Category Archives: Finances

My Own Ruler for Measuring Success

If you do a bit of googling (which you’re probably doing anyway), I’m sure you will find plenty of articles about success. It might be tips for how to succeed, stories of how someone else already did, or inspiring tidbits for those who aren’t feeling motivated.

This isn’t really any of those.

I had a conversation recently about how success is measured. I made this absolutely crazy statement about how I don’t equate money with success, and I got some major side-eye followed by an outright rejection of my theory. No, they said, they definitely wanted to get paid and get paid well in order to consider themselves successful.

I get that. I mean, money shouldn’t be everything, but it kind of is. If you want a new car or a nice house, you must have some way of paying for it, right? And nothing is cheap these days. So in this sense, yes, money is how you know you’re successful.

But what a terrible cage that puts you in. If you make good money but you hate your job, then you’re successful? If you make good money but you never have time for your family, then you’re successful? If you make good money but it’s killing you in the process, then you’re successful?

Don’t get me wrong, I like making money. I’m not interested in working for free, because I have bills to pay, children to feed, and Doctor Who merchandise to buy. But I don’t think it’s okay to be a slave to the almighty dollar while sacrificing everything else that’s important in life.

I’ve never had a lot of money. (I mean, seriously. If you know me, you know that I have never had money.) As a freelance writer, I’m sure not raking it in. But I do feel successful. How is my success measured?

 

I get paid to do what I love.

I get to work from home, which means I am always here for my family.

My clients come back to me for repeat business, which is a huge compliment.

My husband has done nothing but support and encourage me in this endeavor.

My stress levels are pretty low.

My schedule is flexible.

I’m happy.

 

For me, all of this adds up to something that is worth so much more than a six-figure job. Would I turn down a multi-million dollar book deal? Heck, no. But I don’t need one to know that I’m successful.

 

Measure success

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Filed under Family, Finances, On Writing, Work, Work-at-Home Mom

Jumping off the Cliff

I consider myself a writer first and foremost, but I do have a day job.  A pays-the-bills(ish) job.  A well-crap-the-kids-gotta-have-health-insurance job.  And while in some ways that takes the pressure off of my writing (I’m not going to live in a cardboard box if my latest book doesn’t sell well), there are other pressures that it adds.

For instance, when I’m at work I can’t be blogging.  Torture!  There are so many good blog ideas that go floating through my head when I’m there, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Okay, okay, so I’m not completely helpless since I can jot them down in my note app on my phone.  But sometimes the gibberish I put in there doesn’t make sense three days later, or even three hours later, and I’m left with the agony of a good idea that’s died.

I’ve considered jumping off the cliff of workdom and seeing if I can fly.  Quitting my job is scary, but trying to build up a side business while working full time, going to school, and raising three kids is freaking insane.  I was thinking about all of this earlier today (at work), and it made me question myself:

Why didn’t I save a nice little chunk of money so I could freelance full time?  Well that one’s easy to answer:  I have kids, therefore I have no money.

What was I thinking buying a brand new car and burying myself under payments?  That one took me a minute, but I realized the car purchase came about six months before I remembered I had dreams once, and that it was time to live them (or at least start to).

Why haven’t I been blogging longer?  I didn’t think I had anything to say.  And right at first, coming up with blog post ideas seemed impossible.  Now that I’ve become more comfortable with it, the floodgates have opened!

Where am I going with all this?  Well, stay tuned.  I can tell you that I’m close enough to the edge of the cliff that my toes are dangling.

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Photo courtesy of papaija2008 on freedigitalphotos.net

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Filed under Finances, On Writing

The Lunch Break

This stolen snippet of time

useless

for anything worth pondering

other than worries

loneliness

a dwindling checkbook

and a few bad poems.

 

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Filed under Finances, Food, Poetry

The Tax Questions I Want

During this tax season, I’ve seen commercials telling us how easy it is to file your taxes, simply by answering questions.  Well, those questions might be simple enough, but they could be better.  Such as:

-Did your cat population triple in 2013 because you’re a sucker for strays?

-Do you often wonder just where the hell your whole paycheck went?

-Did you spend more than $200 in Girl Scout cookies and useless crap from your kids’ fundraisers in 2013?

-Did you purchase a new computer, only to wish you didn’t have Windows 8?

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