Friday, October 14, 2011
What is "wealth" to you?
To me, it is being home with lots of free time to play with our son. It is waking up without the need to hurry and rush. It is taking a leisurely lunch with the option of a nap after. It is having enough flexibility to go on a vacation at the drop of a hat. It is being able to spend the best hours of my day with my husband at my side. It is living with less stress, less demands, less worry about how I'm going to find enough time to hang out with my friend, my son, my husband, myself. It is having enough time to know neighbors, to volunteer for that which is important, to notice the small things. It is being able to produce what we can, and buy what we need. It is eating healthy food and breathing clean air. It is being loved by friends.
It doesn't necessarily mean having a large bankroll.
I have felt the wealth of a large bankroll. It was nice - mostly because I could buy whatever trendy thing I wanted and give large amounts to organizations I liked. But my life was busy and I got to the point where I longed to be compensated with time vs. overtime pay (which is what my previous place of employment had offered me). I didn't need the extra money. I didn't even want it. But I needed the time. And I really wanted it.
I knew a man who once revealed to me that his goal in life was to "break even", meaning, he wanted to work just enough hours to provide for what he needed and nothing more. The rest of the time he wanted to play and read and study and do whatever fancied him. I remember praising his decision in my head and deciding that one day, I would emulate him.
Now that my husband is at home I am tasting that freedom and it tastes better than I dreamed.
I wish more people could experience the life I'm living right now. I wish more people wanted it. I think it would do wonders for people's physical and mental health. It would do wonders for the world.
But it requires a re-evaluation of what one truly "needs". It requires making sacrifices and doing without things our society convinces us we need to live. It requires telling fear to go F-off.