Financial Empty Calories

I’ve started to teach ESL again and I love it. At first I fell into the trap of comparing my new paycheck to my old paycheck. That is the worst thing I can do. There’s no point in comparing salaries between two completely unrelated jobs. You need to compare happiness, and satisfaction. At my old job, my only sense of satisfaction came from making money. When that’s the case, you need to keep making more and more money in order to feel satisfied. It’s like eating empty calories – there’s no substance.

Here’s a much better way of looking at it my new part time job: I’m getting paid to have fun. I really enjoy talking to my students, hearing about their cultures, and coming up with new ways of making the past perfect verb tense fun. Besides for the grammar, it’s a lot like hanging out at the hostel  when you’re backpacking and meeting people from all over the world.

If someone paid me to watch movies I love, I wouldn’t scoff at the paycheck, or compare it to how much I would get paid to do something I don’t like, I would say , “how did I get so lucky?

Am I trying to tell you money is bad? Hell no. I want to be able to travel all the time, and eat out at fancy restaurants, take taxis when my feet are hurting, and wear pretty clothes, and not have to worry about bills. I’m still working on my BeddyBye invention, and I hope it will make me a millionaire one day. The difference is that the money won’t be the only source of satisfaction – it will be a reward for my hard work, dedication, and risk-taking. But just knowing my product made one person’s life easier would be worth it too.

p.s. My main priory right now is finding a mentor to talk to. If anyone knows someone in the manufacturing world who would like to be a mentor, I’d love the connection!

2011 in Review

Well I finished my holiday eating, I’m done digesting, and now I’m ready to start blogging again. I liked Tracy’s Year End List so much I decided to do one myself.  I believe it takes some time to truly understand the past, and that is why I waited until today to review 2011- not because I’m a procrastinator.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

I started a blog and I went skydiving. The blog was a lot less scary.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Yes! I resolved to make my bed every day and I have except for vacations and colds. This year I made a resolution to organize my desk every night. And I made a mini goal of selling 500 BeddyByes by June.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

One of my best friends, Sojo, gave birth to a beautiful boy. He’s the inspiration for my new career!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Fortunately no.

5. What countries did you visit?

Kenya, Mexico, and Spain. And the Dubai airport for 8 hours. Does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

My company, BeddyBye LLC, up and running…and super successful.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 5th when I decided to quit my job. August 5th , our 3 year anniversary. October 18th, Challenge day.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Deciding to quit my job and not having a plan – I’ve never been a risk taker before. Also, coming up with an idea for a new product and actually following through. It would have been very easy to dismiss it.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I always feel like I’m not working hard or fast enough.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a dry socket after getting my wisdom teeth removed. This is when a blood clot doesn’t form over the new hole in your jaw bone so the raw nerve is completely exposed. I went to an online support group (yes, it was so bad I needed online support) and one woman said it was more painful than when she gave birth. I’ve never had a baby, but I’m going to assume she’s accurate.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My Toshiba Portege. I’ve always been an Apple girl, so it was scary switching to the other side, but I’m so glad I did. This computer is so fast, so light, and has incredible memory – not to mention it was half the price of the most comparable Apple.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Food. And where did most of that go? My hips.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Focusing on the HeSo project. It’s funny how little time most people spend thinking about what will make them happier and more fulfilled.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Oh boy this is difficult. Adele’s Someone like You. I don’t know why I love breakup songs so much.

 15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?  Happier

b) thinner or fatter? Thinner

c) richer or poorer? Poorer

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Work on my fiction writing.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Watching t.v. Damn you Real Housewives!!!

18. What was your favorite TV program?

Portlandia and Happing Endings.

19. What were your favorite books of the year?

Bill Bryson’s At Home: A Short History of Private Life, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, and Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections: A Novel.

20. What were your favorite films of the year?

There were a lot of great movies this year. Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Descendants, Midnight in Paris (which I just got for Christmas!), 50/50, and Bridesmaids.

21. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 27 and Mike took me to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana. It was so exciting!

22. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

A four day trip to a warm island without any culture so I wouldn’t feel guilty about spending the whole day sipping cocktails at the beach.

23. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

“Who needs more than one pair of jeans?”

24. What kept you sane?

Marla sleeping on my lap. And Mike laughing at me when I take myself to seriously.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

When all else fails breath. Also, your choices determine who you are.

I’d love to hear your answers to these questions. Leave a comment!