How much for a happy life? * Wednesday Night Supper Club Blog
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How much for a happy life?

I’ve spoken before about being happy and “following your passion” but my question today is how much should that cost? Is it how much time, how much money, how much your mental state is affected?

As a couple Ian and I are no strangers to family deaths and we value now more than ever how short life can be. How you think you’re just cruising along when a diagnosis can pull you up short. We’ve had many a discussion about genetics and the role they play in families. About not settling for mediocre and taking opportunities when offered, trying to inspire our girls both in careers and life in general.

With this in mind and finding his landscaping business physically draining on his aging body (yes there is a 0 birthday coming up next month), Ian has spent the last few months writing a book. A fiction novel with a surprising and interesting storyline.He’s worked very hard on it and even worked on his laptop in Bali last month. As part of the editing team I’ve read some of it and he has a great turn of phrase with his imagery.

So back to the title of this post. Yesterday it started to worry me about the time this book authoring gig was taking and the boring, practical, worrying part of my brain took over. I tried to explain how I felt but it came out all wrong as it so often does. I heard myself nagging and crying “woe is me” which has lead me here. Ian asked me “How can you put a price, timeline, emotion on being proud of what you are doing? Of being fulfilled emotionally before your life comes to an end?” When you think of it that way  – how do you? I have plenty of inspiration in my life of others – and I’ll use a wanky term – following their dreams. Ian with his book, my sister quit her stressful job and now has a jewellery and gemstone business and there is Junior off living the dream at the Edinburgh Fringe. The boring, practical, worrying part of my brain (his name is Gary :P) takes over so often and frustrates the crap out of me.

The question that I’ll always remember from the time I saw a life coach was “If money was no object and you were guaranteed not to fail, what would you do”. Mine was always to have a combination cafe and secondhand bookshop – that was until I saw how much work that involved! It’s still an idea I revisit from time to time and plan menus and decor if I’m bored. Right now, today, this week I’d like to cook from home (my problem being how to make some $$$ doing it?) and I’m working on food photography skills which I’m really loving. My fear of failure has abated and starting and continuing this blog has really helped with that.

So my question to you is my $1000 question: If money was no object and you were guaranteed not to fail, what would you do? I hope you’ll share some of your ideas with me.


As usual I’ll leave you with some food spam photos.

Brownie cupcakes

Peanut butter and choc chip cookies

Date and ginger scones


Asian dumpling soup

Bacon and cheese scones


Basil stuffed chicken




  • Annette

    August 6, 2017 at 19:55 Reply

    This “money is no object” question actually doesn’t help me because I don’t think about money and dreams in tandem. It’s an old go-to and I’m sure it works for some, but I’m not one of them. I don’t see a fulfilling life and money as having that much to do with each other I guess. Is having a good income easier? Yep, but having lived without one, I know it’s not everything.
    Bugger passion, just do SOMETHING you want to do! Write that book, get yourself a small biz mentor, go to a pottery class. Can you push the boat out with food via some small catering jobs? Use the coffee van as a way to canvas customers for that? As for how you do these things in a shared life, no idea! Talking it through, over and over, setting some kind of broad budget could be helpful?
    Do something, that’s pretty much all I’ve got.
    Don’t let bloody Gary keep you where you are, worrying and not doing from a place of fear. You CAN do and be more than you’ve been before, that I’m sure of.

    • Michelle Boyd

      August 6, 2017 at 20:19 Reply

      Thanks for the pep talk. Both of us come from families with a fiscal focus although in different ways. Gary sometimes tells me that people won’t be interested in my rambles because I can’t present them in a concise, making sense business plan with steps and goals etc. I need to work on loosening up and not caring so much about what people think & expect.

  • Annette

    August 6, 2017 at 20:26 Reply

    Back seat Gary, BACK SEAT and pipe down thanks!! And while you’re working on that loosening up stuff, do something that you want to do too. Take an action, even if it’s very very small! Permission granted!!

  • Ian Boyd

    August 6, 2017 at 20:41 Reply

    Just a thought, but if a person’s desire to do something exceeds their reasons not to, they will do it. If the metaphoric Gary exists in a persons own head, then he is thinking what they think, then he is in fact them. Therefore if Gary thinks you should not do it, it is your on decision. It is all quite simple really. The dollars only matter if YOU believe you will want or need them for something else, don’t they?

    • Michelle Boyd

      August 6, 2017 at 20:44 Reply

      I now take that as permission for unlimited spending 😛

  • Christine De Prinse

    August 7, 2017 at 02:45 Reply

    I’ve found what I want to do with my life for now anyway. It may change tomorrow, next week or in 2 years time. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy a turquoise mine or Opal mine or any other mine really. I think I would get pleasure out of digging the stones, cutting and polishing them and then setting them into jewellery, kind of like a beginning to the end type of thing. I would also be paying someone else to do the paperwork involved cos that’s no fun!
    You can write up lists of pros and cons, set down business plans and write lists of goals but ultimately you never know whether an idea will work no matter how prepared and planful you are. There is no success without risk and I feel that everybody should follow their passion to whatever extent their budget allows.
    For me success isn’t measured in a monetary value, it’s more about the enjoyment and sense of fulfilment you get from doing what you love. No one can choose that path for you and you can sit back and have ‘Gary’ tell you what not to do or you can kick him out of your head and just do IT.


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