November 8, 2009

Trade Ya!


I’ve been a fan of trading since I was a kid watching Little House on the Prairie on our rabbit-eared television set. Doc Baker might not have been paid a lot by his patients, but he ate a lot of home-baked goods and probably never had to go to the grocery store. On the other hand, you grow up and realize that money is still quite useful; Doc Baker got way more chickens than pie; and slaughtering, plucking, and cutting up chickens can be rather time-consuming, not to mention horrifying to many urban neighbors.

Still, I like to trade. I like knowing I have something to trade that people want. When I was an English professor, trade was slim. Not many people actually want their grammar corrected, and seldom do they sit down and write a book one can offer to edit. But massage therapy is a different story, and it feels good to work with my hands for some tangible good or service.

The first trade I ever did was for art. I sent that painting back to an old friend in Arkansas, as a gift and as repayment for the $200 that came out of her small budget to help me while I was in massage school, financially reeling from a sudden divorce, and literally wondering if I was going to be able to eat again in the last month before graduation. It was called Rose Garden Princess, and I propped it up and admired it for the few days it took to save the tip money to mail it. Every time the light changed, the painting changed. I was so proud of it and myself.

The most recent trade I did involved a puppy we’ve named Ike. Without trade, we could have never come up with the extra money for a pet right now. We love Ike, even in the pain of potty-training him. He’s sweet and bright, a special little guy who is worth way more to me than the dollar amount on the five or so massage hours I gave for him.

Sometimes I dream a little too big and think of all the things I could get if I had more of me to go around (like perhaps a little maid service!) But I believe that when I think like that, the miracle of trade becomes a burden. So instead, I just try to keep myself mentally open to potential trade relationships; I know that if trade is the answer to a need, the opportunity will come to me.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Ike is a cutie, congrats!