Friday, July 6, 2018

Reading and Money or Maybe: Reading and Thinking

I am reading a book that has got me thinking. I am always reading a book or two; in fact, I probably like reading better than writing- it is certainly less work!

Anyway, back to the book I’m reading. It features a character about my age who decides after a friend’s death that working for the American Dream isn’t quite worth it. She calls her secretary at her New York City law firm and tells her she won’t be coming in, gets in her Maserati, drives until she runs out of gas in the country, and buys the run-down country house that is for sale (amazingly right in front of her) and never goes back again.

She comes to the conclusion that all of our working for things just isn’t worth it, and she chooses to stop.

As I float in my backyard pool on a perfect summer afternoon, I spin around, look at the way too big for two people house that I live in and wonder about her conclusions.

You see, I can ponder these things perhaps like not many others can. For I truly know what it is like to have and to have not. Less than ten years ago, I was forced to sell our modest home and move three adults into into a one-bedroom rental property that had ceilings that even I, with my 5 foot 2 inch frame, could touch. I remember looking around and crying for my modest home I had lost. During those times of reinventing myself money was scarce to say the least. Taking odd painting jobs, cleaning for people, and living off student loans were the ways to my means.

I don’t remember those times and think of them with fondness. Call me materialistic, but worrying how you are going to survive doesn’t make one more pious. You see in the land of fiction you can create an unlikely world for your characters. The character I’m reading about doesn’t worry about money. She has plenty of that. She is just choosing not to spend it to better her living conditions- roughing it, so to speak.

I didn’t look at my time of poverty and need as a voluntary trip where I just decided to do without. I didn’t choose my time of need, it chose me, and to be honest I didn’t like it much. Maybe some could have looked at it differently. Survived it better. Embraced it fully and went with it.

I’m not saying that I couldn’t do it again if necessary. I survived the first time. But I am saying that if I have to pick, I’d choose to work to maintain what I have, which to most of the world would be considered excess. I do know that it is. People live with far less.

It has been said that money can’t buy you happiness, but I would say it can buy you a little piece of mind. Anyone that has ever wondered how they are going to pay the light bill will agree that having enough money in the bank helps you sleep better at night.

I’m glad to read about the character, Rosie’s choices- reading always helps you think, evaluate, and grow. It is through reading that I can learn to empathize with another by really seeing what they endured. I will say that writing about some of my hardest experiences in my memoir was a daunting task. Sharing things that I don’t admit to most people I know, let alone to strangers was terrifying at first, but I realized that if I didn’t dare to tell others the story it would have never been known.

Check out my book Leave Him? available at It is currently sale priced at $2.99 for the Kindle version and $12.99 for a print copy. You may read it and not agree with the character’s (ah, my) choices, but it will help you understand some things from another point of view, which is always the reason for reading!  

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