I want to address something I heard on Marketplace Money on NPR today.
How do *I* define wealthy? Rich? Well-off?
You know? I have never, ever been asked that question, and it gave me pause.
I mean, you know wealth when you can spot it, right?
I know plenty of money-wealthy - even uber-rich people - whom you would never spot on sight. Never. Including one particularly persimmon-like person with whom I have regular dealings.
So how do *I* define wealthy?
Is it someone who is better off than we financially? Well, maybe. If I weren't in the doctoral program full-time our income would be just fine, for the most part - for everything we want to do here and in the community. And, once I am settled into a tenure-track job that *will* be perfectly fine. Will *we* be wealthy then? I suppose so. Honestly, though? I don't give it much thought.
Is it on par with other people I see around us who are wealthy? You know... I never really considered that. I have around me the things I need and, for the most part, want. Sure, when we move we will need a different home since we won't be staying here, and that will require some different accomodations... but all in all, I am happy. Content. Eventually things wear out, and they will need replacement. So long as we can do that, I am happy.
I've gotten to a point in my life where other people's wealth doesn't bother me. I *would* like to have more room to entertain and a room for Crash to set up his stuff... especially since we likely won't be having children... but really - we don't *have* to have them to be happy.
I would like to travel internationally more often than once in a while. Yes. That would be nice. I will need to wait until I am settled firmly into a position somewhere, but yes, we definitely have that as a priority to do together.
So I guess I am coming down on the side of, "How much money do you REALLY need?" If you are really doing your part in the community and the world, I can't imagine why you would need (or have enough money for) huge marble palaces. Or lots of "bling" or ostantatious displays of ... anything. Sure it might be fun once in a while - a night on the town sometimes is. But when it becomes a habit or a fetish, I think you are seriously in need of a 12-step program.
That said, I know - even with my rather tart look on this - that I am welcome in many peoples' homes - from the poverty-striken to the very wealthy (still asking the question: are we defining this in terms of happiness and contentment or in terms of money - or both?).
I am glad for this.
For maybe it means that, indeed, wealthy is a state of mind.
P.S. lately I had some very unpleasant acid reflux problems. Any thoughts on that? any help that you could give will be much appreciated, do not forget to comment below with your tips, maybe I will get better fast.