Fortune Friday: Wealth isn’t always about money, sometimes it is about presence.

I painted a wall of my house today. It was hot out there. And painting soffits while up on a ladder was not the thing I wanted to be doing.

To be honest, I wanted to be working on my business. I wanted to be growing that space and making more content. But we are refinancing. So, I must get some things done, and I am the painter-lady. Tom has way too much on his list, and I told him to leave the paint for me. I do really like it, I just feel antsy about my business.

I feel like my home life cycle seems to have a very specific routine-buy a house. Redo it. Have the privilege to finance with private money. Put a roof on in September in the heat. Then refinance a year later, while you’re still racing to finish jobs, and have likely run out of money.

This is the story of our last two years. Two houses. I guess I could be in what is “house poor” right now. I know many of you that have been in this place, so you get me. But, I don’t feel poor. I just have a small cash flow problem, and I refuse to think about money in a negative way.

And look-just look-I was telling myself. LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAVE.

It’s beautiful. And I was out there in the hot sun painting, and listening to my Coyoacán mix. It was pretty nice, actually.


I left at 1:30 to go down to the river path and walk to my son’s work at the mall. I met him there with a small picnic and we walked back to the river, sat on a bench on the river bridge, and ate our sandwiches. He’s really struggling with what his life path is. It’s actually so lovely to be here with him in this space.  I have spent a lot of my parenting (and teaching) time rushing people to a solution. He’s just on his journey right now. And I love that I can have the calmness and mindfulness to just be with him as he walks this path. What a huge blessing. What a fortune.

I came home and continued on the paint job. I was in a crummy mood because I was behind on what I’d wanted to get done. I wanted to impress Tom before he got home from work, but he beat me home. I wanted him to see it as he drove up after work and gasp. I got all bummed because I had placed expectations on myself that I wasn’t able to meet. But I had also placed the expectation of bringing my son lunch the day after his birthday (yesterday we went to a Mongolian restaurant, one of his favorites) and just making space for him to be himself.

As I was painting and feeling grumpy, I had to remind myself of what a HUGE WIN that is for me as a parent and human. I just spent a few hours with my son, letting him just be himself.

He’s a delight. I took away this gem of wisdom from this now 19 year old man:

“Sometimes I envy crows and ants and other animal species. They know exactly what they need to do to survive, it’s inborn in them. They don’t have all this other stuff in their brains that makes it hard and confusing.”

Moments later he was wishing he had a recorder in his brain so he could remember what he’d just tried to explain to me. I kept telling him that I was actually getting everything he was saying. The poor guy over analyzes himself so so much.

Before he was born I knew the journey I’d have with him would be so much different than my journey with his sister. She is a different force, a different planet. When they were small sometimes it felt like they were in different solar systems. For her-to communicate was natural. Her ideas flowed out like waters. Her passion and words have moved people greatly, and it’s what she’s still able to do. For her brother, his ideas get stuck in his head more often than not. He struggles, because he believes he’s not explaining them quite the right way. He’s made mistakes like we all have, and it is so hard for him because what if he makes a mistake that leads to hurting someone. He was giving himself a hard time today. Saying how that gets him stuck from moving forward, from making new choices/plans/activities.

When I felt it was appropriate, I gently reminded him that all humans struggle with this, and that all we want is to be understood, and to not fuck up so often. Or maybe not keep making the same mistakes over and over. It opened him up to talk a little about faith and Buddhism and other religious/spiritual paths he’s exploring. How lovely!

I reminded him that one of his hugest gifts is to make connections. His teachers at Kalapuya said this about him after every class he took. He makes connections between things that are rare and insightful and quiet. He thinks they are meaningless, but they mean everything.

My blessing and fortune today is to know that when he’s ready to explore for himself how gifted he is at making connections, it will be there waiting for him.

It’s like me hearing that “everything you need is inside of you already,” my whole life, and at 47 finally starting to believe it a little tiny small teeny bit. He’s just not ready and experienced enough to really believe that it’s possible. He needs more time. And I’m not rushing him.

How grateful am I that no one rushed me! Well, some did, actually. And I resented them for years. But mostly, and ever so graciously, people let me just fuck up over and over and still showed up, loving me.

When his experience/passion/service all align, my son will do some amazing things. For now, he too is on a soul journey, a hero’s journey. He needs to walk his own path. I can offer some sage wisdom, but I cannot expect any of it to impact him until he’s ready, and that’s on his own schedule.

Huge fortune. Huge blessing.



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