I Don’t Want to Be Rich
***Note: This is a guest post from my friend Terez Howard. When Terez and I discussed her guest post here on The Sales Lion, my one request to her was that she base the article on a personal experience. Well, Terez clearly out-did herself with this deeply profound and personal article. I hope all of my readers enjoy this as much as I did…
Back in January of 2003, I remember my father asked me what I was going to do with my life. I had just graduated from high school in 2002 and was enrolled full time at my local community college. I told him that I planned to get my associate degree in communications. Then, I hoped to get a job at a newspaper. I knew I wanted to get married and have at least one child.
How did I do?
I graduated from Jefferson Community College in 2004 with my associate degree. One month later, I was hired at an area newspaper. In 2005, I got married, and in 2007, I had my one and only child.
You know how my life turned out because I’m telling you. I have to admit that I’m pretty proud of it. But my father was never proud of it. You see, he never saw it. He asked me about my plans for the future in a hospital bed and died on January 19, 2003.
I didn’t get to tell him that I was hired as community editor and made more money than the other reporters with bachelor’s degrees. He didn’t get to give me away on my wedding. He never got to meet my daughter.
A Love of Writing
I love to write. I’ve written ever since I learned how to write. I went from silly short stories to emotional poems to factual articles to my present personal blog posts. My parents always encouraged me to take what I love and turn it into a job. So, it seemed natural to become a writer. Yes, I want to make money from writing. But why did I title my post “I Don’t Want To Be Rich”?
Because I don’t.
I don’t want a six-figure income. I don’t expect to make thousands upon thousands every month. Before you tell me that hard work and determination can get me paychecks with several zero’s, let me tell you that that is the very reason I don’t want it.
I am a hard worker. I am determined to reach my goals. A small part time income might seem laughable to you. But to me, it fits perfectly, like my favorite pair of skinny jeans.
The Gift of Time
My time is the most precious thing in my life; it’s what I give to my husband and my daughter. I never want my work to unduly steal the time that belongs to them. In order for that to be truth, I have to make a sacrifice. I have to admit that while I know that I could make plenty of money writing, I won’t because I don’t want to spend the time.
Think about well-paid writers, doctors, salesmen and others. For example, my daughter’s pediatrician told me last week that he spent more than 12 hours at the office, and just when he got home for about an hour, he was called out for an emergency cesarean section. He slept for two hours that night and woke up for another long day. I’m sure he’s rolling in the dough. Yet, he lamented that he felt he never got to see his kids.
What is life if you don’t get to enjoy it with your loved ones?
After my dad died, I realized just how short life is. I only had him for about 18 years, and it wasn’t long enough. He missed almost all the major milestones in my life. He didn’t choose to miss them. Sickness took his life.
Why would I let work allow me to miss my family’s milestones, major and minor alike? It wouldn’t be fair.
Maybe you’re thinking that you work to provide for your family, and I understand that. Answer this question honestly: Do you work more than you necessary to keep up a lifestlye?
I can tell you that what I remember about my father does not include the things he got me. The Barbies, the Nikes and the gold jewelry meant nothing. I fondly remember the time I spent with him. He was always there for me.
No matter what we do with our lives, know that we will be remembered for the time. And believe me, there’s not much.
Terez Howard operates TheWriteBloggers, a professional blogging service which builds clients’ authority status and net visibility. She has written informative pieces for newspapers, online magazines and blogs, both big and small. She regularly blogs at Freelance Writing Mamas. You’ll find her on Twitter @thewriteblogger.
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