Endings are Beginnings

And money is money.

Breathe Deep, the oracle card I pull today tells me I need to hear. Amen to that.

Significant change is before me (and my adult daughter), and U-Hauls have been crisscrossing my night dream highways. The rental home provided generously for her to be raised in a stable, safe space has accomplished it’s careful job and will be no longer available.

I join Sisyphus in pushing a pebble daily up a hill. I prefer to think of it as my pebble rather than a boulder, because I’ve always liked the small. I’m working as hard as I possibly can, yet it’s tenuous whether I’ll make first/last month’s rent in time to move. I may be looking into borrowing options as a very last resort, but until then, onward with the pebble already.

In four months, by September, one way or another I will have found a place to live, and at this point it’s looking very unlikely to be in the county I’ve resided in and raised my daughter in for 19 years. I responded to an add for a room in a house which involved sharing a bathroom with three children and thought, Holy Molasses, what am I doing? Is this all I can afford as a space to work and live? Am I sabotaging my dream of finally having a tiny space to myself sans roommates?

I feel at peace there will be more options for me if I return to Oregon where I lived and went to school from 1986-1991. I did a test and applied to a job with similar wage to my current freelancing but a full benefits package I haven’t had in a decade. For someone over 50, healthcare benefits are gold. Within two hours of applying, the group asked if I could relocate now. My skills are a perfect match. They asked me to reapply in September, which I will. Housing search is on to find anything under $1,400 a month rent, which I am pleasantly surprised to be seeing in that area. I’ll still need to work more than full-time to meet it, but at least I don’t mind my work. Ironically, I had a choice of several available houses for half that cost per month when I first arrived. They simply don’t exist any longer, having been turned over to Airbnb and vacation rentals.

I’ve been super blessed these past two decades to be wealthy in what matters most to me, surrounded by the natural world with plenty of opportunities to maintain my connection to Earth. My happiest memories while being Sisyphus on this beautiful Pacific Northwest island have been all the moments I volunteered with others outdoors. I will cherish those memories at the food bank garden and forested trails.

I thought maybe I was middle class because I live on an island and earn too much to qualify for state healthcare, but then I checked this interactive chart and found out, nope. I’m solidly low income, along with 25% of my state. Plug in your numbers for yourself for fun. Pretty interesting:  Are You In The American Middle Class? The not so fun part I could allow myself to wallow in but won’t is being ranked among single parents with similar education levels and ethnicity… that’s where only 10% of similar folks in my state are earning less than me. I bet you anything their education was not an English degree.

Should you want to be more enlightened as to why we keep pushing our pebble up the hill over and over, this article gives us a clue. The American economy is touted as the best in decades in a lot of headlines and mouths of certain politicians, yet the stock market is not the economy, and for most of us, same old, same old. It is not my imagination that I am  earning the same on average for 30 years and that I now need to work 7 days a week to buy what I could in 5 days of work back then. Good to know I’m not hallucinating.

In fact, in real terms average hourly earnings peaked more than 45 years ago: The $4.03-an-hour rate recorded in January 1973 had the same purchasing power that $23.68 would today.

Lovely Dahlia display at nearby farm

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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