Friday, May 14, 2010

Urgent: Must Win Bread

So now that we are married, I am feeling this sudden urgent need to get stable. I want to create a plan, a situation, that will give us at least 5 years of stability, rather than 6 months or 1 year. I have spent this week obsessing about where to move to and how to make the income we will need to raise our kids. 

This is, I know, premature. We are not even pregnant yet. But we are trying, the prenatal supplements and nutrition are in place, and at this point it is a matter of time as we wait for the next ovulation. Translated, this means that I have taken all the action steps I can (or that my plan allows at this point in time) towards babies, therefore, I am fixated on the next items on the list.

I would like to say that I find it amusing/interesting/ironic that I am having such a stereotypically masculine response, worrying about the bread-winning. I would like to add the caveat that I am also terrified of committing to 5 year stability, even though I have been decently stable in my current situation for the last 4 years or so. The difference is that I could have left or changed things at any time. I have the trappings of 1 year stability, I have just extended their contracts. Signing a 5 year contract (so to speak, and this is getting almost ponderously metaphorical) seems as daunting as it does necessary. 

I have been fixating on the possibility of opening a thrift store as a way to generate stable income and family-friendly scheduling. For two days, I ran through all the reasons I could think of for why a thrift store could be a really awesome thing. Finally, I decided to get serious about it and sat down to write lists. I started with the Why This Is a Good Idea list, and then went from there. Five or six lists later, I wrote the Assumptions I am Making list, and it burst my bubble. Too many assumptions, one or two of them deal-breakers if things don't work out that way. I am not willing to work 70 hour workweeks to have my own business/thrift store. Instead, I want to dabble in it (I can concede 30-40 hours/week) and have it be successful enough that I don't have to do more. NOT the most viable plan right now. 

Once I realized that, I started to panic. I don't have a good enough plan, nothing is figured out enough for my comfort, what am I going to do? I decided the best thing was to pull the plug and turn off my brain. Once I got it out of its feedback loop, I could look at the bigger picture. To that end, I went to the library and checked out my maximum allowable number of books, almost all mental-bubblegum novels. I will spend the weekend reading fun romps that don't even leave footprints in the sand of my mind, and then check back in with everything next week. 


Lannae said...

Hi darlin'! Welcome back to Monday! :)
(BTW, you're a seriously good writer.)
Okay. My knee-jerk reaction to your post is that if you want to work 30 to 40 hours a week but still provide yourself with a stable income source, then you're going to have to find a part-time job working for someone else- preferably a company as an individual can be to up in the air. (As in, "Oh of *course* we can work you in etc etc" and then business changes or something happens in their personal life (ex- parent in another state requires they move in with them etc) and POOF ! They be gone!)

My thinking on this is that if you work on something that you can make on your own- which is an *excellent* thing and I do see you as having talents that way - well, that's great, BUT, it will never be a *secure* income. And if you have kids in the picture, I can both understand and agree that the stability of the additional finances is of primary importance.

Sooo... my suggestion would be to apply your considerable talents toward working at a place that is in alignment with your goals and value's. ie- Pick a charity or non-profit company you really like and go work there.

For the record, I *really* don't think you're being at all premature on your finance's concerns. Once you're pregnant, you'll be focusing on the baby needs- so it makes sense to expend energy onto the financial needs now. :)

Caveat- all advice falls under the 'You get what you pay for' category!
*hugs!* If there's anything I can do to help, let me know! :)

Philosofisher said...

Actually, I think the opposite. From those who have modeled it best for me, a decent practice of regular clients can provide a very steady income in a few and flexible hours. I have just been frustrated with the establishment of such a practice.

If I work for other people, I have to convince them that what I contribute to what they are selling is worth decent pay. If I work for myself, then I have to convince clients that what I am selling is worth what they are paying, which is a much more direct and flexible transaction.