Friday, January 14, 2011

Life is Hard.. But Not as Hard as It Is For Many Others.

I'm having "another one of those months"...

Famine. I've made (drum roll, please) all of $319 so far in January.  It's scary. It's frustrating, too, because I've spent long hours looking through the projects at Elance, finding ones I felt I could ace, bidding on them.... and getting passed over... landing just the $50 ones. 

$200 of what I've made this month didn't even come from Elance -- it came from other places: a book I'm working on with a friend, two letters I rewrote for LinkedIn associates. Oh, and I sold a copy of ENDURING LEGACY for $4.95. (Paypal got about fifty cents of that.)

I don't like months like these. They wouldn't be so bad if I had something laid up in savings but I haven't been able to get that far ahead yet.  Grrr...

Unless something changes FAST -- and of course, it can at any moment; I have enough bids out there to retire on if they all came my way!) (ok, that's an exaggeration!) but right now, based on what I've made so far this month, I'm eligible for food stamps almost four times over! I have to pay my mortgage, Internet and phone connection fees (they're my shelter and my lifeline to work!), and I should have enough for those "mandates" by the end of January, but I may have to drop health coverage (or pay it late if enough comes my way before the grace period ends); I can go to an emergency room and get help despite my inability to pay should it come to that (thank God, my citizenship, and a lifetime of paying taxes for this small "perk"!)

Being self-employed is a crapshoot the first few years. It's been so sporadic all year long that it has been a real struggle at times... and this is one of those times. It puts my tummy in a knot to dwell on it... so I don't, much. I just look harder for work... day and night... I'm often up at 3 a.m. looking for another project because I can't sleep, with the end of the month looming over my shoulder like a big black cloud...

But I am so glad I have complete faith in God; I'd be an absolute nervous wreck without Him. I know He didn't give me a lifelong passion to write for no reason... or a spirit of fear (fear is the devil's bailiwick)... and I'm doing a lot of Christian ministry as a result of the projects I'm offered and accept. I know it will all work out.

I just hate giving my sister additional things to fret about.  We bought this property together to help each other and I must hold up my end of the deal. I'm paying the chunk of the mortgage that is ABOVE the required monthly payment, the chunk that is supposed to pay off this place within ten years so she can retire without a mortgage hanging over our heads.  (I'll never be able to afford to retire. It's a good thing I love what I do, eh wot?). My chunk goes 100% to principal each and every month. I want to be paying even MORE into it, but so far $500/month is all I've been able to contribute reliably.

When I sit and stew like this, I get miserable and restless, and I feel borderline useless to the person I love most in this world: my sis Jackie.  I start crucifying myself silently for being a Creative instead of a solid, professional 9-to-5 office worker with health benefits and a reliable weekly paycheck (no matter how unlike me that role actually was during all the years I served in it). I wasn't as happy at work then as I am now, but I was...well, like the song... workin' 9 to 5 and actually getting paid for all of the hours... Now I'm workin' 9 to 9 and getting... either nowhere very fast... or somewhere too damned slow! (Now would be a good time to ROTFL. Go ahead. I'll wait.)

De always told me I had to pursue a creative career by faith because a steady, reliable income was never going to be assured. HE finally made it, with STAR TREK... but it took him decades. He didn't starve, and I won't either.

And when I consider what Christina Taylor Green's family is going through right now, what Gabby Giffords is going through tonight and tomorrow and for months to come, what my friends with cancer are going through, what so much of the rest of the world is going through (Haiti, Africa, Mexico, you name it) I feel like a louse for spending even two minutes obsessing over my piddly concerns. 

My sister and I are healthy; she's fully employed and I'm at least semi-employed... and every bit as employed as I can be at this juncture. I've tried landing outside work but nothing has come through, I guess because of my "advanced" age: I'll be 60 in March; (good God!!! How did that happen?!) Or maybe it's because I'm too obviously over-qualified for lesser-paying jobs. I've applied to be a tutor and a teacher assistant, even a bus driver. No go.  Everybody and their cousin is looking for work; this is one lousy time to be under- or unemployed!

But boy howdy... the rich folks got their income tax deductions extended, uber-rich corporations received their "personhood" so they can contribute untold amounts of money to their indentured politicians, and Wall Street all got their  perks and bonuses as reliably as tomorrow's sunrise. I sure hope these "government-blessed" folks cut loose with some of the money the worker bees of the country earned them and that they'll create some more jobs so the rest of us can get a handhold or two on ledges of sufficient livelihoods again...

But it doesn't seem there are many "bleeding hearts" in high places these days or we wouldn't be in the shape we're in right now. The Ayn Rands seem to be winning. And Christ died for them, too.

What was He thinking?!    :)

Ok, OK.  I didn't mean to start venting. It just popped out. I see injustice and I just want to yell..or cry... and ask, "Why?"

Some men see things as they are and say, "Why?"  I dream things that never were and say, "Why not?"

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