Health, Wealth, Love


When I was little, our unsophisticated New Year’s toasts “Health” or for reasons unknown to me “Chinchin” were raised to another level by visiting relatives.  I assume they were from Venezuela, because we did them in Spanish forever more.

And you’ll forgive me because I can’t write in Spanish, and it’s be so long I might not remember the right words, but I think it was “Salud, Dinero y amor.”

Health, wealth and love.

I used to think older people were strange and stodgy because when you asked them what they wanted in the new year, they said “health.”  Even as a very sickly child, I didn’t understand the point of that.  Okay, a part of it is that I didn’t understand why anyone would ask for health.  It either came or it didn’t and in my case it seemed a hopeless business.  But more importantly, ill-health didn’t affect anything.  Sure, I had horrible nights (which I only started having recently, like within the last six months) of lying in the dark, struggling for breath afraid of dying while everyone slept.  (Why is it that breathing always gets easier with the light of day?  Seems weird.  At least now I have a kindle to distract me.) Sure I had weeks of being confined to bed, away from my playmates, and unable to do anything but make lego cities and tell myself stories (Portuguese treatment of illness hadn’t yet adapted to the existence of antibiotics, so the main thing was isolation.)  But those long and often boring days (why I learned to read Disney comics in self defense) were not interrupting anything.

Now I get what older people meant.  I’m old enough to be counting down the years I have (G-d willing, going by family history, probably 30) and fretting I won’t get to do everything I want to do, because the years just fly by and I spend so much time being sick.  And you know, I have books to write.

Wealth…  Well, I wouldn’t block my door to it. My definition of wealth at this point would be “can do what I want and end the month with money in the bank.”  Until both boys are off the payroll that seems an unattainable dream, but I’m going to do what I can, if I’m granted that health thing.

Now if I were to win the lottery tomorrow, I wouldn’t scream and tell it to go away.  But it would take getting used to.  We found out when we made about double what we do now for a couple of years that wealth has its own price.  You have to evaluate your time in relation to other things you need to do: like husband the wealth.  So you end up spending a lot more money, in trade for that time.

Wealth, if it were dropped on my lap should be lottery-sized.  Though you know, from a prudential point of view, that would allow me to get a house cleaner and an assistant, both of which I desperately need.  And stop older son neuroting (He’s a nervibore) about his student loans.

Love…  What else is there?  My kid-self wondered with some shock at all these OLD (like forties) people wishing for love.  I mean they were married.  And besides, ew…..

Sure, romantic love adds a lot to life, and I wish everyone I love a happy marriage.  The load is lighter when you pull in tandem.

But love is so much more than romantic love.  It is your circle of friends.  It’s the kids you’re watching grow up (yours or not).  It is the stuff you do.  It is the things you enjoy.

In my case, it is of course, my husband.  I feel stupid mentioning him because it’s like saying “oh, yeah, I also have legs.”  He is a part of me.  One of our kids (ah) has accused us of fighting like two cats in a sack over the stupidest things, and we do, but they’re not REALLY fights, just arguing and raised voices.  The relationship, where it counts, does seem to get better every year.  He is, simply, a part of me.  My sons: they worry me because I care so much about their futures, but they’ve also turned out much better/more interesting/stronger than I expected.  It’s the idiot cats.  This year we had a scare with Greebo, and I know the time is coming to say goodbye to Euclid, who is not approaching eighteen, and we’re not sure at the rate each of them takes a piece of our heart to the rainbow bridge if there will be any more.  But we’ll enjoy them while we can.

It is my country, my state.  It’s a little diner on Colfax avenue.  It is friends — too many to mention and most far away alas — I talk to regularly or whom I visit (the near ones.)  It is books I revisit every year (I think I’ll start the year with Heinlein audios).

It is other stupid things, like crochet on the sofa while watching a movie while the snow falls outside.  It is special exhibits at the Natural History Museum.  Walks in city park at twilight in summer when the lights come on.  It’s the botanic gardens in spring.  It’s the zoo on rainy fall days when we’re the only ones there and can talk.

It’s writing a novel when everything comes together and I suddenly see the end.  It’s researching a novel and finding JUST the right thing.

All of this is love.  Different kinds of love, but love.

There is a house clearing method in which you’re only supposed to keep “that which brings joy.”  No, I’ve never tried it, because I need tons of things that bring no joy whatsoever, like litter box scoops and tax documents.

But love, at various levels is “that which brings joy.”  I’ve been hypothyroidal enough that nothing brought joy.  It was all “same old, same old.”  Like living in a bell jar or seeing the world through a dim film.

I don’t wish that to anyone.

So in the end, I do also wish for love.  I wish for “that which brings joy” and time with the people I love, too.  And I wish for the wisdom to put work away, now and then, and enjoy life and love.

And for you too, I wish to health, wealth and love.  All of which should leave you free and capable of doing what you feel you are called to do.

We have work to do in the new year.  A lot of it.  Let us have those three basics, so we can do it.

That’s all I ask.

129 thoughts on “Health, Wealth, Love

  1. C and I have long used a variant: ¡Salud, amor, y pesetas, y el tiempo para gastarlos! Though often we change the third term to “libros,” because one of the most important uses of money is buying books.

  2. Lifting the coffee stein in a generally nor’ nor’ east direction… The same to you, our hostess, your family, and all of the Hoydens.

    I don’t know whether it is a traditional saying anywhere, or, if so, whose tradition, but I like this one that I heard at one party: “May the New Year bring the success of your dreams, and the failure of your nightmares.”

    The year just passed saw the failure of many nightmares for me – perhaps this is the year for success of dreams. Assuming it isn’t just another year of frazzle…

  3. Happy New Year to our hostess and all her readers. May the new year bring you health, happiness,(that’s the love part), and wealth!

  4. Happy 2018, everyone!

    As far as wealth goes, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal a few years back about whether or not money can buy happiness. The article was arguing that, yes, it can, but most people are lousy shoppers and tend to spend their money on things that at best don’t make them happy and at worst actively stress them out. The main advice given was to spend more on things like experiences (you want to go skydiving? it’s worth it to make it happen!) and skip out on material things that you don’t really need.

    1. Money doesn’t necessarily buy you happiness. But it can certainly rent a good facsimile.

      More seriously, it can relieve the stresses so you can enjoy the rest of life.

      1. There is a point past which more money doesn’t make you happy. (Which various leftists have used to argue for confiscation past it.) But, it turns out, different people have different levels.

  5. > Heinlein audios

    …or you could read the serial version of “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” on and see if you can spot the13,000 words that didn’t make it to the novel version. That’s almost a short story’s worth!

      1. Some books were printed as serials in magazines before the novel version came out. Generally, the novels are longer than the serials… but in a handful of cases, the original magazine version was longer than the book.

        I don’t know if it was editing or strict page count limits, but while the size difference for “Moon” was small, some serials lost between 20 and 25% when they were printed as novels.

        1. Anybody have any idea how much of the extra wordage might be of the “In our previous chapters …” reprise sort?

  6. Don’t give up on Euclid. My last hairy orange idjit from Los Angeles. Potluck, lived to be 21, and the orange ones aren’t supposed to live anywhere near that long. Our crazy calico, Clarissa, was supposed to die from her leukemia back in July. Instead she has gained weight, is eating and active (no denial here, we know her time is coming, but we’re going to give her every day she’s happy with).

  7. Eh. New Year’s Eve. We never really observed it. Fireworks are the thing here now, and WallyWorld sells something called – I kiddest thee not – “Bubba Boom.” Watch Nights, an abbreviated vigil, were the thing at area churches in the 1970s. All comes down to just a tick of the watch, a flip of the calendar, and bowl games.

    Frankly, I’m world weary. That’s something that’s not depression. It’s been “Now what?” for so long, I don’t bother to hope. Things just are, and you have to deal with them best you can. So no toasts here, no resolutions. It’s do the best you can and see what happens.

      1. I saw a lot of fireworks packages this year; I don’t recall seeing them at New Year’s before, but several stores had something. Not sure if Costco had a package, but the local stores certainly had them.

        We’re far enough out that recreational shooting is feasible, and there have been various bangs and booms throughout the day. The border collie hasn’t put claw prints in the ceiling yet, but she’s a bit jumpy. I imagine Midnight will be announced by fireworks and barking. (Probably a few coyote howls, too.)

        1. Fourth of July and New Year used to be good times to sit on the back porch and fireform brass. The neighbors thought the gunshots were just fireworks.

          1. I remember fireforming 7mmTCU in my long-gone Contender. The back yard is not great for shooting; I could come up with a sort-of-safe shooting angle, though a sufficiently motivated person could wander down the ridge to the fence and be at risk. Neither of our dogs is happy about shooting; if suppressors get fully legalized, I’d like a “silenced” ’22 bolt action rifle.

            1. I used a few grains of Bullseye with a cotton ball stuffed in. It was enough to form reasonably sharp shoulders. No need to expend expensive bullets.

        2. I hear fireworks going off here (local time midnight + 28), but at 15 F. tonight, I’m not going out to watch.

        3. I’s quite surprised, actually. If there were any fireworks/gunshots/fuel-air bombs set off at midnight, it was well out of earshot of everybody, especially the border collie*. Even the F15Cs were quiet; I suspect even pilots get some time off..

          (*)Her motto is “If I can’t sleep, nobody’s going to sleep.”

  8. Health, Wealth and Love seem like good constructive components to the standard wish*, so in concurrence with our honored and beloved hostess, Happy New Year to all Huns and Hoydens, and all Americans wherever they reside.

    * Aside: I find it of some interest that in contrast to the various holiday deconstructions trying to forever rid the American mouth of “Merry Christmas”, there’s no such effort that I’ve yet seen to eliminate “Happy New Year” from general use. Interesting that even the dour and sour Followers of Karl are allowed to wish happiness to their fellow travelers.

  9. Wishing you an abundance of health, wealth, and love for 2018 and beyond. (Scurries off to make the black-eyed peas…)

  10. You don’t start to wish for good health until you start seeing your own fade. I certainly could do without these cataracts, and more energy and less weight would be nice…

    But be of good cheer! Things could be far worse, with little hope of improvement. 2017 has been a good year overall, and 2018 holds a lot of promise.

            1. Hard to equate. A woman might use it to playfully refer to her lover’s equipment. Not a “coarse language” type thing but more “bedroom talk”.

              Mind you, considering I’ve been married to a Japanese woman for 20 years I probably am more familiar with Japanese usage than American so I’m drawing a blank on coming up with an English equivalent.

          1. Wherever its origin, I got it from Japanese. And in my experience it’s pretty common (my wife uses it, for instance). It is, though, generally written in katakana which often indicates foreign loanwords.

            1. And let me be clear: I wasn’t claiming that it had any connection to the usage you were referring to. I was just amused by the meaning that I was familiar with. Riffing on that meme I’ve seen going around:

  11. Happy New Year to you. May you find Health, Wealth, and Love. Health, enough to keep going when all else doesn’t want to. Wealth of books, friends and experiences. Love, of a nice quiet moment to enjoy it all with close family and well read books.

  12. What!? Sunday is vignette day! I plan my computer time around those vignettes! Good Grief!!! Now I need t go take a nap and ponder this alteration of the world.

      1. Tomorrow? Tomorrow the household is traveling ‘cross the county line to our favorite “hole-in-the-wall” Chinese restaurant for New Year’s Day lunch of Chinese noodles.

        Still haven’t decided whether to eat Beef Lo Mein or Singapore Mei Fun — neither is on my dietary approved list, but both are so delicious that a once a year indulgence is acceptable.

  13. A great part of the Left’s dementia, it seems to me, is a strong tendency to equate sex with romantic love and mistake romantic love for all love. This leads them, for example, to believe that all Victorian men who prefered the companionship of other man were homosexual. Doubtless some were. But there are other relationships than the sexual OR the romantic.

    1. This habit is probably part of the reason for the vicious reaction to Frozen; good grief, it’s outrageous to point out sisters love each other, now? Really?

    2. They suffer the delusion that, if there’s no orgasm there’s no love.

      Even a moment’s reflection would reveal the flaw in their thought but reflection is not something they engage in, being vampires.

    1. I trust your January through April 2018 and June through December 2018 will also be good ones.

      Keep in mind that four out of twelve is a .333 batting average that could earn millions in Major League Baseball.

    1. Yes, indeed. Before we greet the New Year let us by all means take mindful leave of the Old. 2017 was good to us, I think. To me, anyway. Good new books to read. Good old books coming available again, so I can pester my friends and family to read them. The Left being so entertainingly berserk. Our new President rising beyond my fondest hopes for him.

      Let us remember together……

      1. …many things, but mostly that Hillary Rodham Clinton is not now nor will ever be President of the US.

      2. ” Our new President rising beyond my fondest hopes for him.”

        Mine as well, but admittedly it was such a low bar to clear that it would take a limbo expert (or Hillary Rodham Clinton) to get under it.

          1. I kinda expected him to try to keep some of his promises, amd get bogged down with the usual Lefitist nonsense. Instead, he’s been playing them like an accordion; evey time he tweets just anything they lose their flipping MINDS, and since he ignores them he gets a couple of unobstructed days.

            He he…

            1. *snickers* Did you hear the obsessing about the white panel truck?

              Turns out that he’d shut down the whole golf course, which he owns…to let the Coast Guard use it. And he set up lunch for them, free, too. And now it got out because they’ve been freaking out so much…..

              The guy is amazingly good at trolling these guys.

        1. Have you noticed that Gallup has reported her favorability rating has reached an all time low?

          “The poll showed 36% of respondents rated Clinton favorably compared to 61% who rated her unfavorably, which is a new high for that measure. Gallup said this beat out her previous low of 38% at the outset of the general election last year and in 1992 when she was not yet a household name.”


          “Almost a full year into Trump’s presidency, Gallup found his favorability rating was higher than his former Democratic opponent, with 41% of respondents in a December poll rating Trump favorably compared to his 56% seeing him unfavorably.”

          1. There is a potential issue with that–namely, Reoublicans thinking that Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity will extend to the Democratic Party as a whole, and forgetting that the problem was mostly her.

            1. OTOH, the way the national Dems are going, they may very well succeed in spreading our dissatisfaction with HRC to the entire party and then some.

            2. Despite all the attention being drawn by the MSM to how low Trump’s approval ratings are at the moment, few have drawn the comparison to the approval ratings Obama had at the same time in his presidency. Trump’s only lagging a couple points behind, IIRC. Unfortunately, that doesn’t bode well for the 2018 midterm elections, but they’re still ten months away. Maybe enough voters will see benefits from the new tax bill, or more parts of the Democratic narrative will crumple, that opinions will shift. Heck, the NYT just broke a story about a Democrat donor coughing up a half million dollars to fund the women accusing Trump of sexual harrassment.

          2. The thing is, after their spectacular balls-up over the 2016 election, I want to know what we would take any polls seriously. Either the pllls were being manipulated to make Her Shrillness look like a shoo-in, or they were simply badly designed. Either way, I want to see some public acknowledgement of failure and outlining of remedial steps taken before I’m interested in Poll numbers.

            1. As with everything else in this world, unless you are at extremely close range you must adjust for windage. With these pollsters we know which way the wind is blowing, the only question is how hard.

      3. The Left being so entertainingly berserk.

        I have been mulling over their likely reactions when their anticipated November 2018 TRIUMPH fails to materialize. They seem oddly seized of the idea that nothing will happen between now and the election to alter voter preferences.

        I am so old I can remember when the behavioral model of the Democrats was not Yosemite Sam.

          1. I’m kinda hoping we’ll see a shift by both parties toward more populist candidates and away from the dreary drones of the Party establishments.

  14. For some reason, I’ve begun celebrating New Year’s by watching bad movies. Not sure what that says about me.

    All the best in 2018, everybody! 🙂

    1. We all have our traditions. There is a certain comfort in that.

      Me, I watch Die Hard on Christmas.


        That, and the movie of Terry Pratchett’s “Hogfather.”

          1. My work is such that I can listen to audiobooks most of the time; I’ve listened to most of the Pratchett books that way.

            Not that it’s always *safe*, of course. I was laughing so hard at one that I left Interstate 40 at 75mph about 0300 one morning. As in “four wheels off.” Fortunately I regained control without damaging anything other than my composure.

            “And the head… it was wearing sunglasses.”

            1. Cough, cough. It was on I-40 just east of Asheville while listening to Eric that I came far too close to experiencing the same.

              … she looks like me mum.

          2. Of all the readers of Pratchett’s work I am most found of Tony ‘Baldric’ Robinson.

            Warning: His readings of Eric and Moving Pictures are dangerously funny, as I discovered driving home from Cherokee very late one night on the night of the Sanguine Moon. Convulsive laughing may keep one awake, but it does not make for safe driving.

    1. Remember, only 3,102 (more or less) shopping dayseight years until the 250th Anniversary of the founding of this nation.

  15. “May ye be half an hour in heaven afore the Devil knows ye’re dead!”

    Or Happy New Year – may you be healthy, prosperous, and not too worn out to enjoy the first two.

  16. Do you love it? Do you need it? If you don’t need it now, how inconvenient will it be to get it again later? Does it have family historical value?

    I will always have my favorite books on the shelves where others can see them, pick them up, and ask to borrow them. That’s the one thing about electronic books that doesn’t translate well.

    1. Ebooks are also going to play merry ned with the used book market. And there will eventually be a series of court cases to see if, having purchased an ebook, you actually OWN anything…

  17. But love, at various levels is `that which brings joy.`

    Not sure I can accept that. I’m of Judeo-Slavic descent and am so sour I can depress a hyena. No joy in that.

    Love is a sense that you matter, or that someone (person, beast, place) matters to you.

    1. Dude. You have a great sense of humor, that makes me laugh (at times), and helps me cope with the grim way I look at the world.

  18. Happy new years, and thanks to our hostess and to all of the huns and hoydens who help to make th he idiocies of the world something to laugh at, rather than something to be depressed about.
    Thanks all, JPDev

  19. As for Chinchin, it’s a minor Lovecraftian entity that can be invoked to protect the mind from the attention of greater entities while it’s rendered vulnerable by ethanol. It appears in varied forms, but one of the common ones vaguely resembles a one-meter-long elephant with pink skin. As intoxication increases so does the number of “trunks.”

  20. He’s a nervibore
    Better than being a nerdivore. Though the eating would be good around San Fran, I guess.

  21. A toast (as I’ve had my first whiskey of the new year):
    May the Lord keep you in his hand and out of view of the Devil, and may you find joy in His grace, and love wherever you look.

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