A picture of my beloved Paris, to honour those who lost their lives over the past few days. At first I thought I wasn’t going to write a post this weekend, it seemed so futile given the recent events in France. But then I thought no, life goes on as it always does and the French as I know them are the last ones to give up living and enjoying life. It’s in their blood to live every moment to the fullest and they won’t let -anyone- tell them what they can or can not do. C’est one of the many reasons I love the French…
So… back to normal it is then. Surely one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of radically changing your career is the money question. It’s all good and well to be doing something you love but at the end of the day we all got bills to pay and hungry stomachs to fill – no one can live of air and love alone (unfortunately).
I’m not a believer either of the famous ‘Money doesn’t make you happy’. Of course, the money in itself is not going to make you happy but I’m pretty sure that the roof above your head and the food on your table – both of which are being paid for with the money you earned – participate to a certain level of happiness or at least security in your life.
What I have learned however, is that we can earn a lot less money than we used to do and yet be much happier. How? By cutting out all the crap we used to spent it on. In my case this meant lots of shoes that I didn’t need (although at the time I would tell my self I absolutely did), buying breakfast rather than having breakfast at home, getting an expensive lunch in the City rather than taking my own and so on, and so on…
Nowadays I mostly go to work taking my own lunch (which often even is much tastier than the ones you buy!), I’ll have breakfast at home while watching the morning news, and shoes, well, I probably still buy them a little too often but definitely not as often as I used to.
The irony is that, when I was unhappy in my job, I used the money I earned to buy myself some sort of temporary happiness (yes, I know how this sounds, sad). I’d tell myself after a shit day or week I deserved a little treat which materialised itself in a pair of new shoes, a cute dress or a Kindle for example. Ultimately this doesn’t work of course, and by the next morning the satisfaction of the newly acquired purchase would be gone as quickly as it had come.
What is interesting though, and the point I am trying to make here, is that I don’t miss -any- of those things, not a single one. Better yet, I am so much more content now than when I earned almost twice as much.
I was talking about this with my friend Martine a few days ago. She and I have been in a similar situation over the past months so we regularly have a Skype call to give each other updates and tips about what’s going on. Last Friday we were talking about exactly this, the money issue, and we were both on the same wave length; yes, your salary needs to be enough for you to still have a nice life, but what really is more important is your precious time.