What it Means to be Rich

One of the most impressive things my wife has done is get all 3 of our children sleeping through the night by 3 months old.

And the second time around we did it with twins, which was a godsend since those first 3 months were a blur.

So we’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to sleeping through the night with our kids. The times where there is a problem in the middle of the night are few and far between.

We had a bad night last weekend with my 4 year old daughter. She woke up around 3am and kept us up for a few hours. She just couldn’t find it for some reason.

It happens.

I am not a morning person in the slightest so I was a tad grouchy the next day. The problem is, kids don’t care how poorly you slept the night before. They’re ready to get their day going either way.

My wife and I have a good system of divide and conquer when necessary so the next morning I took the kids for a family bike ride to get them out of the house to give her some peace and quiet after a rough night.

On our bike ride we approached an older couple that was walking in the opposite direction. The woman, who looked like she may have had grandchildren based on the way she smiled at my kids, said to me, “You’re a very rich man.”

Here I was feeling sorry about myself because I was tired from the night before and this stranger hits me with a perspective bomb out of nowhere.

I love the way she put this. She didn’t say I was lucky or blessed or had my hands full (I get that a lot with twins). She said I was rich which is not the way I ever looked at this before.

There are many ways to be rich beyond the amount of money you have in your investment portfolio or checking account.

Plenty of people have a lot of money in the bank but terrible personal lives.

Having millions of dollars wouldn’t come close to providing the same feeling I got this past week watching my 7-year old scale a rock wall like a champ or confidently walk up to do a high ropes course with zero signs of trepidation or fear.

Huge gains in the stock market can’t possibly match watching my little guy ride his bike for the first time this summer.

No amount of money can melt my heart the way my youngest daughter does when she says something sweet to me out of the blue.

Being a parent is not always easy. At times there is chaos, yelling, screaming, crying, fighting, pouting and puking.

But there’s also laughing. Lots of laughing. And smiling. And joy. For me, having kids is like setting a constant memory factory in motion.

Obviously, there are other ways to be rich that extend beyond family.

Some people find fulfillment in their work or other meaningful relationships or hobbies or nature or travel or something else entirely.

And don’t get me wrong — money still matters. It may not make you happier but it sure can make your life more comfortable and convenient.

But money itself isn’t all that fulfilling. A truly rich life goes beyond money.

Further Reading:
If You’re Still Worried, You Aren’t Wealthy