Do What You Love

Many years ago I was driving with Chris’s mom and she asked me this question, “If you could do one job where money didn’t matter – What would you do?” My answer – Buy and sell antiques. I love thrifting, and I used to buy a lot at the stores, but was always reluctant to purchase too much because I did not want to be a hoarder. Growing up my Dad gave me the bug of garage saling and taught me how to bargin with people – however I almost felt too shy to go out and do it alone. Also, when I was older I could never rationalize spending all my money on vintage and antique items – so I would only buy specific things I came across. It would put knots in my stomach at times having to leave really good pieces on the shelf in the store, and running away fast before I convinced myself why I needed it. 

Now fast forward to last year – I needed a hobby. My good days when I wasn’t sick from chemo were becoming very boring. I did not want to sit inside all day, but going out meant spending money I didn’t have. During a lovely lunch when Chris’s mom was back in town, I began talking about my bordem with her best friend. We were discussing our mutual love of thrifting when she told me she has an antique booth at a market. My ears lit up when she then said, “You are welcome to put some of your items in there.” Now my thrifting had a purpose! Not only was I now able to see if my eye for things was a good as I thought it was, but it gave me a reason to get up and out of the house. I would help clean and reorganize the booth as well – which I love doing. Visual merchandiser at its best!

Today, I am hitting up garage sales on Saturdays, going to auctions on Sundays, and thrifting whenever I get the chance. Am I making any money? Who really knows. I tried to keep track at first but I let that slide pretty fast. The truth is – I don’t care if I am. I just love the thrill of being able to buy amazing pieces and then see them sell. 

Now, could I have done this before I was sick? A few years ago I would have said “no way”, but now I say YES. Maybe I would not be able to spend as much time as I am doing it, but once a month I could have swung by an auction. The items I purchased I could have then thrown up on Kijiji. As long as I broke even then what would have been the harm? 

The point is – do not wait until something bad happens to start doing something that makes you glow inside. Figure out a way to just do it. I love seeing different little companies of my friends pop up on Facebook or Instagram. I am their constant cheerleader whether they know it or not. They are still working a full time job some of them, but now they also have these side projects that makes them feel good inside. Whether it is yoga, nutrition, fitness, baking, make-up, photography, or styling – they are making their shit happen. So stop reading this and go out and do the same. 

Work/Life Balance

As my surgery date approaches, I begin to contemplate what lies ahead for me on the other side. As the doctor appointments become further and further apart, and life starts to return to normal – questions begin to arise. Where do I want to be? Who do I want to be? How do I want to live the rest of my life?

It slowly becomes more clear with each passing day. The easy answer is simple – I choose to live. 

The bank offers a large mortgage. Do you use the whole sum just because it was offered to you? What kind of life will you then have? Yes, you will have a beautiful home – but how else will you choose to spend your time? How fun is it really to stay in every night because you cannot afford to go out? Before I would have said yes. I would have found a way to make it all work. Now – that is just foolish. Why cause stress when it is not needed? When I am not working I want to be able to do things – whether it be a casual night out or an expensive vacation. Either way I want to be living a life instead of sitting on my money. (That is a fantastic term that was recently said to me by a certain friend – you know who you are 😉 ).

While we are on the topic – let’s talk about work. I love work. I like having a purpose for my day. I enjoy the social aspect. I like the feeling that comes over me when I complete a project and I see it live. (By live, I mean online – I work in ecommerce. Have I mentioned that before?) If you work in a field that you enjoy and are passionate about, it is easy to go into work everyday. Working a little overtime never bothered me because I enjoy what I do. 

Work however, should not be the only reason to get up in the morning. I am not “working for the weekend”, as the song goes – but I do plan on enjoying my time away from work. It is hard not to bring your work home with you if you are a workaholic like myself. It is easy however to look back and think “man, I wish I went on that trip”. You never hear anyone say, “Ten years ago I wanted to go on vacation, but chose to work instead. Totally do not regret that”. You are given vacation days for a reason. If you are worried that your boss will look down on you for wanting time off – then maybe they are not the right boss for you. (I am thankful not to have this problem 🙂 ) It is healthy to want a break. You need a mental break. Most people (and by most, I could probably say all) work harder when they are happy. Who would ever be happy working 80 hours a week, 365 days a year? Work hard – yes. Choose work over your life – no. 

That being said – if you know your work is busy during certain times of the year – do not be a fool and ask to book time off then. That is just dumb.