Well, this is it.

The last day at work. The last day of commuting, of a full-time job. Of getting up before 7 am.
I’m very nervous. This money thing, man. It’s a tether. It’s a cage. I sit and wonder how the @#$#$% we will make it. Touching savings and such, we could go a long, long, long time this way. But I want to save, not deplete. We aren’t huge consumers, especially not me. It’s not like I can make a huge change to rapidly lower how much money goes out. But things will help. The new way I will shop for food. Less gas. Less eating out since I won’t be at work. I can lower the insurance on my car as it will no longer be driven so much.

But then I sit here and listen to the whiny call center woman behind me, talking babytalk into the phone, and look at my beige walls like the thousands of other beige walls around me…

The thing that really started, or cemented my decision, was this guy about 500 feet away from me. His cube walls that face the hallway are coated in photographs. Most of them of his young son, but also of trips, waterfalls, fishing, posed photos with friends. But yes, mostly his son, eating, playing, sleeping, smiling.

I started looking at other walls of cubes. Dogs, calm scenes, vacation spots, pictures of people’s homes, gardens, families.

Everything they have to leave every day to come here.

Work is necessary. The trick is to do what you love for work, or what you feel contributes to the overall good. I looked at a job at once…terrific pay, great environment, excellent situation. Except they made infared imaging products. Helping to protect our soldiers. Yeah.

There’s no way I could have ever worked that job. Some may be able to sleep at night if their job does not directly cause harm, but even as a webmonkey, I would be working in a poisoned factory in terms of the effects of that company’s products.

It is necessary I work. It is not necessary I work here. I will not be in a cube that I plaster with images of every other place I want to be. To those who want to be here, and love their work, I salute you. And I leave my space in the hopes that someone who loves it will take it.
My cube has photos of glass, beads, and our cats.

The money will follow me someday. We can do this, terrifying as it is right now. So I will take my photos today, walk out the door and be locked out. And I will go to where the places in my pictures live, and live with them everyday.

I really am scared, you guys. The drop in pay for a while, or for a long time, will be HUGE. But we were doing really well financially before this. With saving techniques, simplified desires and the energy to find deals and work the systems to my needs, we can do it. And if we can’t…well, I can jump back in a myriad of ways.

I keep watching the websites of companies in the art biz, in the glass biz. I’m making connections. As I grow my skills will grow. Maybe I will try to teach glass art someday.

I’m scared.

But I’m thrilled, too.

3 Strange Days

Three days to go . And then I’m gone. My boss and almost everyone is out for the holidays. I don’t even know what I am supposed to do with my badge. Friday I will probably just leave it on my boss’s desk in an envelope and gather my last things, and walk out the door that I will then be unable to open anymore.
Free.
It can be a scary word.
The weekend will be normal (except for that whole NYE thing, heh) and then Monday is a holiday for most people. Tuesday I suspect I will take as a day off as well, making glass but mostly enjoying myself. And then Wednesday, I will start in on my new life.
It’s going to take some serious adjusting. I still weigh my value by how much I make. And I will still be making money, but not for simply showing up at a regular job. Not everything I do during the day will have financial reward (housecleaning). But most of it will be worth more than gold or any paycheck I have become accustomed to. I will be free. And very busy. But done with selling my time on earth for a regular paycheck at a job and a career that I got by chance. A wonderful, fun, crazy, dotcom-livin’, riding the crest of tech career that I wouldn’t trade for anything in terms of what I have learned, who I have met, and how I have experienced it. And I will still keep in touch with it through my web freelancing. But as an answer to “what do you do?” I will no longer answer webdesigner. The answer will be artist, glass, jewelry, and a little web thrown in here and there. The longer list that I won’t ramble is artist, glass, jewelry, a little web thrown in here and there, financial organizer, business owner, homemaker, accountant, marketing strategist, writer, cook, student, photographer. It’s going to take time to settle into all this.
I’ll be one of the richest girls in the world.

$168 later…

Ankimo is sick. Infected eyes, infected throat, slightly rattly chest. Her ears are ok. They drew blood and we will get results tomorrow. She has to stay away from the other cats just in case.

We don’t land till past ten pm on Sunday. I wanted to take the train but I’m not sure we when we land now, I thought we had an earlier flight. But if we drive we get to pay for parking, whee more money.

I just want this whole thing to be over with. I’m exhausted, scared, and unhappy.

poor kitty

Ankimo has goopy eyes. It was just one eye, and we were washing it out with saline and rubbing the goo away, but last night she was squinting with both. We are leaving tomorrow for two days, I don’t know if the vet would start her on meds in that light or not. I’d love to just go in and get something for her eyes without having to take her in, but I doubt they will let me do that. I’m in to work way early today in order to not lose time if I have to leave early to take her to get looked at. Poor kitty. I tried to fix her myself! =(

Work was busy the first half of the day, now we are in a small doldrums. There’s work to be done, but my replacement doesn’t have all the correct access rights to everything, so he can’t do what I can do. I don’t want to do it for him, as the point is for him to learn from me these two weeks. So hell, I will write an entry. Bad me.
I did my last large stocking up order before the new year on my glass and jewelry stuff. There is a HUGE sale at Bullseye in January, since I will have copious unscheduled time it will be easy to sashay over there for 60% off on sheet glass, 30% on molds and other yummy sale items. If the metalsmithing class goes well, then I will a few tools and basics to do more metal work, but I will wait until the class is complete to see how it goes and to learn more about what I will need.
I’m starting to put together a schedule in my head for my days. It roughly goes something like this:

Wake up
Coffee/Breakfast
Email/website/marketing rounds/networking
juiceglass
Lunch
Walk/Break
Housekeeping (1 room a day plus straightening up)
Webmonkey work or errands, depending what’s going on/more juiceglass
Cooking dinner

Errands will only be one or two days a week, except for if I am sending out orders.

If there is no webmonkey work or errands, more glass related stuff. I will crockpot at least twice a week, I think, to save time and hassle.

I’m sure the schedule will shift around as I learn more about working my own business. But it’s good to have a starting point, at any rate. My class is in the evenings.

How domestic am I? Does it make you ill?

I have a walking tour of Portland Art Show that I got into in March. It’s a juried event so I am very pleased. And I will have two months of time to get things made, every day. I can REALLY work on my glass! There’s a few more shows to enter, and the whole biz license thing to get completed. I might take my puter with me this weekend, even though it is a quick trip, so that I can work further on the business plan on the plane. It keeps me distracted, anyway. I can’t wait to be back home though. This trip will be good but it really has caused me stress.

delayed

Ice and snow has snarled travel. One nice thing about working at a giant company is they post on the local metro area snow news site. My place of work is opening at 10 am today. So I will sit here for awhile before venturing out. It’s raining now, no freezing rain, just slushy. But there’s accidents from earlier, and lots of folks out there so I will just wait awhile.
My parents are out on the coast, where it’s way above freezing. I’m glad they flew early in the day, however, as of last nights they were cancelling flights into the area.
Guess I will go get some breakfast, maybe clean a few beads, update a website and see what things are like in a couple hours.

Wheels Do Turn

Time can’t go fast enough, and I wish it would slow down. I want to be past the holiday hump, the travel, the hurdles. I want to be past this job, yet I am terrified. I put on a good show about this change I am about to make…but that doesn’t mean it’s not scary.

Ten more working days now, not including today. It’s time to start gathering the spreadsheets and things to start keeping really good records.

I need to get the post office to stop putting the mail from previous owners of my post office box in there for me.

I got my first biz spam junk mail in there yesterday. It’s only been two weeks. Now that I have registered the biz name, I’m sure the onslaught is about to begin. I will take some steps to lessen it, if I can.

Tomorrow I will start cleaning out my cube, since I will be sharing it with my friend for the next two weeks while we transition. Should be nice and cozy. I tried to get him a different one, further away from the gossipy call center women, but oh well. I made my point and they might keep looking for him to be somewhere else anyway. It will be fun! Lots to do, but I get to work with a friend for two weeks. Neat.

I SO need to dip mandrels. It’s just too dark and cold at night but I gotta do it. This weekend we will polish off the light switch in the studio and then I can make my calls to the local fire marshall, etc., to get things signed off ok for my biz license. We also should get a tree if we are going to get one, heh. So busy.

So much to be done in the house. The front door sticks a little since we put the new kick plate on, needs to be sanded down, which means more hours with the front door wide open.So fun when it’s so cold! Really need to finish the shower, too. I miss taking a shower in the bedroom, instead of going downstairs. =)

I’ve been trading emails back and forth with a nice guy from SCORE, a volunteer effort that helps small biz folks with advice and resources. They set me up with this guy and we will start meeting in the New Year. He has experience with glass, jewelry and retail, which is perfect, of course. They really try to set you up with someone in your field of biz. I am looking forward to his crits and advice. There are some papers and things he wants from me before we meet, so I will work on polishing off more of my biz plan, as well as some other materials he requested.

I’ve been spending money stocking up on things for the biz while the cash is still coming in at the “usual” level. Glass. More glass. A few tools. The more I have now, the lower my costs as I start out. Ant vs. grasshopper mentality. The last really HUGE purchase will happen right after the new year, of the new kiln. Then that painful seperation of money will be over and it will all be smaller from then on in. Especially once the tax id gets here. =)

Last night we did a little holiday shopping. I’m a Jersey Girl, the mall is home turf but I was antsy after about 40 minutes of it. I did my shopping and got out of there. I’m done. It was easy this year. Now I just have to wrap. I wish I could wrap in newspaper…but I need to break my family and friends into the old “new” me gently. :p

Eco Christmas`

Being ecologically minded at the holidays is not often thought about, but there are many things you can do to make your holidays truly more everGREEN. ;)

Here is a terrific article with tips and ideas.

A local cut tree, if you must have a tree, is better than a fake one used for years, which is made with plastics, creating noxious gases during creation, was probably shipped from far away, creating more air pollution…

…so much to think about. Even putting your holiday lights on a timer helps. Why waste the energy at 3 am when no one is awake to see them? =)

More class beads and a party.

I was a little more together with it Sunday, but large beads are still something that needs a lot of practice.

My first pig, you saw awhile ago, next to a BIG pig.

Working with Bullseye lustre. Now I can REALLY get those metals to POP.

Went to a holiday party last night at DLJ’s boss’s house, a giant home up in the West Hills. (“I will buy you that big house, way up in the West Hills” -Everclear). It was a lovely home, the party was catered by the in-house chef they have at work, and I had a good time talking with some lawyer types and other types a well. After hearing the talk about billing, cutting billing, how many hours they need per month to get a bonus, phew. Definitely not a career for me! Enjoyable time, home by 10, so I could pack up some things to go in the mail before bed.

Speaking of parties, my going away party at work is today. It’s sweet they are having one for me, I’m just a contractor, after all. I do feel loved today.

More later!

The recorded life

Well, looks like we have NYE plans. Pink Martini is playing at the Schnitz, a local concert hall where we saw them at their record release party last year. They have two shows and we opted for the actual show that goes past the midnight hour. We bought in the cheap seats, it will still sound wonderful even if we are off to the side. =) It’s going to be filmed for a pbs television show later on, and a live DVD, which is freaking awesome that they are doing that. It will be nice for us to be able to relive the show later, but mostly I’m glad they are putting something like that out. It should be the usual fun gig with the Lions of Batacuda and other guests. And as we know, I’m all about Gavin, the trumpet player. He’s my favorite Martini.

So that’s not a bad year in terms of being able to relive one’s entertainment. The DCD CDs are wonderful, two discs from the show we went to in September. I have at least one friend who bought another show, it would be interesting to trade a few songs just to see how it sounded at other gigs, since we each bought one.

Back to work. Good weekend of glass information, but it sure makes it feel like I didn’t have a weekend. DLJ did a lot of stuff around the house while I was gone, including putting the trim up in my studio around the door and window. This should the space stay warmer. All that really is left now is getting the final light switch plate in. I can hang curtains once we get a rod, which should also help insulate a little more, and bring a little more of a finished look to the room.

Here’s some glass from the weekend. Definitely not the quality I usually show, but that’s the point of a class, to push borders. The terraform bead on the right is there to show you the size of bead I usually make, compared to what I was learning this weekend. And I would say mine were about 2/3 the size of Larry’s magnificent focals. More later, as I have to pick up the rest of my beads today. I think yesterday’s batch, on the whole, were better. I also played with hollow beads yesterday and really learned how to use the Bullseye lustre glasses.

I’m still unsettled about all this travel. It just makes me want life to hurry up and be over past the times of traveling, and that’s no way to treat the hours. :/