The things that make me feel rich, have nothing to do with flash cars and designer handbags.
I was reading Penny Wises blog entry yesterday, and she mentioned things like fixing a leaky tap, new towels, a new (expensive) bulb for an outdoor light, and a new frypan as being things on hers and the boys wish list this Christmas.
It got me thinking.
I've had money, and I've been without it. I mean seriously. Not knowing how I was going to pay the rent, the power bill, or buy food or put petrol in the car that week. With three sons, it was pretty scary. Fortunately I had a large family, who, whilst they couldn't often help with cash, were always willing to feed us, give us a lift somewhere, or mind the boys while I went to my part time job or uni (I was a mature age student).
Funnily enough, we were still happy in our own strange way, and the endless budgeting and calculating down to the last cent, gave me a sense of pride, that living in a time of plenty never did. The cutting and slashing of the grocery bill, in order to afford petrol to get to uni or work, and buy the boys their weekly train ticket to get to school, meant we often did without the nicer cuts of meat, and made do with home made water icy poles rather than a tub of icecream in Summer. But we coped.
So here are some of the things that made me feel rich then, and still do now:
1. A decent non stick frypan
2. A sharp knife
3. Lots of teaspoons as they always get used for tea and coffee making, and eating things like yoghurt and never get washed!
4. Enough underwear for us all to last a week without washing
5. A full set of clothes for each weekday, ready and hanging in the wardrobe
6. Enough toilet paper and tampons not to run out unexpectedly
7. Chocolate milk made with powdered milk and home made chocolate syrup, in a recycled milk bottle in the fridge for a treat
8. Home made cordial iceblocks made with the cheapest tinned fruit salad in syrup, frozen
9. 4 matching coffee and teacups, some cloth serviettes and a flower in a simple vase, so that if friends dropped in, I could set a nice table
10. A dozen eggs in the fridge as that meant I could make breakfast, lunch, dinner and bake
11. A clean home
12. A clean car
13. More than a quarter of a tank of fuel in the car
14. Something for the kids to look forward to....a visit to a friend or relative, a drive to a special spot, a movie, a video and popcorn, a sleepover
15. The makings of a home made treat like toffees, fudge, or honeycomb
16. Nice smelling shampoo and conditioner
17. Nice smelling deodorant and soap
18. Nice smelling fabric softener
19. A decent bathmat
20. Good pegs and a washing basket that isn't falling to pieces
21. Made beds and especially ones with clean sheets and aired pillows
22. Clean kitchen bench
23. Iced water with mint leaves frozen in ice cubes
24. Big fat oranges or mangoes or a perfectly ripe banana
25. A teapot
26. A decent broom, mop and vacuum cleaner
27. A flowering plant at the front door, preferably something fragrant like Jasmine or Honeysuckle.
28. Fresh herbs
29. Soft warm socks in Winter
30. Rugs on the armchairs when it's cold
I can't even tell you why some of those things make my life feel abundant, except that the lack of them on and off, made me appreciate them all the more.
What makes you feel rich?