Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Take it up with management

"MmmMMMmmm!"  It-Runs-In-Front-of-Me whines with her mouth closed, getting underfoot as I move around the house.  When I settle, she whines some more until I give her an invitation, and then she leaps onto my lap.  She's the lickiest kitty we've had.  Yesterday we got into a pattern of her licking my fingers and I'd rub her face and she'd lick my fingers and I'd rub her face--kitty face washing via a human.  Not sure what it means in the language of the cat (other than I'm clearly her slave) but she liked it.

We've been back from Victoria for a couple of days, but we're short my DH, who's gone back overseas.  The household is back to 'normal,' normal for us these past months.  Email and Skype contact, quiet during the day while the younger humans are at school, the stack of projects deep enough to keep me busy until the next R&R.  I have to add another entry in my grass widow book.  There aren't very many, and there won't be much to work on if I don't make these timed entries.  It's too difficult to recapture the day to day experience of being a grass widow; there's no going back and doing it later.  At the same time, daily entries would be too much.  That would smell like wallowing, and I'm not big on the ol' wallow, not when there are dirty walls left to paint and novels to edit and short stories to market and manuscripts to critique.  Besides, I suspect that it's bad for my hair.

It was good, really, really good, to have him home.  We talked a lot, and a lot wasn't quite enough to get somewhere with this whole 'what next' question.  Education is a no-brainer, but when a person becomes a contractor, the job thing isn't a no-brainer anymore.  Saving, planning, contingencies all become critical.  

I heard a story about someone who withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from a 401k in time to save it from a stock-worth plunge, but then spent it.  All of it.  Even with amounts that border on an incredible windfall, the money bleeds away unless you're careful.  There's no inheritance, no lottery, no lucky break in the stock market big enough to save your ass if you can't manage your money.  Which brings me to management in general.

There isn't enough money in your imagination to give you financial independence if you don't know how to get by day to day with what you already have.  So with that firmly in mind, I get to prioritize expenditures over the next several months and save as much as I can for that day when he gets to come home and stay more than a short breath.  And I've decided to 'live the dream' which in reality is more like eat the stress muffin--make a serious go at pulling in my part of the total household income through writing, an incredibly tough thing to do these days.  It means non-fiction articles as well as short stories.  It means in ten minutes, I start my work day, so I'd better get dressed and eat breakfast right quick.  

I've deliberately set a high goal for myself, partly to contribute in a more income-y way to the household, partly to stay sane, but mostly because I know I can't succeed until I try.  All my dreams of becoming a successful writer aren't worth shed dog hair if I don't make the attempt when the opportunity to write without starving is now, and tomorrow, and a whole line of tomorrows that seem boundless but just like money, can bleed away to nothing.  After that sometime tomorrow, if I'm not making enough money to even buy groceries, it'll be too late to build a career in time, and I'll be back to looking through the wanted ads, or contemplating a major downsize, or some other measure in conjunction with what the market will bear on my DH's side of work-related endeavors.  Managing time is even more important than managing money.  The time to continue, or begin again, is now, and every day from now until time runs out.

1 comment:

Kai Jones said...

How great that you have this opportunity and are *taking* it! I know your discipline will help you succeed.