Why aren’t you rich?


Like most, every morning I have a certain routine. By 6:30 I arrive at the quaint corner coffee shop an easy mile walk from our house. Not that I walk there in morning, mind you, or any other time of the day, for that matter. But if I did, I presume it would be easy, and just about a mile.

The owner greets me by my first name. I like that. I like to think that makes me special, but it doesn’t. He just has a great memory and greets everyone by their first name.

After placing the same order — egg and bacon sandwich on lightly toasted sourdough and a glass of sweet tea — I sit with the other six or seven that make up our little morning coffee group. We talk a lot about everything, but mostly about nothing as we try to solve all the problems in the world.

It’s the same five days a week. I try not to deviate from it because you don’t mess with the routines of babies nor old people. At least that’s what The Wife says, and I sure that I fall into one of those groups at any given time — maybe two — especially if you ask The Wife.

So how does all this answer the question of why I’m not rich? Well, just read on, dear reader, read on.

Last week, after our little breakfast group had solved most of the world’s problems, the conversation turned to a familiar topic, reminiscing about our past lives.

With a group whose ages range from a young whippersnapper of 40 to a wizened older gentleman in his mid 70s, the reminiscing continued to almost week’s end before it was my turn.

I told them I’ve written a weekly newspaper article for almost 10 years. To my surprise, some had actually read it. I told them about the three books that took years to finish — all of which are unpublished.

Next, they learned about the computer program I invented. It still sits on the desk waiting for me to have time to market it.

Lastly, I told them about the new business The Wife and I are launching in October. All thought it was a great idea and should be very successful.

When I finished, the only question came from Jason, the whippersnapper of the group. “Why aren’t you rich?”

I didn’t have an answer for him then, but having time to think about it, I do now.

Money is just one gauge of measuring how rich a person is, and I would contend it’s a very poor gauge.

The Wife is well on the mend from the surgery that saved her life. The Boy has a great job as a firefighter. Our two cats lie around all day asleep in the sunbeams. When they wake they’ll chase each other throughout our beautiful home. And the black lab under our deck has a water fountain to drink from and a floor fan to keep him cool.

I don’t know if the breakfast group would agree, but my answer is that I don’t have to worry about when I’ll become rich. I’m already wealthy beyond measure.

[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, has been a firefighter for more than two decades and a columnist for The Citizen since 2001. His email is saferick@bellsouth.net.]