Mindful Living: Appreciating What You Have (Money Isn’t Everything)

It was Thursday, a little before noon, the home phone rang.  Nobody ever calls the home phone.  I didn’t recognize the name so I walked by it.  My husband, on the other hand, picked it up.  I was instantly irritated.  I could tell by the brief conversation, that it was for me.  I could have killed him.  It was a telemarketer.  I hate telemarketer calls.  That’s why I registered for the Do Not Call list.  WHY would he answer it and WHY would he say, “Sure, she’s here.”?  Seriously!?  There’s a reason why I didn’t pick-up.  I didn’t want to talk to a telemarketer.  I was hungry and wanted to eat my lunch, not struggle to get off the phone with some telemarketer.

I took the phone from him, half-glaring but half curious.  “Hello?”  I was not a telemarketer.  Turns out it was a head hunter.  For me.  That stopped me in my tracks.  Suddenly I wasn’t so angry with my husband any more.  I listened to the friendly voice at the other end of the line.  A lot of information was coming at me pretty quickly.  Holy smokes!  I needed to take a break to think about this.  I needed food so I could think clearly.  I needed… to call him back.

You may have heard me talking about listening to your authentic self (or God or the universe) to help guide you in life, but it never crossed my mind was that instead of a subtle message, you might get an honest to goodness, real person at the other end of the line, out of the blue, throwing you a curve ball, testing you, in your face, kind of message.

You see, I’ve been playing with a lot of ideas as to which way to take my blog and my business lately and occasionally I start wondering if things would be better if I worked for another company instead of freelancing. I keep telling myself to stick with it.  Trust in myself and what I’m doing and things will all work out.

That’s when the phone rang.  It was almost as if the universe was saying, “Are you sure?”  The call I got was for a very well-known landscape company in the Twin Cities.  And while the call wasn’t a job offer, it was suggested that I would be a good candidate for the position and I should consider pursuing it.  There was also conversation about money.  The salary would be nice and the commissions would make the job even more enticing, but…  here in Minnesota our landscape season is relatively short.  Plus, working on commissions in landscaping only applies to jobs sold, not all plans drawn, so it’s possible that I could end up doing a lot of work I would never get paid for.  After thinking about this  I did some calculations and figured I would need to be working at least 80 hrs. per week during the season (summer) just to meet their expectations. Could I do it?  Sure.  Would I be stressed out?  Definitely.  But the money!

The money, is not worth it.  My son is young.  Assuming I interviewed, things went well and I got the job, it would mean not being there when he gets home from school, missing dinner, missing his games and maybe even missing bedtime.  I might have money in the bank, but no amount of money could bring back his childhood.  No amount of money could fix the regret I would feel being at work instead of being with him.

So as you probably figured out, I graciously bowed out.  I was flattered to receive the call and at another time in my life this would have been, or could be great, but not now.  We are all given choices in our lives.  Some of them big, some of them not-so-big, but regardless of how large or small the decision seems at the time, we need to make sure the decision we make is right for us.  We need to listen to our hearts and do what will truly make us happy.  I’m grateful to have the opportunity to spend so much time with my son right now because I know it’s not always going to be that way.  There will come a day when I will barely see him at all and I’m sure that day is coming faster than I even realize.  But for now, I want to be there.

So, yes, I might be walking away from the opportunity of a lifetime, but I have something much more valuable to me, the ability to make my own schedule so I can be where I’m needed when I’m needed.

I realize what I chose isn’t for everyone, but for me, I can’t think of a salary that would make me feel okay about not being there for my son.  We all need to find balance in our lives and what’s right for me might not be right for you, but neither is better than the other, it’s just different.

So when the universe sends you a message, make sure you take the time to listen, to figure out what the message is and why its being sent.  And then, once you’ve figured out why, figure out what the best answer is for you because no matter how many people to talk to about it, no matter how many opinions you get, nobody else knows what is right for you, but you.


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