I don’t think I’m a terribly spiritual person. I would describe my relationship with organized religion as more of a nodding acquaintanceship than anything else. I don’t go to church and you’ll never find me on a mountain top, bugging the shit out of a Tibetan monk for guidance on my First World Problems. I have this feeling it would go something like this:
Yeah, so religion is a bit of a bust for me.
Regardless, I’ve always felt that there was a Universe – capital U intended. And sometimes the Universe sends me hints and nudges, a gentle invitation to move in a different direction. The thing is, I’m not terrible receptive and I don’t like different anything.
So sometimes the Universe is left with no other choice but to up the ante. Still I remain squinty-eyed and suspicious, unwilling to bend or budge from my current course of action. It isn’t until I get the Universe-equivalent of a Louisville Slugger upside the head that I might sit up and take notice that something isn’t working.
Good things fall apart: Chapter Uno
So what does this have to do with anything? Well, I’m getting to that right now:
My husband was laid off from his $100,000 engineering job last week.
Yeah. So, that happened.
Do you want to know what income we floated our household on? I’ll give you two guesses but you’re probably not going to need the second one. Fortunately, I have a full-time job, a few side projects*, and renters that bring in some cash. This money combined with what my husband will get from Employment Insurance** will help us float the household. Even still, we’re going to be a couple hundred dollars short every month.
But then it got me thinking: What exactly are we fighting for here?
We live just outside of Calgary in a larger house with granite this and hardwood that. We have two cars – with two car loans – so we can drive from our larger house to our jobs in Calgary. Once we get to our jobs, we work the requisite five days a week so we can afford said house and said cars.
Neither of us are particularly fond of our jobs*** anymore so we spend money to buy things we “like” because by the time we’re done the week, we “deserve” a treat. Then we have to work more to afford the treats and the loans.
God. Just reading it is mind-numbing. In my defence, I think having children can create a certain mind-set for what life should look like. I have a daughter and I wanted the best for her. The big house means stability, the jobs make it possible, and so it goes. Round and round and round. It made sense at the time.
Good things fall apart: Chapter Dos
The important thing is it doesn’t make sense now. My daughter turned eighteen last week and she’ll be graduating this June. Phil, my husband, has lost the job that would normally keep us here. Maybe it’s a sign. Or maybe I’m having a semi-early midlife crisis.
You know the kind of crisis: I should be moving to India, shaving my head, and giving my life and all my worldly goods to some Guru. Or at the very least, reading many, many self-help books about becoming my true purpose or something. To be honest, I probably will read a bunch of “reach my potential” books. I’m not above that at all. I’ll probably skip the Guru though.
Anyway, let’s get back to the point: the Universe. Maybe there is a reason why we keep having so many problems with the house; the cars; and now the jobs. We’ve had some pretty serious setbacks over the past three years and they’ve been coming at us at a rate of one every nine months or so. Maybe there is a reason for everything happening this way.
Good things fall apart: Chapter Tres
Perhaps the Universe is giving me my Louisville Slugger to the head. I believe that if you make a plan, you have to see how that plan plays out in the real world. If I am encountering obstacle after obstacle while I’m trying to do whatever thing I decided, maybe it’s time to stand back and re-evaluate. Maybe it’s just timing, maybe it’s just circumstances, or maybe it’s just a shitty plan. I’m all for rising to the challenge but there has to be a limit to that shit.
As a side note: I’m not going to sell the house or anything. At the very least, I think it would be a great rental property if we ever decide to go that route. But I am going to do something different.
So here’s my new plan:
- Blogger: I’m going to continue to publish regularly and work on raising my presence in and around the internets. I want to grow my blog and find ways to make it more profitable
- Freelance Writer: I have some regular work as a writer now which is exciting for me. I want to find new clients and turn this into a larger stream of income.
- Financial Advisor: I want to look into what’s involved in becoming a financial advisor. I enjoy helping people and I think this could be a great move for me.
My overarching strategy is to move farther away from the 9am to 5pm job thing and find new ways to make money. I like the idea of being able to pick up and move my work with me if I choose too. I don’t know what will happen after that but I’m happy with this direction. It’s the best way I can frame this up for myself.
I recently read a great quote from Marilyn Monroe that captures everything perfectly:
Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
*I refuse to call them side hustles. But they’re side hustles.
** A Canadian social program – yeah, yeah, we’re all dirty Commies
***Don’t get me wrong, I like my job and the people are great – I think I’m just burnt out.