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I grew up rich. But the way I grew up seemed totally normal. Firstly, everyone around us pretty much had what we had. Secondly, my mother never spoiled us.

I remember in middle school, being at the mall and seeing a sweater I loved at the Limited. The sweater was $50. She said, “you do not need another sweater. But if it is on sale next time we are at the mall, I will buy it for you.” It was gone the next time I visited the mall. I still talk about it.

When I got married, my ex came from an extremely poor family and area but had worked his whole life “to make something of himself” and “to be rich.” And he really wanted to live like we were. There were cars, houses, boats, vacations, jewelry, handbags, fancy parties and dinners, a staff to take care of our needs, etc. I loved being spoiled for a little while, maybe the first year or two. But soon the novelty wore off with our marriage and being rich. By then I realized how money and material items in the world could not buy me happiness, safety, love, support, encouragement, belonging, and acceptance. All the things I truly wanted and needed.

When I decided to get divorced, I knew that my whole life would change. I’m not sure I could ever know how much. During the divorce process there were many times my lawyers tried to push me to ask for more money. I didn’t. I wanted enough for me and the kids to live on. I wanted a different life. Not just from my ex but from all of it. We moved to Portland, Maine. The least affluent area I have ever lived in. We have a sweet little house, had one car now two, no staff, no vacations and the only items we had came from our old life. But a greatly edited catalog of those things.

To anyone looking in on my life now, they would say I have a middle class lifestyle. From my perspective, it’s a financial struggle and I worry about having enough. But only in money. We have exactly what we need to get by, even if it is tight.

I found out that I’m a lot richer once I stopped counting the amount of money in my bank account, and start counting the amount of blessings in my life. I learned to value each experience and relationship. Once you start doing this, you will find yourself becoming a richer person too.

If you want to be rich, start investing in love and happiness. And remember, always count your blessings, and not your quarters.

My life, my heart, my soul is filled with so many riches now. All those things I wanted when I was financially rich I finally have. I am living a life abundant in happiness, safety, love, support, encouragement, belonging, and acceptance. This suburban goddess mom is rich, just not in money.

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