Monday, February 16, 2009

Dollars and Cents

I decided last week that I wasn't going to teach at the college next semester so I could focus on writing and this webbity-bloggity thing I've got going. I figure: this is the one time in my life that I have the luxury to explore my options---to pursue writing or underwater Pilates, or whatever. Paul and I live simply enough that we're making this one-income thing work...not forever, but for the time being. I figure that teaching will be there...but the time to pursue other dreams will not.

So, I decide this, and feel good--that way it feels to finally have settled something. Then, the fear creeps in. The holy-shit-I-do-not-make-any-money fear. Really, when all is said and done, my present job brings home about $150 every two weeks. A week's worth of groceries, plus change to buy Starbucks and a Netflix.

Yet, it's a check that has my name on it, and that makes me feel like a functional adult. When the checks only have Paul's name on them, I feel dependent. Itchy. I feel the need to ask permission to get my nails done, and feel guilty when I go wild and buy the out-of-season cherries.

This is all me, because Paul understands that watching the boys is a job, albeit an unpaid job. He doesn't second-guess my purchases, and rolls his eyes when I talk about "his money," and "my money."

It just nice to see a tangible proof that my work is valuable. I can cash or deposit a check. I can use the money to buy plane tickets, to pay off the mortgage, to replace the tires on the Honda.

With the boys, I "deposit" lessons, hugs, kisses, conversations, activities, attention, love. I don't know how my investments will mature; I just have to hope and trust that my decisions are sound.

In light of today's economy, perhaps these investments---Owen, Joel---are the only the only investments I can trust.

Maybe so---but I still like earning my own money.

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