As a 47 year old woman, prisoner's wife and mother of three grown children and one grandchild, who is finally able to pursue higher education, I have some words of wisdom to share. I've had the conventional unhappy marriage, the good-paying career and plenty of opportunities to save over the years, which I didn't do. Now, in a hurting economy, without that great job, I find myself pursuing my dream of higher education that eventually leads to a law degree for humanitarian efforts. I've been forced to not only scale down materialistically (everything I own now fits in a closet), I've scaled down in my expectations of what it means to have a satisfying and rewarding life. I used to think happiness equated with a nice house, high-paying job, and the ability to vacation where I wanted. I now realize after losing everything that in doing so I've gained it all - love, peace and my sanity. Do not allow yourself to fall for the American Dream that requires lots of money. True satisfaction is found in simplistic living (save a little each month), a passion to pursue knowledge and education, giving back to society, and having deeply loving relationships. Don't buy the lie and drown in debt. Don't live for "things," live for "others."