But How Much Money Are You Making?

We just finished a two day craft show and had just returned home when our friend, Harry, arrived at our door. He came in and we sat talking about the events of the last two days. Harry wanted to know how we did. I told him and he then proceeded to say, "But how much money are you really making? That is, after you take into account your gas, your time, and the cost of your materials"? An interesting question, one, which made me stop and think. "Well, I replied, not that much; maybe a $100." He was quick to respond, "A $100. Is it really worth it? Just look at the time you spent preparing and then attending the show for two days!!" "But Harry. It is not just about the money! It's about a simpler way of life." Harry frowned and said, "What are you talking about, everyone works for the money!" It was then that my husband, who had been sitting back just listening, piped up. "Harry, our goal was to simplify our life and that is exactly what we have done. We need to make some money to help pay the bills, but we don't need to make thousands of dollars at every craft show. You see, our way of life has been simplified in the following ways: We do not try and keep up with the Jones' any more. We buy what we 'need', not what we 'want'. We used to buy on impulse. We now ask ourselves, do we need it, or do we want it. And, when we do need something, we consciously ask ourselves, do we need to buy it new, or can we buy it used? When you think of the amount of waste in this country, and when you start learning about the three R's, you start to understand there is a lot that can be done to reduce, recycle and reuse! We love what we are doing, and you are right, we are not making a large income any longer. But, because we love what we do, it really doesn't seem like work to us. We experience less stress with this way of life, a simpler way of life. You see, truly the only stress we have is the stress we put on ourselves. We no longer have a boss telling us what to do and when to do it. We no longer have set hours. We have the flexibility to work when we want to work. Yes, we have to stay focused and ensure we have enough supplies. But we have fun doing what we do, meeting many different types of people, being creative in our work, and constantly learning. We also have much better relationships with our family and friends. Previously, when we worked in the city, and we traveled for 2 hours a day just to get to work, we were worn out by the time the weekend came. We didn't have time for family or friends. Now, we do have the time. You see, Harry, simplicity is a journey. We are continuing to learn ways to simplify our life, while at the same time, enjoying our life. It is not all about making money - there is more to life than money!" Harry then commented: "I never thought about it like that I guess I should look at simplifying some of my ways!"