While I’ve spent the last few days flitting around the interwebs looking up fun and creative things, tonight was spent on the things that actually help bring dreams to fruition – the running of the numbers. Less exciting and exotic than the running of the bulls I’d say, but much more necessary for a successful end game I believe. This is where the rubber meets the road.
I already have a debt-reduction plan in place, but this is an accelerated version which takes my salary increase into play and ties directly into the hard costs of land preparation, lines up the payoff times with the construction times, and gives me a clear set of milestones to measure by. This is the un-sexy part of things, and the one I wish simply took care of itself without any attention by me. However, that is not the way the real world works. I don’t have a lot of debt in comparison with some of my friends and probably the majority of people my age, but I have enough that it impacts my timeline. Working towards debt free status, while an excellent goal in and of itself, actually fulfills two roles for me. One is the obvious, being debt free. The second though is almost as important. That is the goal of reducing my outlay so if I cannot take my job with me, I can survive suitably on even a minimum-wage job. In between those two options lie a host of other things, such as parlaying my current work experience into something in the telecommuting realm, changing careers altogether, or several other options. Quite honestly, at my age, I am ready for a job that stops when I walk out the door and begins again when I arrive the next day. I am grateful for the opportunity to make extra money due to being on call, but I am also tired of the ‘ever-ready’ mindset requirement, the requirement to be tethered to work at all times, and the rare but very sleep disrupting calls at 3 a.m. I am tired of living to work, instead of working to live. I am lucky, having survived two lay-offs and being rehired each time. Our small company will ditch even long-term employees when profitability comes into question, and replace with temps or in some cases, simply spread the work out among the remaining employees. I have been fortunate to have great bosses who value me, and I continue to have that now. I keep up my end of the bargain by showing up with a good attitude and doing a good job. Knowing so many people who spent a great deal of time on unemployment, I am very thankful that my times in that arena were short. Being debt free also put me in a better position should that ax some swinging around the company again too.
The end result of my pencil-pushing (okay, mouse-moving) tonight puts me on my place at the end of 2016. That means I’ll be in a home of my choosing before AARP starts sending me those cute little cards asking if I want to be a member, and in the not too distant future after my arrival, I’ll be eligible for that cheaper cup of coffee at McDonald’s, lol! That is, if things go according to plan. There is a chuckle in me while typing these words, because in my life, NOTHING ever goes according to plan. One of my dearest friends says “Life is what happens while you are making plans.” For a while, I’d like life to actually perhaps stay on track for once.
I’ll wrap up my night with a favored quote from one of the authors who contributed to my desire to return to the simpler life, a life among the woods and the seasons, Henry David Thoreau, and a bit about trying.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
There are many days between the beginning and ending of a thing. I hope you’ll stay with me through them.
On your mark, get set, WORK!