This post is coming at you courtesy of an email conversation I had with The Repeater. And, like my post on sex, this discusses another taboo topic: money.
Brian and I are basically financially secure. We have a huge-ass mortgage, of course, but other than that, we have few debts. Some student loans and a small car loan, both of which we plan to pay off in the near future. No credit card debt. A decent cushion of savings for emergencies. We're able to say a chunk of our monthly income and contribute to retirement plans.
So why then do I feel this incredible tug toward making more money? My opportunities are in the form of freelance medical writing projects that come my way. Projects that I just don't have time for. Yet every time I say no, I feel guilty and wonder what purpose that money could serve. And mind you, we're not big shoppers. We buy more books than anything else, and spend a decent amount of money on entertainment and vacations, but we're definitely not extravagent. We share a car for Christ sake.
And I think Brian is worse than me. I can envision a time where, assuming we move somewhere cheaper, I would be more than happy to cut my income to be able to make a full time job out of writing (fiction and medical) and teaching. Though B supports my goal, he can't quite fathom the idea of it being OK not to make as much money or more than we make now. He wants to make tons, not so that we can drive a Lexus and have a gold plated house, but because he wants to feel secure, travel more often than we do now, and have plenty of money for kids (if we choose to have them... that's another post altogether!). And I hope he does too. Then I can write and not feel so guilty. :) (No pressure, B!)
I think this whole thing comes down to a societal pressure to always want more. I've managed to avoid the "stuff" aspect of wanting more, but I can't get around the money aspect. It's comforting to know it's there. But at some point I'm going to have to be OK with whatever amount it is and choose a life that balances monetary wealth with satisfaction and time.