Sunday, March 16, 2014

Looking at your life in 5-year increments

One of our first MMG workshop assignments was to write a life story in 5-year increments focusing particularly around money and any other life domain that we wanted. I chose to look at money and time: what did I learn about money and time from my family, from my generation, from my culture. I've done life stories before (my memoir, Sober Truths: The Making of an Honest Woman, was one of those) but I'd never done it around time and money.

A first memory around money was finding a $5 bill on the sidewalk on the way to school. In 1954, this was a huge sum of money (my weekly allowance for doing chores was $.25). I was ecstatic with possibilities and I raced home after school to tell my mother of my good fortune.

She took the $5 from me with a look of huge relief. It turned out to be the money she'd given my brother for his haircut and lunch money. And there wasn't another $5 to give me. I learned that any money that comes easily will get snatched away from you. That only money you work hard for belongs to you. It's amazing to me now to see how much that one experience has colored how I've lived my life around money.

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