Tuesday, December 13, 2016
So what's new?
What isn't new? Seriously, so many things my life changed that it almost doesn't make sense to talk about most of them, because you're going to figure them out through the context of what I write and my life will continue to change and evolve. I will say this, my daily personal life is very different today, and my work life is completely different and insane. I work about 70 hours a week between Rabbit Food Grocery and my day job, mostly my day job right now, but also a lot of after-hours work for Rabbit Food Grocery. I try to take one day off for a week, but I usually end up doing some kind of work on that day. My goal is to reduce the amount of time that I work. I don't want to be less productive, but I want to be more efficient and to have more time for leisure in my life. Right now I don't have that; honestly it just seems like a luxury. But I'm working on that. ;-)
I've learned a lot over the last several years, especially from running a business but also from being down on my luck for a good part of that time. 2013 to 2014 were perhaps the most difficult years of my life. I won't go into too much detail right now, but let's just say that my life felt like a cesspool in some respects. I felt like I had no control and was being swallowed up by my circumstances. I returned to school during this time with the intention of continuing on to an advanced degree to eventually pursue a career in academia. Instead I completed the requirements for a second bachelors degree in religious studies and enjoyed learning some new things. But, I was depressed and broke and found it hard to concentrate on what I was learning to the extent that was necessary. I couldn't continue down that road and also have Rabbit Food Grocery, so I made a choice. I won't rule out an academic future, but it may not be for a while. I think I would be satisfied with taking classes and also learning on my own without the academic career. A lot of politics involved in that right now, and the jobs are rarer. I can learn/teach outside of that setting with a lot of the same benefits. And I can do it while pursuing other goals and while still having an income.
Being broke is never fun, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you're in your 40s. At least it did for me. The truth is what things mean has everything to do with our own perspective. There are many penniless people around the world who are happy and fulfilled because other areas of their lives are working for them and the financial aspect is less important. In the United States and in Austin specifically, that's a bit more difficult. Here we have tremendous costs just to be able to live and survive. Most of us have to work to be able to pay our bills without even considering what it is to have leisure in our lives. Either we have rent or mortgage. Even if we own our house with no mortgage, we still have property taxes. We decide what things mean or we let others decide what they mean but there are some real challenges when our resources become limited. In any case, for me being broke in my 40s made me feel like a tremendous loser. It isn't really fair to beat yourself up for that, because it can happen to anyone; but that's part of the programming that we have in our culture. I had to get over it to start moving forward again. I'll talk about that more in a different post, but suffice it to say that you have to change your mental/emotional state if you want to change your life. This can be challenging when the circumstances still suck, but it's really the only way to change them. So the good news is that I'm in a much better situation now financially. I'm still paying some debts but I am not broke, and that is huge.
There are a lot of things I'm working on right now. My life is about to undergo some big changes this coming year. And I want to document that, so this blog seems like a natural choice. 2017 will be a big year for me in many ways. Stay tuned and find out how!
And if you can, please go support us at Rabbit Food Grocery either by going online at www.rabbitfoodgrocery.com or visiting the store at 2210 S. 1st Street, Austin, TX 78704! Right now, I make no money from this, basically I am just trying to grow it and any money made goes to expenses or to expansion.