Wednesday, December 16, 2009
How Much Does it Pay?
I recently took a part-time job. And since that time several people have asked "How much does it pay?"
I've recently published a book. Recently people have started asking me "How much money will you get for that?"
Some time ago I starting doing news reporting for a local Cable television program. Same question was asked.
Now perhaps times have changed or perhaps I grew up in a culture where people didn't ask each other such questions, it was considered rude, but every single time someone has asked me I've been tempted to answer "None of your business." Mostly I've given them a look that says "I can't believe you just asked me that" and walked away.
I took the part-time job because I no longer want a full-time career in business..at least not in the business I used to be in. I also took a part time job because it came up and appealed to me and because the hours were flexible in that I didn't have to pay a sitter, I can work while my kids are at school and it's in retail, something I've never worked at. I like people, especially those with babies. It pays enough.
I did the television thing because I'm a news junkie, I love it and the idea appealed to me. I like talking to people, particularly those who are out there making the world go round, the news makers. I've interviewed an MP, an MPP, The director of the local autism society, gotten people to sing the twelve days of Christmas on the street and learned how to operate a television camera to some degree. I've learned something about the magic of television, particularly how quickly my hair went from blonde to brunette in back to back stories!
I do the writing because it's in my soul and it has to come out. It's what I have to do with my life. I would do it for free..and mostly I do for now.
Does money come into the equation? Of course and yes, I'm earning some. I am earning exactly what I should be and need to be earning at this point in time. Would I like more? Sure, I don't know many people in my circle of friends who wouldn't and many of them have way more than I do.
If we were starving, if we were even close to the edge of poverty then it would be a bigger issue. My children are little and my husband and I have decided this is enough for now. More work would take away from their quality of life and my ability to parent them well on my own.
What is it with the preoccupation with money? Who asks another person how much they earn? Is that really done? Have you ever asked a person how much they earn? Who do you think has the right to ask that question? I'm baffled by the whole thing.
For me there is a far more important currency. The currency that matters to me is "meaning." I read a quote the other day. It is an ancient saying. There are two hungers, the little hunger and the Great hunger. The little hunger is the hunger of the belly. The Great hunger is the hunger for meaning.
I will always earn enough money to feed the little hunger in both myself and my family. Of this I have no doubt. It has always happened that way in the past and will continue to do so in the future. What must happen from now on is a feeding of the hunger I have for meaning. I've ignored the hunger for too long now.
I find meaning in the volunteer work I do at the school, setting up the Nutritional Program that will start at the end of January. I find it in meeting and talking to people who set policy, who change people's lives through their work. I find it in my writing and I find it playing with babies at the little store I work at. I also find it in the faces of my children who will always remain my priority.
So the answer to those who ask how much does it pay?
It is priceless.
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