Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life Is Funny

Life sure does have its way of keeping balance. When things begin to look too good to be true. It usually is, but only if your one of those "the glass is half empty" type of people. Me on the other hand I'm a "glass is half full" type of girl and try to look at the positive despite any negativity thrown my way.

I take my lumps and get back up not allowing it to stop me. Even at times when I just want to stop. I learned a long time ago, that no one was going to make positive changes in my life. That I had to make them myself, and I have lived every day, working hard to achieve my goals and dreams for not only myself but for those that I care about.

I take each day with a grain of salt and continue to learn from my experiences. Carl Gustav Jung once said "Follow thy will and thy way which experience proves to be your own" meaning don't follow the crowd, act, think, dress, and talk like everyone else. Live your life with purpose and find joy in the little things.

Two years ago, I made the choice to walk away from a career that I, in many ways, loved. The one thing that I did not love about that career is how it seemed to always be a black hole of time. I worked a bit over forty hours a week on average, spent more than an hour commuting each day, would often spend evening and weekend hours working on things, would go into work on weekends to deal with crises, and would travel for the job as well.

But, when I became pregnant with my eldest I realized how much of the job I hated and how much of her life I was going to miss if I continued on this path. I earned a good salary, but when you actually figured in all of the time I was spending on that job in contrast to what I was missing, it became obvious that I hated the job. I was not happy.

I knew I didnt want to see my daughters first steps via a webcam or on tape or hear about her first word through a text message. I had to make a change. My entire focus over the past few years has been to reverse that equation. How can I make as much money as possible from the time in my life’s margins? In other words, how can I maximize my earnings while still not missing out on taking my daughter to the park? The conclusion I came up with was FETISH.

Instead of seeing my children for an hour at the end of the day. I spend their sleepy times working and their awake times with them.  I’ve lost some income in the process. A lot of income. I’ve turned down some pretty amazing opportunities along the way -- working with big names, signing with big agencies, and going to some conventions. All of these things would earn me quite a bit more money than I earn right now. But they would eat up time.

For me, the perfect balance of time and money is that I spend the minimum amount of time earning money and the maximum amount of time spending time with and taking care of my family while still earning enough for us to survive and thrive a little.

Fetish was my solution. Yea, this solution isnt for everyone. If I were single, I would be much more focused on my work than I am right now. There are many, many projects I would take on because, frankly, some of the creative challenges really do excite me. I simply know where my priorities lie and, right now, my priorities lie in the backyard playing in a kiddie pool or in the kitchen making brownies with peanut butter chips.

What’s the real lesson here? It’s all about time, not money. That’s the real secret of personal finance. We are constantly trading our time for money.

Yes, some money is a requirement, but the lower you make that requirement in your own life through frugal living, the more freedom you have in making time choices. I took a lot less money to get an incredibly flexible working schedule (and more enjoyable work for me, personally), but I was rewarded with a lot more time focused on what matters to me.

Because time, in the end, is the one limited currency we have in life. We can always earn more money through the sweat on our brow. We can never make more time.

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