Money

Hundred dollar billsThursday, January 29, 2015

Today I am grateful for money.  Good ‘ol US money!  Who among us couldn’t use a little extra cash?  Very few, I’d guess.  Yesterday I read a Tip of the Day that someone posted on Facebook.  It was short and sweet and said, “You always get more of what you are grateful for.”  Aha!  I’ve been missing the boat by not mentioning cash dollars.

I was grateful for the pool, Zumba, patience, friends, policemen, honesty, integrity and hundreds of other things and I either got more of them myself or I noticed others in my surroundings receiving more of them.  Why not money?  Yeah, that’s it.  Let’s try money for a switch!  There is an old joke where Avey asks God why he never wins the lottery? God says, “Avey, you gotta buy a ticket!”  This is my ticket.

It’s not like we were completely clueless and didn’t plan for retirement.  That’s what our three year stint in Jakarta, Indonesia was about.  We planned plenty.  Then we came home to consulting jobs galore. . .until there weren’t any at all.  The country was slipping economically just when we needed a boom. Sometimes circumstances have a different plan.  Who knew that idiots would fly planes into buildings?  How could you predict that investments would tank at exactly the same time when our marketability in the workforce crashed right along with them. . .because of age?  If we had been younger there would have been time to recoup.  But we were there. . .in retirement. . .and surprise!  It doesn’t look like we expected it to look.  Pour another cup of coffee or get some tea because I think I’m on a roll.  I’ll wait. . .

I am a grateful fool because I know that we have it much, much easier than many.  MUCH!  That is another reason I’d like a little more cash.  Wouldn’t it be great to be an anonymous angel?  I’ve had a little experience in that role and I can tell you it is!  The best!  The absolute best!  It doesn’t feel good these days to refuse the myriad of charities that are struggling right along with us, but we have to.  You gotta do what you gotta do, even if it ouches to do it.  Such is life.  No one ever said it was fair. The bastards!

Lest you’re having trouble getting the point, don’t expect to see me singing show tunes in a subway in Philly, with my empty peanut can placed strategically on the sticky concrete in front of me.  I know. . .we’re all really grateful for that!  Oh, I might sing the tunes but who has an empty peanut can when you need one?   I’m not parking Himself next to me with his magic, either, although that might be a lot of fun, too.  Think of the characters I’d meet and write about.   I won’t pull off one of my crazy pool hats and set it on the deck with a buck in it for seed either.  That’s just tacky.  So is the pool deck.

Hey look, I mustered up my courage to write about this because I don’t think we are alone.  I think some of you are in similar situations.  Sometimes there is a lot of judgment out there for people in our situation. I’ve heard the rumblings. They should have been smarter!  Why didn’t they do this?  How could they let that happen?  They. . .woulda, coulda, shoulda. . .whatever.  But the truth is that you just don’t know when you’ll have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes so, reign your opinions in.  Be quiet.  Swallow your words or you might be sorry.  Don’t be too quick to offer your advice or opinion.  Don’t assume you have someone else’s answers.  We didn’t see it coming and you might not either.  You might be one questionable decision, one bad judgment call, one lost opportunity away from those well-worn shoes and they can pinch really badly if you’re not expecting to wear them.  Whew.  This missive is wearing me out!  You still hanging in there?  I’m glad.

We live a good life and manage day-to-day expenses fairly well, unless a car breaks down, or an appliance gives up the ghost.  Surprise!! But we have little left over for the FUN extras of life.  You know. . .a couple of dinners out in a very nice restaurant that serves booze; a weekend get-a-way; tickets to a theatrical production or concert.  You get it.  It would be great to have more than a couple of bucks left over in the checking account after I pay the bills. I love to see pictures on line of friends visiting exotic locations.  I’m so very happy for them.  Really, I am!  I am living vicariously through them, so I better be.  I want to be able to go places, too, and I want enough disposable cash to drag a few unsuspecting, deserving people (grandkids)with me.

Like so many people sometimes we just pretend we have it and live a little beyond our means anyway.  That’s the American way.  Ha-ha. But we have to stop ourselves quickly or we’d be in real trouble.  You only live once.   Life is short.  Be glad you have your health.  We know.  We are. We know. Blah, blah, blah.  And I should be getting a real job. . .but I like being retired.  I’d rather be sitting here writing about money than actually going out every day and earning some.  Been there, done that.  A lot.  The work that is, not the money.  Get it?  I worked a lot, but for not much money.  Okay I know you got it but I had to say it out loud one more time so I would get it myself.  Thanks for your patience while I work through my issues!  Ha-ha. Again.

The truth is that the things I love to do pay squat.  Zip.  Nada!  “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Who said that?  I haven’t a clue, but I know people who have that exact situation with their jobs and they get paid well enough for their efforts.  Good for them!  I’ve had a few jobs that I loved, like selling Halloween costumes and being the Managing Director of a Regional professional theater, and even hairdressing, but none of them paid real money.  Only play money.  The kind that allows you to put a house on Westhampton Way, but not enough for a hotel on Broadway or Park Place.  I want to pass GO on a loop, on fast forward, and collect two hundred dollars a time.  Yippee!

It’s all good.  We’re happy.  And the more I write about being happy, the happier I am, so this crap works!  Back in the day, when I was in catechism class at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, I asked the pastor what the phrase, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” meant.  Did it mean you were supposed to always be poor and never try to get money?  He said, “Love is the key word.  Have money, but don’t “love” it or you will never be happy.”  Okay.  No problem there.  I promise.  I’m just smart enough to understand that all the money in the world doesn’t buy love or solve core problems. . .or mend health. . .or meet all of your needs.  See, aren’t I smart?  Aren’t you glad you stayed with me?  You might have missed all of that profundity.

I’d take friends over money any day.  Seriously.  And I’ve got a plethora of them in my daily life and in my cyber life and I am grateful for every single one of them.   And I just get more and more.  I feel happy to be supported.  If I can make one tiny difference in anyone’s life then I am rich beyond my wildest dreams.  The best kind of rich.  Dream rich.

Traveling on dreams is wonderful, but actually travelling is good, too.  Think of all of the new places and smells and foods and friends I could discover.  Now don’t go missing the point.  I’m not trolling for donations.  Seriously!  Don’t send me airline tickets. . .first class. . . to Italy. . .northern region where John used to travel for work. . . really, don’t.  I’m going to get an agent and publish a book in my spare time so we’ll get there, eventually.  That’s why today I am really, really grateful for good ol’ US cash money.  I’ll let you know how it works out.  Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket. . . like Avey!  $$$$$-Haha!-$$$$$$$$$

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