My life is worth about $2000, give or take $500.
Oh, I don’t mean cash on the barrelhead or anything conveniently and immediately profitable like that. I mean it as an existential crisis made concrete.
New Years Eve is coming with all its usual oohs and ahhs of being captivated by a dropping ball and a single digit changing. That’s the correct time to make resolutions like join a gym, exercise, or eat more kale. The right time for the time-honored tradition of once-a-year self-reflection and thoughts of how to improve yourself so that 2018 finishes in a better fashion.
But my own ball drops tomorrow, December 29, as the last pay day of the year posts. Drops and bounces away into 2018, leaving me with an IOU for 2019.
For outside a Capra moment, there will be about a $2500 shortfall that my 120-hour, two weeks pay won’t meet. The math just isn’t there. So I will pay what I can, trying to triage my cut arteries the best I can, hoping to stave off eviction, repossession, and all the other unpleasantries associated with not making ends meet.
Which ironically includes, of course, having extra fees and interest added on, since the penalty for not being able to pay enough on one’s debt is being required to pay even more. Breaking the cycle of poverty requires making enough to not only stay solvent through immediate debt, but enough to break the hands of those who want to keep you there.
So how do I do that?
That’s the metaphysical question that ways most heavily on me, far overshadowing fear of death, middle-aged blues, and trying to write the Great American Novel.
I’ve never been good at making money hand-over-fist.
What I’ve been good at is showing up on time and working hard. At working holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. At giving a damn and adding as many hours as I can, while sleeping as little as possible.
But that’s not working smarter, is it? It’s just turnip-squeezing.