One for the money…
Well, I’ve been looking at old blog posts and realizing how much I miss writing (although I occasionally post short, funny stuff on FaceBook). At the risk of sounding like everyone else…I just haven’t had the time. Or, quite frankly, the urge.
I have been knitting, and crocheting (Tunisian even!), and spinning. I have been cooking. I have also been grieving.
The big hiatus that began in September 2010 and that was punctuated only by blips in 2011 was caused because it was on October 31, 2010 that my mother lost her one-year battle with breast cancer. It’s been rough. Rough losing my mom. Rougher losing my children’s grandmother. I am an only child and my boys were the only grandkids my mom was ever going to have and they lit her world; they were her world. And every time I think of how little time she got to spend with them it makes me really, really angry.
I also gained. My mom lived and worked in Nye County, Nevada. She owned a business and had three employees. For those of you who don’t know, Nye County has been one of the hardest hit counties in the country since the economic catastrophe that commenced in 2008 (and in my opinion still isn’t over) began taking its toll on the working and middle class of this country. When Mom died I had a choice—take over the business or shut the doors and put three people out of work and two more empty storefronts in two small towns. If you know me at all, you know there was no choice. I picked up where mom left off. I got a new job and three employees!
In the process I’ve had to learn a new business, learn more about bookkeeping and payroll than I ever wanted to know, and learn how to do tax returns as a paid professional (instead of as a really competent layperson). I’ve paid bills, and filed reports, and filled out countless forms. And all my grief was delayed because, dying when she did, I had to muddle through the 2010 holiday season and then will my way through the 2011 tax season by the (granted, reasonably large) seat of my pants.
And I lost again. In all that I’ve learned and done, I realized I could not do everything and something had to give. For the short term it was the blog and all but the minimum on the house and the fiber. For the long term it was, for better or for worse, my 20-year career as a technical writer, which came to an end when my final contract with my largest customer expired last month. I made the difficult and bittersweet decision not to renew it and to devote my work-day energy into running Mom’s business, even though at times it really doesn’t seem like my calling in the same way that technical writing did.
So here I am, facing the end of my second tax season and a the beginning of what I hope will be a successful second career selling insurance, doing taxes, and (I hope) becoming a Certified Financial Planner. The kind of person who helps people live well on what they earn and make good decisions on how, how much, and where their money goes.
I plowed through the first six months on sheer willpower. I had some time to deal with my grief after that. I’ve been putting a lot of mental energy and a lot of labor into the business since February and now I’m back to a place where I feel like I can return to my writing (and I have returned to my spinning). Just because I haven’t been writing, doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. I looked and realized I hadn’t updated the book page for over a year. Of course I read during 2011. I read tons. I won’t be able to remember it all, but I will try to do a summary table of what I can remember in the near future.
So, I’m back. And I’m happy to be here. And life is still beautiful and every day is still a gift. And, as always, I’m really looking forward to Earth Day.