Rich Beyond my Wildest Dreams

The other day, a friend of mine jokingly asked me whether I would be moving into a big mansion and getting a chauffeur driven car, once my novel is published and I have made a fortune.

For a few minutes we invented a whole new life for me; where my riches enabled me to buy whatever I desired and to do whatever I wished. Then we got tired of that, and the conversation moved on to more mundane things.

But let us say this came to pass, because, you know, things happen. Unexpectedly. What would I want?

old car one (2)

I can only listen to one piece of music at a time, no matter how much I may love music.

I can only read one book at a time and, God knows, I have a pile as high as, ooh, this to get through already. I continually try not to buy any more books when I go out. And I continually fail.

I don’t want a flash car. I don’t actually want a car at all, as it happens. I’m stuck with one at the moment, because the work that actually provides me with a tenuous living requires it. If I no longer did that work, I would probably get rid of the car.

A bigger house? No, not really. Perhaps one further out of town, though.

There is travel, of course. More trips to India and Nepal, for a start. But again, time is not infinite, and there would be a limit to how many different places I could go. Would I stay in luxury hotels, then? No. I have no desire to do that. Fly first class? That is probably the one thing I would do. I am tall, and the leg-room on most flights is a little mean even for children. And then my back causes me so much pain at the best of times that any long-haul flight is extremely uncomfortable.

We all use language carelessly at times. What do I mean by rich? Well, possibly something different to what you would mean, then again, possibly not. For some people, the idea of being rich means having virtually unlimited money so that they can buy every conceivable luxury. For others, it simply means not having to worry about whether they can make ends meet in day to day life, and that is the category that I fall into.

I have known people who earn heady amounts of money yet do not consider themselves rich, because they find it too easy to spend it almost as fast as they earn it. I have known others who would consider themselves rich if they came into a very modest windfall.

Today, in the affluent western world at least, the vast majority of us are rich, although we don’t recognise it. Why? Modern advertising is insidious and relentless and companies spend billions of pounds each year persuading us all that we cannot live without their products, that we all have a right to them and that we want (and deserve) them.

And that we want them now.

This has meant that luxury fripperies have come to be seen as necessities.

Audiences watching TV programs, or walking down their high streets, or opening magazines, are constantly bombarded with an unending stream of images of luxury goods that they are told are rightfully theirs, and which are paraded by their football or ‘reality’ TV heroes.

What these advertisers don’t want us to see is that the trash they are pushing is unnecessary and does nothing to enrich our lives.

Now, where was I?

Oh yes, I just have to nip out for a loaf of bread.

Of course, it has to be an artisan-crafted Estonian cob loaf made with organic Bulgar wheat flour milled under a full moon and leavened with yeasts descended from the very yeasts used by the court baker of Peter the Great of Russia and baked for thirty seven and a quarter minutes in a bread oven fired with birch logs and scented with juniper and a teaspoonful of fuller’s earth.

It will be damned expensive, but I DESERVE IT AND I WANT IT NOW.

41 thoughts on “Rich Beyond my Wildest Dreams

  1. An interesting post, Mick. My financial advisor (ho, you know you’re middle class when you get one of them) asked me what I would do if I had all the money in the world? To which I replied, retire to a pothole protected by an army of security guards. Which ain’t fun. He took me seriously. Many of his clients – richer than I can dream of – were grossly unhappy, he said. Whereas a loaf of bread, a jug of wine and one’s wife singing in the wilderness (shades of Omar Khayyam) should be enough to make any man happy. At that point, he had to leave the pub hurriedly, he said, to meet another client. He left me paying for his loaf of bread and jug of wine. Which is how he became a financial advisor…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And yet there are quite a few people in this world who do live in a pothole surrounded by an army of security guards – even if it is a particularly luxurious pothole. My only brush with being financially well-off came with a very well-paid job which I disliked intensely. And I gave that up because I learned that it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable. It’s a well-greased cliche, but it’s true!
      I do have a financial adviser, incidentally, and she keeps me as much on the straight and narrow as she can. I’m sure you can guess who she is.


  2. Well, isn’t this the truth. Wealth is so subjective. About ten years ago while most of our friends were buying bigger houses and better cars, my husband and I downsized. We were only in our late thrities at the time and everyone thought we were crazy. But here we sit, now approaching fifty with no mortgage, only one car payment and a small, yet comfortable living space that doesn’t require all our free time to care for. Now save me some of that bread!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Glad you agree, Meg. When our kids left home, we downsized to a tiny house with no mortgage. It meant, more than anything, that we could both afford to have less stressful jobs. We’ve certainly never regretted it.
      But no, you couldn’t afford the bread unless you have an Amex card!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mick! I appreciate how you’ve put this post. I guess wearing a clear glass and clearer vision is important in life. What use is money if you’re going to leave it all behind? While you slug out everyday!!!

    Since India is on your card…is Jaipur also on your list?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great writing, Mick. I enjoyed reading it. I would be in the same category as our friend, Bun (above) and would be happy to have enough to pay off my mortgage on my little house too. I hope your loaf was good (and not too expensive)! x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post! I completely agree that we have been conditioned to believe that we need (and therefore want) so much more than we actually do. No wonder so many people are stressed and unhappy. Simple is best, I think….for us, for the environment, for everybody!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, Mick. And we find ourselves in agreement on so many points here. Wealth is a curse for mankind as a whole as it’s addictive nature causes huge inequalities that perpetuate many myths and cause great suffering.
    I love this piece. Inspiring; in that I have been thinking of doing something along these lines for a while. I might even get around to that some time in the foreseeable future now.
    Thanks for spreading a little sanity in this mad world we inhabit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Flying first class on an international flight – that does sound nice.

    Maybe some of those grossly unhappy rich folks John mentioned got rich by backstabbing for gain, forgetting that real riches are found in good relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, but deserve what, Helen? The basics of life and a little bit of comfort and security should be enough. I genuinely don’t want those fast cars and yachts and all that sort of stuff. I would find them all a burden, in any case. I’d be worried that there would always be people out to take them from me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mal and I consider ourselves wealthy – we live in a democratic country, we have clean running water, electricity, a safe place to call home and the love of our family and friends. The rest of what we own is luxury items, wonderful to enjoy and we’re grateful we have them, but they don’t define us. Travel has made us realise how rich we are and if I could do one thing, I’d pay for every person who complains about their lot to take a trip to War torn, poverty stricken countries and see just how rich they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ooh, flying first class. Yes, one time I had enough air points to pay for an upgrade. I was flying to the UK via Hong Kong. The flight left Auckland at 9.00pm, so I did the AK to HK leg first class. A luxury seat that converted into a (narrow) bed where I could lie full length. Plus also sorts of little treats. That would probably be my only real lifestyle change if I were rich.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Clothing. I read on article on how much my fellow Americans spend on clothing, and I’m flabbergasted. Can’t remember exact figures, but it was WAY more than I’d ever consider spending.

    I live out in the country, so the car is a necessity, but we do without a lot of the things many people seem to think are necessary.

    People just seemed to be programmed to want more. I’ve applied it to my spiritual and writing life, which seems to work for me. In the end, possessions just mean more stuff you have to take care of. I’m much happier with a simpler life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree with you, Catherine. I hadn’t thought of clothes, but of course there are some people who spend fortunes on them, sometimes just to be in on the latest fashion (look cool / hip / whatever you like). And anything with a ‘label’ seems to cost stupid money, too. Certainly far more than I would ever consider spending on clothes.

      Liked by 1 person

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