Why Johnny Cash reminds me to appreciate my riches

I always found Johnny sexy. Now he makes me appreciate my financial freedom.

This post was originally written for Wells Fargo’s blog contest. It lost. 

On the 1st of each month, I wake up energized by a full night’s sleep to my 2- and 4-year olds’ sleepy requests for snuggles. Then we launch into our hectic, insane life. First stop: the kitchen where I brew coffee, pour milk and stew apples for the oatmeal. We all dance to Johnny Cash on the radio.

A few years ago the 1st of the month looked a little different. I woke up groggy and cranky thanks to nights spent in terror that the mortgage payment would bounce. My imagination went bonkers, envisioning one missed payment morphing into dozens of missed payments, ultimately resulting in foreclosure and homelessness. I lived in constant fear.

I grew up with similar financial worries, but in my 20s my husband and I learned to make money, save, invest and buy real estate. For the first time in my life I no longer lived paycheck-to-paycheck. I enjoyed the vacations and a few nice pieces of jewelry. Still, the best thing that money bought was peace of mind.

I divorced three years ago and found myself financially responsible for two tiny kids. Again, I was terrified that the three of us would succumb to a life of perpetual money-anxiety. Instead, I built up my writing business, and today, I make more money than ever. I sleep better, too. Those restful nights are the best reward because they give me the energy to be a better mom – one who boogies with her kids at dawn.

 

Apple oatmeal (serves 3-4)

Toast some slivered almonds. I like using the toaster oven and a Pyrex pan.

Boil water in the kettle

Heat up a large sauce pan

Melt a few tablespoons of butter until bubbling

Dice up 1 large or 2 small apples and toss them in

Cook until soft and a little brown on the edges

Add some cinnamon and whatever other spices you like – cloves, cardamon, nutmeg, whatever

Throw in a cup or two of oats (either traditional or steel cut — NOT quick-cook or instant)

Add enough boiling water, then cook until done

Serve topped with brown sugar, milk and nuts

 

 

 

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