I know that I haven’t written anything in a fairly long time, and for that I apologize. There hasn’t really been a hell of a lot happening in my life lately that is fit to be commemorated by setting it to print. Not that you’re going to print this out, but the option is there (like on the off chance that you’re some kind of cyber-stalker, collecting things I write and downloading pics of me to print out, lay on your bed and do naughty things with… Say, if you are stalking me, let me know and I’ll send you some higher quality pics to use instead of those small ones on the poker website). I digress… What I’d like to write about today (sort of getting me back in the saddle as it were), is change.
Most of us go through life blissfully (or not so blissfully) attending to our daily routines, ticking off days on the calendar, waiting for events that mark the passage of time. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. until we start it all again the next year. Despite any grumbling we may do about work, or the place we live, our cars, etc., we’re reluctant to actually get up off our asses and do something about it, especially after you get to a certain age. We may hate our jobs, or our lack of a social life, but we don’t do anything to change things. Why? There’s comfort in the familiar and there’s a universal fear of the unknown. If I quit my job, what else could I do for money? Where else could I work and get paid the same as I’m getting now? How would I cover all of my bills? Where would I live? We might hate our situation, but we rarely have an exit strategy, so we keep plugging away, checking off those days.
In one week, I’ve had two friends have massive, life-altering change thrust upon them… They both lost their jobs. They didn’t work in the same field, or even know each other. The only thing they have in common, besides me, is a current lack of employment for reasons out of their control. Think about that for a second… What would you do if tomorrow you suddenly didn’t have a job? How terrifying that must be. I only have one friend that actually has savings. Everyone else I know, including me, lives paycheque to paycheque. Scary. Some of us have safety nets in the form of friends and family, but how humbling to have to ask for help.
Life-altering Change is always looming on the horizon, regardless of how much we delude ourselves, as two of my friends found out. Be it sudden unemployment, injury or plain old infirmity due to age, change is always there, waiting to turn our lives into turmoil. Unless we don’t let it… Make change meet you on your own terms. Sure, it’s difficult to plan for the loss of a job, or the use of your vehicle, but we can cushion the blow a bit by having a backup. What do I do to ensure I have a backup? I put a little money aside each pay. It’s not much at the moment, just a few hundred bucks, but it’s a start. If you get used to taking that money off the top of your cheque each pay, you tend not to miss it. Before too long, you’ll be surprised how much you’ll have. In recent years, this is how I’ve paid for my vacations back home to Ontario. It’s too much of a blow to pay for all at once, but incrementally, it’s not so bad.
Now that Change has reared its head within my circle of friends, it has got me thinking about my own situation. Right now, I could pay my rent out of my Superman lunch kit, but that would be it. The experts say that you should have enough of a savings to cover yourself for 3 months. Three months… That’s a quarter of a year. Yikes! At my current rate of saving, it’ll be some time before I get to that point, but I’m GOING to achieve it. Maybe I’ll step up my contributions to my Superman lunch kit. With all of the bills that I have right now, I spend about $2100 each month. Crazy. That means that my lunch kit is going to be near-bursting with the 6 grand that’s going to be in it. Heh. Maybe I’ll just aim a bit lower at first… Baby steps.
I’d like to finish my ramble with the two mottos I lived by when I was a teenager and I was scrambling for something to hold on to in a life that seemed to always be in flux… Opportunities will present themselves and Everything will work itself out in the end. Honest.
In other news, I’ve been playing around with some "Portable Apps" that I’ve installed on one of my USB memory sticks. My buddy Allen originally pointed them out to me. It’s cooler than ice cream… Just on this one stick, I have access to a web browser that I’ve customized for my personal use, a whole office package (a word processor fully compatible with M$ Word, spreadsheet fully compatible with M$ Excel, etc.), a multi-platform Instant Messaging program, an image editing program, a program that I can use to control my computer at home and a whole bunch of other nifty things. What’s great is that they all run directly off the memory stick, without leaving any fingerprints on the computer you have it plugged in to. What this means is that I can bring my own personalized programs with me wherever I go and use them on any PC I plug them in to – all without having to install them on the host computer. Case in point, the computers at work are pretty much crippled when it comes to using the web browser. They’ll go to the company web site and some select other ones. Too bad they aren’t terribly useful, say in regards to finding activities for the clients. I plug in my USB stick, and I have a wide open door. I can not only browse freely, but I can check my various email addresses and just about anything else my heart desires. With a little tweaking, I’m going to have Skype installed on my stick and have the ability to make phone calls from any computer. The possibilities are truly endless… I’m stoked.
I typed the entirety of this on my PDA while at work. Well, "typed" is a bit of a misnomer… tap-typed is the real way. Just imagine… all of these letters on the screen were tapped in one at a time (or at least several letters for each word before the word recognition kicked in). Feel privileged… Feel honored that I have deigned to grace you with what amounted to a couple of hours of tapping. :oP