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Life continues apace! (9/16/19)

October 9th, 2019 at 10:23 am

Originally posted
September 16th, 2019 at 11:35 am

Well let's see, it's been two months since I posted something that wasn't just updating numbers, and FOUR months since I really did a full life update, so here goes!

We continue to be busy busy busy! But it's by choice so I can't really complain. Solo trips, family vacations concert nights and parties galore. We haven't been exactly frugal, and our shared spending and travel budgets are in the hole, but it's been a fun (if whirlwind) year so far.

AS has had a bit of a slower year income-wise ...until pretty recently. She decided not to teach this fall and was worried whether she'd be able to make up that $7K with other work. Well, she has and then some. Last year her Q4 gross income was $33,738. This year (so far) she's booked $34,760 (breaking update: $35,060!) of work. And we're only two weeks into the quarter! Now a lot of this work continues through the rest of the year so it's not like she's getting all that money tomorrow, but I still feel fairly confident that she'll book a few more jobs before year end.

So her 2019 annual income may be a little less than 2018, but since we've already gotten through the lean first three quarters relatively unscathed, we should be able to clear out our budget deficits and even put some money toward renovations or something else!

NT's job seems to keep getting busier, but his company's profit is down, so he doesn't expect a raise anytime soon. If they pull out of this though, hopefully they will reward him because he's been a rock, keeping them going through staffing and scheduling issues, even working weird hours to handle international clients.

My kids are doing well -- they just entered 4th and 2nd grade! We didn't get into the after-school care program with the school, so they've been coming home on the schoolbus and are sometimes alone for an hour or two before one of us gets home. They've been doing well with it -- I mean, the first day they ate some sweet treats and then ended up ratting each other out, but other than that they seem to be behaving pretty well. On the plus side, I had $650 per month set aside in the budget for their care, so it's nice to have that freed up!

Our kitchen remodel has stalled, but we have a meeting with our designer scheduled for this week, so hopefully she can get the info she needs to finalize the design, so we can get a more detailed quote from the contractor and then see how much we'd need to borrow, and talk to the bank guy about getting a loan. No idea about timelines though.

I'm doing mostly well. My marketing of my self-published book has sort of stalled too...I should really do something about it since I haven't recouped my costs yet. There's just been so much else going on! Plus I'm sporadically editing two more books for self-publication at some point, and working on a shared writing project with one of my friends, and doing some writing for a local musician, and starting to think about what I might do for NaNoWriMo this year. So lots of writing-related stuff going on!

I had another solo trip last month to see my fave band -- a road trip to La Crosse, which is only about 2 hours away -- and I'm doing a quick overnight plane trip to St. Louis to see them next month! AS hasn't had any all-pleasure solo trips but she spent 10 days on a business trip to Sierra Nevada and has another one to Cleveland next month, and there's some fun to be had on those trips. NT I think is done with his solo trips for the year and this upcoming one will be my final one too.

I've kept up on my guitar playing and making gradual improvement. I've been playing with friends a bit more and that's been fun vs. only practicing by myself. I've been thinking a little bit about songwriting; it seems like at some point I might want to try and combine my writing with my playing! I don't know though, I'm not much of a poet and I don't really come up with tunes on my own. Still, maybe I'll take a class to see what it's all about.

The biggest thing going on in my life right now, though, is I'm looking for a job. There have been a couple rounds of layoffs at my company, and various factors have coincided to make me unsure of its future viability. I hope it pulls through -- I love my co-workers and we do great work -- but I've decided I need to look around and see if I can find work that's a bit more stable. It's not pleasant working at a place that feels like it might be dying. I could be wrong, but that's what it feels like and it's not good for my psyche to come in feeling like that every day.

So, I try to do a little bit every day -- updating my resume, writing cover letters, updating LinkedIn, trying to network with former colleagues, talking to recruiters, applying for jobs. Even if I end up staying here, I'm glad I'm taking these steps.

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