Broke as hell, but I still feel rich!

The last two months of 2013 conspired to make me loathe Ramen noodles. I mean, I tried everything from adding hot peppers and Tapatio to adding brown rice.

The funny thing is, as broke as I am I still feel rich.

Perhaps its the current currency deprivation that has starved my brain cells and brought on a more severe case of lunacy than I am accustomed to. Or perhaps my overactive imagination has me believing that something other than little green paper rectangles can give me what I most want and need.

Or perhaps Im finally learning the true value of friends.

First, let me just say that eating Ramen noodles isnt the worst thing in the world. Second, if I had said yes to all the friends who offered to feed me in the past month, Id probably have another 20 pounds to work off this year.

The funny thing is, the majority of my friends had absolutely no idea of the financial straits I was in.

My friends showed me that I have been famished for real soul food.

My usual solo activity around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays is to visit Hometown Buffet and people watch. However, a good friend invited me to spend those two days with his wife and his ex-wife! I figured, What could be more interesting/entertaining than that? Sign me up!

What I got was a warm reception and total acceptance, as if I were a true member of their lovely family. I got an understanding of how even a broken relationship can continue to function in a civil, even loving manner. I got two lovely dinners, I was mauled by two precious children, and I was gifted with a sense of peace and happiness I had sorely been missing. My soul was fed, and I was more than satisfied.

Due to the precarious nature of my bottom line, I was hustling to rustle up more gigs. I pitched a local pub owner the idea that I could play solo fiddle in her pub, low profile, low cost. She loved the idea and was kind enough to book several gigs when I needed them the most. As a result, I was able to perform for (and with!) many friends around Christmas, and I enjoyed my time with them immensely!

A friend came down from San Francisco with her husband to celebrate her birthday. She wanted to be sure that she got to spend time with her favorite fiddler me! She and her husband not only attended a couple of my gigs while they were in town, but also bought me dinner and made me feel like a prince. More than the meal, their love and consideration for me fed me for the rest of the month.

Another friend, who lives in Los Angeles, invited me to a St Stephens Day party for musicians and other creative types. In addition to having a blast (she is a wonderful hostess and knows how to keep things going even when the going gets rough), I met new people and made new friends. One of those new friends is a marvelous musician from Athlone, Ireland, and I am really looking forward to making more music with him in the future.

These are just a few vignettes from a holiday season full of similar stories. In short, I ended 2013 feeling truly blessed with riches money cannot buy.

Financially, I can say that theres hope on the horizon. Im still pinching pennies and scratching my head while wondering how Im going to pay my bills in January. I still have half a case of Ramen noodles left, though, and some of the best friends in the world. I may be broke as hell, but I am still rich in the areas that matter.

My hope is that you, too, will find riches in this new year. May 2014 be full of all the good things you desire and may you never, ever need to eat Ramen noodles!

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