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gratitude: day 11

November 11th, 2011

Feeling a little more grateful today, especially since Steve has the day off, too. I saw that it was 11:11, and, as always, yelled, It’s 11:11 make a wish!

Steve: It’s 11:11 on 11/11/11!

Woot. So that was a very cool moment for our entire family, as we are geekier than geeky.

Grateful today for: Steve (who understands me, even as I’m being a baby and accusing him of not understanding me). The kids. Our three crazy cats. Nutella Cake (thank you Debi and Gabriele, you hazelnutty kids you), the new Rosie O’Donnell show on OWN (Phyllis Diller at 94, Mrs. Brady tells all, Debi Mazar!!! and a funny, funny interview w/ Turtle from Entourage), the weather (not too rainy, for an Oregon fall).

And last but certainly not least — I’m grateful for the Occupy movements that are happening all over the world, including our very own Portland, Oregon. To those of you who are calling names, saying that Occupy is a pack of dirty hippies, “They should get jobs! Dirty hippies!” etc. Here is my question: Do you have a job? Because I don’t. Not one that pays, anyway.

I have been the following, since 1998: unemployed, underemployed, half-time employed, on contract, and/or temp, with no benefits, or with inadequate benefits that I paid through the nose for, with a disappearing 401k that was tiny to begin with.

1998 was almost 14 years ago.

Meanwhile there are a lot of people in this country taking advantage of a bad situation, and bankrolling. In the spirit of my daughter’s first-grade teacher, they’re keeping all the Crayolas stashed in the cupboard and telling you to go buy your own. What Crayolas? We have no Crayolas here, close the cupboard! You are a loser if you can’t afford your own.

At the same time, there are a whole lot of people worse off than my family, believe me. We’re fine. Steve has a job, our medical insurance is all right (thank God, because we have chronic asthma and thyroid issues over here — no medical insurance is not an option). I didn’t “work” for years because it put us in the red, every time I did. (Paying for daycare, aftercare, beforecare.) Now that the kids are almost ready to solo… guess who’s rusty? My advice to mommies now: Don’t quit your job. Go in the red, pay for daycare, juggle your sked w/ your partner, other moms, family, roommates, whatever it takes, but don’t get off that treadmill, little hamster. Cuz once you do? Good luck getting back on.

I’m so grateful for my two kids — I love them to infinity and beyond. I don’t want them to have to make these kinds of decisions, when they’re older and perhaps having families of their own. Whose career to sacrifice. Deciding who’s got the “more important” job. Whose work is “less critical” when it comes to sick days, school holidays, spring break, etc. I don’t want them to be constantly in the red.

You want to know a secret? I like to work. I find it satisfying. I like being part of a team. I like a schedule, and wearing grown-up clothes. I really adore getting that paycheck every week or every other week or every 30 days. Whenever it shows up is fine with me. I just want it to show up.

I would like it if our country somehow found it in ‘em to help pay for daycare, or subsidize it, or something, so we weren’t so desperate for a schedule, any schedule, and a fee schedule, along w/ it, that doesn’t kill us. I would like if the work of a teacher was valued in a monetary fashion. (I’ve also worked as a social worker, freelance writer/editor, and in a ton of clerical positions. Never the big bucks; once in awhile the “cool bucks” — but those don’t pay for groceries.)

I interviewed for several jobs this fall; didn’t get any offers. I actually had my hopes up for a job that was 1.5 hours a day (something, anything, to get my foot in the door). Didn’t get a call back. OK, that’s all right.

Saw the job posted again (it was actually three positions, all temp). They had reduced it to 1.2 hours per day. One point two. That’s what, an hour and 10 minutes a day? I can’t even count that low. (And it was clerical scale, so the hours weren’t the only thing low about it.) Didn’t get a call. So I remain “retired” and writing, hoping to sell some words, at least. It could happen.

Occupy, if you’re reading this? Thanks.

–nancy

5 Comments

  1. Nan says

    I’m temping with an agency… Last week they had something? Wait… no, stand by. Friday I went for a run and they called and said “Yes! Are you available Monday? Call you right back!” ….*crickets chirping*…

    Duuude, my overdraft is dancing downhill. So much for being a rich and famous writer.

    November 12th, 2011 | #

  2. Wacky Mommy says

    We could get movie deals someday, you just never know. I’m hoping for both of us, anyway ;)

    November 12th, 2011 | #

  3. Wacky Mommy says

    Things I’ve Found In Pockets: The Movie has a v. nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

    November 12th, 2011 | #

  4. koreen says

    Truer words… I’m lucky to have my part-time work now, with the boy being 5 and in Kindergarten. They want me for more, but I just don’t have the time with being a “single” mom. Anywho, I’m still trying my photography on my own as well, but I’m not even close to breaking through. In time, in time. In the meantime, can’t wait until I can read your book and support you. ;)

    November 13th, 2011 | #

  5. Nancy says

    These decisions are just about impossible, most days, aren’t they? I love your photography, as you know from all my fan mail. I wish you much success with it.

    Thanks for being supportive of my writing, I appreciate it.

    November 13th, 2011 | #

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