Earning a Living in the Modern World


Money, money.

How I hate you!  How I need you!  How I wish I had a big giant huge humungous pile of you that I could rely on for the rest of my life!

Yup.

I’m a pretty typical modern human.  I need money.  But I refuse to bow down to the crass need for said money.

Here’s the thing.   I loved having a career where helping children was more important than getting rich.  I loved living modestly but comfortably.

I was proud of those years when I saved up for a pair of 6 dollar sneakers for the boys.  I lived frugally, and I made do.  I bought whole chickens and roasted them and served them to the family. Then I boiled the bones for soup and chicken pot pie.  I reused my ziploc bags.   I bought one pair of jeans a year and used them until the knees wore out.

But here I am, supposedly in my golden years.  I was pushed out left teaching much earlier than I should have.  So my pension is way less than it should have been.

And I need money.

And you can’t make money staying home and being a nice older lady and reading a lot and cooking for your dogs.   I know.   Crazy, huh?  Why can’t I make a decent living by keeping my leather sofa basically dirt free?

So.  Here I am.

Faced with a dilemma.

I need to earn my keep. I’d love to think I could write the Great American Novel, but I’m not completely delusional.

I have chosen a slightly easier path.

I am going to accept ads on my blog.

Please don’t throw tomatoes!  Please don’t stop coming here to read my wonderfully pithy insights!   I couldn’t help myself.  I may be a huge supporter of Bernie Sanders and a confirmed Socialist, but a person’s gotta eat, right? And so do her dogs.

So I’ll keep on writing, and I’ll keep on lighting up with joy every time one of you tells me that you read my words.  But sometimes I’ll include a little promo for a product or two. Or three.

What can I say?  Capitalism has won this round.

But I’m still planning to wear my Bernie shirt every single time I leave my house.

 

The Stock Market….huh?


Stacks of coins

Up or down?  Does it matter?

So as an old retired lady, I don’t always take the time to follow the vagaries of Wall Street.

I mean, really. I’m busy rocking my granddaughter, deadheading my marigolds, making cucumber relish.

I don’t sit around on my comfy blue leather couch watching CNN.  I mean.  I hardly ever do that.

But if I did sit there all day following the ups and downs of the markets, I would probably just yawn.

I seriously doubt that I’d be all upset.  I probably wouldn’t tear my hair and grind my teeth.  I don’t think for one minute that I’d burst into tears and try to call my broker.

Know why?

First of all, I don’t even HAVE a broker.  What is that anyway? I have some money in the stock market, because I did the easy thing a lot of years ago, and I started to put a part of my salary into a “403B”.  Which apparently is very similar to a “401K”. Except for, you know, the numbers.  And the letter.

Whatever. My 403 B is my easy peasy “put some money in here and watch it grow” fund.

I have never ever paid attention to individual stocks. Or bonds. Or hedge funds.  Or bulls. Or bears.

I just worked, cashed my checks, assumed that smart money people were handling my money.

So here I am, in the very first week of my retirement.  The stock market is apparently having a major heart attack and all of the people with actual money are having a conniption.

I, however, am not.

And here is why:

Our family motto is this: “Money. Never had it; never will.”   We understand that as long as we can afford three meals a day and a roof over our heads, all is well.  We know that we are not smart enough to decode the meaning of China’s decreasing sails of durable goods.

We are happy. We are content.

So far, that money in the 403B has been nothing more than a row of digits. It has never seem very real to us.

And that’s wonderful!

If it disappears in a puff of blue smoke in the next two weeks, we will hardly notice that our money is all gone.

As long as we have carrot soup and veggie stock in our freezer, we’ll be able to laugh at the news and ask each other, “Stock market? What on earth is that?”