Archive for want

The Same Old Question

By guest blogger, Carolyn Cook.

Why don’t I make more money?

I ask myself this question every couple of years, and I always come up with the same reasonable answers:

  • My field, non-profit live theatre, doesn’t pay well financially. The personal rewards of doing good work in this field are huge, but there’s no money in it.
  • My family means a lot to me. Choosing to homeschool my daughter and live close to my mother has curtailed the time I can afford to spend at a high-paying job.
  • My husband has a good job, so my family isn’t suffering. In fact, I work hard to run a frugal household, so that we can live comfortably and save for retirement. I enjoy the challenge.

Those three answers are so strong, they ought to put an end to the question. But somehow, like a bad penny, it keeps turning up.

Why don’t I make more money?

I’ve decided to risk changing the question, rewording it in order to rethink it.  So here goes:

  • Do I really want to make more money?
  • What, specifically, would I do with a higher income?
  • How much more money would I like to make?
  • How could I make that amount?
  • Am I willing to make the sacrifices and get the training I might need to make that amount?
  • Do I give myself permission to start finding the answers to these questions?

I think you can guess that I’ve already given myself permission to start finding answers. I have a long way to go. But I’ve given myself one concrete, though completely arbitrary, answer to guide me, at least for the time being. I’ve decided that I would love to make $40,000 a year for at least five years. After that, who knows?

I don’t know where this search for answers will lead. But just reframing the question has opened my mind. There was implied self-loathing in the first question: why don’t I, the stupid, flighty, creative type, make more money? Why am I dependent on my husband’s salary?  Why have I squandered my intelligence and education in a low-paying career?  What’s wrong with me??

That line of questioning was getting me nowhere fast. I’m risking new questions, seeking new answers, and keeping a firm handle on my self-respect.

I won’t ask that same old question again.

 is a sometimes peaceful, sometimes frazzled individual who works to raise a daughter, build a marriage, and explore the human condition through theatre, art, music, history, literature, and relationship. You can now read about her life and insights at her own blog here.

This post first appeared on True Voices’ RiskADay blog, a project, which has now concluded.

(International Day of) Happiness – Our Right and Responsibility

Laura_B_IMG-1952_optimized verticalIn an effort to acknowledge and promote happiness as a universal desire, the United Nations proclaimed yesterday, March 20, to be the International Day of Happiness.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The pursuit of happiness lies at the core of human endeavors. People around the world aspire to lead happy and fulfilling lives free from fear and want, and in harmony with nature. Let us reinforce our commitment to inclusive and sustainable human development and renew our pledge to help others. When we contribute to the common good, we ourselves are enriched. Compassion promotes happiness and will help build the future we want.”

And to every word of that, I say amen! In fact… What if we all reinforced our commitments “to inclusive and sustainable human development” and our pledges “to help others?” What might happen then? Oooh – just the thought of that makes me happy! So, even though it’s the day after, or month after, or years later, depending on when you are reading this post, let’s join together in remembering that happiness is among our inalienable rights. and that it is our right and responsibility to foster that in ourselves and the lives of others.

Thanks for reading… and stay tuned for the next post, which is about what the UN says the face of happiness looks like!

 

PS This picture of me was taken by the talented Cindy Brown!

It’s Create A Vacuum Day

Before you go thinking that I’m suggesting we all create vacuum cleaners today, hear me out.  That’s not what I’m talking about, unless of course, you want to do that!

What I’m suggesting is that, in honor of Create A Vacuum Day, we clear out some space, whether it be physical or emotional.  Surely there is something – an item or a negative thought pattern  – you’d like to re-gift, recycle, or just plain get rid of.  There are certainly those things for me.  And in addition to my feeling good about doing one or all of those things, something else good will come of it.  How do I know?

Perhaps you’ve heard the idiom, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”  This is a statement attributed to and debated by many very smart men, including Aristotle, Galileo, and Isaac Newton, to name a few.  The idea is that nature requires spaces to be filled with something.

For example, if you have a glass that is full of water, and you pour the water out, it seems as though the glass is empty.  But, in fact, it is not.  It is full – of air!

Therefore, I am thinking that we could use this special day to create a vacuum in our lives, so that something we prefer or even deeply desire can rush in, like air into an “empty” glass.  What do you think?  What will you get rid of?  And what is it that you’d like to rush into the space that you create???

Gratitude and Want – One Paradox of Being Human and Divine

Hello, my dear lovely,

I am writing to say – out loud – that I want to write for 15 minutes a day.  I would love to write for an even longer time, but setting that bar hasn’t served me lately.  So, inspired by Dawn Goldberg of Write Well U, I’m going to write at least 15 minutes a day, for at least 15 days in a row.

This shouldn’t be difficult, as there’s a lot I want to say.  It’s true, I want people to be moved and educated and inspired and empowered by what I write.  But mostly, I want to do it because I want to do it.  And I believe that because I’ve wanted to write regularly for so long that I am meant to do it.  So there.

There is a lot I want.  Off the top of my head, I’ll say I want to sleep well and eat well and get (and stay) fit.  I want to (want to) exercise.  I want to be in nature more of the time, and be with the people I love even more than that.  I want to create and connect and learn and teach and grow and be me out loud.  And I want to help others do the same – if that’s what they want.

I want to make so much money that I am not only able to have the things and experiences that I want for myself, but I also want to be able to share it with others.   I want to share my things and experiences with those I love, and I want to give money to complete strangers, supporting people and causes I believe in.

I want, I want, I want. Sure, I want a lot.  And there’s a lot more than what I’ve mentioned here.  The paradox is that I am also very grateful for all I have  and am and all I am able to do.

One thing I am grateful right now is the fact that I just wrote for more than 15 minutes!  Thanks for being here for that.

I wish for you all that you want.  And I wish for you wanting what you want without judging or shaming yourself in any way.   By our very nature, we are human and divine, and inherent in that is paradox.  Embrace this paradox, and all others, if you can.  Life is far more enjoyable this way, for me at least.  And as a result, I feel so much more free to be me out loud.

Isn’t that a nice way to feel – free – here on the 5th of July?

Won’t you join me?

love,
Laura

PS On another note completely, there is a fabulous play by Lanford Wilson called Fifth of July.  He wrote lots of powerful plays worth looking into, if you’re so inclined…