How much money would it take for you to sue your entire family?  What if 100 million dollars was at stake?  Would you sue your mother?  Stop talking to your children?  I know, it sounds absurd, but people do it.  And I’m not sure if I should judge them until I’ve been in their shoes. Let me explain.

I recently read an interesting article in Vanity Fair about the Agnelli family, they are like the Kennedy’s of Italy, extremely rich and with lots of drama.  When the patriarch of the family died in 2003, the only daughter asked a series of questions about her father’s estate (valued in the billions) that resulted in one of Italy’s most talked about scandals.  The daughter, who is 52, has eight children and is angry that her father’s wealth has been shrouded in secrecy and that certain of her children did not receive the inheritance that they deserved.

She is suing her father’s business confidants, and many of her family, including her mother and several of her children.  As a result,  she has been ostracized by a large portion of her family, including her mother and children.  Whether she’s just blinded by the money or fighting for her disregarded children, I’m not sure, but it made me think about how families can be ripped apart, sometimes forever, because of money.
Whether its billions or hundreds, money can make people crazy and willing to do the most unspeakable things.  But what about me or you, what would it take for us to go to such extreme lengths?
I’m not sure about me.  Would I sue my mother to provide for my children?  I just can’t imagine it.  I consider my parent’s money theirs and think they can do whatever they want with it but, like I said, until I walk in those shoes, I just can’t honestly say for sure what I would do.

Wanting More Is Good

Tonight, I’d like to send you to a beautiful post I just read by a blogger named AnyMommy. The post is called the Space Between and in it, this wonderful writer talks about the gap between the mother she is and the mother she wants to be…which, like for many of us, can be pretty big.

The gap is certainly large for me. I wish I could tell you that I’m happy with the mother I am. But I can’t. I’m constantly thinking about how I should give my children more time, more attention, more patience, more guidance and even more love.

I wish I could tell you that I’m happy with the wife I am. But I can’t do that either. I know that I could be a lot more patient with my husband and not as demanding and yes, bossy (as my family constantly reminds me that I am! Thanks y’all).

I wish I could tell you that I’m happy with the sister, daughter, friend, neighbor…and dozens other things that I am to different people. But again…the answer is that I CAN’T.

But I don’t think it’s bad that I can’t. In fact, I’m thrilled (OK, thrilled might not be the perfect word but let’s go with it for now for dramatic effect) that I’m not happy with myself in terms of all these relationships and roles. I’m happy because I know that as long as I’m unhappy, I’ll be striving to be better. And that’s how I want to live my life.

It might sound crazy but striving to be better is one of the best things I have going for me. I’m not great at a lot of things but at least I’m constantly trying (with admittedly only periodic success) to be a better version of me.

And in the end, I think wanting a better version is a great start: wanting more of yourself, wanting more of others and wanting more from life. That is, as long as you know that success comes with the true effort to get more and not necessarily with “more” itself.