Piggy bank half full

piggy bankYesterday morning, while the rest of my house quietly slept, I sat up in bed watching CBS Sunday Morning and tended to bills and our bank account – a chore that I loath.

When I know I have to access our account – checking balances, outgoing payments, incoming deposits, who’s spending how much on what and where – I get very anxious. To the point that sometimes, fearing the worst case scenario, I just can’t look at that spreadsheet.

I stay in a near panic for most of the month. It’s like I’m juggling an elaborate Ponzi Scheme. I have our accounts payable covered on time, and no one goes hungry. We have a few luxuries, but there is very little wiggle room and usually no discretionary funds for splurges. Some weeks I have our money micro-managed down to the last dollar.

We are the stereotypical middle class, one-income family. We would never be mistaken for wealthy people.

While I perused through our most recent spending history, I picked up on what was on TV. Ben Stein, a commentator on Sunday Morning, was talking about Real Wealth. Not so much actual financial wealth, but the intangibles that make us rich.

Good friends and close family, love, overcoming adversity, health, those things that we may take for granted, but are immeasurably valuable.

I sat there, looking at a positive balance on my bank account, knowing there were funds there to pay what I owed and a little left over to take my daughter on a shopping trip for her birthday.

Closing my laptop, I thought of my girl sleeping in her room across the hall. I listened to the quiet snuffles from my snoring husband beside me, and welcomed the wet nose nuzzles from my two dogs. I thought of my son, who was staying with friends and marveled at how lucky he was to have such great friends. Friends who liked him and accepted him OCD warts and all. I thought of all that, and realized how fortunate I am.

Putting aside my worry over my financial assets, I thought of all the riches I did have.

I have a strong marriage, and fantastic kids. My parents and in-laws, while not in the best of health, are still with us and probably too ornery to leave us anytime soon.

I live in a gorgeous part of Florida, and can take advantage of that beauty whenever I want. I have a nice house, in a quiet neighborhood, and reside there without fear. I have good friends I know I can count on if I’m ever in trouble.

No matter how bad life has gotten, we have always found a way to endure and come through any hardship.

I have riches beyond compare, and I need to be more thankful for what I do have and not complain about what I don’t.

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I believe all good fiction includes an element of truth, and all good photography includes an element of fantasy. In this journal I hope to give voice to the stories swirling around in my head, and to capture the images I see through my camera’s lens.

7 thoughts on “Piggy bank half full

  1. this one hits home lately, (daycare payments have made us even poorer over the last few years, which started with a mountain of debt to have our babies..but you know that I count that among the “things I did for love” and “money well (WELL WELL) spent”

    I am terrible with money, John is not thank goodness…and it hurts me when I know he is worrying. Yet, I know that , like you, when it comes down to counting the things I have…I’m a very RICH woman. (your friendship being part of my Assets 🙂 )

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  2. Yup. I have to remind myself of that every time I check my dwindling bank account, too. I was unemployed for six months this year after being laid off from a job that made me miserable, and it turns out being poor is still better than being unhappy in my job, and that was a valuable lesson to learn as well. I hope things get better for you financially 🙂

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