Let me come right out and say it…I blame The Secret.
I am all for the power of positive thinking, but only when there is some honest work attached. Sitting on my couch mentally emitting fabulous photography thoughts is not going to get me anywhere. It is not going to get me a new camera and it is not going to earn me the respect of people whose respect I value. I do have a vision board though as I think it is often hard to remember what I am working so hard to achieve. Especially since the good stuff usually takes a long time. The board is not just covered with material goods, but also words that represent more intangible goals I have.
As far as the material stuff goes, I want the Nikon D4. I will allow myself to desire it, but I don’t expect anyone to hand it to me for free. I am also not going to just go out and drop a cool SIX GRAND on it because I think it is AWESOME. I have a camera and four years on, it still works well. Sometimes companies do contact me to work with their gear. If that happens it is because I have been working my shutter finger off at photography since I first picked up a camera in 1984. That’s right, overnight success (officially called myself a pro in 1995 when I took my first paying jobs) has taken me years. And I still have to earn my way. Daily. I am all for that though and I am doing something I love so I enjoy the process.
The thing is, I am finding it very hard to raise kids in this climate of ask and ye shall receive for-not-a-whole-lot-of-effort-on-your-part-other-than-the-asking-bit. See, Gemma wants an iPod Touch. She has plenty of things…toys, electronics, circus class, vacations, daily meals, education, health, etc… We are very fortunate and Alec and I are aware of that. But there is always something new…something more. So, we have decided that if she saves enough money she can buy an iPod touch for herself. It will cost her about $200.00 and that is A LOT of money to save when you are seven. Sure we could just buy one and share it or give it to her for a Christmas present, but we have decided that would not help Gemma learn the value of all these things she wants or already has. Plus we don’t think she needs an iPod Touch, but if it is her money, she can have control over how she spends it. It is tough not to blow the cash on little bits and pieces along the way. Also, it is really hard to keep the faith when you can’t see the goal or how far you have come in the journey. To that end, we made her a wish jar as she is nearly to the finish line. Hiding her money away in a opaque piggy bank was not enough of a reminder that she was making progress.
Here is what you will need and a few photos of the process.
Clean jar. We used a pasta sauce one, but you can buy them from the craft store as well. This was more fun to recycle something we had on hand. A slit can be cut in the lid to deposit coins, but we did not bother with that.
Picture of what you want. Gemma cut the iPod Touch and price out of the store circular. (We glued it to white paper so it would look neater from the back.)
Contact paper or packing tape. Aussies LOVE to cover books with contact paper so we had some in the house. You can easily use thick clear packing tape. The image is going on the outside of the jar (facing in) so you can see it when looking at the money collected.
Gemma likes to keep track of her money the old fashioned way with a pen and paper, but I also keep a log of her earnings in an app on my phone. Otherwise, we would be counting it daily.
Despite saving for nearly a year now, Gemma still wants to buy the iPod. Waiting has just deepened her desire and I am hoping will extend her time using it once she actually has one. It is harder to lose interest in something that is so hard won. It is how we are getting the kids to try different vegetables. We are growing them in the yard. Something that is difficult to obtain has more value to them and since they grew those veggies, they are proud and excited to eat them. Everything comes with a snap of the fingers today, but the best still comes to those who wait.
Next up, my D4 jar.