Saturday, June 26, 2010
I note, it's been a whole month since my last blog - the one that mentioned the need to find space. Evidence of that need, I think!
As some of you know, last summer I took an early retirement deal - knowing that to make ends meet and pay the mortgage, I'd have to earn the difference between my pension and my last salary.
There were no guarantees, but I've been doing it. And it's been fun - manic, but fun.
What it hasn't been, is sustainable.
So . . . some big decisions:
I received a lump sum when I retired, which I sifted away as my safety net. You know, the nest egg that meant I could sleep at night knowing if work dried up then I could ride the storm. In the meantime though, I've been paying interest on a second mortgage and the nest egg has earned me virtually nothing.
Decision number one:
remove the safety net and use it to pay the debt.
Then I can cut one of the jobs.
The difficulty here is that my only permanent employment doesn't pay nearly enough to pay the remaining bills - but my highest paid job, although regular to date, is not on a contract and funding could be removed at any time. Other work is ad hoc and spasmodic, although some of it it also pays well.
Decision number two:
ditch the more lucrative job, to sort myself out and to enjoy life at a sensible pace. (It is also the job that I like the least - which helps)
This is all kind of scary, though, because I have nothing and no-one to fall back on, money wise. I will need to make another £300 per month, plus food and petrol money. But hey, I've learned to live on fresh air before and if I don't stop the manic lifestyle I'm not going to be here to enjoy anything anyway.
We can add into the equasion that I am about to be paid for a recent contract and that will give me enough to eek things out for about six months. A smaller version of that should happen each year meaning, let's say, three months a year are accounted for. I am fairly sure of another two months worth of money from other small employments.
But how will this help a healthier lifestyle?
Well . . .
I will certainly be more relaxed. I am lucky to have low blood pressure and am not anticipating an upsurge of stress; the mania as opposed to the lack of funds balancing out in my philosophical mind.
I will have time to walk almost everywhere - except work (which is evenings) - reducing my petrol consumption and increasing my exercise.
I will help on my daughter's allotment and earn myself a cut in their produce (already offered to me) - spending more time with her and the children and again getting more exercise. I will turn more of my garden over to fruit and veg.
I will go fishing with my son and his children and use that to stock my freezer with healthy oily mackeral etc.
I will make all the presents that I need to give, from the craft supplies I already have and recycling from other's unwanted items - creating things of more significance and personal value and saving me money.
I will continue to craft and will try to sell at local fetes and fairs, to raise more funds.
I will have more time for friends, including those here on Spark who are so valuable in triggering and supporting much needed change, in all of us
I will declutter possessions, by freecycling and selling on Ebay and GreenMetropolis - thus earning money to help keep me afloat. Past experience tells me I can realistically earn £100 per month here.
I will make my own wine and preserves, from the produce I grow and from the foraging that I already try to do.
I will cook everything from scratch (as I like it) and take joy in the fact that a pot of humous costs me about 12 pence to make, instead of more than £1 to buy.
I will write and I will paint and . . . who knows.
All of these things belong to my past lives and the dream has been to get back to them.
I will move into that dream - because I will have the time to do so.
My life will be more simple and I will be . . .