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. 

2 comments:

Lannae said...

Hi darlin'! Welcome back to Monday! :)
(BTW, you're a seriously good writer.)
Hmmm...
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.