“Keeping up with the Jones” is an old American saying, which is to mean that a person is doing whatever it takes to keep up with the economic pace of their neighbors (even if they can’t afford it).
In other words, if your neighbor buys a 52 inch TV, (and you are egoistic) then you will be eager to go and better them by buying a 62 inch one (even if you cannot afford it).
I never believed in falling a victim to that proverb; – but inadvertently I ended up taking up some elements of that bait at a time that I had least expected.
Several years ago, being a young father and an aggressive thinker, my peers always felt that I outdid them financially.
I am usually the first to acquire anything or probably the one to always acquire the best of everything.
But one day I came home to my kids excitement over an inflatable swimming pool that one of my peers (neighbors) had set up in their backyard.
The kids were extremely excited to a scale that almost cracked my prestige.
For me, I never knew that they wanted a swimming pool, neither did they ever give me any indication that they were that eager for one.
To make it worst, even their mother was excited about the neighbor’s pool.
And only a man would understand the agony of seeing his woman and his kids feeling openly exciting about a neighbor’s swimming pool.
Immediately, I knew I had to get a better and bigger inflatable pool.
And even though there were some variations of it selling in Guyana, I was rather determined to have one that no one else had.
So as ego would have it, I travelled to England a few days later on a short business trip, but curtail the importance of that trip on the third day just to locate a premium inflatable swimming pool.
Fortunately, I found a more than desirable one at an aquatic sports shop upstairs the Crawley Town Centre Mall, in West Sussex.
From the first sight of it, you could have tell that it will make the neighbors pool look like a hand-held rubber-duck toy.
So I immediately fell in love with the model item that was before me.
The measurements of the pool itself was at least four times larger than the neighbor’s, and was reliant on state-of-the-art technology that stood out.
Hence, after a few moments of chatting with the sales manager, I forced my hand into my pocket, handed him my card, and quickly finalize the sale.
But transporting it was a bit of problem, since I was leaving London the next morning.
For the size of the box that stored the fittings and the inflatable elements of the pool, it would have been easier to ship it as air cargo. But I was more than determine to take the pool back on the same flight with me to Guyana.
So after much hassle, I subsequently got it checked in as passenger cargo on a Virgin Atlantic flight out of London the next day, and then faced almost a day of hassle in transit at Sir Grantley Adams Airport in Barbados on a Caribbean Airlines flight to Guyana.
Nonetheless, in despite of all the dramas, the pool reached its destination safely, and underwent a surprisingly fast set up procedure in the backyard.
After setting it up, excitement was so fired up that quite a few people from the neighborhood came to see it.
It was much larger, much better and more impressive than any I had seen locally (at that time), and looked like something that was of international standards.
For my kids, it was a dream come through.
They utilized the inflatable pool everyday, and even crossed their chest to never part with it.
But after several weeks of splashing and dashing and rubber duck floating, the pool became quiet.
The kids did not swim much in it anymore.
As the months went by, they started to throw all sort of objects into it, until the signs of abandonment became more obvious.
Overtime the pool was just a shadow of its former self with repeated calls by the kids to just remove it so that they can have more play space in the yard.
The truth is that they have outgrown the pool, and no longer saw any excitement in having it. For them, it has become nothing more than an obstacle in their push for new adventures, and new things alike.
Looking through the window at the deteriorating pool one day, I could not believe that after all that I had been through to import the edifice, my entire family has now lost their interest in it, in as much that they no longer wants to see it.
In the end, I had it removed and then stored, before giving into the reality that it was now nothing more than a pile of garbage.
As I grew older, I was able to liken many situations to that same swimming pool.
When I looked at many divorces, separations and relationship break downs; and for which neither party can give a reason, I reflects on the experiences with that pool.
Because the ugly truth is that just like the swimming pool, relationships and marriages often looses their excitement, in as much that the psychological order of life would force us to reject those relationships and even discern our partners for reasons that we cannot explain.
Most of us would feel that because of the many sacrifices that we have made in the relationship, and because of the many commitments that we have given to our partners, they would have been ungrateful for even entertaining the thought of leaving us.
But whether you want to accept the truth or not, our partners will outgrow us sometimes. That’s the natural order of life.
And when that time comes, there are often no exciting factors in you or the relationship that would realistically make them want to stay.
It will be best for you to be real, and accept the fact that you are outgrown, even though it will be terribly painful to accept this.
After all, at least eight out of ten people would outgrow their relationships throughout 2016 / 2017, with at least six out of ten not standing a chance of even getting it rekindled again.
So, the question that you should now ask yourself is; – whether you will be a part of that ugly statistic.
Because no matter how many swimming pools you go through hell to ship or how many promises made to you that it will be kept forever; – making relationship sacrifices does not necessarily means that your partner would not outgrow you or outgrow whatever you had done for them.
And that’s life.