earning less and being OK with it

Despite my name, I do not look at the world through rose-colored glasses. Perhaps my parents should have named me Prudence.

Seeing the bright side of life is not me. I will not be tiptoeing through the tulips. Rather, I will tread lightly over the quicksand of life.

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Given the chance, I always will choose to work to put another few dollars aside, which I look at as a safety net, over spending a few others on a good time. A penny saved is a penny earned, indeed.

So, when offered five more hours of weekly wages a few months back, I jumped at the chance. I knew it would be hard. I was stretched for time already, given my newfound nonpaying job of watching my baby granddaughter about 25 or 30 hours a week, but I can do hard things. I have done hard things. And I will continue to do hard things. I. Can. Do. Hard. Things. (This will be on my tombstone, no doubt.)

But “hard” is one thing. Squeezing the life blood out of me is another.

The extra money has been nice, but it goes into the bank, which is electronically transferred to pay my bills, so I hardly even notice the extra cash.

What I do notice, though, is that I’m working every day of the week—less on the weekends, but, yes, even on weekends. I also notice having to use a grocery delivery service (and paying for the service and a decent tip for the shopper), and I notice dust bunnies, clutter, and piled-up projects everywhere I turn in my house. How are those extra five hours helping me, exactly?

I literally just this morning (again) considered dropping back down. But would I do that? Having four kids spread out over a couple decades, I have had to take freelance/low-paying jobs and haven’t earned that much money at all. I’m almost heading into my twilight years (though I won’t admit it), and I want to earn a little something to lean on when I no longer can work. I am playing catchup.

Then, behold. Today came an email from my manager stating that the budget has been revised and we will all work a certain number of hours. Those hours will put me back down to what I was working before the five-hour bump up.

To say I was elated is an understatement. How perfect for me. I doubt I ever would have asked to drop back down in hours, but to be told this is the way it will be, I’m more than happy to oblige.

This may be temporary (as I was told it likely will be), but I’ll take it for now. Maybe I can breathe a little, have a moment of fun, or at least sweep those dust bunnies out from under the rug.   

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