Most Americans used to dream of owning their homes, driving a fancy car or even owning their own business. But with the recession, Americans have changed their dreams a bit. It seems that one day the economy was booming and the next things were crashing all around us. Housing prices were falling, companies were failing and lay-offs hit a 30-year high in a matter of minutes. Along with the economic changes, lifestyles have changed as well. Many with 401k and other retirement plans have had to hold off on their retirement and even head back to work in order to compensate for lost funds. While many families have been struggling to keep food on their tables, they have come to the realization that the latest video games, cell phones and other high tech devices, are no longer a top priority. Kids being involved in soccer, dance, piano, and every other extra-curricular activity has led to bigger and better things, like spending time together as a family taking the dog for a walk or hanging out at the park. The American Dream has become one of simplicity and peace. More Americans are staying home and eating at the dinner table with their children. They’re going camping or playing at the local beach instead of traveling to far away amusement parks. Paying off credit card debt has become a priority to many and shopping at Wal-Mart or Target have taken the place of shopping at Nordstrom or other high-end stores. It seems that we are beginning to realize what is really important. Not the big house or fancy car, but family, friends and financial stability. One thing hasn’t changed in America, we are still the most giving country in the world. But nowadays, we are giving more of our time. We have had to cut back on our monetary donations but many are realizing that their time is just as important as their money. Volunteering and serving others is also a great way to help forget about your own problems. So, while we would still like to own a piece of the American Dream, we are realizing that family and how we spend our time can bring us more peace of mind than any home ever could. After all, who cares what the Jones’ are up to!