Sunday, March 30, 2014

Missing That Paycheck... A Lot!


Today while I regale you with Lovely Images captured thru the Eye of my Lens while at various Shops and my Home, we're gonna just Talk Okay?  About something I NEED to just get off my Chest... because lately, due to escalating Medical Expenses and Cost of Living increases exponentially diminishing our mostly Fixed income and often breaking Budget, it bothers me... a lot!  I'm talking about Missing that Paycheck!!!  And the Options it always afforded us.

Because though Important and certainly a Noble thing to do, Unpaid Full Time Caregiving just ain't the same as having a steady Paycheck you can count on from that Career you become accustomed to... or even a Job, however Modest or even Part-Time!!!   You see, I've always been a Career Woman and had good Earning Potential, along with a steady, healthy Income to Support my Family with... and that was hard to give up.  Even though putting Family First was always my personal Priority above any Commitment to an Employer, I always had Employment and that Paycheck of my own, which Created Options.

The Man always had a Career too... and certainly never anticipated being Medically Retired and subsisting on a Disability Income, or even a Pension, while still Raising a Family either.   But, a Decade into his Medical Retirement I was still pulling in that necessary Second Income from my Career, so it was all Good... until I couldn't.   I too had anticipated working my Career up to Retirement Age... proper Retirement Age or even beyond actually, when you come with Checks even though you're no longer Employed.  *Smiles*   Even though I've been an Unpaid Caregiver for a very long time prior to Forced Early Retirement from the Working World, I could usually still hold down at least a Job, even a Seasonal or Part-Time one, and fulfill both roles... with the Assurance of a Paycheck from the Employment part.  Until The Man's Catastrophic Accident and Brain Trauma became a definite Game Changer and he could not look after himself, or help that much with the G-Kid Force anymore.

And though my little Showrooms and Art certainly fulfill my Passions, they are Clearly at Hobby Level Economically and not a Steady Income I can rely upon or which expand Options very much at all or come close to Supporting a Family.   My Hope is that one day they might... but this ain't that day yet... and though a Hopeless Optimist, I am also a Realist when it comes to Cash Flow.  Remember, I'm a Retired Banker first from my First Corporate Life... and so I'm always crunching the Numbers and in Retired Banker Mode inside my Head!  *LOL*

We got used to a certain Lifestyle that we Worked very hard all of our Adult Lives to Enjoy the Fruits of our Labor of.   We never were Living Large Types and by most Folks Standards we were ultra Frugal actually, just due to how we were both Raised, but its still difficult to go backwards Economically once you've Enjoyed having more.   No matter how adept you are at stretching a buck, once you've had more, you want more... because though you don't miss what you never had...  you do often miss what you've had to give up or lost.  It's still difficult to find yourselves still Raising Young Children well past Retirement Age.  Since your Initial Economic Plan just factored in getting your own Children Raised and helping them with Advanced Educational Costs that would Hopefully lay a sound Foundation for them into their own Adulthood.  And Planning for Security in your own Old Age so you wouldn't be a burden to anyone else and all that.

I always Prided myself in having a Good Long Term Economic Plan... even from a very Tender Age I always had one in place and set Goals that I always met, usually early, or at the very least on time.  I always Succeeded in any Career Field and Prospered, so I always Counted on my Ability to Earn.  You know how they always say Pride goes before a Fall... well, I've found myself now Fallen and I can't get up!  *Smiles... Hey, Humor is like a Good Medicine, so I still Count on Joyful Absurdity found in it all!*  

So here I now am, in my Fallen State of Being... and it's not at all Comfortable... in fact, at times it can be downright Scary as bills increase exponentially and I have NO steady Income to Supplement The Man's Disability and Pensions.  I'm still a ways off from being able to apply for my own Pensions... what's left of them anyway... since much of that was also depleted when The Man got really Sick.  You see, we also didn't Count upon his Earned Lifetime Free Military Medical Coverage being rescinded.  Or having to start Ponying Up for a hearty portion of Medical Care we never expected to have to cover when his Health finally tanked and I began Aging too... not to mention the G-Kid Force's extensive Medical Needs that aren't being 100% covered.

So I find myself always on the Hustle... who knew that as a Senior my newest Job would be one of not only Unpaid Full Time Caregiver, but also American Hustler!!!????!  *Bwahahaha!!!*  I find myself Eyeballing everything as Profit Margin... everything I buy, since it might need to be Flipped and so ergo needs to have some kinda Investment Quality to it where I can make a Buck off it... and everything I choose to Do, since I need to Supplement Income to make the ends meet... or at least come closer together!!!  

Luckily for me I have the Mixed Blessing of having OCD and ADHD... well before they ever had a Label or Diagnosis for it.  *Winks*  So I Learned to Harness my Obsessions and Excess Energy into Profitable Strengths early on that still Serve me well... well, most of the time anyways.  *Smiles... those similarly Afflicted will 'Get' that Insider Joke!*   I also have been an Avid Scavenger from as far back as I can remember... and a Human Magpie, so I Collect, Salvage, Save and have a keen Eye for the Good Stuff or the Vision of what things Could Be so that they'll have Value and Worth again once Transformed or Restored... ergo Sellable and Cha-Ching Junque rather than just Junk with a 'K'!    And after all, I Love Nice Things and Surrounding myself with them... I have such Delusions of Grandeur I tell ya!!!  *Smiles*

And Opportunity has come Knocking recently... in Answer to incessant Prayers... and the Laws of Attraction, because I always Pray, Think Upon and Utter my Needs Daily and often.  So I am Exploring and Considering any and all Options and Opportunities being Placed in my Path and am Thankful for each and every one.  The Lord has been Sustaining us and I have been Leaning Heavily upon Him, but certainly He knows me well enough, since He Created me, to realize that Self-Sufficiency and taking Care of my Family is Paramount to me and I Abhor being a Charity Case.  I don't even Believe Retirement is Biblical actually, I fully Intend to Serve and be Useful up until my last Breath in some capacity.  Just trying to Refine what that capacity IS right now... and that it will come with that Paycheck I'm sorely Missing and we Clearly NEED!?!  *Smiles*

Even getting the Art Studio Cottage Made-Over has suddenly become Intense with a sense of unexpected Urgency... so I'm 'Going With It' because I never Feel Urgent unless some Opportunity I don't yet know about, since it hasn't been Revealed, must be upon the Horizon.   The Man rarely understands these 'Knowings Without Actually Knowing' that we often have in this Family, since he doesn't have them so he has no Point of Reference... but when he sees me suddenly Driven in a particular Direction, with Urgency, he's Learned to just get on Board and wait for whatever is coming... because it's coming... you can Trust and Believe it is... it just hasn't arrived yet!  *Winks*
I'm Preparing for Something... though I don't have a Clue as to what it is just yet... and Trusting that our Gifts always make Room for us... so I just have to be Prepared when the Window of Opportunity is Opened and ensure we have the Capacity to Receive it and Act upon it... because sometimes that Window can be brief and narrow, so he who Hesitates is often Lost.   Many times Decisions need to be made on the Fly rather than Carefully mulled over and Pondered... Luckily I'm an Adept Decision Maker and don't need to make Decisions by Committee to feel Confident about making a Choice based on Experience and Gut Instincts.  I always had a Pet Peeve with Peeps who had Authority, but who couldn't or wouldn't make a Decision on their own or stand behind their Decisions with Accountability for them.  But that's another Post for another Time... LOL!!!

And though right now I Feel like a Fish out of Water in my Fallen State of Being and diminished Earning Potential involuntarily sidelining and frustrating the Hell out of me since I can't accept Work outside of the Home... I DO Intend to get back up eventually.  I will have a Plan B... C... D.. thru Zed, whatever it takes, because there has to be a back door, side door or window I can crawl thru to get to that Paycheck again... that Steady one that can really Help Support this Family!!!!!!   I'm Working my Hustle, I just haven't Refined it yet for it to be Significant enough that I'm Satisfied with it.  And I'm certainly NOT Settling for this Fixed Income and Unpaid Caregiver Thing as our Lot... and which ain't cutting it and is continuously Stressing me out because the ends keep getting further apart Financially over Time!

You see, tho' I may BE a Fish out of Water... this is the Type of Fish I BE!  *LOL*  Yep, a Lady Piranha wearing a Crown and surrounded by her Lovelies... and I don't Intend to HAVE to or be Forced to Sell every last one off just to barely Exist, God Forbid!  *Insert Shudder!*  Letting Go of most of it... I'm Good with at this Season of Life since I can't take it with me and the Extended Family probably don't wanna Inherit it all anyways... but I Enjoy the Special or Sentimental Pieces enuf to want to Keep what I Want to Keep, you know?

And to be able to DO what we Want to Do... without having to always Consider that we really can't Afford it... after a Lifetime of busting our Arses Working... I HATE saying or even thinking along those lines and Words because it can be so Prophetic if you start Believing you CAN'T!!!   I've always Believed I CAN... and always Dream Big and Encourage Family to do the same.  If the Vision and Dream isn't Big enough that it seems Impossible by Mortal Standards, you haven't Allowed Room for God to be in it and Receive the Glory when it Happens after all!   Okay, had to Insert my Pheasant wearing his Crown too because everything and everyone in this Household is Worthy of wearing one and is quite Comfortable in one! *Smiles*

So... for now this American Hustler Gramma is busily Making Over her Studio... and Seeking out Found Treasures that I can make a Buck on... or hold onto as an Investment until I need that expanded Buck that sitting on a Worthy Investment Affords.  And lets face it, the Thrill of the Hunt keeps me going because it's that Adrenalin Rush us Junquers use as our Fuel to keep moving Forward, even if the Terrain is rocky and inhospitable on the Life Journey we're on and the Vehicle used is the worse for all the wear and tear it's Endured.  I Love those Analogies!  *Winks*

Blessings from the Arizona Desert... where Easter and Spring Vignettes are now starting to make their Appearance around this Old House... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. Your post was so good and the pic you have a talent, I know what you mean about everything is going up and the pay is not.Your story makes mine very easy. I keep thinking how fast the time has gone ,I keep trying to find my faith to get stronger . I will be back Laura

  2. Good for you Dawn! With your attitude, belief and ability to plan you are bound to end up with the perfect money making project or job to meet your families needs and some wants too! Keep Truckin!

  3. Dawn, it is hard to be the grown-up in the family. I had to make the decision to choose family or teaching in a few minutes one August. I chose to take care of my father-in law and retire early. Best decision I ever made. It sent me into the world or repurposing "junque" and then into art. Everyone wears a crown - some are just hidden. I so enjoyed the photography.

  4. Hi Dawn. Thank you for the sweet blog comments. It's nice to meet you.

    I'm sorry to hear about your current situation. It must be hard on you and your hubby. It doesn't sound like you've made the mental transition to this circumstance; you sound like you're still clinging to your past life as an independent career-woman. I don't think anyone would want to adapt to lesser circumstance, but it may be you have no choice. I wish you the best in your future life.

    BTW, I'm not sure where in AZ you are, but I visited the desert outside Tucson last year. My wife has relative there. Interesting nature and bizarre critters.

  5. Hello Dawn, thank you for coming by and commenting on my blog post. It is nice to meet another who values the eye of a magpie.

    Change is always hard and it is harder when it affects the ones we love. Often I have found that I personally take on more of a guilty feeling when circumstances change when I don't need to, others seem to adapt very easily and it is me who thinks the worst.

    Perhaps time and adjustment will be needed to work along moving you to the next station in life. Mom always said, "Everything happens for the better." Not knowing why most things happen but the end result was most often something that could be lived with and almost always it was for the better. Sometimes when life gives you lemons, you make lemon-ade. One thing I know for sure is you are right about not having an income from a hobby :-)

    Take care

  6. Hoping your situation finds a solution. Praying for your answers. Keep the faith.

  7. Keeping one's eyes wide open to the seen -- and the unseen -- is an excellent plan for survival, dear Dawn. Your eye for beauty is revealed in your incredibly tactile photos (ah, those turquoise flowers!), and your eye for 'seeing around corners (as my family calls what you refer to 'knowing') is validated in your personal history. Do keep working on that studio: whatever is coming evidently needs floor space...

  8. This is such an impressive and inspiring post. It shows me what a strong and capable person you are, and I know you will come out of this difficult time well, and grasp any opportunity that comes your way. But that does not stop me also wishing that some good hard cash shows its face to you soon! (smiles)

  9. Dawn, stay upbeat. The only thing we know always happens is change. Make lemonade out of those lemons.
    Jean - I saw your comment on my blog French oddities. I am looking forward to continuing to read your blog


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl