Wednesday, 3 July 2013
A Penny For Your Thoughts
I had a little meltdown the other day - I would give it a seven out of ten as far as hysterics go - and the topic was money. I recognize that I am not alone in fussing about this subject and yet money and I have always had an uneasy relationship. Both my mom and dad (stepfather) came from farming families and money was beyond tight. Thus as we were growing up a great deal of value was placed on working hard, spending within your means and saving for the proverbial rainy day. This does not explain why I spent my twenties land-locked in debt and racking up credit cards like there was no tomorrow. The fact I was living on a radio salary at the time (translation: miniscule) may have had something to do with it - but after rent and bills invariably I was penniless long before the end of the month. It was the days of going to the store and taking items in and out of the basket after mentally tallying up the cost vs the eleven dollars I happened to have left to spend. So I spent my early thirties getting a grip, paying off the wretched credit cards and generally getting myself back on track. Shifting careers was not an insignificant part of the equation. But having more money really didn't solve the problem that had emerged early on - a compulsion to display the generosity of my heart by giving money to people even when I couldn't afford it. For my whole life it seems I have confused the giving and withholding of money with love. People who know me joke about the infamous trickery and lengths I would go to pick up the check at restaurants and subsidize anyone who needed a hand regardless of my situation. The intent may indeed have been generosity - but the need was so much more complicated than that. So as I wake up to my new reality - a time when things like money should be secondary to the reality of my health - I find myself still trying to control what I will leave behind. It appears that like food, when it comes to money - the hunger just never goes away.