A couple of weeks ago I realized I’m lucky that I’m not living in my car due to the state of this economy. No joke. I often marvel how a bout with cancer eleven years ago led me to a profession I love, and which provides me with some measure of security today.
After my 50+ work week, I often make time to write. Sometimes I do dare dream what my art and craft might be like, if I had more time to devote to them. However my situation is simple. I need to support myself. I live with two dogs, and share some marvelous friends and family. I am surrounded with more love than I can always bear.
Yet I’ve been investing in myself as an artist for over thirty years, and have received no dividends. I haven’t received a cost-of-living increase from my full-time employer due to the California budget crisis for years. However a couple of weeks ago, a two-hour union contract negotiation meeting finally put my economic situation in perspective.
As I began to look around me, I realized that with the high cost of gasoline and groceries among other things, I actually have less spending power now than I did three years ago. And things only look like they’re going to get worse. Yes, I waited a year to purchase a new pair of glasses, but had to buy them on time; as with everything else, I am still hopeful for a happy ending.
So it was an agonizing decision, but we put our home up for a standard sale last week. We are not underwater, but have lost a lot of dollar equity in the last five years. I am holding my breath at the hope of financial freedom that may come as early as mid-summer. However ironically, my need to not be at the mercy of a cruel economy makes me dependent upon home buyers, who haven’t yet called our agent, as they said they would.
We’ve already made an offer on a short-sale, and we’ll find out Friday, if they’re taking our offer to the bank. I’ve got to do my taxes on Saturday to find out, if I’ll get enough back to pay my property taxes. I know that I’m dancing as fast as I can, but I sense that the sharks are waiting for us to drop our selling price, which could affect the extent of my freedom. I prefer to defy them, but must be sensible.
I can’t read the news for weeping; oh Japan. If I write the truth, does it mean that I’m a bitch? What do I have to complain about? On Sunday I finally have time to take another pass on WATER CLOSET. Then I get to visit my mom, who has been shopping for winter clothes for my New York “debut”.
Yet I have still have choices. And that is my point. Don’t be a victim. Don’t wait for somebody to bail you out. While you’ve still got choices, make them. Buy extra water and food stuff, and an emergency kit for your car; whatever it takes. If you’re like me, once I’m over the paralysis, taking action helps me deal with the fear.