Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Great Money Read!

I have waited for this book to come in at the library for weeks.  It's finally here!  Through all the reading I've been doing lately on voluntary simplicity, the names Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin have come up repeatedly.  I feel like they are the mom and pop of the VS movement, and I really ought to read their stuff.  So, here I am, with a somewhat dog-eared and beaten copy of their illustrious book, a 1999 edition (I've just learned they have a new one out this past year - well, she does, he has passed on).  I'm so excited, I can hardly crack the pages.  But here I go...  I love it already.  They dedicated the book to ...ME!  And to you and all your hard-working, eco-friendly friends.  The dedication reads: "We dedicate this book to all of the people who are actively engaged in leaving our planet in better shape than they found it".  Yes, that sound like me!

In looking beyond the dedication and into the table of contents, I read, "Chapter 1.  The Money Trap: The Old Road Map for Money.  How much have you earned in your life? and (I love this one) How much do you have to show for it?"

But it gets even better.  "Chapter 2.  Money Ain't What it Used to Be.  How much are you trading your life energy for?  and Keep track of every cent that comes into or goes out of your life."

This book was the catalyst for people deciding not to spend their lives working but working on spending their lives living.  They ask the very poignant question: Do you really want to keep working to pay for that new house, car, boat, vacation (insert the name of any large ticket item here) or would you rather do without or with less and work less as well.  Now, I don't want to give the impression that I am unhappy with my line of work.  However, if you asked me whether I would like to spend my days doing something else, I would say yes.  I would like to do so many other things:
  • Spend more time enjoying my children before they are too old to want me around
  • Give time to my community
  • Create art with recycled materials
  • Build a garden to feed my family
  • Write stories for children
  • Publish music for children
  • Write a cookbook for special diets
In order to be able to do these things, I will either have to 1) win the lottery - fat chance since I never play the lottery, 2) retire - not gonna happen at my current base of pay/expenses, or 3) cut my working hours in correlation with cutting my expenses so I can be flexible with my time.  I like what's behind door number 3.

I'm excited to get into this book.  If you can get your hands on one, why don't you read it along with me and we'll compare notes?

Have you found a way to be flexible with your time to do the things you like best?

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