On August 31, 2014 one of my very best friends posted a post on her blog: The poverty of greed. I’ve read and re-read this post several times in the last month and a half or so. It really hit home for me. She describes so elegantly about a life where greed becomes everything…when it shouldn’t be…greed for the money, the deadlines, the seemingly important things. But, this isn’t what we should be greedy for, as she continues to explain.
She explains, “Yes, you should have been greedy…very greedy. For kindness and sharing, for playfulness and affection, for connection, loyalty, gratitude and passion. All those unimportant things that can not be counted yet count the most.”
To this, I must agree 100%. I have a good friend who once wanted (nearly begged) me to take a job doing something I’m not particularly passionate about, that would have required a great deal of travel for me to the other side of the U.S., but that would potentially bring me pay beyond anything I’ve ever realized. I weighed the pros and cons and really struggled with this decision for quite some time. The only real pro I could find was that I would have the opportunity to travel and meet new people. While I’m certainly not opposed to travel, this position would have me traveling more often than not to setup new account and for account management. The cons really won out, and even though I had interviewed for this position (and based on what my friend had told me, I would have likely been offered this position), I wasn’t comfortable with it. So I respectfully pulled myself from the applicant pool.
What I realized in that moment when I made my decision is that my family is far more important than making outrageous amounts of money. I know that with an increase in salary comes with it an increase in the cost of living – maybe not in the community I live in, but certainly in my spending habits. This is very common because when the money is there we, as humans, tend to spend more.
Only a few short months later I was laid off from my job (that I did not quit to take this other position my friend wanted me to take). I was out of work for a little over three months, but during that three months I really saw what I had been missing – my family and my sanity. For about six months prior to being laid off I had been traveling nearly 180 miles round trip, Monday thru Friday, leaving at 5 am and not returning home until between 6 and 8 pm each night. I was doing this to make money to support my family. At this time I wasn’t being greedy; I was simply working to support my family. Being laid off was a blessing in disguise for me. God provided, as he always does for my family, and after some major spending cuts (including unnecessary bills) we were able to survive.
That was certainly a stressful time (especially for me since I was the one out of work), but I was able to spend more time with my family, get some large projects completed around my home that I had wanted to for quite some time, and I was able to recoup from the six months of extensive (and exhausting) travel.
Since then, I have found a job with a company that is used to remote employees, so I have the opportunity to work from home. This has allowed me to remain focused on my family and my home while I still work and provide for my family. Through this experience I have found that I have become greedy – for all those things my good friend described in her post. Sure, I still stretch myself thin at times (okay, a lot of the time), but it’s to help my family, to support my family, and to maintain a safe and healthy home for my family. I am so very grateful for my family and my friends. Because of them I am able to experience the truly important things in life – love, passion, affection, connection, kindness, sharing, and most of all – gratitude.