I cannot and will not say that I didn't enjoy having money. I did. I am not crazy.
Not just for the sake of having money. I am not a hoarder, and the fact that the mere possession of money can confer status is a mystery to me.
However, I enjoyed money for the conveniences and the fun it bought, and I enjoyed having enough of it to be able to help my family and/or friends out when they were in need, buy them the things they wanted, and take them on vacations or just out for a good time. I'm pretty generous with money. I'm a great one for giving spontaneous gifts and picking up the check in a restaurant. (Side note: You know what I hate? I hate going out to dinner with people and then watching them agonize over the check, "Who had the soup?" and that sort of thing. I hate that. Just saying.)
I like making people happy, and that's pretty easy to do when you have disposable cash.
At some point, though, using money to make people happy can become a poor substitute for having a genuine relationship with them. The things and experiences that money can buy are great, but they are not the only things and experiences worth having and sometimes money actually gets in the way of having better things and experiences.
Case in point: when I was little I had a Barbie doll. All my friends on my block had Barbie dolls. But our parents didn't have much money and could barely afford to buy us clothes, much less shelling out the bucks to buy a wardrobe for Barbie.
So we made our own Barbie clothes. We learned to knit, sew, crochet, and design doll clothes. We bought our materials at rummage sales. We formed a club, and spent many happy hours working on our projects. We had fashion shows. We had fun. I still crochet my own designs.
I don't think it would have been quite the same if mom and dad had bought us the Barbie clothes.
Money can bring a kind of tyranny with it. Like the way a purse fills up no matter how big it is, money seems to create its own unique set of necessities. Buy the latest fashionista dress, and you discover that last year's bag just won't do. But a new chair, and the couch looks shabby. (Actually, both my chair and my couch look shabby, but that is due to my husband's style of home decor, which can be described as "Early Crash Pad".)
These issues are no longer mine. I say that with a mixed sense of joy.
Mixed, because it was fun and now it's gone. But also mixed because, determined to preserve some semblance of style and grace in my life, I experienced a sort of renaissance, which was also fun.
I found that, to be successfully underemployed:
- I had to have an open mind;
- I had to be willing to accept the changes;
- I had to be creative (yeah, you are, too. Give it a shot);
- I had to be confident;
- I had to maintain my sense of humor;
- I had to be desperate.
If you are un/underemployed and any or all of the above traits are not presently in your repertoire, then consider your current situation the perfect circumstances for self-development. And self-develop you will.
You have no choice. Barbie needs new clothes.