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Saturday, December 10, 2016

What Makes You Feel Rich?

Of course, it might be nice to actually be rich - but then - maybe not so much. If one is very rich maybe one has go about protection mode - guarding against those who either want to steal those riches or just plain hate the rich. I wonder if the rich always have to be prepared - sort of like if you ever smoked. You had to be prepared. Did you have matches? Did you have cigarettes? Did you have coins for a machine if you were out or bills for store. Were you over 16?  I sometimes think the best thing about quitting smoking was that I could walk out the door with nothing in my hands.

Okay, maybe not the very best thing but ... one of the true positives. And of course, not smoking made me richer than I'd have been if I were still popping what? $5 a pack? $7?

Image result for richie rich Lawsie - how easy it is to stray from the topic. So. To feel rich. What does it take? Very early on (like 8 years old, maybe) I figured out that if I felt rich that would be good enough. I was already one with the Virtual Reality.  The child's cartoon version of rich looked a little creepy to me - if you remember the Richie Rich comics - and Scrooge McDuck. Image result for scrooge McDuck
Of course, they were supposed to be funny. I understood that. Certainly the longing for instant gratification is both ancient and universal. The folklore of every culture has a wish granting genie, fairy, fish, magic ring, or wand out there somewhere just waiting to make your dreams come true and the moral of most of the stories is that money doesn't buy happiness.

Image result for little house in the big woodsAnd isn't happiness what we're all looking for? ... well, okay. Who am I to say what other people are looking for. It's certainly what TheQueen is looking for. My earliest memory of pondering wealth dates to when I first read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods. Her tale of Christmas riches was an eye-opener. Child of the 50's as I was, I'd already been exposed to the extravagance of a television advertised, shopping center Christmas.  Yet Laura was as overwhelmed by having a candy cane, some mittens and a doll as I was by all the largess to be provided by a daddy who absolutely loved to go shopping.

Something told me that wealth is relative and the enjoyment of the experience is up to us. This concept was one of the driving forces in my early adult life and I found it was true. I could be as happy in a 1 room house with no plumbing or electricity as I could in a house in the city. Cool.

Still - I like to feel rich. I like to feel the gushing outpouring of possibility. I tremble with the tingling, open, liquid sensation of it when I'm driving away from a family reunion where I just love everybody to pieces. I gasp with the soaring feeling of walking into the middle of a field with a vast sky overhead, bald eagles wheeling above, and knowing that I am safe. I am aware there are people who don't have that kind of safety.  I love to tell my story hour children how rich I feel when I hear the sound of a whole box of 64 crayons spilling onto the table - with only one white one in the pile. It's as if I can color the entire world with that much wealth. I savor the utter luxury of stretching my legs out in bed, knowing I don't have to get up and go to work. I hold close the giggling laughter of an afternoon with a friend, doing nothing, just talking and sipping coffee.

Sigh. I think, if you have possibility, you are rich and if I could give one gift to the world, this Christmas, I'd give it the wealth of possibility.

1 comment:

  1. So many things make me feel rich, and some are even monetary! I love being able to buy that extra special 99% dark chocolate bar that Ken loves, and not having to worry about being able to afford lunch too. I love being able to go out to lunch every work day in San Francisco - what a luxury, even if it's often take out and back to eat at my desk. I love the luxury of socks that fit my feet because I knit them to fit. The absolute wonderfulness of walking in the tiny downtown area and shopping locally, having a quiet hour or two to read on weekends, picking ripe tomatoes or apples or figs that we grew - more luxury. Tea at the tea shop - alone or with friends - yep, more luxury. Just a few of my favorite things!