Updated on 12.13.11

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Sick Daughter Edition

Trent Hamm

My daughter got incredibly ill on Monday evening. She was completely lethargic and was losing liquid as fast as we could give it to her. We were considering taking her to the emergency room.

Tuesday morning, she’s completely fine. She spends the entire day jumping on Dad’s lap and singing songs and jumping on Dad’s lap and playing dress-up and jumping on Dad’s lap and doing puzzles.

Her resilience is beautiful.

Survival of the Fittest in the Workplace and Myths about Fairness I’m a believer that you should always view yourself as a freelancer at work. You should give value to the organization you work for, but you shouldn’t be controlled by them, either. (@ squirrelers)

Quashing the Self-Improvement Urge My counter-argument to this interesting argument is that if you don’t focus on improving, you will eventually be replaced by someone who will. If you’ve reached a place of security and comfort, then that’s no big deal, but a lot of people aren’t in that place. For me, I enjoy getting better at a skill, which is icing on top of the cake. (@ zen habits)

Avoiding Competitive Shopping for Fun and Profit Even if you got a bigger deal than the other person, you still spent money for something. Businesses don’t exist if they’re losing money on such transactions. (@ get rich slowly)

“I Am Here” Sometimes, those are the most valuable three words you can say. (@ seth godin)

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  1. Michelle says:

    I’m pretty sure my spouse isn’t going to replace me if I don’t focus on improving. And if I’m not in a place of security and comfort with him, then the problem isn’t that I’m not improving myself but that there is something wrong with the relationship. Ditto for my relationships with my friends and family.

  2. kristine says:

    In NYC the competition among women is pretty intense. There’s the local joke that a woman is expected to have a master’s degree, cook like a chef, make 100K, and still be able to give the perfect….

    Being with someone who is constantly striving, constantly telling me how our lives could be better if… how exhausting! I am with the article. If there is anything I’d like to improve at, it is quiet appreciation for all that I have, satisfaction in my accomplishments, and contentment with my loved ones- just as they are. I was a classic over-achiever, and trust me, it’s hard on the family. The pursuit of perfection robs you of experiencing total contentment, it provides merely fleeting moments of pride, before moving on to the next thing.

    Self-improvement/polishing can be an addiction.

    When you constantly trying to improve yourself, the subtle message to your family is that they should be constantly improving as well, which means you think they need to improve. My family is not perfect, nor is my souse, but they are perfect for me!

  3. Becca says:

    Self improvement. I am not inclined to leave home regularly to take adult-ed classes just to improve myself. But at the same time, I can choose use my at-home leisure time in ways that are more constructive. For example, I can read a mindless-fluff novel, or I can read a up on some aspect of history that is currently interesting me. Over a period of years, how free time gets spent makes a huge difference in acquired skills and knowledge.

  4. Evita says:

    Self improvement: I enjoyed the article, but Trent’s comment made me sad…. living in fear that you will be replaced if you don’t improve yourself! what is wrong with being appreciated for what you are NOW ?
    (I am constant self-improver, always has been, but am getting tired of it …. hubby is the “stagnant” type, always has been….. in the long run it never made an iota of difference in our mutual appreciation!!)

  5. getagrip says:

    The only constant in life is change. If you are content now, that’s great, enjoy it for a bit. But what makes you content now may be meaningless in ten years, or after the ten thousandth iteration. I’m content with my kids, they’re great. But does that mean I don’t continue to work at being a good parent, facing and learning about ways of helping them as we all age? Sure, I don’t want to be “super parent”, but I don’t want be uninvolved either or stuck at treating my teenagers the same way I treated them at six years old.

    To me it’s about balance. Improvement doesn’t have to be a frenzy of activity with no enjoyment of what you have. It can be the joy of learning a new skill, a new hobby, etc. It can be the discovery of a twist in an old relationship that makes it feel new. Yet to much focus on the now becomes a focus on the past and how things “ought to be”, because the now is always changing and the balance is learning a good way for you to change with it.

  6. Steven says:

    I actually agree with both Trent, AND Leo. I think there’s a lot to be said about self-improvement, but also a lot to be said about appeciating your life as it is. I’m not convinced these are mutually exclusive ways of living. Both are important and necessary.

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