What is truly valuable to you? My list

We, as Americans, have become so enamored with consumerism and fresh acquisitions, we cannot perceive the abundance with which we are surrounded.

In our need/want/desire for more, more, more, we overlook those things that if lost, would prove to be invaluable.

I, too, have fallen prey to the art of acquisition.  Choosing “Retail Therapy” to treat the lack of a satisfying relationship with a soon to be ex-husband, I was more than willing to spend two weeks’ pay on a wool gabardine suit from Neimen’s and another $700 on a pair of Jimmy Choos.

The fact that I’d saved more than I’d spent was deemed irrelevant by the husband who refused me couples therapy (the ONLY thing we should have spent that money on).

In later years, having ended that marriage and yet another, and raising my children alone, I reached a level of affluence to which I’d never dared aspire.  I did this by working with real estate investors and leading them safely and more important, legally, through the quagmire of financing real properties.

Being exposed to their wealth acquisition models, and like many others, convinced that owning real estate was the road to wealth, I began my pursuit of rental properties.  I had a long-term plan that was fueled by my experience with other investors and my knowledge of finance tools.

Had I begun in 2005 instead of 2007, I’d have accomplished my goal of retiring from that miserable business, residential mortgages, and have had a nice portfolio to place in trust for my children.

2008 changed my life-like a fight with a 900 pound gorilla and I’ve spent the last couple of years refining my idea of the truly important things in my life.

friesan1In no particular order these are the things that are worth more than any of my tangible accomplishments.

  • the unconditional love of a child.
  • the magic of the sunlight in the fall.
  • the smell of sweet basil that persists in my herb beds even though it is the end of October.
  • the beauty in the well-muscled gait of a horse.
  • the wild cry of the red-tailed hawk that nests nearby every summer.

I’ve come to believe that more than anything we do in this world, the way we treat other people is the most important mark we’ll make on this earth. Something taught in Sunday School before you’re five, but in life, it seems seldom acted on.


Tomorrow, ten things you should know by now.