Friday, July 25, 2008

Freedom

Friday. You blessed day, I thought you'd never come. Tonight, I'll make something fun for supper and Robb and I will watch a movie late into the night and we'll wake up when we want to on Saturday morning and go the Farmer's Market and get some FOOD. How loverly.

I have officially not been out of the house all week. I rather like to stay home, quite honestly. Today, I'll probably tinker some more with my secondary Etsy store The Rick Rack Shack, where I'm listing all the fabric and hundreds of patterns I've acquired in my journeys. And I'd like to mosaic. I have a thought in my head that's been simmering for a while, wanting to be made.

It's a relief to H, I'm sure, to know that I want to mosaic again. Having the gallery turn me down was a serious bummer and really took the wind out of my sails. She asked me yesterday if I couldn't enjoy making things if I knew I couldn't sell them. That was a great question and it got me thinking.

It's true that I'm always thinking about the sale-ability of an item I make or buy. I'm thinking about how to market it, and ultimately how to literally trade what I've got for what I want: kids clothes, good food, occasional eating out, garden supplies, redecorating supplies....

I found myself wondering if that was a good trait or a bad trait. Other people, I know, don't live and think this way. Robb took me for a much needed walk around the block last night and we talked it out. "I guess it depends on what you want the money for?" he asked. And then it dawned on me. Money isn't anything all by itself. Money means all kinds of different things to people. Sometimes it means a feeling of security. I would say, that making that little bit of extra money that I do, while puttering around, means the promise of freedom. And freedom is extraordinarily important to me.

That's probably why I've been so grouchy all week...with the kids sick and the budget tight, and the heat and bugs so oppressive outside, I told Robb I felt like I was living on a square foot of space and couldn't move. Knowing that I have all these limitations makes me focus too much on the limitations and not on what I do have to work with.

When I was a kid, I went to a school with essentially no freedom. They even tried to make having devotions mandatory. The rule book was already thick when each year, they would add new prohibitions to it based on the current worldly issues of the day...thanks to Madonna, we couldn't wear socks and panty hose at the same time. I'm not sure who the guys had to thank for the prohibition on pants with double stitching. It was insane. You also couldn't go to movies or dances, and I'm sure they would have frowned on Rock-n-bowl if they could have figured out a way to work that into the rule book. And don't even get me started on Pizza Hut because they served beer in pitchers!




But I never became a rebellious teenager. And I think one of the reasons for that was that at home, I had all the freedom I wanted. As a younger kid on three acres of field and woods, if I wanted to build something with Dad's tools, make something out of Mom scraps, learn to cook, go fishing, go exploring in the woods, catch crayfish in the creek, ride my bike, hang out in my tree house, dig in the dirt, or just generally lie around with a stack of fifty library books, that was cool. As a high schooler, I had no curfew. The car when I wanted it. Shoot...my senior year, I stayed out all night once because I didn't want to drive home in the snow from my boyfriend's house. It was already late when I made my decision, and I knew my parents would be asleep. So I didn't even call them. In the morning, they called me, where I was fast asleep in said boyfriend's kid-brother's room. All I got out of that was a laughing "Dumb Kid....don't do that again without calling us." Ok. It was as much freedom as I needed.

As an adult, the number one thing that began to scratch our hide at churches we pastored, was when freedom was cut off. When it was obvious any new ideas were going to be killed and the status quo was going to be worshiped, it was time to roll on out.
I've got absolutely zero interest in maintaining a garden of status quo. I thrive on the freedom to do things a little differently. Robb knows this about me, and does a great job of living with me. His one rule is that I let him know when I'm going to paint something, so he knows what to expect. He cherishes freedom too, so he's quick to give me as much as I need.

Money to me, is a means of freedom. The freedom to say yes when friends want to go out to eat. The freedom to do the things you like to do and are good at, instead of being hooked up to a job that you don't care about. The freedom to travel around a bit so you don't ever get too mossy and provincial. The freedom to try something new without it wiping out your bank account.

So how about you? What does money mean to you? How important is freedom to you? Or maybe money and freedom mean nothing to you and you cherish something else? I'm curious. What are you working for?

3 comments:

H said...

Crap! I hate it when you make me think before 10:00 a.m.... or my second cup of coffee.

But seriously, what a great question. I don't know that I've ever given it much thought. Money must mean something to me, because I feel panicky and out of breath when we are short on it. What am I working for? Great post. I'll let you know.

innerworking said...

ooooh. valuable relationships.... that is what i work for.

ness said...

Jasmine....expound. I'm curious. And also, being an introvert, I'm confused. : )

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