Wot's it all about, then? John Green, youtube person, was reflecting on being grateful for having enough [4mins] and thankful that he was side-stepping the precarity [technical term] which besets that half of the world which exists on $2-a-day. It was flagged on MetaFilter where some wag put up the alternative Key Largo view of wanting more and more.
I had the huge [unintended consequences] advantage of having a brilliant older brother. At some early stage I reckoned that I'd never match that, so I stepped off the merry-go-round. I tell my kids that my ambition genes were shot off in the war. [soccer]I was much better as Left Back than Centre Forward[/soccer]. When you're 7, a 10 y.o. brother may have seemingly unattainable skills; when you're 67 the playing field is pretty much levelled. But those early pressures and choices do set the clock.
It's always been easy for me to achieve good enough. And indulge myself in a little subversive piss-taking directed at The Man. That's substantially because I was born white & ♂ into a professional home in 1954: in 1986 we bought a home that cost 1.4x my then humble govt salary. A starter home for Dau.I is as near as dammit 14x her govt salary. That makes her living much more precarious than mine ever was. I was talking to my elderly [older even than me!] neighbour at the time of 2008 crash and bail-out. She remembered life being pretty hard chaw as a farmer in the 1980s recession. But she said brightly "At least, poor as we were, we had no debt". The bill of goods which our society has been sold [have now, pay later; have more now; everyone in the office has more] means that balancing the books is way harder.
I never got tenure at . . . Anywhere U; indeed I never secured a permanent job and my pension is shot full of holes; but I had 40 years in science and now I'm easy