"In December of last year, a man we'll call Joel found himself skidding through a rough patch in life. He and his wife were remodeling their lovely Craftsman-style home in a tony neighborhood in Oakland when he suddenly started to feel guilty. Again. Guilty about having too much money. As a member of a wealthy family, it's something he has struggled with all of his 42 years.
"Joel told me about his troubles on the first day of spring while we sat in his backyard. A passionfruit vine snaked up the fence and his tow-headed son monitored the flames in the barbecue pit. A wooden play structure lurked in the corner, mostly forgotten now that the kids were older.
"'I started to ask myself: Aren't you getting a little too comfortable?' Joel narrowed his blue eyes. 'Do we really need to do this work on this house?' he said, gesturing at the backside of their home. 'I would spit out — in front of the kids — I hate this life!' Joel said, grimacing at the memory.
"'It was not good,' said his wife, a pretty, small-boned woman with sandy blond hair.
"He had struggled with his identity often over the years, but things had been fine for awhile. Why the latest outbreak of guilt? Joel thinks it might be linked to a mid-life crisis but he can't be sure. All he knows is he found himself struggling to find his 'authentic self.'
"Although many of us would be overjoyed to have his problem — too much money — Joel battles with complicated feelings about it. 'None of my material needs went unmet, and I've carried a lot of anxiety and dread around that,' he explained.
Care to read more about Joel's lamentable plight?