Billy owned a lovely Georgian home in Ilium. He was rich as Croesus, something he had never expected to be, not in a million years. He had five other optometrists working for him in the shopping plaza location, and netted over sixty thousand dollars a year. In addition, he owned a fifth of the new Holiday Inn out on Route 54, and half of three Tastee-Freeze stands. Tastee-Freeze was a sort of frozen custard. It gave all the pleasure that ice cream could give, without the stiffness and bitter coldness of ice cream.
I am not Billy Pilgrim. I do not live in a lovely Georgian home. I am not rich. I do not have five employees, and I don't net over sixty thousand dollars a year. I don't own any hotels or businesses, although I do frequent the local Tastee-Freeze in the summer. Great vanilla malts.
I am living proof that you don't need a whole lot of money to be happy. Tonight, I'm going to write a couple blog posts, read a good book until ten o'clock, watch the news, and then go to bed. That makes me feel rich. Tomorrow morning, I get to sleep in an extra 45 minutes. That makes me feel rich. Then, I will work all day in a place where people like me and laugh at my jokes. That makes me feel rich. Friday nights makes me feel rich--the whole weekend stretching out in front of me.
So you see--wealth isn't what's in you bank account. It's what's in your life account. Mine is pretty full. Sure, I still struggle at work and home. Everybody does. Tomorrow, when that alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m., I am going to hate my life for a little while. I am NOT a morning person. Right now, I'm trying to come up with a clever way to end this post. It's not coming to me. I'm getting a little pissed.
Life is just a series of struggles, with brief toilet and snack breaks. That's the human story. In the middle of all those struggles, however, it's possible to find grace. Right now, everyone in my house is sleeping. Before she went to bed, my teenage daughter came over and gave me a kiss, said, "I love you." Grace. My eight-year-old son played with a three-year-old girl at McDonald's the other evening. The little girl's mother said to my wife, "I've never seen such a nice, polite little boy. Good job, mamma." Grace.
Saint Marty really is a rich man.