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Radical Change

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 . . .

me again.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo CD2894356
    Good for you. One of my favourites is Rosehip honey and you will be straight enough to make it when the hips ripen up. Makes a lovely spread and all the benefits of rosehips too. Then theres all those blackberries and there's always PYO
    3854 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/5/2010 4:45:11 PM
    great blog! looks like you did some soul searching and came up with well thought out goals. change can be/is scary and exciting but if we've learned anything...it's the one thing that's constant. either go with the flow or meet with resistance. i've noticed recently that many are making major shifts in their lives and it's awesome! wishing you all the best sis but i have a gut feeling you'll do great! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3863 days ago
    'I will be me again' you say - to me that is the crux of all of this. If you had lost yourself you must of course find ways to get yourself back. It is a courageous plan but you have obviously given it a great deal of thought and planning and you need to trust that it will come good.

    You may not have anyone to fall back on as such, but your family obviously values you a great deal and working alongside each other to keep your life going will be a joy on both sides and what a wonderful way to live.

    I wish you success and good fortune with this plan - truly you can do it. emoticon
    3863 days ago
  • REJ7777
    It looks like you have carefully thought through the implications of the courageous decisions you are making. Speaking of health, I've read that people often postpone retirement until 65 so that they can get maximum benefits, but that what often happens in those last 3 to 5 years, is that they lose their health (and sometimes life) because of all the stress. It seems to me that you are making a wise decision, even though it may be financially more challenging. Time to be *you* again has inestimable value! emoticon
    3863 days ago
    This sounds like a wonderful plan to me! You must have had this plan sent to you straight from heaven! You know God always cares and wants the best for His children! It is hard making these kinds of decisions for ourselves because it is like stepping out on faith! Some people have this kind of faith while others struggle! This is something that I read in the Bible when I have this kind of decision to make:

    Matthew 6: 31-32
    "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things."

    I think if you will make the first step He will take care of you! Can't wait until you have more time to Spark! emoticon emoticon
    3863 days ago
    emoticon It does take a BoatLoad of courage to make the decisions that you have, but the Pay-Off is in the QUALITY of your Life.
    It seems that you have worked out a very workable plan and it appears do-able. The extra time with Kids and Grand Kids is Priceless. The little ones will remember their time with you LONG after they are grown.
    3863 days ago
    I am glad that you are sorting this all off. It makes sense to pay down the mortgage - but you should work to build up another safety cushion if you can. I also believe that a big piece of health is emotional and mental health - so reducing stress, planning on eating better, walking more and spending more time with family all seem like major steps in that direction.
    3863 days ago
    Sounds like a great plan to me, takes a lot of courage to live without those safety nets but if you aren't enjoying life as much as you could are they safety nets or restraints...

    3864 days ago
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