It’s not (just) about the money

Right now, right this minute, I am slow sauteing a skillet of winter onions and home-grown potatoes before I go to work. The past three days  have been brutal (physically), so I’m savoring the quietness of this morning. We have two jobs  to wrap up.  First stop, strip  concrete forms and settle up.  Second stop, install a piece of flashing and load up  scaffolding.  There is rain in the forecast, so it might end up being a short day.  I dug  the onions this morning so they are crispy fresh. When I have the time to make breakfast like this, it almost feels like a sacred ritual.

I just finished reading Bill’s reflection of that crazy time in his life where he was on the road a lot for his job, while his wife was home raising the kids.  He talked about eating breakfast alone at the airport, waiting to catch a flight.  His words took me right back to that season in my life where I was also running like a crazy man, trying to stuff too much into my life.   I was well-meaning, and trying to figure out the balance between working enough to pay the bills, be a good husband, father and stay active in our local church.  Ended up doing nothing well.  Someone compared my life to a gushing fire hydrant hose…lots of output and very little to show for it.

Pat and Sue stop a couple of weeks ago to talk about me building them a harvest table.   As we were visited about our lives and time commitments,  Pat said, “There is always a trade off.  If I add something new into my life, something has to give.” 

Contrary to what a young man told my son recently ( just before he fired him), it is NOT ” all about the money.”   I heard that arrogant comment and my first thought was, someone needs to tap him on the nose with a 2 by 4. (That’s how you get the attention of a mean boar that’s trying to take you/ just a little love  tap will do) ;-)

(side note..son and wife just had their first baby, and this 30 something,  business owner was angry his masonry crew refused to work in the rain while he sat in his office “administrating.”  My son was told he better come up with a “really good story as to why he shouldn’t be let go along with the foreman.”  Son refused to grovel and got canned.)

I was visiting with my friend Jim last Saturday about  work.  Jim used to be a shift foreman @ a local factory.  I’d just commented on how much Chris and Jason love working with me  (most days) and how there can be such diverse working environments.  Moral  flows from the top down.  If you’re working for a clown like my son used to work for, the days can be long and suck the life right out of you.  Jim told me, he had set up a volley ball net behind  the shop so that the guys could play if they wanted to at break time.  Picture a bunch of red neck welders and laborers who never play volleyball playing volleyball.  Made me smile.  “So what if the break time would occasionally go 5 minutes over. Those guys would bust their chops, if something broke or needed to get done on short notice.”

My thoughts go out to the young men in the work a day world right now that are trying to make ends meet.  You have a significant other in tow, and you may or may not have some little bambino’s that look up to you as well.

If  your current job is sucking the life out of you, it may be time to pick a different job.  Yea, you may have to sell your house, or God forbid, rent or downsize to a handy man special or live in some small town with a population under 750.   Ask your wife if she’d rather have you more involved and not all the material trappings, or keep on doing what you’re doing.  I’d be very surprised if she tells you the later.

It really is not all about the money.

You’ll have to excuse me now, I think my breakfast is about done.

DM

family photo 1988

Family photo from 1988, when I really didn’t have a clue.

 

 

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About DM

sitting on my grandpa's farm porch with Feedie
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5 Responses to It’s not (just) about the money

  1. Well that is true!! It isn’t about the money! I have these same thoughts from day to day. I have been blessed with my opportunity to be able to work from home and care for our kids. Some days the caring for kids/home are SO challenging I think why do I even do this. This just keeps me on track. :)
    __________________________________
    I will say this Nicole, taking care of little ones is way harder mentally than most of the toughest days I put in on the construction site…way harder. DM

  2. shoreacres says:

    It may not be ALL about the money, but it sure is about the money, too. Freedom and independence are significant values for me, and money’s a necessity if those values are going to be nurtured. I’ve made some choices about how I’ll get my money, but it’s still important to have some.

    I had to laugh at your “or God forbid, rent…” line. I’ve never owned a house in my life, but always have rented. Part of that — a good bit of that — was a result of moving around so much. It makes it much easier to pick up and go — but of course, I wasn’t raising a family, either.
    ____________________________
    Linda, your comment “It may not be ALL about the money, but it sure is about the money, too. Freedom and independence are significant values for me, and money’s a necessity if those values are going to be nurtured.”
    generated some great conversation this morning as my wife and I were having coffee! I really appreciated what you said. It touches one some simplistic thinking that goes like this: “All I need to do is follow my heart and the $ will take care of itself.” I’ve said it myself, I’ve watch more than one person attempt to live that way and that formula does not always work, don’t care if you do subscribe to the “law of attractions” model or not. You can be born into a family with a lot of wealth, marry a sugar daddy, fall into a large inheritance or figure out a way to get on disability income but if none of those circumstances are present, then a certain portion of my day will have to be devoted to the practical issue of working for money. Doesn’t mean I love money for money’s sake. DM

  3. micey says:

    Oh man. It is not all about the money. If people could get that concept, they’d probably be so much happier. My big kid came back to Florida in March. After a couple of false starts, he recently landed himself a sweet job with a family from Chile. They own a custom boat shop. They fix boats, make stuff for boats. I’m so happy for him. These guys are layed back, encourage breaks, eat meals together. Robert is not used to being treated so well. Yesterday, he told me every time they take a break, he’s waiting to get yelled out for slacking. I’m praying they’re a bunch of Jesus loving guys, living for the Lord, shining His light so that Robert will finally just ask why they’re so different? Because they really do sound different from all the schiesters he worked for in the past. 😊
    ______________________
    Sounds like a fun place to work, and that is part of my point, you can work hard, and still have fun. What bugs me is the work setting where they try to squeeze that last oz of time and energy out of their help for the least amount of pay. DM

  4. lisalassas says:

    It’s not all about the money. And, as the comments say, money is still important. I found myself here reading this blog (I still had heart to heart bookmarked, but not this one, so I actually had to do a tiny bit of internet work to get here! REALLY tiny bit of “work”, since surfing the web is about as ridiculously easy as anything on the planet…) because I missed your voice of sanity from the heart of a life of sanity. Just imagining a meal made with “fresh-dug” ingredients makes me smile :-). Love your writing, as always, DM!
    ________________
    Good morning and thanks Lisa! Always good to hear from you. About a year ago, I decided to merge the two blogs into this one…didn’t have as much to say and there seemed to be some overlap, so the other blog has tended to be a little quiet. DM

  5. Bill says:

    This is a really excellent post. I couldn’t agree more.

    If your current job is sucking the life out of you, it may be time to pick a different job. Yea, you may have to sell your house, or God forbid, rent or downsize to a handy man special or live in some small town with a population under 750. Ask your wife if she’d rather have you more involved and not all the material trappings, or keep on doing what you’re doing. I’d be very surprised if she tells you the later.

    It really is not all about the money.

    That says it all. Like you, I know the truth of it from experience.
    ______________________________
    Thanks Bill! Always good to hear from you. DM

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