How I’ve Dealt with the More More More Syndrome
posted on September 25, 2018 | by Chelsea Becker
One feeling that’s still lingering from my twenties, even as I approach #32, is the more more more syndrome. Like most twenty somethings, I worked my ass off to build a career I was proud of, to bulk up my savings accounts, to say yes to everything, and to constantly be expanding my life. It’s a natural part of that decade – and something I enjoyed doing (and had energy for).
But now as I’m adjusting to my thirties, it’s a hard habit to shake. It’s almost like I’ll never be satisfied with how much I have – whether it’s clients, money in the bank, clothes, whatever. It’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately, and I figure I can’t be the only one going through it. So here’s how I’m currently dealing with it in a few parts of my life…
In my career
I quit my steady job as a writer when I was 28 to go into business on my own. From the day I made this decision, I worked constantly to build a clientele base and increase my profits. I had such natural motivation for the first couple years because I knew I had to hustle to grow. And I’m so happy to report that my business is still going strong and stable.
But for some reason, it’s almost like X amount of income or X amount of clients isn’t ever enough. Sure, I’ll be satisfied for a couple weeks with a new client, but then I’ll find myself telling myself I need to find more. Even when my calendar is legit full for 12 hours a day with work and my team is also maxed out. And when I’m making enough to live comfortably.
After hitting a breaking point with my schedule a couple months ago, I did something I never thought I would – I dropped clients and started saying no. It was incredibly uncomfortable (especially because I’m a people pleasure by nature), but it was so effing liberating!
While not everyone has clients and a similar situation to me, I can’t express how powerful saying no to work is. Whether that means stepping back and asking yourself if you really would want your bosses job, or saying no to that third happy hour of the week. What’s something that would lighten your load? Would making more money actually make you happier? Or would taking a lower role with less responsibility? And would it actually negatively affect your life? Or are you just brain washed by the more more more syndrome?
With my living arrangement
I’m almost 32 and I still rent – which is a statement that has taken me so long to feel OK with. It’s not where I thought I’d be at this age, especially as my husband and I begin to start a family. I thought I’d own that perfect little house and be totally settled. But I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and things are really expensive – plus, the market is at a high and personally, it doesn’t seem like the smartest time to buy (for us).
We have a rental house that we love and feel totally at home at, and I’ve learned to accept that. Sure, owning would be great, but it’s not as glamorous as it sounds (as friends have told me). For now, renting makes sense for me and my family, and that doesn’t mean I’m unsuccessful.
If you’re not in a place to buy, you’re totally fine! If you’re struggling with finances while renting, I’d say that’s a time to reevaluate finances and how much you’re spending on life – but if home ownership doesn’t sound good yet – remember that it’s OK. I know some people who choose to rent their whole life because they like the simplicity of it! And I’d never call these people unsuccessful – so don’t call yourself that, either.
In my marriage
Like most relationships, when my husband and I were first dating, we did a lot. We had a sex a lot, we went out a lot, we went on a lot of trips – all the things that happen early on in relationships. Which was a ton of fun, obviously! But it was also kind of exhausting and expensive.
We eventually settled into our ways of living together, staying home, watching movies instead of going to the bars, and putting money towards our savings instead of things like concerts. We both love being home and just hanging out together, but there’s still this semi-constant ping in me that we should be doing MORE. Why aren’t we out all the time like some couples I see on Instagram? Why don’t we like exploring more instead of hanging at home?
Having conversations with my husband about this has helped a lot. As a guy, his brain doesn’t run all the time like mine (in that way) and he doesn’t suffer from comparison. Touching base with him and letting him remind me that our happiness looks different from others’ is SO damn refreshing. I highly suggest doing the same if you find yourself feeling #FOMO of other people’s relationships. Think back to what actually feels good to you – not what social media says is the recipe for a good partnership.
With my finances
This has been so ironic for me to witness. In my twenties, I could barely save $5. I lived paycheck to paycheck for most of the decade, and would be incredibly proud if I had a few hundred bucks in my savings. Somewhere around 27-28, I finally realized how important a savings was – and I began to prioritize it. I’ve made huge strides and feel good about where I’m at – yet it never seems like enough. Even though if I looked at my savings now when I was 27, I’d be ecstatic!
Because of this, I’ve started setting goals and have opened a few different savings accounts. This way, once I hit a goal, in say my “fun money,” I buy something fun – without guilt! Most recently that was a new car, and while I’d usually stress out about this, I didn’t! I knew I had the money and had worked hard for it.
I urge you to set goals for your finances (some will be ongoing, and that’s fine!), but cut yourself slack in certain accounts. After all, what’s money if you can’t spend it enjoying life?
OK – feel like I could go on forever here, but I’ll stop there. Let me know if you guys like this post and I’m happy to write up a Volume 2.
Please share how you’ve dealt with being OK with less this decade!