exactly like me! Our kids come first too. I am okay with it too. Sure if I had more money I would love to go on a vacation since my husband and I had one vacation for a weekend in 8 years 3 hours away but right now it is not going to happen. We have what we need too and that is okay with me too. I just never thought about it until she said that to me.
11 Jun 12
lol! Don't worry about what your sister says. Mine (3 years older than me, just had her 2nd child) always tells me I need to do something with my hair... I even bought straighteners at her insistence, but have never used them. She may have been born to be fashionable, but I wasn't. I'm a mother first, a wife second, and being stylish is probably about number 83 on my list of priorities
@toniganzon (39995)
• Philippines
11 Jun 12
When I got pregnant I only took care of my health and my baby until i gave birth. Since I was married already, I see no reason to take care of myself. Then my cousin, who is a nun, came for a visit when my son was baptized. Then she told me that I used to be the prettiest in our family but now she couldn't believe how much i've changed. She told me i should never neglect myself just because i'm married because even she, who's already a nun is having facials. It was then that i realized that just because i've got a kid and i'm married doesn't mean i only have to take care of them and not myself. So from then on, I started to pamper myself a little bit more.
• Jacksonville, Florida
11 Jun 12
Wow. Yeah I don't do as much with myself anymore either. I take care of my family and usually forget about myself. Your right though, just because we have a family does not mean we cannot treat ourselves or take care of ourselves too! Thanks. =)
@TrvlArrngr (4058)
• United States
10 Jun 12
I think most of us are struggling these days. It is harder than ever to pay the bills. Entertainment and eating out is a luxury like getting your nails done or hair done.
• Jacksonville, Florida
11 Jun 12
I agree. Most people do not have these nice things. Now a days it is hard enough to get bills paid, your right about that...
@jeth88 (68)
• Manila, Philippines
10 Jun 12
I think the idea here is first we should learn how to survive first and save money even if it is small. Then at a later life of your own and if you save enough money through investing them, then you have a time to live your life to the fullest because all the money you are going to spend is coming from investments or passive income. Learn to sacrifice in the first and reap the benefits in the end. :)
• Jacksonville, Florida
11 Jun 12
Well, we do save money but it was never for fun things. It was always for an emergency situation type of thing. That is a good point though. Right now we might not be able to do things but someday we will. I just hope that someday actually comes before we die...
@carmelanirel (21108)
• United States
10 Jun 12
You know what, you can have a wonderful time right where you are with little cost and some creativity. 1. nails done? Are you kidding? That would be a waste for me since I love gardening and playing some sports. 2. Go out to dinner? Seriously? Let some stranger prepare my food and I not know "exactly" what is in it? I rarely eat out and prefer to make my own food if I can. 3. Vacations? Yeah that could be nice, but only if I went by car, x-rays and body exams is not what I would find fun. Besides, if you don't have a bug enough yard, it really isn't much to go camping, bowling, skating, or whatever your interests are. So you are not surviving if you can make up fun things to do either for free or at low cost.
• Jacksonville, Florida
11 Jun 12
Yeah, she does all of that but I can't. The thing is there are plenty of things she does that I don't like or agree with but I have never said anything to her about it. It is her life, not mine! Thats true, there are plenty of fun things to do without spending a lot of money.
1 person likes this
@SomeCowgirl (32273)
• United States
10 Jun 12
It sounds to me as if she brought you down with her words. Had she not said anything at all you would not have known a difference was even there to begin with. I think now though, that just means you've got to start a fund for "fun" or "vacation" it doesn't even have to be much you put in their, a penny a day if even that. It will add up and you'll see it grow. For me? Vacations are okay but I don't need them.
• Jacksonville, Florida
11 Jun 12
She did bring me down a little. I would have not really thought about it. It was just my life and how I was used to living it. I think I will do that. We should start putting all of our change in a "fun" jar! That is a really great idea. =)
@ally12 (1205)
• Philippines
10 Jun 12
Living with less or no luxury in life does not necessarily means youre just surviving..If we just learn to be contented and happy with what we have then we will not feel less..We are not rich, right now my husband's business cant still be considered promising for a wealthy future but still we make it a point to give in into some indulgence once in a while..coz what if we die tomorrow and yet that wealth we were working hard for to have a comfortable living has not come then we will die with dissatisfaction in life..?we were not able to enjoy life because our budget didnt allow us..? there is always a way how to enjoy in life..amount of dollars in the wallet should not be the basis of living a life with happiness..
• Jacksonville, Florida
11 Jun 12
Yes living is being happy with what you do have. I am happy with my family life. My husband and kids are my world. =) That is true. We should indulge a little at times even if it worries me because we never know how long we might have. I am happy, I just wish we could do more things as a family...
10 Jun 12
There is no big difference between living and surviving, in today's life you have to survive for a living.
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
There is a little difference but not much...
@veejay19 (3592)
• India
10 Jun 12
Sometimes we land in situations that are beyond our control and we have to make the best of it.Except for a brief period in my life where i really enjoyed life,most of it has been that of survival which is continuing to this day.I have learnt to get rid of excesses in my life,sacrificed a great deal,stopped unnecessary and wasteful expenditure and got on with my life.I am not bothered with what others say or do, i just do my own thing and try to be happy and cheerful.
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
That is true. We all end up in tough situations sometimes and if we are happy with how our life is then no one else should say anything about it. It is unfair for others to have a say in our life...
@unique16 (1531)
• United States
10 Jun 12
I would say I am surving. I work two jobs on Tuesday thru Thursday I am at day work by 6:30am and I do not get home from second job after Midnight on those 3 days. Once I a while I fill in the weekend for vacation from the other two. I am single mother raising my two daughters who are now 1 in college and the other just graduated from college. The job market is hard for her and is living at home. I redid her bedroom the color she wants and got everything in the room she wants. I pay for her food and car insurance. She is paying her student loans and her car payment and gas and anything extra she wants. She works right now at Best Buy store locally until she find a teaching job in science for high schoolers. She is very bright person. She will fined something eventually I hope. So Yes, I am surving. I do not go out alot either and quite content to stay at home play in my garden or just sit for a while outside in my back yard and watch nature unfold in front me. Thanks Unique16
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
Most people feel that way, like they are just surviving. It is tough especially when we are just able to make ends meet and have children. I know it is hard for me too. We don't get to go out basically at all and we have had one vacation in 8 years. BUT I would not be happy without my husband and kids. That is why I decided not to go back to college because I did not want to put in all of that hard work and be stuck at a job that I can get without a degree. I hope your daughter does find the job she wants. It is hard in this economy!
@nonersays (2660)
• United States
10 Jun 12
I've known for many years that I'm just surviving. Our jobs cover our basic needs, and everything our son needs right now. My husband is content. He enjoys television, and as long as he can come home and sit in front of the TV all night he's happy. He sees nothing wrong. So I guess he would consider himself to be living. But I want so much more out of life that I know I'll never have. If I think about it too much I get depressed over it all over again. People say that money can't buy happiness. I say, give me enough money and I would be a billion times happier than I am now. For me to "live" I would have to be able to quit my job. I would be a stay at home mom. I would play with my child, take him to wonderful and amazing places and teach him about the world.
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
Yeah that is how we are too. And it is funny that you mentioned about your husband because mine is like that also. If he has food, clothes, a bed to sleep in and TV he is thrilled. Probably because when he was younger he did not have half of those. I think money can make us happier but not completely happy. I know if I was offered a million dollars to give up my husband and kids I would tell them to shove the money you know where. I would not want money without my family. Having money and no one to love will not bring happiness, I think that is more what they mean by that... I hope you get to live the way you want to someday. I know that has to be tough. =(
@ElicBxn (60053)
• United States
10 Jun 12
Are you happy? More importantly - are your children happy? I do like to go out to eat, but I've NEVER had my nails done - I get my hair cut at Supercuts, but not all that often. I know when I was younger I lived much closer to the edge, but I was happy.
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
I am happy and my kids are so happy with their life. They don't know what they are missing and they are grateful for everything! I am grateful my kids have the things they need and we are making it each week. My husband and I are doing the best we can and our kids seem happy with the love they get. They know how much we love them and they are contented with the little things...
@blue65packer (11835)
• United States
10 Jun 12
You are surviving. Your priorites are your children and there is nothing wrong with that! Your sister in living but does she have kids? Sounds like you sister has income to do things,like get her nails done and go on vacations! I wish I had the income to do stuff like that! Even though i live on my own by myself I am doing more of surviving then living which I wish i could do! If I had a better paying job,some money in my savings and just to be able to save money would be helpful! Easier said then done!
• Jacksonville, Florida
10 Jun 12
Your right, my priorities are my kids. She does have children also, just doesn't seem like it sometimes. Well she doesn't have a good income but her fiance does. Which is funny because if it was just her she would be living like I am, or just surviving actually. Most people are just surviving right now...