Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Remembrances and Realities

This photo is looking out from the hotel room the cowboy and I stayed in on the 3rd night of our trip. We were in a place called Gold Beach, Oregon. What a sunset, huh? The little hotel we found on the beach had the sweetest room with really nice classy furnishings and a cozy gas woodstove in the corner. Very romantic. We had a dinner of fruit, cheese and wine on the balcony while watching that ethereal sunset. I wish I knew the name of the place so I could link to it, but I didn't write it down and it's gone from the brain bank!

I've been back from the trip for almost three weeks. When I left I had few prospects for employment beyond the 3-4 hours a day I had been working for Search Widens, the wholesale jewelry business my friend Roberta owns. While I was away, her other part-time worker had to stop working due to pregnancy complications (she and the baby are fine now!) so I was able to move into an almost full-time position there. I had also spoken with a local florist looking for a part-time designer and began work there on Saturdays two weeks ago.

I'm making very good money for part-time work at both places, but it's still considerably less than I was making with the job I was laid off from. Some economic realities are setting in and I'm forced to make difficult decisions about where to spend money. I can't get out of the grocery store for under $25 just picking up things like eggs and bread! I've given up some luxuries I had become accustomed to, like my monthly massage and locally-farmed organic veggies that arrive once a week from now through September. I am very carefully not judging these decisions as good or bad, or more precisely, as a reflection of scarcity or abundance, and a funny thing is happening. For each thing I seemingly give up, I have an experience of recieving something else.

Both of my part-time jobs are within walking distance. There are many days that I don't even crank my car! Not only does this save me considerable money while gas prices are so ridiculously high, but it gives me the satisfaction of knowing I'm contributing that much less to global warming. Roberta is going on a 10-day canoe trip and she's graciously donated her organic veggies to me while she's away. My surgery bills are coming in and when I called to make payment arrangements I was informed that I could submit a charity application to take care of up to 80% of the final costs since my situation has changed so drastically since I had surgery. My parents are very generously helping out as they are able - and even President Bush pitched in with his economic relief payment which will cover a full month's rent and a few trips to the grocery store!

I'm still on the lookout for a full-time job with benefits, but I'm becoming more aware each day of how money is really just an energy exchange. I really enjoy both of my jobs and it's depressing to think of going back to work in an office 40 hours a week and probably for some petty tyrant. I think I have two of the best employers in the area and each job provides me the opportunity to practice different skills in a positive, supportive environment. That ain't nothing, folks. So while my left brain goes on about the need for benefits, health insurance, retirement, etc., I've begun to pay much more attention to my heart. Do I enjoy the work? Am I in the midst of positive, healthy people? Do I trust enough to follow the feeling of good energy and know it will lead not only to the fulfillment of my needs, but to true abundance? How important is $3-4 extra dollars an hour if it's paid for with added stress and depression? I don't want it to sound like I think medical insurance and retirement benefits aren't desirable, but I also wonder in this crazy world that we inhabit just how much those things can be relied upon anyway.

What do you think?


thailandchani said...

I think you've got it exactly in perspective. :)

Being in an office environment 40+ hours a week is like a slow death.

Anybeth said...

I think I'm suffering from being caught up in the money game. I have worked at the same place for over 5 years now, and I'm trying to cut my hours. For awhile I worked 4 days a week, and that gave me the ability to keep my health benefits and 401K, but I had my sanity too.

BUT, I wouldn't be able to survive without my husbands income that is much larger than mine. If he were to leave me I would have to sell the house and move into a very small apartment that I would barely be able to afford.

Plus, he and I would like to be out of debt someday. So we play the work game and try to use our money wisely.

It's a catch 22. What would happen if you got really sick and couldn't work at all? How would you pay your medical bills? What if you need a root canal? What will happen when we get old?
But hating work and stress leads to ill health.

I'm not relying on social security. I don't think it will still exist when I'm 70.

whoa, I'm rambling. sorry.

Olivia said...


I love hearing about your experience of this. I have thought of how it would feel to truly---TRULY---trust the Universe to provide and you are doing that, while keeping a framework of abundance, change, provision, and exchanges. I really love this!

For me this stance is idealistic, but the ideal and based on ultimate truth. It is what I would love to have should I be in your situation. I would hope that I would have the courage to choose as you are---what feeds and nourishes you---rather than "selling out". I am concerned that I would sell out and be a wage slave at a job I hated, mainly because I've always done that in the past.

Bravo to you, Angela! I really admire you.

In love and admiration,


Angela said...

Chani, It sounds like you know about that particular slow death from direct experience. :)

Anybeth, I loved working 4 days a week - it was perfect! Alas, it didn't last long.

Thank you, Olivia. P.S. I would've never chosen it had it not been forced on me.

bella said...

I think you are finding your own way, one step at a time. Which is the only way, really.
Know that I've been here, reading, even as I've been at a loss of words in response, due to my own quiet space I'm in right now.
take care.

Angela said...

Thank you, Bella. You are so kind.

Anonymous said...

I went to college to become a counselor. When I started interviewing for jobs one of the things that was wrong was I just couldn't imagine sitting at a desk for 40+ hours a week.
So I'm a House Painter. I make awesome wages for the State of Maine and keep really busy. I love being my own Boss. I don't have health insurance, which I have a post about . . . it could be a down fall, but at this point if I get sick I'd rather be making those huge payments to what I owe than some company who might decide they don't want to cover me anyway . . . And have you heard of Dr Parcell's Food Bath? It is an alternative for washing pesticides out of food if you can't afford organics. 1tsp. of clorox (no substitutes) to a gallon of water. Soak leafy vegis 15 mins, root, thick-skinned, or fibrous veggies 30 mins, thin skinned fruits, such as berries, plums, peaches, and apricots 30 mins, thick skinned fruits, such as citrus, bananas, and apples 30 mins, poultry, fish, meat, and eggs 20 mins. You're not supposed to soak ground meat. Take the foods out of clorox bath and soak in clean water for 10 minutes, and rinse. Foods seem to last twice as long when you do this and seem to taste better!
Namaste, Kel

Diva Carla said...

Angela, this topic of true abundance or true wealth has been in my face for the past month, so much so that I am now actively researching and creating work about it. It will show up in my blog eventually. Right now my wealth includes a lot of time and inspiration to make art, and I am not getting to my blog. But it's coming. I have been taking pictures.
Back to real wealth. My friend calls wealth "That which satisfies us, and links us together." It sounds to me like your new jobs are contributing to your real wealth. From this seat, you can more easily and orgasmically increase abundance and cashflow. There is more to say on this. I'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, an abundance of blossoms outside call me!

Jane said...

I've been struggling with the career/money thing for quite a long time. Currently I work 30 hours a week, but the money is not awesome although my boss is. The thorn in my side is that my ex no longer pays child support so I no longer have the option of staying for much longer.

Each day, I try to stay centered and calm and ask the Universe/God to lead me to the best employment opportunity possible. Like you, I hate the thought of sitting in an office 40 hours but I have 9 more years of raising my children and will do what I have to.

Happy Friday!

Lydia said...

What you've expressed in this post has a familiar ring to it. Long ago when I checked myself into detox and then treatment my attorney-employer sent me a letter firing me for "absenteeism." I knew from my gut that returning to office work in my early sobriety would be the death knell of it. As you are observing, when you open yourself to new possibilities (especially when this is done because you love yourself) openings happen. I heard that my small town's city government offices needed a part-time janitor and signed a year's contract to clean City Hall and the police department. It was solitary, physical work - exactly what I needed. When the year was up I signed on for another year. After that I was as ready as I ever was going to be to return to office work, and I found a relatively interesting state job that a few years later led to my meeting my husband at work. In 2000 I quit my job to be an active part of my mother's hospice and since then we're fortunately we're getting by on one paycheck, in part because of the kind of budget decisions you've made.

The only thing I'm concerned about for you is doing away with your regular massages. I totally require monthly massage to stay balanced and healthy. Could you maybe afford a half-hour massage once a month? Or check out ebay for a shiatsu machine someone might be offloading? Or trade off with a friend giving backrubs to one another on a regular basis? Maybe just thinking about it will create the next opening . . .

Angela said...

Island Spirit - I've never heard of that, but I'll definitely check it out! Thanks for the info.

Carla - I love your friend's description of wealth. I really look forward to seeing what you're working on with this!

Jane - Isn't there a way to make him pay what he should? That's just not right.

Lydia - How very wise of you to know what you needed at that time in your life. About the massage, I've decided it's one thing I can't give up. Post to follow.