"He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has." - Henry Ward Beecher
December 1991. I was ten years and six months old. I was living in the third house I'd known. My father was running his own construction company and building custom homes. My mother was at-home caring for me, my brother, my dad, the dog, and all the responsibilities running a household brings. Little did I know, before we welcomed January 1992, my world would change forever.
You see, much like now, in 1991 our country was in a recession. People weren't buying houses. Businesses were there one day, gone the next. The situation could best be described as tenuous. My parents were holding on by a thread and the thread broke. No house. No money. One car. Each other.
We moved forty-five minutes away from the life my parents had made and the community of people we knew and loved. We lived in my grandparents' basement. We went to church. My dad worked his way up in retail from sandwich man at the Texaco gas station to selling pools to pretty high up the totem pole at the local Home Depot before going back to running his own business again. My mom worked at Toys 'R' Us for 5 years before getting a teaching job. I watched my middle-aged parents work together to build a new life from nothing. Talk about setting an example.
April 21, 2007. I married a man who, among his other incredibly desirable attributes, is stable, steady, thinks ahead, and was born and bred by two accountants.
Today. I am a saver. I buy primarily based on need, not want. I am crafty, shaping items I already have into items I am desiring. I have a change jar and roll my coins and deposit them in the bank on a fairly regular basis. I rely on my creativity and imagination to entertain me. I borrow books from the library. I enjoy leisurely sifting through the bargain bins and going straight to the sale racks. I adore long walks in the woods or on the beach.
I may not be rich in paper money and coins, but I am rich in love and spirit and energy.
I most value the people in my life, my faith, creativity, dreams, memories, finding the good in the every day... the "little things" some might say.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, "Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor."