Perspective

They say money makes the world go round, which makes it sound like a natural phenomenon,  like wind or clouds.  Trees are the epitome of nature, but they also say money doesn’t grow on trees.  I think they are a little confused.

I’ve had some money troubles lately.  A first for me.  I don’t like it.  I’m the type of person who always thinks ahead, always saves before making the purchase. I live within  my means.  But due to a wee bit of bad planning on my part, I over spent and now I am paying for my mistakes. Did you see what I did there? =)

I hate feeling poor. Though I’ve never been rich.  Always just right.  Even. Balanced.  Now I am unbalanced.   Teetering on the edge of a precipice of debt and I can’t quite see the bottom.

But not to worry.  I’ve made plans.  I’ve done a lot of math.  I’ve got a new credit card with 0% APR for 18 months, I’ll get it all straightened out soon.  I hope.  I am, after all, an optimist.

But if you see me in worn shoes, or in a frayed winter coat with missing buttons and a tear in one sleeve, please don’t tell me to “just go buy a new one.”  Not now.

Point of View - IMG_7561
Point of View (Photo credit: Nicola since 1972)

Have you seen the movie Notting Hill?  You should, it is much more than a silly romantic comedy.  One of the themes of the movie is the idea of comparing your own troubles with the troubles of other people, and how completely unfair that is.

Perspective: the comparison of objects from a single point of view.    (my own simplified definition)

From the point of view of a stranger, my trifling money problems are embarrassingly insignificant compared to those of say,  a single mother of four who is trying to feed her family on food stamps, or that of a stock broker who’s just lost a lot of other people’s money.   But from my point of view, next months rent is the largest object in my sight.

It is unfair to say to me, “well, you have it better than most, you know.”  Yes, I know that. Of course, I know that. However, in my life, (the only life I will ever live,) the rent payment is more significant than any thing else.

My perspective is my only reality.  I can imagine other points of view, depending on the level of empathy I have with another person, but it is only imagination.

We are all just individuals with a single perspective.  By definition, those perspectives can never be the same, yet every one of them, including mine, is valid.

(Blogger note:  I’ve noticed one of the things that I love about other bloggers is the way they engage their readers by asking significant questions.  I’m not very good at that – but I want to try, so here it goes:)

What looms in your vision that other people might think insignificant?

Time vs. Money

Time is Money
Time is Money (Photo credit: Olivia Alcock)

I have a weird job. My commute usually involves a plane and my ‘cubical’ is a table in a ballroom of a hotel. I fly somewhere, work four or five 16 hour days, and then I fly home. And that’s it: job’s over and my time is my own until the next job. I do this about 25 times a year and that pays the bills. I don’t have any extra money, but I do have something that is much more valuable: time. My own time, in my own house, where I can play games and write stories and read books to my heart’s content.

But every once in a while I end up working from home. I know this is just me being crabby, but I HATE working from home. I don’t hate my job, but keep it out of my house! It feels like an invasion. It makes home feel less home-like. I am uncomfortable in a place that should be my sanctuary. (I can’t say no to this work if I want to pay the rent next month.)

I have a story in my head right now, one that I would love to spend the day working on. But I can’t, because I have homework to do. *whine* I send the homework to a client, but the client never thinks it’s good enough and always sends it back. One more revision, one more tweak until I start to lose my mind. (It would just be easier to teach the client how to use After Effects and be done with it.) They know they have me trapped because I am home. “You’re not doing anything important, right, Jill?”

Reading and writing and gaming are not important to them, those work-a-holics who think if they aren’t using every second to make money (money they never take the time to spend) that time is wasted. But those activities are very important to me. They are how I bring joy into my life.

I have arranged my life so that I work just enough. No one is dependent on me and I am dependent on no one. I don’t have fancy clothes or a fancy car, and my apartment is small, but I have TIME. When I am home, that time is should be my own.

What is more important to you, time or money?