Life has its challenges. We often solve our challenges the best we can in the moment, and pay for less than perfect solutions later. We attribute ‘wisdom’ to people, who find perfect solutions for both the ‘Now’ and their ‘Future’. This is essentially foresight.
Some people never live in the ‘Now’ but have a keen eye towards alleviating their pain in their ‘Future’. We often think of people like this as Stoics. For those that grew up on Disney movies, we might even remember the fable and cartoon of the grasshopper and the ant. The grasshopper plays all day while the ant stores away food underground. Unlike George R. R. Martin’s ‘Winter,’ the Grasshopper appears lazy and short-sighted. A white walker does not come for the Grasshopper, his own lack of planning does him in. While the ant is happy underground in an ant city with lots of food.
Some people are just one way and some are another. Some people, and I count myself in this next batch, take turns living in many roles, catching up on things we needed to do in the past, working on making our future easier or living in the Now. Occasionally, some of us can cover multiple things at once.
Over the last year, I lived in the ‘Now’ to survive. I could not focus on the past as that brought on depression stopping me in my tracks.
I could not focus on the past as that brought on depression stopping me in my tracks. I could not focus on the future, as that brought on anxiety that would also stop me in my tracks.
I could not focus on the future, as that brought on anxiety that would also stop me in my tracks. Following the start of my divorce, my ability to make short-term decisions was terrible, medium term decisions were impossible and long-term decisions were so far-fetched, I would have had a better shot at finding a magic wand and turning myself into a rabbit.
Living in the ‘Now’ was the thing that saved me at the time. It is still the thing that keeps me happy.
I am learning (again) that when I live in the Now I have many choices. Some of those choices work for the Now and that is it. Some of those choices work for the Now and for the future.
One of my current goals is to find peace for myself and my emotions by living in the Now. Another of my goals is to be present with other people when I am around them. These are similar goals.
I have a lot of people in my life (and by choice). There are times when I need to find ways to be there for people even when they are not physically present. Cell phones and social media helps….
Snuffles’ Parting Gift
A couple of weeks ago, I shared an experience relating to a cat that helped save me this last year. I was not able to keep the cat named, Snuffles, permanently. I did keep her long enough to improve her health and help her raise some kittens. Then with the help of my daughter, Zoe, we found them all a permanent home together.
It broke my heart a little to let that cat go. She had been there for me when I was not fully prepared to be alone. Like a person learning to ride a bike for the first time, Snuffles was like the person that holds the bike seat and runs along with the new bicyclist keeping them from twisting the handlebars and doing a face plant in a barberry bush.
Taking in a stray cat and fostering her kittens, this was not the wisest nor most prudent thing to do for many many reasons. (Understatement!)
It was the right thing for me to do in the moment to not only survive the ‘Now’ but to help heal myself during that ‘Now’. If I went back in time, I would do it again.
Snuffles and her kittens named One, Two, and Three-Four and Four-or-Three, left me with a parting gift that I did not discover until about a week after they left.
That didn’t really become relevant until early this week, but let me back up before I explain….
Going Broke (Temporarily)
Starting about 2-3 weeks ago, right around the time that I found Snuffles and her kittens a forever home, I pretty much ran out of money. I did not go bankrupt. That is not a legal option for me. It wouldn’t do me any good either. Essentially, I can not go bankrupt.
I can run out of money and that is what happened. New business was not coming in, especially during the holidays when everyone was away on vacation and traveling.
My business as a freelance WordPress web developer and writer has always experienced slow periods during the summer.
[Just fielded a call from a client back from summer related activities and just about ready to get business started even more by hiring me to do more. Thank you!]
In the past, I would do my best in the spring to set aside money to see me through the end of August. If there was a slow-down in business. I would then work to force myself to take time off during the summer a bit and do family things and to also use that time to work on my marketing efforts or business infrastructure.
This year, I was not able to set aside enough money during the spring. The demands of setting up a new household and a host of other expenses just didn’t let that happen.
[Just took another quick break to …]
So as business slowed to a halt and my cash flow out did not, I literally ran out of money and credit too for that matter.
I could see the slow down coming months ago. Last December I started looking for a job of any type. That effort continues to this day.
So far it has not resulted in a job offer nor a new source of more reliable income or supplementary income or anything. I keep looking. I keep applying to jobs. It is not easy as I have not had a hit on an application or resume in months.
Early last week after the fourth, a friend sent me a gift of money. It was $150 in cash and two gift cards for my kids.
This gift helped pay for groceries and gas. 🙂
It had an amazing impact on my efforts to turn things around. Since a week ago Tuesday or so, I redoubled all of my efforts on every front. I had not let up before that, but I have attacked things with a higher level of energy.
The gift gave me even more than money. It gave me the sense that I was not in this alone.
I knew already that I was not in this alone. I have had all types of support and help in many ways before and sense. That gift from a person that had seen very tough times and major life changes as well, helped me crystallize the positive intention of many many friends and family.
[Just took another quick break for reasons that I am getting to…]
I am setting up a top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top new way of marketing to, advertising to, connecting with and communicating with new clients in my business. I am looking at my resume and my ability to rapidly customize it for each slightly different job opportunity that crosses my radar.What I was doing was not working. I had to change it. I am changing it.
What I was doing was not working. I had to change it. I am changing it.
Sometimes those decisions we make to keep ourselves alive and happy and in the moment, they trigger things in the future.Over the weekend
Over the weekend, I don’t recall exactly which day, I opened the door to my daughter’s room. My children had been gone for the last 2-3 weeks before that with their mother and her family on vacation in Florida. I used this time to work my butt off and to get things back on track before they returned. I didn’t get that done, but I made huge progress. I walked into their room and was attacked. I was wearing shorts and toe shoes as is my norm.
I hadn’t been in the room for a couple of weeks as I had been out-of-town working in the mountains and now was back.
Their room had turned into one big flea nest!
Snuffles and her kittens had left their gift. The door had been shut and the fleas did not spread to the rest of the place and I had not noticed they were there.That began the battle to rid the place of fleas!
That began the battle to rid the place of fleas! In addition to everything else, I have now treated their room with flea powder first, which had a big impact.
It was not enough.
The next day they were still there and my kids were coming the next night.I bought flea bombs and bombed the entire place. To do this type of thing, I had to move out lots of
I bought flea bombs and bombed the entire place. To do this type of thing, I had to move lots of pieces of furniture. I had to get all the bedding stripped off the beds. I had to put food and anything that would touch the skin in safe places before hand. The bomb had a big impact.
It was not enough.
I still had to clean everything, every surface of the apartment in all the rooms and bathrooms and kitchen and lots of dishes and utensils and laundry.
Yesterday, I got more flea bombs, a different brand and repeated the process.
While we wevacuated from the place, I was working at a friend’s house on business. My kids went to a local pool with my friend’s daughter. We had dinner with them. I came home and aired the place out and started the cleaning regime. It was about 98 degrees out and I had the windows open and vacuumed every square inch of the place and then started the wipe down.
It was hot!
This morning as I got up and walked through the place, I noticed they were still not all gone.
It was not enough.
So back to the store. I had done some more research and the bombs can do better with a week or so in between. Plus, it is not healthy for people to bomb too many times.
So this time around I’m turning to direct spray application stuff to hit the few places that are left.
The powder took out about 80% of the fleas in the bedroom. That 20% spread.
The bombs took out 80% of the 20%. The remaining 20% of that spread.
The next bombs took out by my estimates about 70% of the 20%. (Raid bombs did not seem to be as good as the Hart bombs, which were also 3x the price.)
This time, I bought some Black Flag spray. The remaining 20% of each of those iterations seem to be sparsely out and about in different areas. Whenever, I run across one somewhere, I spray a quick little area.
Tomorrow, I’m buying more flea powder too, but using it requires a two-hour seclusion from that area of the house and no air conditioning running in it.
I’m going to keep doing spot applications of spray and powder until the kids leave to see their Mom next Friday.
Then I’ll bomb the place again.
It is getting better, but every now and then one of the little buggers jumps on my leg and I walked it to the restroom and wash it down the sink.
Working My Ass off and the Fleas off my ass
I’m not a werewolf but if you watch or read recent popular tv shows or books about werewolves, they typically are a lot warmer than normal people. That’s me.I’m also a bit on the hairy side, especially my calves. My calves seem to attract the buggers, but my hide is too thick for them to bite.
I’m also a bit on the hairy side, especially my calves. My calves seem to attract the buggers, but my hide is too thick for them to bite. This is a good thing, they jump on me, I pick them off and wash them away and they don’t go after my kids.
This is a good thing, they jump on me, I pick them off and wash them away and they don’t go after my kids.
This has been the backdrop for all of my work this week.
I’ve been writing and rebuilding and executing business plans, while vacuuming 3-4 times per day and bombing and powdering and coming and going in and out of my place. Plus doing lots of pushups for the 22 Push Up challenge and feeding and cleaning and taking care of the kids and shopping for more and more supplies every day with money I don’t really have.
In addition to reworking everything about my business, I’m also now, walking flea paper!
Other things that make my skin crawl
On occasion, I venture outside to run errands for food, or flea stuff or whatever. The air conditioner in my car is still busted and it is 98 out. So as I venture out, sweat happens. I’ve noticed that occasionally, it will trickle down my calves and then I can’t tell if it is a flea or a sweat!
It is going to take me a week or two to get used to not itching after I have these pests whipped.
I think it is going to take me a long time before I ever rent or buy a place with carpet again and much, much longer before I take in a stray cat and kittens too. I might give a starving cat some food outside, but not bringing them in.
Snuffles was awesome and did a lot of good for me in the Now, but the future repercussions have not made life easier.
If I’m being honest, this flea situation does keep me hopping!
Epilogue – a few days later, or in the Now as I publish this thing…
I wrote this about 4-5 days before I could get around to publishing it. Since then I have turned to more natural means of controlling the fleas and those methods are working better.