Thursday, September 15, 2016

What's Next?

It is both terrifying and exhilarating to be standing at this precipice in my life and wondering "Where do I go from here?" I am nervous about my income level being slashed to an all time low but grateful to be stuck in a place where I can't do too much about it.

I am still committed to my daycare for as long as my last daycare child is left standing. I must be home and available for nine hours a day (my workday got shortened by an hour, which also includes the side benefit of a nap time I no longer have to share with a wide awake three year old), five days a week. So I must stay home and be present for my little almost two year old who is really quite adorable when left to her own devises (her older friends have not been a good influence on her I'm afraid).

I have to stay home and make the best of things for the next three months. It is a tiny bit like a three month staycation. I will finally get that holiday at home I have been craving. I am pretty excited.

I woke up this morning and felt grateful for my work-at-home experience. I love this space. I am grateful for the dress code and thrilled that I don't have to wear shoes. Make up is optional and bad hair days are no big deal. I love my little self employed life.

The question is: "Can I keep doing some version of what I am doing?" Another question is: "Should I keep doing another version of what I am presently doing?"

I have been living a life without health benefits, sick leave, paid vacations and pension for eighteen years now. It hasn't been impossible and I have managed quite well. The thing is (and I suppose this is important), I am reaching an age where health benefits, sick leave and a pension have become something that is more important than ever. If I stop working, my income stops coming in. Immediately. "This" is what the next three months of my life will teach me.

I have been very fortunate to be playing such a vital role in my own decision to wind down my daycare. Life could have dealt me a very different hand. An accident or health issue could have stopped me in my tracks and not only would I be without an income, I would have to deal with the consequences of a body that wasn't in good working condition.

I often muse over the fact that often, if we don't slow down and take heed to life's subtle messages that we need to stop what we are doing, "life" takes that decision out of our hands. Take one exhausted, stressed soul and toss them back into the arena which is breaking them down slowly but surely each and every day and you end up with a person whose body starts breaking down under the stress. Or making an error in judgement or not reacting quickly enough to avoid some kind of accident.

I have been a strong believer that if you don't listen to life's subtle and not so subtle clues that you need to stop in your tracks and change something, "life" will take that decision out of your hands.

I'm grateful to be steering my own ship at this point. I knew I wanted to stop and enjoy the scenery at a harbor while I refueled, refreshed and "renovated" a little. That is exactly how I feel about the upcoming three month reprieve I have been given. This little benefit comes without income, benefits or a pension. But I have my health. I have my mind. I will find my quiet place in the sun. My answers will come.

If money is the worst of our problems, we are very fortunate indeed. I am feeling like I'm living a pretty charmed life right about now. What I don't have in dollars and cents, I have in appreciation for what I already have and common sense.

What's next? I'm not terribly sure. But I do know I'm glad I don't need to know this by tomorrow. Or within two weeks. I have been given the gift of time. "Time" is all I have been aching and yearning for. I never dream about being "rich". I am already rich in all that truly matters.

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