Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What is "rich"?

Perhaps a better question would be "who" is this fave quote:

"Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot."-- Ben Zoma as quoted in Ethics of our Fathers Chapter 4-1 (Pirkei Avos)

The "what" of rich came up a bit during our past election cycle, and likely will be discussed a great deal over the coming months...but that is not the reason I used the quote today....

Those of you with whom I have a personal acquaintance will be quite familiar with my love of all things historical...part of the reason I'm a genealogist and why I always wanted to get back to living in an old farmhouse.....and why I am experimenting with things like gardening and canning and candle making and today....bread making! But, as I go about that experimenting, my thoughts are now frequently on how so many of us may need to go back to the old ways of doing least until the economy turns around.

While I was busy with my first attempt at bread baking, I thought of the economy (something that is on everyone's mind today) but also I found myself thinking of how great it felt to be exactly where I am today. While dinners out and trips to town are going to be few and far between, I am quite content to stay here surrounded by nature and my family.

I have an hour to wait before I can tell if my dough will actually rise, and so I thought I'd use that hour to do a little more research on winter gardening....and after a bit, I surfed on into The Simple Dollar Blog and then followed a link to another blog (The Frugal Duchess) where I found a list of that author's favorite quotes...and re-connected with the one above.

I've read several quotes much like that one over the years and always felt an instant basic understanding of them and as the years have worn on and our fortunes have ebbed and flowed, I've come to appreciate them even more. In our early years of marriage, David felt he needed to work more and more to give me and the kids more and more...and I would say "but what good is the money and the things it buys if we don't get to see YOU?" It took a while but David eventually understood the truth behind what I was saying.

He still works a lot more then I would like him to, but now tries to work only as much as is necessary to be successful at being a valued employee and successful at being content with our lot. My part of the job is to find ways to help him have to work only as much as is necessary so that we can build the memories that will take us into our old age and I try to do that by finding ways to stretch our dollar and therefore our time together.....and to be happy with my lot. And I am....happy with my lot that is.....

Therefore, I feel I am matter what the political discussion over "what" or "who" is rich may eventually reveal~and I wish the same for all of you.............

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