Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dilemma Horns

 Oh, what to do, what to do?

You know I've been working on a long-term, temporary job. It's not exciting, but it is a job. It's helping to ensure that I will be able to own a car in retirement - at least for a year or two. After losing a good job last year, any extra money now translates to our level of future comfort.

Besides my temporary work, I've done some freelance editing on the side. Not a lot, but I need time to develop it. I'd also like the time to work on my crafts and set up an Etsy shop (more on that in a minute). Both those strands would be under my control, would not require going to an office, and would be possible to do even in my late 60s or early 70s, if necessary.

So... there's a permanent job available at the place I'm working. It would be full-time, as now, but would obviously pay better and include benefits. It would mean continuing to go in to an office five days a week. Now, I have to mention that the office is over-heated. Seriously, the thermostats in the office read between 76 and 78 degrees! Who does that? I'm menopausal, I have a fan running all day, and it's just too hot.

That may sound minor, but it's a comfort factor. Also, sitting at a computer all day takes its toll on my back, hips and waistline (my home office is set up so I can either stand or sit).

Do I play it safe and apply for a predictable income? Or do I try again to establish my own business(es) and continue to pay for health insurance on my own? It's a tough one.

I hope to get Etsy set up in June, after beautiful granddaughter has visited (we pick her up at the airport tomorrow!). Here's my most recent creation - a Day of the Dead shrine, which will be part of a series.

I think I'm done, but then again, I think it needs a little more gaud (you know, to be more gaudy).

He who lives with hope, dies happy.

Go on, my wise friends - hit me with your opinions on the job dilemma, and also let me know what you think about the little shrine.

Oh, and here's me on Mother's Day (with my niece) wearing a recently thrifted dress. It buttons down the front, but it's too tight on the hips so I wear it as a duster.

I had just dropped a bunch of cookies in the whipped cream - yum!

I'm linking up my creamy cookie faux pas with Visible Monday!



  1. I had the same dilemma 5 years ago when I was 60. I chose the desk job rather than a career in wearable arts. I haven't looked back, the insurance and regular salary are worth it, and now I even have a company car. And besides, the final chapter has not been written, the Universe always provides us with what we need.

  2. I may not be in the same headspace as you - having young kids to provide for and miles to go before I evenbegin thinking about retiring - but the hedonist in me advises to go for the full-time job with benefits. Because it's stable and assured income, it would ironically free you up to work on personal projects without financial headache. And you can always bring in a portable a/c for your area. ;p

  3. What a dilemma! You can either have financial security but no time for creative projects in a job that seems to make you bored, or creative freedom with no money... Welcome to the club, life as a freelancer is a bitch. Either there is too much work (the boring kind) or not enough to pay the bills... (kills off creativity quite efficiently, too) A permanent job and a regular salary means one thing less to worry about (money), but may feel like entrapment... Where do you want to be in 5 year's time? Would the job help you get there?

  4. Oh wow Val, I hear you on this one. I just recently gave up all the art/Etsy/freelance stuff to go back to work for the next 6-8 years in order to insure a better retirement so I know the dilemma. My office is too hot most days and I can only wear a thin button up shirt, even in the winter months. My job requires me to move throughout the building many times during the day plus the walking with the bus commute. By the end of the week I'm pooped! But, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel coming up quickly and I felt that I needed to get a paycheck on a regular basis again. I'm so glad I did it, even though the job can be so very boring sometimes.
    As far as you having to sit in a chair all day with an aching back, no way! I couldn't do it. And, if you did go ahead and take the desk job the backaches could get worse and cause other problems. But, there are several people at work who use stand up/sit down desks so they have the best of both worlds so to speak. Maybe you could consider doing something like that? Don't you just hate how everything come down to health insurance? We contemplate our retirement plans all the time here and it always comes down to health costs, even after Medicare kicks in! It just doesn't make sense. Let's move to England!

    On another note your treasure/altar/memory/travel boxes are wonderful. I love that you add quotes to them, giving them another layer of meaning. I'm anxious to hear about your Etsy plans. Do tell soon!

  5. A difficult decision to make , do you go for financial security and all that entails or the freelance route that allows you to control your time and creative endeavours. I guess in the end only your finances will decide.
    I do hope whatever you choose will give you time to keep up your creative side as those boxes are always so wonderful. Good luck with your decision, trust your own instincts.

  6. I can't really give advice of course, it's such a tough decision with lots of implications. I think you are a few years younger than me, and at that age, health insurance is a big deal. Planning for retirement is a big deal, and so is enjoying our lives fully. How's that for no help! And I'm a psychotherapist.

    You have wonderful talents, and the artist's dilemma: how to make a living from your beautiful art. Your latest creation is fantastic!

  7. Apply for the job, if you get it, see how it goes and take it from there x

  8. Just because you take a permanent job doesn't mean it's PERMANENT. You can leave whenever you like! I have read of the benefits of standing at the computer to work with the computer on a high table. I'm looking into that myself. And there are scarves, etc, that are designed for cooling, you put them in the fridge or something. But I know the heat can be incredibly annoying.
    I say all this because I know the anxiety that can come from relying on yourself for income.
    You must pray to Gaud for guidance. I love your diorama! And I need cookies with whipped cream. Good to see you, Val!

  9. I agree with Melanie's opinion! You can leave if you decide you can't bear the heat (metaphorical or real!)
    I do love your dioramas- they are so groovy (duster- explain please?! I was thinking of wearing one my dresses (that is really too short at the button slit) as an overdress/shirt! Your niece has the same glasses as you and she is just as prettty!!x

  10. Melanie said everything I wanted to say and she said it better than I will. My very first thought was try the job. You don't have to stay if it turns out to be unbearable but financial security is significant. I have tried button up dresses as dusters only for me it's the reverse, they don't button over my bust when they fit over my hips. I like the look on you so much better than the way they work on me. Also, cookies dropped in shipped cream is genius and your miniature Day of the Dead is fantastic. I suspect you are right and a bit more gaud wouldn't hurt. Some turquoise and hot pink perhaps? It's good to see you and good to hear you are doing well. xoxo

  11. You could try the job for a while - maybe you can work from home a couple of days a week? Fans are wonderful things.

    Love your DOTD box!

  12. I think Melanie has spoken for many of us - try the job, and if it is too uncomfortable (I sit all day at work too, and it wreaks havoc on my back), and it's not possible to get a standing desk, or cool your own area, then stop. I am looking at at least another 10+ years of full time work before I can consider retiring and the health benefits and steady income is what keeps me there.

    I love your little Day of the Dead Shrine - I think your little boxes would sell very well on Etsy, and the income from the job will allow you to try things like that without having to depend on it for money to live on.

  13. You could move to Denmark! You have family ties here - no health insurance is needed, its all taken care of for you - and we get a pension too no matter how little or how much we used to earn. In such a small country you don't need to have a car, a bicycle will do, which is also better for your health! And we have a law that demands all employers offer employees a desk and chair that allows both standing and sitting for office work, should you want to work after all!

    Anyway, many people here with back problems use a large gym ball to sit on, at least part of the time. Then you have to use your muscle, and move around a bit. Even if you don't move to Denmark, it's a trick worth trying!

    I think that a permanent job also offers colleagues which I'm missing as self-employed. That's a benefit that can be worth a lot more than money! But you shouldn't ask me - I've given up many jobs when I got bored, and kept the former colleagues as friends :-)

  14. I love the shrine! Any chance that beauty is for sale? My sister is returning back to the USA from nine years of teaching overseas and this would be the perfect welcome home gift! Oh,oh,oh, about the job, only do it if it nourishes your soul.


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