Like most people, I get a flurry of bills in the mail each day. My car’s gas gauge seems eternally stuck on E – empty. I need to go grocery shopping in the worst way. You look in our refrigerator and you see a bunch of condiments, some eggs and a lonely beer or two.
I have about as much as common with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett as I do with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, but I saw a social media post recently titled “Ten signs that you’re doing well in life” though that made me reconsider my financial status.
The posted asked: Do you have a roof over your head? Check. In fact, I sleep pretty calmly each night. Our house is holding up pretty well. I should probably give it a little more TLC — it could use a few minor surface repairs — but it keeps hanging in there. When the temperatures dipped drastically a few weeks ago, I switched on the furnace for the first time and it came to life without missing a beat.
Did you eat today? Yes, I eat pretty good. I could have done without the big burger for lunch, but it smelled so good in my work café. If I skimp on meals or go without, it’s because I’m trying to watch what I eat or cut back on fats, not because I’m short the money to buy lunch.
Do you have a good heart? My first thought was cholesterol. I’m sure my numbers are pretty horrible. I could use less carbs, less fats, but I’m pretty sure the meme wasn’t going there, but instead asking if I had done something recently to help others. Well, it was a slow day. I was at my desk most of the day, but I did make a point to thank a coworker who had gone out of their way to help me with my project. My comments surprised them. They weren’t expecting the praise, which reminded me once again that sometimes we all need a pick-me-up and a warm-hearted thank you.
Did you wish well for others? Earlier in the day, I made a wish that if I didn’t win the Mega Millions lottery, with a record jackpot, then one of my friends or someone desperately in need of a break would win. I know, I know, that’s not what the meme meant, so I wished one of my neighbors well in their bid to buy a new house (even though I really don’t want them to move).
Do you have clean water? Fortunately, my local water seems pretty fresh. No Flint, Michigan water issues here. In fact, I’m trying to drink more tap water, which we do filter, instead of the syrupy, sugar drinks I normally grab from the refrigerator.
Does someone care for you? My wife and kids all seem to care for me. I can’t explain this one. They certainly care for me more than I deserve. I married a saint. As much as I may push her away or do stupid husband things, she keeps loving me and helping me on the path we’ve set for ourselves.
Do you forgive others? I’m great at moving on, not so great about forgiving people. I’m what you might call stubborn. Yes, I know, quite shocking.
Do you have clothes to wear? I could use a new pair of work shoes. My black loafers that I wear to work are starting to look eerily like a homeless person’s. It’s a miracle that they don’t have a hole in them. Now, I’ve been slow to replace them, not because of money or time. They’re simply my lucky shoes. They fit like a glove and it’s taken me so long to get them exactly how I like them, I hate the thought of having to replace them. Stupid, yes, but hopefully, you get the idea.
Did you smile today? Okay, this is a gimme. I find it hard not to smile, even a gallows humor “this sucks” smile. Oh I can be a grump, a real Cookie Monster, Eeyore grump. However, I find it impossible to not break out in a smile at least once throughout the day. So yes, I smiled today, I smiled yesterday, and I’m sure I’ll smile tomorrow.
Are you breathing? I’m not dead if that’s what the meme is asking, so I take that as a good sign.
How much is enough?
In short, if I go by the meme, I’m a rich person, a very rich person. I suspect most everyone reading this blog would fall in that category too. We’re blessed with the basic provisions – food, shelter, a hot meal, clean water, clean air — that many others must fight each day to attain.
From time to time, we all take these things for granted. I certainly fall into that trap, but it was still nice to be grateful for everything I’m blessed to have in my life, things like food and water, instead of the newest fashion or brand name items.
Yes, life can be hard. It can have it’s share of debilitating challenges, but we’re also incredibly blessed if we just look around and notice. Now if I can just remember to stop and pick-up groceries on the way home from work.