A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

The Good Life

on September 21, 2011

I heard of a child who once said “Mom, we’re living the good life just without the money.” Wise words from a child yet most adults fail to realize that money isn’t everything.

I grew up in a family of ‘somedays’. Someday, we’ll travel the world. Someday, we’ll live in a big house. Someday, we’ll buy a new car. Always looking to the future but never quite getting ahead. My parents have at one time or another worked more than one job to make ends meet. I have worked up to three jobs at one time to make ends meet. Yet still, here I am, the quintessential paycheck-to-paycheck girl.

So let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about money and it’s road to happiness.

When I was married, my husband used to say that he believed our marriage would be much better if we had money. Yet when I think back on all our issues, money was never at the heart of any of them. Money would not have brought him patience, or understanding, or even wisdom any more than it would have brought me the know how to be a wife.

The whole economic change has brought about a change in our focus. We find ourselves focused on money to such a degree that we’re losing sight of what really counts. When my daughter tries not to eat in order to have more food kept in the house, that’s a failing on my part to protect her from what’s going in the world. When she sees me cry because I just found out how much it’s going to cost to send my older daughter to on her eight grade trip, that’s a failing for me.

So it was, I believe, a “God-thing” to hear this child make such a statement. It put it all in perspective for me. So let’s tally what I do have:

  1. Two teenaged daughters who love me, love their family, are getting great grades in school, have high goals for themselves (one wants to be a Marine, the other wants to own her own bakery), are respectful, trustworthy, hard-working, have no interest in drugs or alcohol and actually enjoy going to church. Money can’t buy that.
  2. A mother who gave up her first taste of real freedom to live with me and help me raise my girls. She spoils me daily. A father and a step-mother who not only are generous but love my children and encourage them in their pursuits. A second mother and father who are my lifeline in any situation. Money can’t buy that.
  3. Sisters who are my best friends as well as my confidants. Brothers who are true gentlemen and who’ve never failed me. Money can’t buy that.
  4. The rest of my family all of whom I would clothe, house and feed if any of them ever had need. Money can’t buy that kind of loyalty.
  5. A home that’s full of laughter, love, wisdom and memories. Money may have bought the structure but it can’t make it a home.
  6. Belief in myself and the idea that I can actually live an extraordinary life. Money can’t buy that.
  7. A job that I love working with people who I admire making a difference in people’s lives. Money can’t buy that.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

I used to think that if I only had money, I’d get the car I want and then I’d be happy. But a car is just a way of getting from here to seeing my Dad at his home. Who cares how I get there, as long as I get there for the moments there are precious! I used to think if I only had money, I’d buy a bigger house but not having more room has brought me closer to my family. I used to think if I had more money, I’d hire someone to fix all the things in my house but there’s pride in learning how to do it myself. I used to think if I had more money, I’d give my kids everything they want. But then I realized that I’ve already broken the circle of “someday’ in their lives. No, they don’t have everything but they have a lot more than I did as a kid.

I realize the importance of not having a relationship weighed down by money. However, the few people who have that luxury still have troubled relationships. We have only to look to Hollywood for several examples of this. I look at my aunt and uncle who raised me. Neither came from rich families. Both decided money was not going to be a marital issue. Forty-one years later, neither are rich but they still look at each other as though there are just seeing each other for the first time. Money can’t buy that.

So this week, I took my daughter in my arms and declared an end to living in fear of money. It’s just a tool – nothing more. It’s not life. It’s not our lives, our family, our health or our future.

I am not rich in money but today, I consider myself to be one of the wealthiest people I know.

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One response to “The Good Life

  1. gracefully50 says:

    Your daughters are very blessed to have a mom like you. May God bless you and your family.

    Like

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