It’s interesting that not buying things has made me focus more on what I DO have. And as I get rid of the crap, it’s like lifting a curtain or coming out of a fog. I’m really starting to see how STUFF has kept me busy and distracted, and disconnected from the things that really matter.
Because even though I’m trying to live on less income, not buying anything new, and getting rid of things I no longer need or use, instead of feeling deprived, I’m feeling rich.
I’m rich in love and friendships.
I’m rich in health and well-being.
I’m rich in time to design my own schedule.
Some of my wealth is a little more tangible, and adds to my level of happiness. For example, we planted a lemon tree last weekend, and when it starts producing fruit, we’ll be rich in lemons. And I’m already rich in citrus because along my walking route I have asked and been given permission to pick as much grapefruit as I like from one neighbor and as many kumquats as I want from another. They both seemed happy to be able to share their bounty.
This recession is making people question a lot about their values, lifestyles, and behavior. I think it will have a silver lining if it makes us question our relationship to the planet and the other people living on it. And if it causes us to use a different yardstick to determine how we feel about ourselves.
So how can we measure wealth? Does it only refer to our bank account? Or is it about other intangibles like love, happiness, friendship, health, and time?
How do YOU measure wealth? Please leave your thoughts in the Comments section.