I was invited to go to the theatre by one of my daughters the other evening.  She offered to pay so I said yes very quickly, even before I knew what we were going to see!   However, I would have gone in any case, because apart from the theatre’s beautiful setting (The Watermill, Newbury if you know it) the production sounded right up my street – ‘Spend Spend Spend’!  My husband was a bit nervous in case I got any new ideas…..

The musical is based on the true story of a young Yorkshire couple – Viv and Keith -who won a fortune on the pools* back in the 60’s, and their subsequent journey from rags to riches and back to rags again.  It had everything you could want by way of entertainment – good story, brilliant acting and great music and choreography.  (As it was directed by Craig Revel-Horwood of Strictly Come Dancing fame, you’d expect that.)  I think the rave reviews are totally justified and I’ll spend, spend, spend and go and see it again! (See, I really got into the swing of it!).

However, what interested me was the underlying discussion around money and what brings happiness to people.  The poignant ending to the play led us to think that despite their poverty, Viv and Keith did in fact have a happy life before their pools win – when they had ‘no-thing’ but they had good relationships and friendships.  In their case, moving to a different town, buying a posh house and creating a partying lifestyle was disastrous – they isolated themselves from their friends and what had been their habitual way of life.  Interesting to think that Warren Buffet, who is one of the world’s richest men still lives in the same house he’s lived in for decades

In today’s western ‘civilisation’ (I use the term loosely!) we need money. American business woman, Rita Davenport is quoted as saying:   “Money isn’t everything but it ranks right up there with oxygen”.  I think I’d prefer to be happy and rich, rather than happy and dirt poor –because the thing is  money gives you freedom of choice,   So what makes people like Viv and Keith, and current lottery winners make the wrong choices and blow the dosh?

Could be any number of reasons.  Perhaps they’ve been misled into thinking happiness is dependent on having things.  Perhaps they don’t understand that they could be happy RIGHT NOW, with or without the money, if they took stock and appreciated what they already had.   If only they’d taken the time to find out what REALLY made them happy.  Hmmmm.

So whether you’re reading this having won the lottery, or you’re short of cash at the moment – take some time out to consider what makes you happy.   A great definition I’ve heard is ‘Happiness is the persistent pursuit of a worthwhile goal’.  So if you agree with that, what are your goals for the future?  At what do you wish to be persistent in order to be happy?  Let me know – I’d be very interested.  In the meantime, I’m off to Spend, Spend, Spend again–  I mean the performance, of course!

(*pools.  Just realised that younger people might not know what pools are.  Ask yer dad!)