Saturday, October 24, 2015

Do What You Love and the Money Will Go to The Person Exploiting You

I have noticed lately that I know a disproportionate amount of people who are dissatisfied with their current career/job/employment. Some are extremely overworked, some are bored out of their minds, and some are bone-searingly sure they're in the wrong career. Others are in that vague state where no matter what they do they are unhappy, but can't for the life of them figure out what to do instead.

And every single one of them is stuck where they are because leaving means they literally lose everything. There are no savings, no investments to live off while they reformat into something that will fulfill them and bring them happiness. No one is living beyond their means; but rather no matter how much they earn it is still a near paycheck to paycheck situation.

I know so few people who can honestly say "I love what I do for work. It's not work for me. I'm fulfilled in my career." Basically, I know just enough people saying this to let me know this can be a possibility. So if it is, why do so many of us linger in vague dissatisfaction or worse, abject hate of our professions?

Human history is full of examples of a few getting rich off the back-breaking labor of the many. In comparing where we are with where we've been (and still could be in a number of places in this world), we've got it easy. Even as we struggle we are blessed and lucky to have all that we do.

Even as we complain about the price of that coffee maker or the quality of that t-shirt, we ignore the fact that the job we hate is allowing us to buy those things, and in our richness exploiting those who make things in deplorable conditions.

We have somehow become a global economy where no matter where we are on the ladder, we are exploiting those lower than us. There are so few who are working to lift others up in to some form of equality; and those who are get burned out quickly from the struggle.

When you see people as people and you wish them happiness, it is heartbreaking to see that it is so difficult to find. We spend our entire lives working; you would think we would all be able to do things that lift us up and fulfill us. Instead, we spend our best years working to fulfill someone else and come to resent everything because we end up with so little. And yet, it is still more than many as most of us come out out of it with our lives (even if not our health) intact.

I really don't know where I'm going with this. The battle cry of "This isn't fair!" is hollow and childish. Changing anything seems to be not only an uphill battle, but an impossibility.

All I know is that I see loved ones struggling and I wish for them peace, happiness, and fulfillment. I wish I could offer that to everyone, everywhere, but I am only one person and I must start with those closest to me.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sometimes You Have to Stop and Wonder

Today is Thursday. I have somehow managed - despite now having two jobs - to continue having this day and my weekends free. It means working three 12 hour days, but still. My Thursdays are still blissfully, blessedly mine.

I often use them to get chores done so my weekends can be free for fun. I'll go out to the bank, run errands, make appointments, etc etc. The nature of the Massage Therapist beast is that it can be difficult to take time off. Because more often than not, if you're working for someone else you don't get time off. No sick days, no vacation days, and if you're working at a spa attached to a hotel, you don't get holidays either.

Which is one more reason I need to get my private practice up and running, but that's neither here nor there.

Today, after spending the last three weeks running around without any kind of break, I decided to take it easy. In fact, it's after 3pm now and I have yet to leave the house. I'm kind of actually not planning on leaving the house, either. I'm sitting in our living room, in our rocking chair. I'm sitting in the afternoon sunshine, watching the colored leaves blow in the wind. I'm reading a for-fun-not-thinking book. I'm on Pinterest getting food ideas for when we meet with a potential caterer next week. I'm listening to the cats snore as they sleep on the couch.

I am content.

And I am also humbled. If you had asked me even two years ago if I thought any of this was in my future, I'd have sighed and said I'd given up on this pipe dream a long time ago. But here I am, in a house, with furniture, and pets, and the best of the Best Guys ever. This is my home, This is our home. Sometimes it still bowls me over that I have been graced with such abundance.

I am grateful. I am humbled.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Project 251: Doin' it up Fall Foliage Style

Not that you'll actually see any pictures of leaves or anything. Just our beautiful mugs.

20 of 251: Hinesburg. The nursery school is run out of a Masonic Temple. Awesome.

21 of 251: Starksboro. Where Best Guy left his Vermont cap. Hopefully someone
found it and is now traveling about the state as well.

22 of 251: Charlotte (shar-LOT). There was a winery. We stopped. I sampled. I sampled A LOT.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I Seem to Have a Lot to Say Lately

1. I've started Weight Watchers again. I would like to permanently misplace about 12 pounds. Everything I've tried for the last year or two hasn't worked at all and with a certain event just seven months away, I figure now is the time. This will give me ample opportunity to lose the weight, put it back on over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then lose it again. I am nothing if not a planner. I have access to a blog over on that site (that is not shared with anyone who is not a member) so I will be using that to chronicle my journey instead of whining about it here. I'm sure you're fine with that.

2. I have a new (part-time) job that starts... today. Yikes! It was all kind of sudden and still a little up in the air for various and sundry reasons that I'll not post here. I probably shouldn't post this here either. But I did. WHAT. Look at me, shooting the bird to convention. Under the table. Where no one can catch me doing it. If all goes according to plan, it will lend some consistency to what I am contributing to the household financially. Something that has been sorely lacking for the last several months and has made me feel a little guilty. Best Guy has been nothing but understanding and awesome. But when you feel like you aren't pulling your own weight, it - ha ha - weighs on you.

3. Speaking of finances... Best Guy and I have started the process of merging bank accounts. What. The. Frackity Fuck. Everything is truly becoming "ours" instead of "mine" and "yours". My brain has yet to wrap around the concept. I don't know what I'm going to do when I start looking at a bank account that actually has money in it. What am I supposed to do with that? I don't understand this concept of "being able to afford a new shirt." Whaaaaat?

4. Did you know Michael's has a shit-ton of DIY wedding invites? Ranging from super-simple blank white invites and envelopes (100 for $18) to fancier ones that are $40 for 30. BG and I are absolutely fine with going for invites that don't match anything if it means we can get them that cheaply. It's not like we're inviting everyone and their family; we want our final head count to be around 50 people, so even buying two packets of the expensive ones means we're still getting off more cheaply than we would to have our own printed.

5. We are also thinking seriously about doing up a wedding website. Initially we weren't going to, but the more I read the more it seemed like it would be a good place to put vital information, especially for those coming in from out of state. This way, we won't have to clog the invites with extra pieces of paper detailing accommodations, maps, etc etc. Plus, people will be able to RSVP right on the website. Good for the environment and our pocket book.

Okay... I need to get my but in gear and eat some breakfast before heading out to my new job. I always cut it so close in the morning...

Monday, October 5, 2015

My New Dance Troupe

Earlier in the year, the dance teacher and friend I had been religiously studying under moved out West. It was heartbreaking for many in the dance community, as she had built a glorious tribe of Feminine Energy Warriors across the state. From college students to middle age women, she supported journeys and opened doors. She - by way of dance - gave many a voice and a confidence they'd never had before.

After her departure, there was a determination to keep things going. The tribe by distance and sheer necessity had to disperse. There are many striving to keep the dance language going, and without fail when any of us get together we can share a common pattern, even if the accents are already changing.

About a month ago, a few close dance friends and I determined that we needed to keep this going, and formed a small troupe of four. Unlike the college kids still going strong in another part of the state, we are older and lend a more mature voice to the melee.



When we first decided to make this official, we asked our former teacher if we could keep our old group name. She was okay with it so long as we still held to her ideals. After some thought, we determined that as much as we agreed to that and wanted to continue on, we needed a new name, a new start, a new definition of who we wanted to be together. So we settled on Leanan Sidhe. It's pronounced "le-NON SHE".

In Celtic lore, the Leanan Sidhe are beautiful fairies who inspire artists to great and wonderful heights. But those glories come at a cost, for the Sidhe inevitably drive the artists insane and/or to an early death.

We are looking to offer theatrical pieces that tell stories and integrate belly dance, dance, and pretty much anything else we deem appropriate. The eventual goal is to develop and integrate our own style to the one our friend so generously shared with us.

It is exciting to be a part of something again. I spent a large portion of the year missing my tribe. I am ever grateful that it was merely taking a hiatus.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It Would be a Lot Easier to Say this isn't a Wedding Blog if I Started Talking about Something Else

We have a date chosen. We have a venue and time frame chosen. We even have an officiant chosen (we just haven't actually asked them yet). We also have a Chick of Honor and Best Dude chosen (see last parenthetical statement). We have a pretty good idea already of generalities, although we've plenty of time yet for specifics. I'm sure things will change many time over between now and May 21st (squee!) but that is the nature of the nuptual beast.

I am finding myself frustrated by the lack of information available for non-traditional weddings. Everything out there is geared to the young 20-something who is enraptured with the idea of a $30,000 white and pastel frothy wedding. Even the "budget" guides often assume that you're cheaping out on a $10k budget. The few $5k budgety ideas I find go back to still having the froopy "wedding of your dreams" without going broke.

I am very adept at finding ways of making things work for me. Take a little here, tweak a little there, and boom! There you are. But still. It would be nice to have advice for the bride who doesn't want a white wedding, doesn't want to spend the equivalent of a house down payment, and is mature enough (and maybe confident enough) to say to people "this is how I want my wedding to be. If you don't like it or agree with it, then don't come." Seriously, yo. If I see one more advice column dealing with questions like "We don't want to do a First Dance. How can we tell our family without them freaking out?" I'm going to throw something. Holy fuck Girl. Grow a pair of TaTas and don't have a first dance. There. Problem solved. If your family is freaking out over a lack of a first dance then there are much larger issues at play that have nothing to do with your wedding.


Sorry, that's been bugging me.

I don't even know where I'm going with this. I guess I'm just kind of feeling a little out on a limb by myself. I know this event is going to rock it six ways from Sunday. It would just be nice to find others like myself who have some good advice for this DIY'er.

One last note... we knocked off one more city on our 251 Project yesterday. Here you are, Number 19:

Richmond. Where I lived when I met that Goober in the picture next to me. 

Last Chance.

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