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Sacrificing love for money

work_729

work_729 Photo: Getty

''Not tonight honey, I'm working.''

Abba had a song about it. Working all night, working all day. Bills that need to be paid. Ain't it sad?

Yes, it is, really. When you consider the impact it has on your love life. All work and no play. We work too much. We have to. Living is too expensive. Never mind love.

Yes. We're in budget mode. The government appears poised, sword drawn, ready to slash and skewer this so-called Age of Entitlement. Like Jon Snow in full Game of Thrones glory. Though not in a good way. (What is ''good'' any more, anyway? And can I allude to That Scene in reference to the way the country is being dealt with by the prevailing powers? I wonder.)

Point is, everyone is thinking about money. And taxes. And work. And whether some people are more deserving than others. Whether, for example, some working women are more deserving than other people, who work – women or no.

And all this fuss is because we're all here, calling this great red rock girt by sea our home. We're calling it home, and we're all wanting to make our homes in it. And to afford these homes, we have to work. Though even that might not be good enough.

Apparently, my generation has to give up hope of owning our own home. Not that paying your blood, sweat and tears to the bank, plus interest, is what the proud owner of a pre-fab quarter-acre in the '50s might call ''owning''. Certainly not in a few years when interest rates decide their present phase of steady cool is suddenly out of fashion and stocks decide it's time to drop along with women's hemlines.

Winter is coming. Who will cling to for warmth?

I ask, because this obsession with, and pressure to achieve, a bricks-and-mortar ''home'' is not only emblematic of the all-costs material success we're encouraged to strive for, possibly wrongly so, but because it leaves little room for the home that really matters. The home where one's heart is. The true home. The home that makes it all truly worthwhile.

Those we love. Particularly the one we love. The one we should be making love to. If only we weren't so tired and angry and frustrated by work.

Sometimes, I mull over the idea that we may just be living in a perpetual state of home away from home. We're in the houses we can't afford, or the rentals we can, but wish we didn't have to, dreaming of the home we wish we had. Except we're forgetting that the real stuff of our dreams is sitting across the flat-pack dining room table from us, wishing we were there more often. With them. Present.

I mull, and I worry.

I worry, because if our national and home finances really are as bad as we're being lead to believe, it means we're under more financial pressure than some of us may be able to imagine or remember. Indeed, we're facing this pressure in a time when more people are living alone. This is significant. Are we more lonely?

If that's the case, how will we weather the storm? Will we be stranded in a sea of discontent? Marooned, without anything we care to really care for?

Sometimes I let work get in the way of my relationships. I let work intrude on beautiful friendships that shouldn't be put so far to one side. Sometimes I let work interfere with my lover. It's hard not to, when part of you reasons it's a sacrifice made for the greater good. Of course, I realise, the greater good is being there. Putting them first. Spending your time and energy on them. That is the right price to pay.

But how many of us can afford to love the way we'd love to? How many of us can afford not to work overtime to be at home to make a nice dinner to make sure that our lover knows they are loved? How many of us are in a position to not let work get in the way?

I say small things count. I say it is always possible to make sure your lover feels loved. Whether that's a quick note, or making the bed, or a quickie late at night. Sometimes those small things yield the biggest returns.

Don't you agree?

@katherinefeeney Facebook

katherine.f.feeney@gmail.com

71 comments

  • oh yes, the great work/life balance. i've always been an early starter and early finisher so most days i'm home by 5 and it's an extreme rare occasion that take work home and i haven't worked a weekend day in at least 15 years. so yes i have plenty of time for my deserving lovely lady.
    as for owning your own home, it requires discipline and dedication and accept that the first one will not be what you want, i'm onto my 4th and it still doesn't tick all the boxes.

    Commenter
    Victorious Painter
    Date and time
    May 09, 2014, 7:21AM
    • If the government allowed house prices to crash, this would be a far better country.
      - Your cost of living would plummet - cut your rent / mortgage bill in half
      - You could afford to work less while still having more disposable income (stimulating the economy)
      - Young people would have a hope of buying a home. Etc

      Who'd lose? Not homeowners - the next place they bought would also cost half as much. It's true investors with multiple properties lose, but so what - they won on the way up.

      But every time house prices look like falling, both parties step in to prop them up. UNTIL YOU DEMAND THEY DON'T.

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 1:43PM
    • '....so yes i have plenty of time for my deserving lovely lady.' Aww, so sweet, and thanks for keeping us updated. And when you get home, do you mow the lawn and trim the edges and keep the cobwebs of the white picket fence?

      Commenter
      rudy
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 2:38PM
    • Andrew, the first rule of property pricing in Australia is supply and demand, the second is affordability.
      The government’s actions in maintaining this country as a very affluent(by world standards) place to live and therefore a highly desirable country for migrants is something I welcome, why wouldn’t anyone?.
      Australia is consistently high on lists for positive things and low on lists for negative things and that is the reality.

      Commenter
      Victorious Painter
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 3:02PM
    • @rudy, absolutely, and thanks for the lovely reminder, may need to spray for spiders soon, but you forgot, I assist with the cooking, cleaning and the likes as well.
      Thank you for your kind words, but something I haven’t worked out, your obsession with my relationship, why? Envious?

      Commenter
      Victorious Painter
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 3:24PM
    • @Victorious Painter
      I agree Australia is a desirable place to live. It doesn't mean house prices need to be so high that young people saddle themselves with back breaking debt for 30 years just to put a roof over the family's head.

      If lower house prices make us even more attractive to immigrants - wonderful. That doesn't mean we need to allow in everybody who wants in - ie we can choose what level of immigration we want, even if house prices were half as expensive.

      Commenter
      Andrew
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 3:43PM
    • Victorious Painter - really didn't get your point - when you started talking about supply and demand I though you were going to talk about how the various government branches controls supply - the government can crash the market anytimne they want in many ways. Instead you turned left and started on about migrationand international surveys.

      Commenter
      TC
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 4:48PM
    • A simple lesson in economics would help you.

      A crash in asset prices will have significant and negative flow on effects across the broader economy. If house prices crash, people would stop renovating, rebuilding, developing, building, etc. A significant part of the workforce is linked to construction. Unemployment would skyrocket.

      The value of housing stock used as security against their loans would collapse, placing banks at substantial risk. With defaults increasing, the banking sector could falter or collapse.

      And so on.

      Commenter
      Public Joe
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 5:08PM
    • Andrew, you're a fool. My son is 19 and easily bought an off the plan property in Sydney. He's already 50K up. 19!! You're probably in your 30's?? Still can't buy?? Well you simply didn't try hard enough. I had my son just as I turned 20. My partner, now husband, were renting and paid paid one whole salary into child care and most of the other in rent and food. Back then childcare was what people pay now without all the benefits. But we worked and worked and worked and bought an off the plan house in Sydney 11 years ago. We've made loads on it since then so we then started investing around the CBD. Also made a small fortune off them. Still are. So who do u blame for your failure? Baby boomers, investors?? Looks like investors. Want to know who it really is? YOU! You probably travelled, partied, blew your money on unnecessary crap and now you want the govt to allow a crash - which they won't. Time to grow up. Either save and buy or keep blaming everyone for your failures and being bitter. I put my money you'll do the latter. I don't feel sorry for those that can't buy. Both my husband and I are Yr 10 drop outs. We managed even with a baby. Now my baby is an investor. People double his age pay him rent. Then he'll buy another, another, another and retire young and you'll keep working till you die to pay rent coz you failed. Don't blame others, it's pathetic.

      Commenter
      Anne
      Date and time
      May 09, 2014, 10:33PM
    • What is this 'unaffordability' thing? If the house sells, somebody could afford it.

      Commenter
      Rob
      Date and time
      May 10, 2014, 4:46PM

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