Today I want to share a personal story that my friend, Sherri Froling Anderson, posted on her own blog just before we launched our Spunky Avocado website and Smackdown Challenge. One of the questions we posed in our Smackdown video was: “What would you do with your time if you weren’t so busy paying for your life?” Sherri answers this question with her signature humor, while lending perspective to what most would have viewed as a devastating loss of income. In fact, her story so moves us that we are able to completely overlook the “Cheeto” part. 🙂 A journal entry from Sherri’s son (pictured right), was one of the incentives that fueled her desire to make the most out of her new circumstances.
A few months back, a friend was telling me how she changed her work hours/responsibilities, by choice, and took a substantial pay cut to do so. I mentally weighed the amount of her cut (probably about 15%) and the reward of time she would get in exchange and thought, “boy she’ll really have to cut back on some things.”
And then I lost my job and took a 100% pay cut. But I gained 100% time and it’s been eye-opening to look back at all the things I spent money on to save time: pancakes that could go from freezer to plate in under 60 seconds; gas that cost .05 more a gallon because it was right up the street; Lunchables® because cutting cheese and deli meats into perfect circles is not in my skill set; Gel manicures so I wouldn’t have to get my nails done as often; carryout spaghetti from Iaconos – who really has nine minutes to wait for pasta to boil??? I could go on for days.
I realize these luxuries only cost a dollar here and fifty cents there. But it added up. And it was worth every penny because it meant I got more time in return. More time to be with my family, to relax, to enjoy life. And now that I get that time for free, I look back and wonder why I ever paid for it in the first place.
I may have lost my job, but I gained perspective. I know the value of a dollar versus the value of a minute and I am grateful for the lesson. And I have made the conscious decision (close your ears, Jerrod) to never again trade time for money. Because in the end, Cheetos taste just as good as caviar when you can munch them from your chair on the porch watching your kids ride their bikes off into the sunset. They might taste even better.
Sherri Anderson is a freelance copywriter and adjunct professor at The Columbus College of Art & Design. When she’s not slapping words together or shaping the minds of impressionable artists, she can be found enjoying every delicious second she now has, with her husband and two sons, Henry and Owen.