Thursday, August 25, 2011

Currency and Value

Question of the day (from the Story Charmer) is: what are your currencies, what do you value? I often think about what my own value is to my family. Once a person in this country retires from her day job, she begins to lose value like a new car driven off the lot. When I last worked a full-time job I made the most money I had ever made in my lifetime of work, and I began working at age 13. I worked full-time from age 17 on. When I returned to school at age 29 to go to university, I quizzed out of freshman year entirely, and worked 3-5 part-time jobs while going to school more than full-time so I could finish as quickly as possible and owe as little as possible.
All throughout my lifetime I gave presents, loans, supported as many people as I could, and managed to save money for retirement as well. I do not regret a single cent I ever gave or loaned or spent. The recession ate up more than I spent, and I regretted not having spent more so Bernie Madoff didn't get that little bit of my retirement savings. He wasn't who I loved.
So nowadays my currency, my personal value is no longer cash money. I give what I can of myself. And still sometimes, I feel a bit useless. I recognize how much perkier I am when someone asks for my help. Whether it is to show them how to sew on a button (my grandson), or to edit a script, sit with a dog, or work at one of my part-time jobs, I perk up more than when I'm working on my own writing projects. I enjoy helping others, and may find more value in being helpful than I do in my own creativity.
These are deep thoughts and not all that pleasant, to be honest. I find great conflict here. Isn't my writing as valuable as helping someone else? Do you suffer from this syndrome? Is it a syndrome? Is it even a problem?

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