I learned a new southern phrase this week. To "talk something up" is a phrase that says telling a story will lead to the manifestation of the thing you are talking about. My friend Connie recently told a story about a snake. The next day, a large black snake sat waiting for her on the doorstep. Through her story, I remembered how much I talked about a certain mammal on my way to the Appalacian Trail. And how this mammal showed up for me, over and over until I was faint with exhaustion from the adrenaline. From now on, I will not be naming the things that I fear. Call it superstitious if you like, but I intend to change. I know that we are instructed to face our fears, but to stop calling them by name is my new habit.
So today I'd like to talk about money. An abundance of money! I'm not sure why I have been afraid of money and numbers. I think the fear about having money came from stories I heard as a child about the corruption that goes with having an excess amount of money. When I was a girl, Elvis was in the declining years of his life. I grew up with images of the fat Elvis dressed in outrageous white suits and scarves, but also knew that he hadn't always been like that. I much preferred the young handsome version in the films. I clearly remember the moment his death was announced on the on the radio. My mom and I were sitting on our redwood deck, snapping beans. The sky was a brilliant blue. I remember being alert to the silent pause in the music, and the anticipation of the breaking story. There was sadness in the voice of the announcer as he shared that Elvis Presley had died. He included the graphic detail about Elvis having a heart attack on his toilet. We were silenced by the irony of the life of the King. A life of excess, brought to a halt in such a humiliating way.
I also remember when John Lennon was shot and killed in New York. That I grieved. As a ten year old kid I loved the Beatles. I was crazy for them. Even now, the thought of John's death makes me sad.
These two events must have somehow shaped my ideas about having lots of money. Which is a false idea, given that fame was a main cause of death for both of these wildly successful musicians. It's wasn't the money that killed them.
Other myths about money may come from simply not having formative, concrete instruction about how to create wealth. I went to school for my entire young life and did not learn anything about managing finances. The only instruction we received were lessons on identifying coins in second grade, and balancing a checkbook in 12th grade. Since my math grades were low, I never pursued finance in college. Looking back, I was foolish not to teach myself how to make and save money. The ambiguous instruction for doing this involved having a job. I've had many jobs. I have worked hard and continue to work hard. I love a full day that's balanced with work and play.
So, as I go forward, I might mention money in occasional posts. My hope is that in writing about money I may overcome my ignorance about it, or at least separate it from the "evil" connotations that have been attached to it. I want to be able to feel that having money does not make me a corrupt person prone to wasteful excess and foolishness. I want to enjoy it for the good that it can bring.
I also want to acknowledge and express gratitude for the fact that I have always been provided for, even in times when having a few coins in my pocket was all the security I had for that day.
Perhaps a feeling of security is all one really needs to feel wealthy.
And thankfully, I am most secure and happy when my hands are busy...which means that my creative dry spell is over. Last night two new sets of Knees and Paws were started. I'm amazed at the refreshing, restful sleep that came after my session at the machine.