I'm realizing as I'm pondering writing this entry, that I've always managed to have enough money for whatever I've really wanted/needed. Now. Before you start putting me in your Burn Book about this, what I mean by that is I've always gotten by. My car gets repaired when it needs to, I've bought the occasional expensive handbag or pair of shoes, I've traveled a lot, I've bought fancy clothes, I've always had a roof over my head, enough to eat, heat in the winter, I've even managed to buy a house.
Now, this hasn't been due to diligence and proper planning and money management, not in the past at least. In the past it was due to maxing out credit cards and having a larger income than I do now, which could always make the math work out well enough to do whatever. My twenties were spent in a happy tequila haze of purse licking and dancing on tables and not giving a shit about retirement. For me however, there was nothing like turning 30 and divorcing to make me suddenly start caring about my old age a lot.
In my present, I started to pay off the sins of my twenties by consolidating my credit cards, operating from a "cash only" standpoint, and not buying a lot of unnecessary stuff to clutter up my house and my bills. My pension plan just started (whoo!) and it's handy that my mortgage now counts as an investment verses rent. It also helps that my condo was bought through the Mount Laurel Project which means while I will never make a bucket of money on it, I will at least always be able to turn a small profit no matter what (due to the rules of the Project). Post divorce, I really started streamlining my possessions, though I will still readily admit to a clothes habit (though now 95% of the time I only buy on clearance, usually with an additional coupon). Sounds good right? Don't get too excited. Remember I come from a family of Ferengi. My sister is now sitting on a huge pile of money because despite also spending her twenties in a similiar manner, she never acquired a clothes habit, never liked nice restaurants, and got to get paid to see the world by becoming a flight attendent which meant that she could live with Mothra without any CSI mother-daughter issues because she was gone for weeks at a time. Mothra is an accountant and enjoyed working for the IRS which I think says everything that's needed to be said there. But every family needs a black sheep, n'est-ce pas?
So, I've been trying to slog through The Four Hour Work Week which came highly recommended to me. I would put it at an 80/20 split (. . . .ironic given that he's so into the 80/20 thing) of 80% of the time it feels like he's apologetically jizzing in your hair, and 20% of the time he says something useful or thought provoking. There is a really rabid cult surrounding this book and . . .I don't know. To me, it feels like (a) there's a lot of privilege in this book (b) I can only take so much of OMFGBBQ! I AM SO AWESOME! (c) I'm not seeing a super clear distinction distinction between the new rich and the walking dead as yet, honestly. But, knowledge is power so I will finish it and see if there's anything useful to me. I think a big part of the problem for me with the book is I already left the corporate rat race and started doing more with less a while ago so it's not revolutionary to do so for me.
I will say, I've gotten so spoiled working for my boss in our tiny little company that if god forbids we ever went under, my plan would be freelance work, crafting, and temping. She's eventually going to want to retire, so that would put me in my my 40's when that happens, which is why I'm working on building a portfolio and a crafting business now and paying off my debt. Outside of house and maybe a car, I will be debt free in five years. So if it happens on plan, I will really be ready for it and if it happens off plan I could get ready enough with the help of unemployment to manage. In this economy, it's what's helping me sleep at night. Unless there is no other way for me to be self supporting, I can't picture going back to the rat race.
On the other side of the coin, the Amish* are also weighing in on how they do business.
And now, a honeypot spell for your faces. I have started doing this myself and this month I have managed to pay all my bills on time even though I've missed work, had a doctor's visit, and bought some clothes (before I was sick). If you try this out, let me know! I'm trying to track results for when I get my shit together enough to produce a book.
I like neat-o ingredients like lodestodes and High John and other fun things, but as I tend to get the urge to do magic on like a Wednesday at 7:03p, I need to rummage through what I've got and be able to buy everything at a local grocery store or craft store because I lack forethought and restraint. You would think I would start stocking harder to find ingredients, but see previous sentence.
Steady Work Honey Pot
Butter melter or Fragrance warmer
1/4ish cup of honey
Small green taper candles
Sewing pin or needle
Piece of your own hair
Piece of green paper
Mason jar or jar like this with a lid that can handle heat
0. If you can manage to have a little forethought, try to do this on a Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday during a waxing moon. You can feel smug before you even start! If not, as we say in Dianic Wicca to cover all mistakes, The Goddess is forgiving.
1. The day before, make a candle dressing oil using Mrs. B's Method.
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon chamomile
1 cinnamon stick (broken up)
1 teaspoon irish moss
1 teaspoon allspice
Store your oil in a small tupperware container in a cool, dark place.
2. Enscribe your candle using your pin or needle* with the symbols for Mercury, Jupiter, and Fortuna Major (Geomancy). If you'd prefer to use other symbols, knock yourself out.
2. Hand tear your piece of green paper so all four edges are torn. Write steady work eight times (or, if you're a writer like me where work does not always equal payment, "steady incoming generating work") without your pen leaving the paper (. . .I'm not great with this as yet) and then turn the paper 90 degrees and write your name over it. Fold the paper towards you. You can say Psalm 23 if you like, I don't, so I go with a simple, "So I will it, so mote it be."
3. Put your name paper in the jar. Put in 3 cinnamon sticks (make sure the jar will close), a pinch of allspice, and the lock of hair in. I personally chose these spices because I like the way they smell and it looks aesthetically pleasing in the jar (oh yeah, they're good money herbs too). Open your honey jar. Before putting it into the jar, I take a little taste. Oshun (Yoruba) likes this and depending on your point of view and which deity, some of the Hindu pantheon likes that too (See? Look? I'm not poisoned and it's not gross! It's delightful for everyone!). I figure, if I was a goddess, I'd want human poison tasters too. Pour honey in. Close up the jar.
4. Here is the part that makes me uneasy. I recommend a small candle as it will burn out faster and save you agita. Light your candle and think about your steady work. Now drip some of it on the top of your jar. Now try to get your candle to stand on top of your jar's lid. Let it burn out, ideally all the way through in one shot. If you are a nervous person like I am, I recommend having a sparking clean kitchen sink where you can put this and it's unlikely to burn your whole house down.
5. Dress new candles and light them on the appropriate days to keep the magic going. Some people put specific time frames down for this. I am not good at that. I find it to be more helpful for me to feed a magical item when it feels like it's starting to not do its job.
* My bff and I have an unhealthy obsession with all things Amish
* I would tell you to use a new pin or needle, but I totally didn't. But I would say try to keep your hexing needles and your charm needles separate.
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