Sunday, August 19, 2007

Emotional Fatigue and Money

For the past few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about what's important. I'm starting work again, I'm still tutoring from time to time, I'm blogging, I'm running a household, and I'm reading and writing more than I have in a long time. The more I write, the more I start to realize how much my values and my past are important to me, and I start to realize that the money stuff has been such a fixation because it's easier to deal with than the other stuff. I've been focused on ways to make a little bit more money because it always seemed like, if I had enough money, I wouldn't need to worry and I wouldn't need to work and I'd be able to spend more of my time doing things that I love and getting to the bottom of some of the nonsense in my head.

What I realized, again and again, is that that's not how money works. The harder I worked on accumulating money for the sake of money, and the more I sacrificed the thigns I loved to be able to get the money, the more tired I would get. I didn't have the energy to think or read, to learn anything new. I couldn't imagine going out with my friends on a day when I worked because I just felt so drained.

What I realized is that money is not going to make me happy. I feel like I say this again and again, like I'm being redundant, but I also feel like it's what I need to say. The pursuit of money robs us of the things we really love. No amount of money will take away the fatigue, will take away the anger or the anxiety.

The only thing that will fix those is, that will make me finally less tired, is love. It's an amazing experience when I leave work tired, go to a social event and spend time with people I care about, and then come home to schoolwork, cleaning, and housework to do. It's amazing because I come home less tired, more able to do all the things that need to be done.

And so, I realize, I'm going about things backward. I've been too tired to do the things I love, and too tired to get any traction with my money. If I come home tired, then I want to get takeout, want to cave to unnecessary spending. If I come home tired, then I don't want to work any more.

I thought that you needed to work hard for money so you had time for the things you love. Instead you need to do the things you love in order to get the energy to work hard for money. It's not a one way thing. You have to do what matters to you, what's truly important, if you ever want to be successful, and if you ever want to experience abundance.

So, I'm going to slow down my life a little. I'm going to enjoy each bite of food more, hug and kiss my husband more, spend more time with my friends, and really love each stitch of my knitting. That might mean I'll blog a little less, but I'm going to make an effort to really love everything I write. Hopefully, my theory will prove true and my time and energy will open up, so that I won't need to give up anything at all.


emma.jean said...

Loved your post and wish you all the best for finding a good balance.

Lyn said...

I am at home full-time but yet with chronic health issues I struggle daily with limited energy. I often forego anything fun because I feel I don't have the time to enjoy things as it takes me so long to get things done (I never feel caught up). And yet day after day I do the same. Many healthy people feel this way (not caught up); throw in a few illnesses and it's a challenge to continually deal with. I can't imagine how much harder for some with even more debilitating health problems.

Your words are wise and I am going to start doing the same - implementing more enjoyable things. The work will always be there, won't it - wherever that work is. Balance is an ever-striving thing.

tk said...

This is awesome. I agree totally. The money can't be the center; happiness/contentment has to be the center from which all other projects branch.