How does the familiar saying go, that the only things for certain are death and taxes? We need to add that change is also a certainty. And I’m about to make big changes.

No, I’m not moving, and I’m not in a relationship with anyone except my dogs, and I haven’t won the lottery.

It’s no surprise that like most people, I like to spend money. When you are semi-retired, though, the cash flows out a lot faster than it comes in. And what does come in is not as lumptious (is that a word??) as when I had a steady paycheck to replace what I was spending. You might recall that it was nearly 6 years ago now that I gave up my full time paid employment and gifted myself a one-year personal sabbatical to try and figure out what was my Next Big Thing after Kevin died. Would I stay here in Virginia, in this house, or would I move downsize and move “back?” If I moved, where would I go back to – South Dakota, Minnesota, or New Mexico?? Or would I choose someplace entirely new, like California, or somewhere in between where I have already lived and where there are people I already know?

If you did the math, my one year was up about 5 years ago. And still I am here, still on my sabbatical most of the time, although traveling fills a need I have to “be” back, if not “go” back. Like everything else, though, that costs money. The price of gas, tolls, hotels or campground sites keeps rising. Not to mention the cost of newer vehicles…of which I have two this year alone (but I sold three, so I’m still ahead of that game in a way).

My options for bringing more money into my pockets are:

  1. Get a job. Which would limit my flexible schedule, my waking time, my number days off, my ability to share time with my dogs, and the freedom from someone else establishing the priorities.
  2. Sell stuff. Which I have done and am doing. But once those assets run out, then so does the money. So far I have sold my old truck, my car, and my motorcycle, and am now hoping to sell the motorcycle gear. I have used the money to fund a 10 week summer cross-country trip in the camper; to buy another smaller, older, funner car (a convertible!); to have a carpeted landing at the top of my stairs replaced with hardwood flooring; and a crown for a tooth I broke. Plus I have to go get the convertible in Minnesota and bring her home.
  3. Reduce other costs. Which I am doing by eating at home more instead of eating at restaurants, and shopping consignment stores instead of retail shops. And not fixing my air conditioner yet, which means I am supplementing an overworked system with floor fans. I am watching old movies I have seen before, and borrowing books from the library or friends instead of buying them.
  4. Work my own business. Which means I stop pretending that I am a consultant and facilitator and author, and actually market my skills and create products and services that will generate cash flow.
  5. Find a sugar daddy. Which may be fun in the short term, but otherwise is not appealing to me at all. Related: get a roommate. Which I tried and didn’t work out. ‘Nuff said.

Obviously, #s 2 and 3 are going to be exhausted soon. #1 is not appealing except that is probably an easier thing to do than #4. As noted above, I can’t even wrap my head around #5. So #4 has risen to the top of my To Do List, finally. The one or two projects I have been working on each year are now set to become parts of my business instead of all of my business.

So the change that is in the air?? You’ll soon be seeing this Solowingnow blog absorbed into my Duggan Difference website. I will continue to focus my content on life as a widow, dog mom, and grandma/mom/sister. I am hopeful I may also be able to frame the content so it applies also to individuals interested in personal and professional development, leadership, and confidence building.

The website is undergoing rehab to take on the Solowingnow blog as I write this. Be on the lookout for the announcement that it is ready.

In the meantime, I think it is so perfect that this amazing life is mine. It is full of joyful delights, where I can build bigger, better dreams, and still have adventures even by myself. It is not what I would have asked for years ago, but I am getting quite comfortable with how it is all turning out. My thought for the day is from a calendar page from February 14, 2008 – long before I could ever imagine how much change I could endure.. or seek .. or anticipate.