I’ve recently gotten some very good news on the financial front.
I can’t really go into great detail but it includes a way for me to actually be able to pay my monthly expenses on a regular basis.
I gambled and seem to have won.
The feelings I’m cycling through go from wanting to jump for joy to nearly passing out with relief because I may have actually beat the odds on this particular toss of the dice.
I’ve held off applying for other jobs and selling the house and other Major Decisions that really would have fucked with my life on a daily basis. I like my job and my house and my life. Yes, there are ongoing improvements to all of the aforementioned but generally I’m pretty damn satisfied with the status quo if the financial end is taken out of the equation.
The family members who I’m willing to take financial advice from have told me to dump my house, repeatedly. But then where do we live? Rents around here, even in the low rent districts I escaped from, are in the same range as my mortgage for a whole lot less space. Why trade equity for ephemeral rent? Yeah it would be nice not to have to worry about snow removal but that’s not worth losing being able to paint the walls any damn color I fancy and drive holes in them as well for hanging 101 things.
I was recently berating myself for not applying for a particular job on the way to work one morning. It’s a beautiful site and I’m more than capable of doing the job and the staff are wonderful human beings. It would be a pleasure to work there. But it’s 33% further away than my currently already somewhat long commute. I’d be doing only one part out of the many aspects to my current job and while trying to juggle that many balls is disconcerting at times, I also thrive on the chaos and variety.
By the time I reached work I came to the conclusion that while that job would have been a very different and interesting path to take, a. I never even applied to the job, let alone was interviewed for it, let alone was offered it and b. if I take a job like that I’d be saying goodbye to finishing The Tome.
Ah, The Tome. After chucking the first 97,391 words and then walking away for a while because the rest of my life was in chaos I’m finally back to it. Character sketches, outlines and all. Those are evolving documents but they’re pretty fleshed out already which is a shock for a pantser like me. I’ve broken up the outline by each of the five main characters and I’m doing a blank page rewrite individual by individual. I figure it’ll be easier to keep the voices in my head straight that way. My writing group suggested that I write it like each chapter is its own short story. I’m not quite doing that but there are strong elements of a stand alone piece to each section.
I’m more than 10,000 words into the first chapter of the first character. Probably about 3/4 of the way through that chapter’s arc. That’s damn fine progress considering everything else that’s been going on.
The last year has been about deciding what I’m willing to suffer for.
What is important to me as an individual, a curator, a writer and a mother. I guess The Tome is one of those. Yes, the financial security of a better job would be wonderful but I think letting go of this particular dream isn’t worth the cost.
Not at this time at least.
Two grants have come in at work and that means extra hours and if a third grant comes in, which seems reasonably hopeful, this boon will be for two years. Other ideas in the works will go towards debt reduction. My financial picture can be radically different in three years if the stars align properly and I avoid lifestyle creep.
And believe it or not, it’s not just about the money.
I’ve had my current job for twenty years this fall. We have made so much progress over the years and now I’m really on a roll and pulling the collection together. Progress is slow because of financial constraints but there’s been enough time to see change, however incremental.
I don’t want to have to walk away before I’m ready.
I want to finish my book.
I want to live the life that I choose, not one I’m forced into by circumstances beyond my control.
Deep breath in and out.
Prepare for the worst.
Hope for the best.