A look at some of the ways that I’m wealthy without money. There are moments in most days when I feel grateful, an everyday gratitude. And sometimes whole days when I feel very wealthy. I have almost no money, no savings, no little nest egg, no rainy day fund and yet I feel rich. How can that be?
Well, I am rich with things that matter to me and as long as I have just about enough money to pay for the things I have to pay for, it’s these other things that are more important.
The love of my family gives me a feeling of belonging and of security. Although I don’t see my brothers very often (as they live on the other side of the Atlantic), there is a constant and a grounding feeling of knowing that they are there, unseen and often unspoken to, but there all the same.
My sister would be a close friend if she was not my sister, we share the same values, sense of duty, honor and compassion and we have a similar sense of humor and laugh hard at the same things which often leaves us in tears and with aching sides.
My daughter is a mini-me (although she probably won’t thank me for saying so!), although she is brighter, has more sparkle and is heaps wiser than I was at her age. I love her unconditionally and by the bucket-load.
My two grandsons are a surprising source of love, I had heard all the sayings about grandchildren being even better than having children and not really understood what was meant, and now I do! Those two little boys evoke a gush of love every time I think about them, I can see their good and less endearing traits (and we all have those!) and love them anyway.
I have a small group of friends that have been part of my life for a very long time. We don’t always see each other regularly, but we do communicate one way or another on a semi-regular basis. We’ve been through good times together and been there when the bad times have gripped us, celebrated our personal happiness and supported each other through sad times.
More recent friends also bring delight and sparkle, these friendships built on shared interests and laughter and I am looking forward to making more friends in the area that we have just moved to.
Love and Laughter
These are two things that I don’t want to be without. As long I feel love for others, feel loved and can find things to laugh about, I know that I am doing alright.
Finding love after fifty with Mr J has been the most wonderful experience. Between us we have a little wisdom that comes with learning from the errors of previous relationships. Rather than tiptoe-ing around what could be sensitive subjects (like money, our values, our expectations) we had open and frank discussions when we decided to move in together, finding a way that we could build a solid basis for our relationship and so far it works, it works really well.
I find laughter a great healer and binder, it lifts my spirits for much longer than the time it takes to laugh, it has a lasting and lingering impact and makes me feel closer to those I laugh with.
Good Food and Health
Nowadays I know that my health is inextricably linked to what I’m eating and drinking, not just on a general level but on a minute, intricate level. I’ve had to change what I eat, when I eat and how I eat.
We are working towards producing enough of our own food so that we will only need to purchase a few items and for those we will try to source local organically produced foods. There are some obvious exceptions, for example, I don’t think there are many locally grown bananas in our corner of Wales.
Because I am not absorbing nutrients properly, I also take a host of vitamin and mineral supplements to stave off some of the pretty unpleasant effects of under-nutrition that have appeared over the last year. Whilst some of them persist, they are now manageable.
So I have come to appreciate the benefits of good food and value my health and well-being and these things are key to me feeling wealthy without money.
Space to think
This doesn’t need to be physical space, but it does need to be the time and a place with relative quiet.
When I worked in a very busy office with a small call center at one side and marketing department on the other and my desk slap-bang between the two, I could hardly hear myself think.
Because of this, I used to go into work earlier than anyone else and have an hour or so on my own to gather my thoughts for the day, write plans and proposals and anything else that wasn’t just responsive or reactive to the hectic office during normal working hours.
I used to leave an hour earlier than my co-workers too, which I am not sure went down too well and I used my drive home (which took the best part of an hour) to think.
Now I have both the time and physical space to think. As an early riser, I use the first hour or so of the day to think about anything I want to mull over and I have fabulous views to look at while I am thinking.
When I am outside, in the garden, at a rugby match or in the countryside I enjoy the cold air on my face or the warmth of the sun on my skin.
Our new home has fresh air by the bucket-load. The breeze that constantly comes from the estuary can sometimes be overwhelming, but mostly it’s brings with it a steady flow fresh, clean air that I find uplifting and refreshing.
Working in the garden gives me ample chance to be out in the fresh air and even on days when it’s pouring with rain and blowing a hoolie, I need to go out to feed and care for the animals. I like those blasts of cold, they blow away the cobwebs, help to clear my mind and make me all the more appreciative of the cozy warmth of our home when I come back inside.
So there it is, everyday gratitude for being wealthy without money. There are lots of other things that make me feel rich and I make sure that I not only notice them but also appreciate them regularly, after all, there’s little point in being so wealthy without enjoying it!
This is an excerpt from a blog post originally written 25th March 2016, in which I explored some of my thoughts and feelings as we set up a new garden and homestead.