Is Failure a Viable Career Option ??

So, I’ve been in my basement– or what a favorite uncle calls a Cellar—for the past couple of days.

In fact, he’d call me a “Cellar Dweller…”

And he is correct. My desk, computer, file cabinets, eBay supplies and packaging area are down in my cellar. It is a finished basement, with comfy couches and chairs—and a TV. So I don’t mind being holed up in my cellar. I often go down there when I am serious about getting things done.

Anyways, I looked at spreadsheets. I looked at bills. And I looked at potential jobs.

Until my head was spinning…

That’s when I knew it was time to get outside. I grabbed The Little Black Dog and we headed to the beach for our daily walk.

As I walked, I got to thinking. (God help us all when I do that.)

My current financial situation isn’t that hard. Just simple elementary school arithmetic.

Just need to add up the money I have coming in.

Then subtract the bills.

And if the sum of these two numbers is red instead of green? Scale back.

Some common options:

Eliminate Car Payment.  Done. Years ago. Hence my 13-year-old Honda Accord.

Sell my house.  Again, done. I rent the home the children and I live in.

(From a woman who might soon be canonized as a Saint …)

Sell off my worldly possessions? Done. Any gold I had was melted down years ago when I set up my new household.  Honestly, I pawned my wedding rings right out of the gate, because wedding rings aren’t necessary for a person getting divorced. Though one or two people protested…

Protestor: You NEED to save those for your daughter.

Me: Oh.

Hadn’t really thought of that. For me, it seemed silly and useless for something I clearly didn’t need to occupy space in a drawer for many years…

Me: Darling Daughter, how do you feel about these?  Are they something that have meaning for you? Would you like me to save them for you?

My daughter looked at me like I was standing on my head…

Darling Daughter:  WHY would I want to wear the rings of FAILURE???

Sold.

Onward. To more common options:  

GOOD OLD MA & PA

Many people head back to their parents’ house in times of financial distress. Not an option for me. My mother passed about 20 years ago, so I would have to pitch a tent at the cemetery to hang with her. And my father lives nearly an hour away. A little too long of a commute, considering the promise I made my children that they would not have to change school districts after the divorce.

FIND A NEW MAN (OR A HUSBAND)

Another popular plan of attack in times of distress. Men use this one, too, but they find a woman. (Unless they are not heterosexual) Biggest problem here? I’d be counting on somebody else to bail me out. Which means I don’t bail myself out. Which means I don’t learn and grow from the experience. There is an old saying that the lesson keeps coming back at us until we get the brick to the head. I am ready to learn the damn LESSON already!

Goes like this…

PRAY FOR AN INHERITANCE

As far as I know, there aren’t any wealthy, childless relatives hiding out anywhere. Plus somebody has to DIE for people to get an inheritance. And I would feel terrible if tragedy or illness befell somebody I knew—and I ended up compensated with vast sums of money. (At least I think I would feel really, really badly )

TRUST FUND

This is kind of interesting, because nothing BAD would have to ‘happen’ to anybody. So I think I could feel okay about it if somebody wanted to set up a Trust Fund for me to draw from occasionally. And I wouldn’t be one of those ungrateful people. Nor would I act snotty, entitled or better than others. I would really appreciate it.

A JOB

I’ve said this many times before. But it is fact. The world—Northeast Ohio specifically—isn’t in need of another middle-aged, single mother looking for a job. Or even another PERSON looking for work. Jobs aren’t all that easily found…

Because I am a little (maybe even a lot) ADD, my mind bounced to my marketable skills:

I’m NICE…

People usually like me. (Except for two…maybe three people)

Put me in the sandbox and I play well with others. I never threw sand as a child. Just like on the elementary school report card. They always said that I ‘worked well with others.’  Probably, I had ‘natural ebullience’ when I was a kid, just like I do now. (See past two blogs if that doesn’t make sense…)

From there, I drew a blank.

Seriously, I am hardworking, got excellent grades in school and am PC and Mac literate. I’m a first-rate organizer. I learn new skills and technology easily. Have a pleasant phone manner. Happen to have an eBay store where I am a PowerSeller and Top Rated seller. Hopefully, I am an acceptable writer.  (A writer is what I would really like to be…)

Then there’s my BA in Management/Finance. Which is a bit ironic considering my inability to do elementary school math lately.

Or maybe I just need more to work with.  If there aren’t any beans to count, how can I be a bad bean counter, right?

Obviously, I am not a quitter. Or I’d have quit a long time ago.

I just need to look a little harder for ways to change my current financial circumstances.

Which means I’ll be heading to the lower level of our Little White Ranch House. A Cellar Dweller for another day.

I am a HAPPY Cellar Dweller, at least…and a NICE one.

And I promise I’ll be soaking in the LESSONS like a sponge. Because I really do not want to have to break out my catlike reflexes to dodge ANOTHER brick. (more on my catlike reflexes another time…)

As ever, I am open to suggestions, if anybody out there has anything?

MY FINAL GARAGE SALE

How often have you thought a garage sale was a fantastic idea?

Yeah. Me, too.

My PERFECT customer...

So I sat outside in the rain all day yesterday. Was it worth it? Depends.

We made some money. I think…

But then we spent some money on breakfast. Then on lunch…and dinner. Think about it, who cooks on Garage Sale Day? We also bought cute little $1, $3, $5 stickers. And it was a street sale with several families, so there was an ad in the local paper—another $8.

I’m not really sure how much money we will end up with, especially since I agreed to take $1 for the $5-10 items A LOT. Lets face it, I DO NOT want to drag my treasures (crap?) back into the house. Especially when I have just worked so hard to remove them. $1 is better than packing them up and dragging them back down to the basement.

Thankfully I had help. Though my help came in the form of teenagers, who do like to sleep in. Which left just me to manage the 8am Early Bird  Crew who marched down the driveway like a parade. The sale started at 9am.

Some of my favorite garage sale moments…

I sent my daughter and godchild into the house to roll up an area rug that was under the dining room table. Decided I didn’t want it. My son stepped out of the bathroom and saw the girls laboring to move the chairs and table off of the rug.  “Mom, are you gonna sell my liver, too?” He stood there for a minute. Then pointed to a side table, “Look that’s dusty. Time to get rid of it”

My daughter arrived at the sale later in the morning after going to breakfast. She wasn’t around long before I heard, ”I’ll be right back. I think I just got my period.” Later….”Katie, can you please…” She interrupted before I could get the question out. “I’m cramping!!” It’s a good thing she looked cute sitting there. Because that’s mostly what she did.

My godchild’s boyfriend came over. He kindly offered to haul a large area rug (the one that is no longer under the dining room table) to the car for a couple of nice women. We’re going to say they were ‘nice,’ even though they weren’t super friendly. Anyways, he banged his head on the back of their Jeep. The nice women said they do it all the time. Godchild’s boyfriend rubbing his head, “Have you seen my head? It’s BIG. I’m like the Kool Aid Man. My head’s like…40% of my body.” That loosened them up. Barely.

Later when my son arrived back home, I told him that I sold his old bike that was missing one brake and had two flat tires…for $2. He responded with the fake excitement that 14-year-old boys use to mock their mother, “Sweet. You could buy like 8 gum balls with it!!”

As if I care what I can buy with the $2. Somebody just paid me to take a bike—that quite frankly was a piece of junk—out of my one-car garage. There was no downside for me. So what if that person fixes it and makes some money. Good for him. The only thing it has done for me lately was to jab me in the shin with its kickstand, as I walked by.

The garage sale is almost over, which means we are fast approaching The Great Giveaway. That’s the time people can just take what they want. Because, who cares? I’m no longer attached to the items littering the front yard.

I certainly don’t want any of them. I didn’t even know I had them a few days ago. In fact, I wonder why I spent money on some of them in the first place.

It goes without saying that I am NOT having a Garage Sale next year.

And I just put that in writing…