Pursuing the "good life"

Every day we are bombarded by media images of glamour, wealth, and power, enticing us to accumulate prestigious things and influential friends. Advertisements feature attractive actors, sleek cars, elegant dinner parties, spacious homes, and modern, well-appointed offices. Most of us are aware that this type of prosperity, the "good life" as it is sometimes called, offers no guarantee of happiness. Still, the pervasiveness of such images in the media would convince us that the pursuit of a glamorous lifestyle is quite natural and desirable, despite the risks.

After achieving an advanced university degree, I started on a fast-track career in business. My job was exciting, it paid well, and my responsibility level was increasing. Then, suddenly, everything changed. My husband accepted a position in another country in the local government of a small town. I left my job and we put our home in the suburbs up for sale. I entered a country where I could not speak the language and had none of the skills necessary for the types of employment available to me. It seemed that I had lost everything—challenging work, salary, influence, home, and friends.

Giving up the old for the new
March 20, 1995

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