I am having a prolonged spring clean at the moment.
I don’t remember this but, based on the available evidence, I have to conclude that I spent the winter building up an impressive stockpile of Total Crap while living in my own ever-increasing filth. Now that the sun is back and I feel a bit less like I want to curl up in a ball and quietly cease to exist, I am attacking this problem. If anything that one does while wearing pajamas and listening to Taylor Swift can really be called an “attack”.
So far, in the course of this decluttering, I have found a total of £35 in cash hidden in various bags and pockets. For those of you unclear on the exchange rate, that’s dinner for two in a low-end restaurant, a newly-released videogame or two moderately-sized My Little Pony playsets. Or, I don’t know, whatever people who aren’t hungry and childish think about spending money on. I was excited to find it, is what I’m saying.
I know that there are people out there to whom £35 is an amount they can lose quite easily. I am not one of them, and haven’t been since I embarked on this whole “working part time and trying to write” angstventure. But this made me realise that, at one point, I was.
For someone who doesn’t, from certain points of view, actually do a lot of working, I think about it a lot. I know people who love their jobs, and people who don’t love their jobs but don’t mind doing them because the money makes up for it. I can’t imagine being one of the latter. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it –those people are happy, so they’re doing great! But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple of years, it’s that my time is worth a lot more to me than it is to anyone else. I worked full-time in a handful of jobs for about two years after I graduated and they all made me varying degrees of miserable – sometimes because I didn’t like what I was doing, but always because I didn’t have the time or energy to write*. If I don’t write, I don’t feel like me.
Of course, I have to sell some of my time in order to live (and, of course, I try my best to make sure that the employers who buy it get value for their money) but now I buy as much of it for myself and my writing as I can afford.
I don’t really remember what it felt like to be a person who could leave £5 and £10 notes stashed around the house and forget about them. I don’t remember what I used to spend my money on, either – probably a lot of the stuff I’ve been giving away as part of this spring clean. I do remember that for most of 2014, when I started working part time, I was overwhelmed with dread and had constant stress!indigestion because OMG THERE IS NO WAY I CAN GET AWAY WITH NOT EARNING MORE MONEY THAN THIS. (I knew I could really. I had a spreadsheet and everything. BUT STILL.)
But even with that anxiety and the general sense (still very much with me) that I have no idea what I’m doing, I’m so much happier now than I would be with more money and less time.
Though the £35 was a nice surprise. Carl and I went out for pancakes with about £5 and the rest will probably go on groceries, because groceries are awesome.
Other things that have happened this week:
I don’t know how I got this catalogue but I have to agree. This is an affordable and practical gift.
See you next week!
*I know there are plenty of people who can work full-time and write. As far as I’m concerned, those people are MAGICAL UNICORN SORCERERS FROM ANOTHER DIMENSION and can’t be matched by a mere lump of human flesh such as I.