In Vagabonding traveler and author Rolf Potts talks about choosing how we define wealth. Rather than assuming that “wealth” and “money” are the same thing, he suggests measuring wealth in what we value. Wild concept, I know.
I would love to have more money for things like a trip to Ireland or new tires on the car or a new instrument (still deciding between octave mandolin and mandocello, but it looks like I’ll have plenty of time to ponder it.)
It’s not what I value most. Every time discontent creeps in I remind myself that I have plenty of the stuff live is made of: time.
I rarely wake to an alarm.
Nearly every day, I play some kind of game with my daughter, the last of our 7 children still at home.
Every day, I cook three interesting meals for my wife while she runs the business.
Every day in February, I’ve written a song. Every single day. And recorded a demo thereof.
Deadlines are almost unknown around here. A day off only requires balancing personal needs or desires with what’ll have to be done tomorrow.
Want to spend August in northern Wisconsin (highs in the low 70s) instead of southern Arizona (highs in triple digits and humid as an old sock)? Arrange our work schedule to allow it, plan for gas, the primary expense, and go. (Our travel requires two other factors, a location-independent business [check] and oodles of friends to stay with to avoid expensive hotel bills [check] but those didn’t happen by accident either.)
Today I’m worried about money. Ausoma has lost two big clients (they love us, but need to get other things done before they come back and work with us again) and for the first time, rent for the 1st of the month isn’t a slam dunk. It always works out. Always. We both have faith, Best Beloved and I, and it always works out.
So today, I’m going to enjoy the time I have and not worry about what I don’t.
Continuing from yesterday:
Much is affected by the fact that I do not aspire to fame, and I don’t need my books to make my living for me.
Would I reject fame or fortune if they wandered into the corral? Not at all. I’m leaving the gate open in case they decide to wander by.
Vast difference between “fine if it happens” and relentless pursuit. I know the effort of book marketing; our primary business provides social media marketing services for authors, as in, we do it for a living. With a whole team and a slew of tools.
A food analogy. Always a good place to start:
Join Me for Pizza
Imagine I invited you over for my amazing homemade pizza. Everything from scratch. You are, of course, delighted.
You’ve mentioned my pizza to a couple friends and wonder if they might come along. I’m feeling expansive, so why not?
By 4:30 Saturday, it’s a disaster. The sauce isn’t thick enough. The toppings aren’t grilled properly. The crust doesn’t rise enough.
Which of these options makes the most sense to you?
I wrote this the last day of 2009. Still working on it.
It feels natural, waking up in Ireland. Like I was born in the wrong place, and now I’m home. And my life has felt more real since the first morning I woke up with Sue’s hair on my pillow.
There is nothing in the world like Irish breakfast tea, in Ireland (or, at the other end of the day, a pint o’ Guinness in the land where it’s made).
Potatoes should be part of every meal (another indication I’m secretly Irish). And as Sue says, orange marmalade was designed for morning tea.
The bright sun is a treat at breakfast. Since it rises at 4 am in the summer, and still shines almost every winter day, S.A.D. is a thing of the past. As are my allergies. Remember how miserable it was in Sacramento, like a chronic cold?
No flying bugs; no window screens. We could step out the living room windows to the deck above the river—and we often do.
Even with the sun on the deck, it’s cool enough for a sweater. I love sweaters. And hats. I love clothing in general in a not-very-manly way. But when it’s always cool enough for long sleeves, I get to wear something fun and different every day.
I enjoy having a household staff. I know it looks odd to folks who have old views of ‘servants’ and all, but these people are my closest associates, trusted friends. It’s just that their passions and dreams relate to the type of serving and caregiving which I’m glad I can support, financially and otherwise.
Having a valet lay my clothes out and draw my bath after bringing me tea in the morning is a nice luxury. I delight in having a talented passionate chef prepare all our meals. Especially a nice lunch to take on a drive.
My afternoon massage lets me make the most of my nap. And having a house cleaner to keep everything tidy takes a burden off Sue and lets her enjoy her home more. I’m so much more productive now that I have an assistant who takes notes, types, and manages my library.
I’m still not used to our clients never calling, but since they’re all in different time zones around the world, my coaching calls end up at 5 in the morning or 9 at night. I love it. Leaves my days free for writing and naps. And recording my music.
My travel videos of Ireland have been popular in the States. It’s fun to do the whole process, including the music.
There’s going to be a big crowd at the pub tonight. I love it that my work enables me to buy the first round any time I perform there.
Time for our morning walk. Sue’s strength has returned since we’ve been able to get out every day.
After our walk, it’s off to Shannon to pick up the kids. It’s one of the best things in my life, finally being reunited with them.
(Insert Lou Gehrig quote here:
“Today-ay-ay, I consider myself the luckiest man-an-an on the face-ace-ace of the earth-rth-rth“)
Joel D Canfield 31 December 2009
When you click on my affiliate link it’s a gift to me. Not a financial gift; that’s too obvious. The gift is trust.
It’s true that the vendor gives me a gift on your behalf, and you don’t spend one penny extra. But that’s not the point. The point is that when you click on that link you accept my recommendation because you trust me. Because I recommended a book at Amazon or hosting at CharlottezWeb or that you or your male friend shave with equipment you buy at Harry’s, You were willing to at least click the link and go look, and maybe even buy something.
Yes, affiliate links (which we used to call commissioned sales) have been done to death, and are used for every imaginable evil.
There just tools. They are not evil. They are, in fact, a way for us to grow the trust which magically happens even over the Internet when people speak sincerely and genuinely listen.
Poverty changes how you act, in non-obvious ways.
It’s clear that the good quality screwdriver which will last a lifetime, for $6, is better than the junky screwdriver you’ll have to replace in a year for $3.
What slips past folks who’ve never lived in poverty is that if your choice includes “and the other $3 will buy flour so you can bake bread all week, otherwise, you get no bread” then you buy the cheap junk screwdriver.
And then again next year.
Multiply that by every single small purchase decision you make and you’ll quickly see that when there isn’t enough money, it can be almost impossible to escape.
You will disagree with one or more of these. Watch for my note at the end about that.
Continue reading “5 Business Lessons Nobody Taught Me (But I Sure Wish They Had)”
Last week we talked about why it’s so hard to save money, to lose weight, to do any of the things which require postponing present enjoyment to create benefits later. It’s easy to get lost in theory, in analysis of our biochemistry, in what is. What’s not so easy is doing something about it.
My column on why I’m losing weight struck an unpleasant chord with some folks when I first published it. It’s common to hear stories of people trying unsuccessfully, sometimes for years, to lose weight.
Another angle on the same issue: When your income gets an unexpected and temporary boost, through a bonus at work or a project you hadn’t expected, do you bank the money, or reward yourself with a new toy or dinner out?
We experience it every single day of our lives: even though we know what’s good for us, day after day we do what’s fun, what’s easy, instead of what’s healthy and rational and good for our future self.
Do you ever stop to wonder why?
I love yard sales and garage sales. I avoided them during my life as a nomad, carrying everything we owned everywhere we went, but they still tugged at me. Now that we’ve settled (for a while) I’m itching to get out and find some beautiful wood furniture on the cheap, and maybe an old book I can rebind.
Yard sales have been corrupted by business thinking and the wrong why.