There are people who have money and people who are rich. ~ Coco Chanel
You know I hate to be predictable, but when you’re writing a month’s worth of posts about things you’re grateful for, certain subjects are sort of bound to come up.
So today’s thankfulness has to do with something that was going to show up here eventually. Something that everyone’s lives revolve around in one way or another. Something that most of us, at some point, wish we had more of.
Of course. On some level, in modern society, money defines the parameters of our lives. Money determines where we live, whether we can go to good schools when we are young, whether we can go to a doctor when we are sick, and it determines the quality of food that we eat (thus also determining how likely we are to get sick in the first place).
And you know what? Right now, at this exact point in my life, I have enough of it to live well.
I’m not going to pretend that I earned it. I was lucky. I happened to be born white and middle-class. I happened to have parents who were well-educated and thus taught me the value of education. Above all, I happened to catch the attention of a man who, long after marrying me, came to hold a job which pays him enough for our little family to live comfortably on, without my having to have a paying job. I’ve been unbelievably lucky.
Because we have enough money, we were able to buy a beautiful old house in a quirky, working-class-but-gentrifying neighborhood. We have two (admittedly old but very well-loved) cars. We eat fresh food every day, can go to doctors when we are sick, and are slowly-but-surely paying off my mountain of student debt. I can comfortably indulge my novelty sock habit, even.
We can even afford to put Sausage in daycare twice a week. This has been a real game-changer for me: it’s giving me the time to write, to have my own doctor/dentist/hair appointments, and to work on the scripts and choreography that I need to memorize as a freelance actor. And that’s not even getting into the laundry, errands, and general chores that I suddenly find myself able to do.
And you know, it’s been a game-changer for him as well. In the four weeks that he’s been attending daycare — only two days per week, mind you — his language skills have shot through the roof. His social skills have improved. And even more than either of those, he and I seem to enjoy being together more for being apart occasionally. It’s been a wonderful experience for both of us.
And it’s all because we have enough money to make it happen. The money that gives my family security, comfort, and the time to pursue our passions. That’s what it means to be rich, even if I won’t be buying my dream Jaguar any time soon.
How very lucky I am!
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