"but it all means nothing to me – all that money wants"

lyrics from the Psychedelic Furs [all that money wants]

Money is my focus this week with The Artist’s Way – and it is something that I’ve definitely struggled back and forth with for ages. Melissa mentioned yesterday the thing I always say: I’m good at all sorts of things that one doesn’t make money from.
That being said, here’s my Money Madness Exercise answers:

  1. People with money are: lucky.
  2. Money makes people: wasteful.
  3. I’d have more money if: I took a job that I hate.
  4. My dad thought money was: a way to buy things – booze, art, books, things that would buy favour.
  5. My mom always thought money would: fix things.
  6. In my family, money caused: people to work too hard.
  7. Money equals: stability.
  8. If I had money, I’d: buy a house.
  9. If I could afford it, I’d: travel more often.
  10. If I had some money, I’d: have more fun, treat friends to crazy gifts, buy doo-dads.
  11. I’m afraid that if I had money I would: buy too many wasteful things.
  12. Money is: an enabler.
  13. Money causes: things to happen.
  14. Having money is not: a bad thing.
  15. In order to have money, I’d need to: work harder.
  16. When I have money, I usually: try to buy myself a little treat.
  17. I think money is: more confusing than bartering/trading.
  18. If I weren’t so cheap, I’d: buy more fun things for Rob and I.
  19. People think money: is more powerful than it really is.
  20. Being broke tells me: that I’m not working hard enough or not doing something right.

Money conflicts me. I strongly believe that everyone – EVERYONE – should be able to support themselves comfortably by doing something that they love. It bothers me to no end that so many of us are trapped in terrible jobs that sap away our energy and creative juice, and that’s somewhere I desperately don’t want to be. However, sometimes even doing something you love for a paycheck can take the bloom off the rose, and that’s where I’ve been, on and off, this year. Hence some of my uneasy relationship with money, I’m afraid.

All I’ve ever wanted is to live comfortably. I don’t want or need to be rich. I just want to have enough – enough to get the small things that make us smile, enough to live comfortably, to do a few fun things each month that require money… and enough to be secure, to not worry about emergencies. Enough to live in a decent house in a pleasant neighborhood. Money doesn’t bring happiness, but it does cushion against the bad times. That’s the most important thing.

When I moved back to my Mom’s, after my stepdad died, I learned what it was like to have enough. You have to understand: after I first moved out of my family’s house, I was very, very poor. I have gone from eating lunchmeat ends and past-date bread, spaghetti every day, stealing food left on tables after people left… to a better but still not comfortable life where I did things for a living that made me happy, but lived while skating on the edge of poverty, and one paycheck’s loss could mean losing everything. I lived in my office for a while, and in an apartment with 12 other people… I lived in a house where I knew no one, and in a house where I knew everyone too well. I even lived for a little while on the streets, brushed my teeth in a fountain and bathed in the train station sink.  Character building, yes, but I think I’ve got enough character now and I’m ready for some stability. [thank you, MrWhite, for providing so much of it!]

Anyway, living with money, when I moved back in with my Mom… yeah. It was weird, and really hard to get used to, then a little *too* comfortable in some ways. In other words, I felt uncomfortable being comfortable. What the hell, right?

So how to solve this? I hope this week’s work helps me figure that out.

I write, as openly as possible, about my experiences with life, love, creativity, depression and not-depression. I share opinions. I promote compassion and change. I talk about music. I also write poetry and short stories. I like to share them here.

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