Browsing "Musings"
Jan 15, 2010 -

Feeling Blue

Today’s our first sunny day in over a week and I’m feeling down. I spent a couple of hours this morning troubleshooting my water heater (more about that to follow) and I’m looking at a costly repair.

This is definitely not the winter I’d envisioned or saved up for. Just about everything I had went to the brake repair this fall and the rest to keeping me afloat until I got full-time work hours. It’s already the middle of January and I haven’t done any exploring or renovations. At this point I’ve pretty much conceded that neither is going to happen.

My cashflow has improved slightly, but not nearly enough to make up for how much financial bleed I’ve had since leaving the Yukon. I really don’t like to talk in great depth about my finances, but I think I need to make a comment on the subject. My global financial picture is sound, but my daily budget isn’t. I ‘have money in the bank’, however it is off limits for daily expenditures. The only way I am going to survive financially in this lifestyle of unstable income is to limit my daily spending to what I’m taking in through my various income streams rather than continuously dipping into my investments and savings. Exploring counts as daily spending. Renos and maintenance have their own saving account, but maintenance takes precedence, of course, and there’s a minimum cushion that needs to be in there at all times. Soon as I hit that limit, I can only use the money for real emergencies and not for sprucing up my home.

I’m a homebody, so a part of me doesn’t mind having an excuse to stay home, watch movies, read, and go for long walks on the beach. However, I didn’t enter this lifestyle to have such a monotonous sameness to my days. It’s only the thought of my imminent return to the endless Yukon summer that enables me to remember just what it is I’m working so hard at to build. I can tell that I’m making progress at supporting myself on the road in a manner that will enable me to travel freely. My various income streams are slowly picking up and my writing contract is a major step in the right direction. However, I have conceded that this winter is looking at being a wash and that there probably won’t be much more to blog about until I take off in May.

This situation is of my own making and only I can fix it. I never forget that I chose this life and the financial instability that it brings, that I made a decision to honour my belief that the true riches in life are not material. So, please do not take this post as a ‘woe is me’ type of update, but just an honest comment on where I am right now. I don’t deserve pity or sympathy because I could still be an analyst for the government, living in a nice house in the city with no debt and plenty of disposable income.

In my about me page, I quote Sterling Hayden. Here are more of his words that ring so true to me:

To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsman, who play with their boats at sea — “cruising”, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and have the means, abandon the venture until your fortune change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
“I’ve always wanted to sail to the South Seas, but I can’t afford it”. What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security”. And in the worship of security.

I’m off to take a long walk on the beach so I can enjoy some of that fleeting sunshine!

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British Columbia, Canada, Finances, Musings, Personal, Travel, Weather, Work    10 Comments
Dec 31, 2009 -

Requiste Maudlin End of the Decade Post

Tonight, I’ve been having flashbacks to this night in 1999 and am boggled by how much life I’ve been able to squeeze into those years. I was a university student then, living in a ‘charming’ studio apartment in Ottawa. Little did I know that by that night a year later I would be living a completely different life in a town I didn’t even know about yet. I did that several times over the past decade; throwing away an old life for a new one in an attempt to find one that would fit and that I could stick with. I think I got it right, finally, in the big upheaval of 2008. 😀

I traveled more than 50,000km over the past decade, crisscrossing the North American continent several times. I moved six times, including the move into Miranda; held eleven jobs, including the positions I’ve taken since hitting the road; and lived in ten places for at least three months, four of them pre-RVing.

While the past decade had me passing many milestones and living through some notable historic events, the defining moment of the decade for me occurred at 11:05AM on February 5, 2007 in Greenfield Park, Quebec when my dad died. We were both prepared and had had long talks in his lucid moments about death and what I was going to do with the rest of my life. RVing wasn’t even on my radar at that point, but big changes were in the making and he gave me his blessing, and the means, to do whatever would make me happy. I dedicate this phase of my life to him.

I don’t do the party thing on New Year’s and I’m working at 10 tomorrow, so I’m having a quiet, reflective, evening at home. I just finished the most amazing dinner I have made in months; my crazy schedule has had me pretty much just snacking throughout the day. Brussels sprouts just happened to be on sale today, so I decided to recreate the ones my friend’s mom made on Christmas, which I shall henceforth call ‘Brussels Sprouts Navidad.’ Behold!

I did them exactly the way she did, except that I substituted sunflower seeds for almonds. I thought they would be a lot of work, but they came together very easily and tasted divine. I can’t believe that I thought I liked Brussels sprouts before when I now know that they are supposed to taste like nirvana on a plate.

(my making the Brussels sprouts also goes to show that you can cook the exact same thing in an RV as in a stick house 😀 )

Happy New Year to all my readers!

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Dec 23, 2009 -

A Zanier Morning

WHEW! I did in 4 hours what I normally do in what I have thus far considered to be a ‘busy’ 8 hour shift! Our till system also went down for about an hour. The manager tried to lock the doors, but customers were persistent and I was doing well manually calculating things, so we persevered with the customers who were paying cash. Once I got everything entered after the till came back up, we just about balanced, so I think the manager was glad that we stayed open for these cash-only customers. There were a few little tax-related discrepancies because BC’s taxation system is quite different from any other I’ve experienced in this country and I haven’t studied it in depth.

I have a really hard time finding anything special about this season of over commercialism, but this year it sure is easier to be cheery about it.. Compared to last year in Oliver, this week has been pure heaven. Last year, I spent this week moving snow, being responsible 24/7 for the RV park, and being %#( upon by the manager. I also  had the stress of dealing with the continuing cold snap while preparing for my departure from Hell-iver. There was also the not-so-fun job of trying to be cheery with customers and get into the spirit of things for our potluck.  Last year I did get a nice dinner from the manager at the RV park (fainting almost ensued) and this year, to my surprise, I got a little bonus at the gas station even though I’ve been working there less than two months.

(It was also a year ago tomorrow that I moved the blog to WordPress!)

My only plans for the 25th are to have dinner with the mother and step-father of one of my best friends. What are the odds that they’d live here? I’ll be working 10 to 6 and then heading over there for turkey. If I hadn’t done that, one of my former colleagues at the gas station was going to bring me leftovers from their dinner. I might be a solo RVer, but solo does not have to equal alone.

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Blog, British Columbia, Canada, Finances, Musings, Nice Folks, Personal, Social, Travel, Weather, Work    2 Comments