Show Me The Money!
Is it always about the money? Yes, probably. But life isn’t that black and white. There’s lots to be said for being poor…
Ever since I have lived on my own (literally since the day after I turned 18), I’ve struggled to pay for things. Nobody ever said “Here, let me pay for your school.” or “Here, let me pay your rent.” Certainly nobody paid for my food, clothing, etc. My parents couldn’t help at all so if I got $20 in an envelope for my birthday, it was a BIG deal. Huge, in fact.
Not only did I have to rely on my wits and resourcefulness to survive, I also leaned on friends to share expenses. We buoyed each other through lean, tough times. They went on to thrive and I sunk like a stone, struggling well through my 30’s and into my 40’s to make ends meet. They either got married or got helping hands from relatives, and I was thrilled for them. But I didn’t envy them. I enjoyed my vagabond lifestyle, floating about not having to answer to anyone. Freedom was more important to me. But sometimes I longed for an easier life and dreamed of some day being able to raise kids instead of raising hell.
I can’t even count the number of different jobs I did. Beer store clerk, forestry worker, busboy, waitress, construction worker, garden store clerk, forest fire fighter, fish tagger, inventory counter, warehouse worker, shipping clerk, house painter, card shop clerk, receptionist, file clerk, house cleaner, etc. I could always find work but it was usually just a stepping stone to something else, a rung on the way up my life ladder.
When I met my husband, I had been working a steady job for a few years but was still unsettled in my personal life. I floundered, not really having any goals or even hobbies. Having a life partner made a difference – sharing burdens and working towards mutual goals together was an unfamiliar road but a welcome one. We worked on his business, we started a family, we skipped down the road of life steadfastly together. All the while, piss poor. Piss poor and happy. We didn’t compromise our integrity to get ahead, and we did NOT get ahead. Money did not drive the train we were on.
Playing radio contests is the only way I make any money these days, except for those rare occasions when I have a yard sale or sell some Finnish food. It’s a trickle, but it all helps. The bills just keep piling up and I’m resigned to the fact we will never be out from under this dung-heap of debt. I have no expectations we’ll ever climb out from under it, and I’m okay living the life of the have-nots. Plugging away, trudging forward, step by step trying to raise happy and well-adjusted kids. That is our only goal. We don’t need fine dining, nights out, yearly vacations, activities for the kids, nannies, fast cars, fancy clothes, or jewellery. We are happy with thrift store clothes (recycling is in vogue!), clunker cars, staycations and bbqs in the back yard. I’m not sure any of that would change if we suddenly won the lottery. I already feel like I won the lottery – we’re all healthy, happy, and grateful!
But I’m tired. So when there’s an opportunity to make some cash without too much effort, I’m in.
After almost six years of blogging, I am nominated for the Top Blogger honour on Vancouver Mom. Whether someone nominated me or they dug out my application from a few years back, my time has come. It’s not a Nobel Peace Prize or an Oscar, but it means a lot to me. Writing is the only thing I want to do and even if no one reads my books, my blog will have a loyal readership as long as I’m able to keep writing it. I’m very proud of that, and I’m proud to be included in the Top 30 Mom Bloggers of Vancouver.
From that nomination came an invitation to write a sponsored post. At first I thought it must be a mistake – I write about contests and sometimes babble about parenting, but I don’t try to sell my readers anything. I mention things in passing, rave about places or events, but I don’t believe I’ve ever pushed any agenda. Have I? I’ve never wanted to be that blogger, writing things simply because I got paid for the posts. If I see a post that reads “Sponsored Post” I scroll right on by. But even without clicking the post, I’ve subconsciously registered the subject – the event, the paying sponsor, the location, whatever. Their mission was accomplished.
There-in lies my dilemma. Do I write the post and make a few bucks? Or do I stick to my guns and turn it down? Or is there some way to compromise, like have them run a contest I can talk about? Even that seems cheesy if it’s not a contest I’d enter myself. The devil on my shoulder is whispering, “Just do it. You could buy that Roomba you want so badly.” My conscience is not so quiet, bopping me on the head while yelling, “NO! Don’t sell your soul!” A bit over-dramatic, but that’s the gist. Jerk.
While I mull it over, please go check out the #VMTOP30 bloggers and throw me a vote if you enjoyed this post. If you didn’t enjoy this post, I’m going to let Ricky tell you how we feel about that: