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?

Who needs a Boy Scout knot???

Not me. At least not yesterday.

Because I am a sucker for older furniture, with interesting lines, I bring home more than I can use. I especially like to strip, stain, paint it. Change up the knobs, etc. And so, I have a lot of great, funky furniture. To the point where people now come into my home and make me offers on pieces they like.

To thin out my home and de-clutter, I often list furniture items in my eBay store. And when they sell, I use Greyhound Package Xpress to ship them.

Anyways…I sold a wicker rocking chair over the weekend. And needed to ship it via Greyhound to Birmingham, Alabama. It was purchased as a Christmas gift.

And a wonderful gift it will be!

This particular chair originally belonged to my mother-in-law, but was given to my daughter when her grandmother no longer had use for it. It is in excellent condition, having only ever been lightly used in bedrooms. Solid and Sturdy.

And BIG.

Far too big to stuff into the backseat of my Trusty Honda…though I opened the back door to the car and thought about trying. But only for a minute. (Or two.)

That’s how this wonderful vintage rocking chair wound up in the trunk of my car. Or at least MOSTLY in the trunk.

Because the Cleveland Greyhound Terminal is a  40  minute (one-way) trek on the freeway, I thought it a good idea to break out the twine. Not that I actually know what TO DO with twine. But it seemed wise to make the effort.

It is always in the back of my head that I really SHOULD be pulled over when I set out on these type of adventures. And I often pass police officers sitting on the road. In fact, I passed a few of them yesterday….

There I was…bumping along in my OLD Honda, nicknamed The Race Car last week, because it needs a new exhaust system. HUGE Rocking Chair Hanging from the trunk. Praying that I got downtown and back, without dropping part of the exhaust on the highway.

I’ve GOT to believe that when I roll by, they cops must think, “Really. I just can’t take that on. It isn’t WORTH dealing with.” And so they let me pass.

For short distances in and around my neighborhood, I don’t bother to secure the trunk.

Being that I am all about aesthetics, I got right in there and wrapped a ‘nice’ piece of twine around the rocking chair. And tied it to the trunk. In a BOW.

I was never good at knots. They always unravel. As I looked at my Perfect bow, I giggled. Then grabbed my camera to capture the moment. And I did make sure to trim off the ends of twine that were trailing on the ground, so they didn’t get stuck under a tire.

A BOW cannot be the proper method for securing a large chair, in this type of situation.

But I am unique.

And the chair is on its way to Birmingham to make somebody “Merry” this Christmas.

The Race Car?

Loud as ever. And still sitting in my driveway. Its exhaust parts (I think) still there.

Mission accomplished.

IT’S A LOT LIKE…Work??

My space at the CRAFT & ANTIQUE CO-OP. For local readers: 1871 N. Ridge Road in Painesville, Ohio.

 

 

 

After completing my 4th weekend of being a Co-op Vendor and of listing items on eBay, I am beginning to understand what I’ve gotten myself into.

And it feels an awful lot like work! Thankfully, it is thus far work that I love. And I’m the boss—the person who decides what goes into my Co-Op space, how to display it, the pricing, what gets listed on eBay, and how items are presented for auction. So far, it is going quite well. But I am exhausted

Even more so than when I had a 9-5 job. With a ‘real’ job, somebody else is responsible for EVERYTHING; the budget, inventory, paychecks, insurance and the headaches that go along with keeping a ‘business’ IN BUSINESS. Though most employees work hard, the burdens that come along with business ownership fall to somebody else.

Before wandering down this path of (potential) Self-Employment, I knew that. Heck, I graduated college with a business major—we certainly studied these things. Yet, I didn’t really KNOW.  As things begin to take shape, I make my adjustments.

Which led to my spending this past weekend moving my home office to the finished (thank goodness!) basement.

Previously, my computer equipment was in the 20’x20’ family room–directly off the kitchen—in the hub of my humble home. A humble home that never seems to be EMPTY. There is (1) fluffy, (not so obedient—but nice) golden retriever, (1) five month old (marginally behaved) mutt, my (2) teenagers, my (somewhat) ex-boyfiend’s (3) teenagers and the (sometimes large) assortment of friends, boyfriends and people who are dragged home for sleepovers, movie nights and ‘family’ dinners. So, the idea that I could possibly run a home-based business from the upstairs was obviously not well thought out. Was I delusional? Especially, as I am still trying to decide if such a business is possible?

Besides the lack of privacy—we won’t go so far as to call it Organized Chaos…or to label my home Noisy—I needed to move the office to the basement, because after only a few weeks, I had begun to feel that I was NEVER off work. The computer winked at me each time I walked into the family room. It beckoned me to check emails, balance a checkbook, or to research an item to potentially list on eBay…and a few minutes quickly turned into a few hours.

The worst part of the main floor home office? In order to feel done with work, I had to clean up a mess of paperwork, eBay items, packaging materials, Co-Op merchandise…and more–at the end of each day! The mess started in the family room, but spread–like a wine on a cotton tablecloth–into the kitchen, dining room, and garage. With everything in the basement, I can turn off a light and be DONE for the night. There’s no need to clean up. I can leave everything ready to begin again the next day. Best of all, the upstairs is clear of all work items—and ready to be lived in.

Already, I’m finding that I am able to relax again. And to enjoy my downtime—something that will be in short supply in the coming weeks, if all goes well.

Please stick with me and I’ll keep you updated. If nothing else, I am having fun and there will stories…

MY FIRST FURNITURE SALE!!