It hit me tonight. I want two diametrically opposed things out of life. I want to live a very simple life, just me and my animals in our one-room house, with a small garden and a body of water located not too far away. Oh, and warm weather all year round.
But I also want to go out of this world having left it in a better place than it was when I first entered it, way back in the ’70s. Specifically, where animals are concerned, I want to make it better.
I took the dogs for a walk yesterday in the Bosque and asked the two of them that very question. I said, “Guys, how can I make the world a better place for you, and for all the animals? Just tell me how.”
If Snuggles or Morgan knew the answer to my question, they weren’t going to provide it. They were too busy enjoying themselves. Smelling all the smells on the path, leaving some smells of their own, getting tangled up in their leashes. You know, the usual. (Lazy Bums, the one time I ask them for something in return for all the food I feed them….geesh!) (j/k)
While a part of me hungers for stability where finances are concerned, I’ve been thinking of what it would like to be able to support myself through a combination of transcribing, proofreading or copy editing, and writing. Would I then able to help animals more? Or does it make more sense to try to get a job working with a sanctuary or other animal-related organization somewhere? (Note, I’m looking a few years ahead into the future.)
When I get thinking like this, I get frustrated. I can’t come up with an answer that feels right. I feel adrift. It ramps up my anxiety. I need to be able to focus on just one thing at a time. I need to feel control. Or rather, in control.
That’s when I usually sit there and try to figure out my financial situation, depressing as it may be. I try to start with the positives: my retirement fund and itty-bitty savings:
+ Regular Savings: $2141
Grand total: $211,371
And then, of course, there are the liabilities. (Luckily, my savings as noted above is larger than the liabilities.) I just received my student loan refund check today and I decided to wipe out my credit card debt with it. Six percent interest vs. 18 percent interest, that’s why I made that move. And the credit cards are in the freezer.
I plan to pay off my overdraft on my checking account and then call them and have them deactivate it. The credit line is only for $500 but it’s $500 I don’t want to have hanging over my head, at 11%. No more revolving line of credit for me after the overdraft is taken care of.
I think that the second student loan refund from yesterday is what is stressing me out at the moment. The idea that I am taking on even more debt. I know, I know, many of you commented on this last summer when I considered going for the degree in humane education. And believe me, I was aware of the numbers. And I am now as well. I wonder to myself, should I continue on past this semester? I finally feel like I’ve met some members of my tribe, but at what financial cost?
My friend Dan says that instead of concentrating on changing the world, I should concentrate on changing my neighborhood. That’s his way of being like my grandma when she used to counsel and calm me — trying to get me to not think of everything all at one time.
I think what he is saying is I need to remember the ripple effect. When you make one small change, that has an effect on other things, and they in turn, have an effect on other things, and before long, the total effect is huge.
I need to work on one thing at a time. Work through my day one hour at a time, much like I did when I was recovering from my divorce.
But what I really need to do is figure out what is my gift to this world.
If you’re wondering what I mean by “my gift,” you might want to watch this video below, by Sustainable Human. He starts talking about your gift, or life energy around the halfway point.
Simply put, I NEED to figure out why I’m here on this earth. And how to give it back. Until then, I don’t think I will always feel comfortable in my own skin.
What do you think is your gift to this world? Please share your comments in the thoughts below. And if you’ve liked anything about this post, please share it with someone else.
As always, thanks for reading.