Wealth

I recently listened to an interview with Suze Orman, the money gal. She is the one always on PBS talking about how you can keep your hard earned money. She corrects the mistakes people have already made in their financial choices and sometimes does it in a very eye-opening way. In other words, she preaches.

Now I like what she says most of the time but sometimes I feel down right stupid when it comes to my finances. Let’s just say it’s not one of my strong points. So when I listen to Suze I don’t feel like I’m the brightest one on the block.

But this last interview really stuck with me. She talks about her eight qualities of success. I liked what she said so much I wrote them down and put them on my bathroom mirror so I would remind myself every day what it is to be wealthy.

Here they are…Harmony, balance, courage, generosity, happiness, cleanliness, wisdom and beauty.

“Now I know this seems very basic and obvious,” I said to myself until Suze started taking each word and describing what it meant to her. And that’s when I started thinking about what it meant to me. I have to say it was more difficult than I thought. I can tell myself what each of those words means to me but actually living them is a completely different animal.

Courage is the ability to make choices that bring harmony and balance. And that comes from being in a total agreement between what you think, say and do. And then to be calm about it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself why I said what I did and then not have the courage to own it. Feeling more ashamed and embarrassed.

Generosity is giving with no strings attached and happiness comes when all four of the above comes together. Sometimes easier said than done. Definitely a work in progress.

As is wisdom which is the ability to make the right decision at the right time. Cleanliness stems from the wisdom to clear your thoughts and access the balance and harmony to find courage.

And last but not least the beauty when you incorporate all of it to find the wealth in life. Not necessarily all about money. In fact, very little.

As Suze sees it, it’s the foundation that propels you from being overwhelmed to empowered. Gotta say I’m right there with her. And I didn’t even have to use math.

Overload

Where did five months go? My calendar was full. Not with work but with life. House, reading, visiting friends, dinners, baby shower, etc. And in between all of that starting a new venture that has been in the back of my mind for five years.

My to-do list always seemed to be too much and too longterm. Which meant the same things kept being carried over day after day after day. I still haven’t cleaned up my computer or my garage and God knows when that will happen. I know the computer especially is a necessary evil but because I am so computer illiterate I can’t imagine I will conquer that anytime soon.

Yes, I should hire someone to sit and help me but I haven’t taken the time to find the right person who will be knowledgeable, but more importantly, patient. I know I will have to strap myself down to go through it so I can’t imagine it will be any fun for someone holding my hand through the process.

I have said before my life worked even before computers and cell phones and all the other things that are now at my fingertips. But I have to admit it is a hell of a lot easier to find information, communicate for business and connect with people I have lost touch with over the years.

I know I get anxious when I don’t have any internet service because God forbid I miss that life changing email that will tell me what direction I should go in my life.

I am an information junkie and can spend hours just on google alone learning new things. I use to carry a book everywhere I went especially when I lived in NYC and spent many hours riding the subway. Now I pulled out my phone when I was riding the subway instead of the NYC Times or a magazine or book.

I must confess I still get the Sunday NYC Times delivered every week and have stacks of books by my bed to read. I still love the physical feel and the familiar smell of a new book. Old habits die hard.

But there are days when I feel overwhelmed and overloaded. And I’m not even working! How did I do it before? I just did. I was overtired and anxious and grumpy. I am starting a new project soon and feel better knowing I took that time to organize what was missing in my life. Me. I took the time to find out what I needed to somehow keep a bit of balance in my life and work.

Not saying that it will be perfect but I feel clearer now knowing where I want to go. I know my home is my haven and being able to come home to my own bed has been heaven.

Lamott

Anne Lamott is one of my favorite writers. She has published 18 memoirs and her book, Bird by Bird, is an iconic book on writing. It was one of the first books I read when I decided to start writing. She is passionate, funny and thoughtful.

Her view of writing is right on the money. To quote Anne Lamott, “Books are as important as almost anything else on earth…unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

I have come to writing later in life. I am the same age as Anne Lamott. She has been a writer her whole life. She also has moments of writer’s block when faced with that empty page. She tells a story of her younger brother having to write a paper on birds and he waited until the last minute. He was close to tears overwhelmed with the huge task ahead of him. Her father, a writer, sat down next to him and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

I recently applied for a scholarship for an online writing course. Not knowing what to expect I figured I would write the reason why I want to take the course. I wrote as I do in my blogs, from the heart. Needless to say all of my doubts where right on the surface. I figured it was now or never. Out of 1900 entries from around the world they chose sixteen people and I was one of them. Yep, at 64 I am on my way. Who knows where it will take me. But as Anne Lamott’s father once said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”