This really should have been my first ever blog when taking people along the journey of this book. But you just get writing and writing (8 chapters down, 3 to go) and I forgot the introduction and foreword I’d written all those months ago.
The actual reason I am publishing this book is that when I researched life balance (what areas of our lives really matter and which have priority and which have we neglected in lieu of others), one of the things that became immediately apparent was the impact of money and its’ influence on our behaviour and well-being. I was alarmed to find that a great number of people in democratic Western economies had effectively ‘given up’.
My parents were prime examples. On arriving from England to Australia they became everyday ordinary working-class Australians. They mistrusted banks. They took advice from relatives. For a little while my fathers’ financial strategy was Race 6 Horse 4. To get ahead the only possibility seemed to be with luck. Luck at remarkably long odds.
They worked hard. And they provided a life for their children and opportunities to acquire knowledge through education that would serve them well. Whilst there was a lot in my childhood that went drastically awry, it was not through a lack of my parents trying the best they could.
So, let’s applaud that, but I do believe in better. Why can’t we have it all in a way that suits us and our circumstances? Why can’t we have a life of our choosing, of our design? What is the most important area of your life?
Some people think it’s money. Because this book (under construction) is about maximising balance and happiness across all areas of our lives, money, is an important element.
So, let’s go back in time. It’s an early winters night. The sun has set. The sky is clear. And despite being in the suburbs of the city, there is not so much housing density, so the stars are starting to become visible. A mother and her 11-year-old son walk side by side from their home to a telephone box. There’s no phone connected at their home, and this is the age well before smart phones, so every few hundred metres or so there’s a public phone box. They have a mission tonight. At her sons’ pleading, the mother is about to make a phone call to the school music teacher. Specifically, a piano teacher. Mrs Boyle. There are piano lessons that the young boy has his heart set on. He watches the call being made from outside the phone box. He can’t really hear the conversation. His mother is softly spoken at the best of times, but tonight her tone is hushed even more so. The call finishes, the boy watches his mother exit the phone box and looks up expectantly. But there are no words spoken, just a look. A “wait till we are home” look.
The home is modest, and sparsely furnished. They have been at the address for a year, but as yet, not only is there no phone connected, but also no dining table, no television, no carpets, no rugs. But it’s home. When they enter the home, the mother breaks the news, piano lessons wouldn’t be starting. Well they could but, what was the point. She had been convinced by Mrs Boyle that to make any good of it, access to a piano at home was in her mind a necessity, and that was a reality that in the circumstances they faced, was something … that was not about to happen.
So, the boys’ mother set out to make it a reality. She worked extra shifts at the car parts factory and put whatever extra money she earned from those shifts towards buying her son a piano. Over the months that followed, it was within reach. That was until other bills, and necessities cropped up. The piano fund was exhausted, and so was she.
That was my mum. I was the 11-year-old boy.
Now, 11 was a tough year for me but if you think not learning the piano adversely affected me and still does some 39 years later, no that’s not the case. Boo-hoo I never got to learn the piano, is not the message here.
What I am more interested in is why my mum had such limited options at hand. Why she and us, her family, were trapped in the cycle we were in. Why it was that money, was the master. And why based on one persons’ opinion there seemingly was only one option (in regard to the piano). I wonder about what she gave up in the desire to provide for and sustain her family both in a monetary, environmental and emotional sense. What about her needs? What did she want in her life? What did she give up? Neglect? Forget? Why couldn’t she have it all? Why couldn’t she have all the elements in her life in balance?
The short answer is, well it depends. It depends on what she wanted out of her life, what dreams she had to achieve, what she understood as being possible, what she needed and how all of this impacted the things in her life that were important to her.
The stress and focus on money does have an impact. It affects other areas of our life. It interferes with what arguably is more important than money. Family, relationships, health. We need to think differently and reset.
This is what the book is about (when it’s finished).
The book is about is redirecting your thoughts.
What I mean by this is getting people to focus on what is really important in their lives and getting them to answer questions about how much time they really spend nurturing what it is that makes them, them. And more importantly how much awareness do they have on what it is that will deliver to them the dreams they have for the future, for themselves and for their family.
So, until it’s published for now let’s #believeinbetter.
Now back to finishing the book (I’m planning an October completion, after Richmond go back to back).