On Halloween night I called my niece to see if she hit the mother lode on her candy route. After assuring me she really DID get close to 300 chocolate bars including Wunderbar, Twix and Kit Kat (salt in the wound why don’t you), she asked what I thought were some hard hitting questions for an 8 year old.
K: You work at home, right?
K: So what do you actually DO to make money?
Me: Explain executive recruiting in kid terms.
K: Who’s your boss?
Me: I don’t have one, I’m my boss.
K: So who pays you?
Me: The companies I work for. (explain with brands she knows). Wait. Does this kid need a loan?
K: Do you make a lot of money?
Me: Dear God where is this coming from? It all depends. I make more money than some people and less money than others, but overall yes, I guess I do make a decent amount of money.
K: Do you love money?
Me: What in the hell are they saying about me over there? Well K, that is a good question. <pause> Do I love money? No, I’d have to say I do not love money. Money is a tool and it can be a dangerous thing. Do I like having money to take care of myself? Yes. Do I like being able to help others with money? Yes. But having money doesn’t make you any better than anyone else. It doesn’t make you a kind person or a generous person, or even someone who loves other people. In fact it might turn you into the opposite, so no I do not love money.
K: Hmm. Okay. That was a good answer.
Me: Why thank you, oh sage of the answers. Why? Do you love money?
K:. No. I was just wondering what you thought.
Baller questions, right? I thought they were insightful and well-timed considering my circumstances. If anything, I thought maybe she didn’t even realize WHY she was asking the questions; maybe those questions were just meant for me and she was the best deliverer of them, someone without an agenda.
That conversation rattled around in my brain for days afterward. Had I been completely honest with her? Somewhere inside me DO I love money? Is that why I got sick, to cleanse me of a love of money? Why were those questions thrown at me by the universe?
One day last week we were out riding bikes (yes!) and Chris told me to look back over my shoulder. When I did I saw B. Franklin barreling down the alley toward me, wailing at the top of his lungs. He was going so fast his little celery stick hind legs went sideways when he finally caught up. Honestly, it made me cry. My heart felt like it was going to burst.
All of the sudden I thought about what my niece had asked me, and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had told her the truth. I don’t love money; it can’t buy the things that are sustaining me. Even though my health isn’t the greatest and I don’t have a steady paycheck right now, I’m oddly satisfied. My needs are being met and I can still afford to do a fun thing here or there. Thankfully, that is enough.