Monday, March 5, 2007

When Life Gives You Rocks... a rock garden?

No, not literal rocks.

Our stepping-stones leading to our ultimate goals of simplification and sustainable living (all loosely collected under my broader term "homesteading" which embraces that and so much more) for our family begin with one thing:

Freeing ourselves from debt.

To us, this means good jobs. We've had too many reversals in the past two years, and have to make up for some serious lost ground.

This is not just a glib wish, but is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's also not just a matter of being in the black, but of constructing a way for us to pull out of the way of life that's not serving us best and pursuing a different sort of work that will. How it will ultimately be expressed is anyone's guess, but there is a mound of obstacles that must be met and dealt with first.

So we've tackled it.

We've never in our lives had problems having jobs...good jobs. It seems our current setback in the jobs department NOW has coincided with our determination to step up our efforts to settle all accounts and be "freer."

I don't waste time asking myself Why. I do believe God's in control here, and that we're supposed to do the initiative and effort part.

The sweatshop job I took a few days ago IS no longer. That's right...I stink at custom-cleaning and pressing custom and industrial drapes. Actually, I did quite well at it, by my definition...I'm a perfectionist...but I'm not a machine, and the 30 some sets I was finishing in 5 hours (without any breaks), I was told is about 1/3 what I should be managing to really get done in that time.

Then there were the cockroaches. That ran across my feet. Big fat healthy ones (the roaches, that is). There was the broken equipment. And there was the heat, the convection oven and steam press sort that reduced me to a wringing wet employee within the first 30 minutes. (My skin's really soft as a result, but I was not a picture of arid loveliness). Does failing at a job that requires no prior skills, offers no benefits, and requires haste and danger mean that I've swum to the lowest end of the job chain?

(Double-darn again for not having a degree!!)

If I'm going to be that sweaty and achey at the end of a short workday, it makes me long to just be accomplishing that in my own garden. I'll hold that thought.

I do have an interview tomorrow...another interview related to the other job I really want and have been pursuing now for several months. The one where I'd be using my brain and actually helping people. Many prayers are going up. I'm really hoping for it. We could really knock out some serious finances and would JUMP forward. So, until the interviewing and screening process is complete, I'll keep holding my breath.

This temporary sweatshop job was supposed to help me bridge that gap and bring in some $$ in the meantime. They are selling the business, so I knew it was not for the long-term anyway.

These job situations might be tests. They feel like digging in really rocky soil. By the time you've dug out enough rocks to make a garden, there are so many piled there that you could build a pretty nice wall. Losing this job I didnt even like in the first place is like hitting some more rock with the spade.

The spade probably got a bad ding, but something pretty neat can be built later with all those stones. I'm still trying to see them as stepping-stones. And trying to appreciate the journey, not just the destination.

Let's see in a year... there's probably some good that will come out of it in the end.



Julie said...

Robbyn -

Just stumbled upon your blog as a newbie gardener and aspiring homesteader. Reading it from beginning to end, and have to remark that I am so impressed and inspired by your determination and refusal to be depressed or brought down by your circumstances. It's a breath of fresh air in this world of cynics and naysayers. I've got quite a ways to go through your blog, and am following your story with much enjoyment.

Robbyn said...

Julie, welcome! I'm glad you're here and it's so nice to meet another gardener/homesteader....after three years of it, we're still beginners, but we're fine with that...just learning a lot! If you read very far, you'll see I get glum now and then but this wonderful homesteading community of bloggers out here really helps keep a good perspective and a feeling of real camraderie. I'm glad to meet you!

:) Robbyn