Helping you to better navigate life's changes. #LoveChange

Here’s to the good, ordinary people who bring such joy to my life

Here’s to the good, ordinary people who bring such joy to my life

Who needs to win the Lotto when you have good friends in abundance?

I have male friends who have rushed over to help me with everything from removing a bat from my bedroom to fashioning shims to go under a freestanding bath.

When people hear the word “abundance,” they so often equate it with monetary wealth, with how much money they have in the bank.

But when I think about abundance and how it shows up in my life, so often it comes in the form of people.

Now look, I don’t want to stir up the whole #MenAreTrash and #NotAllMen debates again, but it occurs to me often that I have an abundance of good men in my life.

I have male friends who have rushed over to help me with everything from removing a bat from my bedroom to fashioning shims to go under a freestanding bath that didn’t have enough of a slope for the water to drain out.

One sent me grocery vouchers out of the blue when money was a little tight. Another helped me to clear my garage of the previous owner’s junk.

One friend, who I’m not even that close to, invited me to stay with him and his wife in Cape Town so that I could attend a course he had recommended — and packed me a lunch for the first day.

And then there’s the handymen. My plumber goes above and beyond the call of duty. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him.

My mechanic has kept my car purring like a tiger despite it being 15 years old and having 350,000km on the clock.

My electrician has known me since I was married, and after I got divorced, he would check in on me every time he came to fix something. (He also gave me some great pool maintenance tips.)

My builder gives me DIY lessons when I ask for help, and fixes little things he sees without charging me for the extras.

None of them have ever overcharged me or ripped me off; quite the opposite. They are good people who make me feel cared for, beyond the financial exchange that happens.

In fact, this reminds me that recently, I had planned to drop my car off for a problem that required the dashboard to be removed. I’d told my mechanic that I would leave the car with him while I had knee surgery, because I wouldn’t be able to drive for several weeks.

As it turned out, I was able to cancel the surgery, and advised him of this change in plans. Five seconds later, the phone rang.

He was phoning to find out why I wasn’t having the surgery. He wanted to know if I had been the recipient of a miracle.

And I thought, what a lovely way to view the world, and how kind he was to call me.

Then there are my friends. I don’t even know where to begin. From random bunches of flowers, to packed lunches for my kids when they were still at school.

From bringing lunch and dinner for us when we moved to taking care of us when two of us were down with pneumonia and the third was taking strain.

They brought me care packages when my dad died and gave various family members lifts to the airport. They have shared books and songs and poems, and endless cups of tea.

My kitchen table has been the site of many laughs and shared meals, and indulging in shortbread and cinnamon buns, warm from the oven.

And even though they have often showed up with “stuff” — meals, gifts, treats — that’s not what it is about.

For me, it’s about the fact that they showed up, that they have been there.

They have listened – really listened. They have laughed and cried with me. They have helped when I asked for help.

They have allowed me to be sad, vulnerable, worn down by life and circumstances. They have celebrated with me when things go well.

And when all is said and done, isn’t that the abundance that really counts?

That’s abundance that I can take with me one day when I shuffle off my mortal coil.

Of course, money can buy all kinds of things, and who wouldn’t like to win a couple of million on the lottery?

But even if I did remember to buy tickets for once, ahem, and won myself a small fortune, I know it would never buy me these people, these good, ordinary people, who bring such joy to my life.

And that leaves me feeling wealthy and exceedingly grateful every day.

Mandy Collins

Change expert, Mandy Collins, believes that the big change equals big opportunity.

Related stories

The Change Programme

Are you thinking about making a change? Or trying to make a change? Or dealing with some change that’s happened? Whether you’re getting married or having a baby, moving house or jobs, starting a diet or stopping smoking… the Change Programme is for you.

Start the programme now!

black and white pattern