I had a tough choice today. Something I had been wrestling with since last week. Should I try to book an upcoming, last minute wedding or should I go to my Uncle's 80th birthday party in southern California? I technically could have done both, but it would have made for a frantic and stressful weekend and I wouldn't have been able to spend as much time with my family.
The New York Time's Opinion piece that came out in this past Sunday's paper and written by Hal E. Hershfield and Cassie Mogilner Holmes was fortuitous timing. I read it, not because I feel like I have trouble making those time vs. money choices - I choose time almost 100% of the time. My husband and I have learned to live with very little and money is not important to us. Would it be nicer if we were slightly more financially secure? Yes. Absolutely. But we're still pretty blissfully happy. We have a great relationship, we love where we live (for now) and we have close family, friends and neighbors. Through my current career, we've been able to make ends meet, my husband has had time to truly explore (and seems to have found) his path and have plenty of leisure time to mostly just enjoy each other's company at home.
So why was the decision I just made choosing time over money so difficult? Because as I've started the process of launching The Healing Farm, I've somewhat mistakenly (we'll see if it's a mistake) tapered off booking jobs for my current business - without a sufficient safety net. Suddenly we're no longer in that "sweet spot" we've been hearing about the past few years (generally people are happiest when their income level is at about $75,000.00) and come January may be struggling to make those same ends meet. It's not like we can cut much in spending since we already live pretty frugally so one of us needs to really hurry up launching our new careers or we're going to have to start living in an RV. Or get a job.
One of the reasons I want to start The Healing Farm is to build a "Conscious Company" of the future. I want THF employees to have part ownership in some sort of profit-sharing model. I want THF employees to feel like they can have "normal" working hours and plenty of vacation time. All with fair pay at all levels - including responsible pay for those in management. So thinking about getting a job where we might be offered a week or two of vacation and may be expected to answer e-mails and texts in the evening and on weekends is unthinkable to us. I would truly rather live in an RV.
It's not that I don't work hard. I give 110% when I'm passionate about the work I'm doing. No doubt there. Hubby is the same way. Since finding his path (writing), he's been on fire when he's inspired and sometimes writes until the wee hours of the morning! It's a mystery that more companies don't catch on that if they hire a sufficient amount of people to share the workload, give their employees enough down-time and pay appropriately, they will have much happier people, less turnover and burnout and much more creative problem-solvers.
How do you do that? Responsible pay in management. I would truly be happy with a wage of around $100,000.00 if I were CEO and founder of The Healing Farm and would hope that my upper management would feel the same way. How can one not live a comfortable life with that amount of money? This would allow more pay for the staff and for re-investment in THF bringing affordable wellness to parts of the country in need of affordable and practical wellness, eliminating the cost of traveling to The Healing Farm flagship property while also bringing more jobs to those communities.
I chose to forego $4,000.00 in badly needed income to be with my family. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last year and my mother confided that she thinks this trip to San Diego (they live in the midwest) may be their last time to travel together. We will find a way to make ends meet. We always do. AND we will enjoy a full weekend with family celebrating a human being's 80th year. Rest assured I will remember that for much longer than the temporary hardships we're enduring now in hopes of finding our paths and building the future that we dream of for the second half of our lives.
The Healing Farm. Cultivating Practical Wellness.