Thursday, October 09, 2008

Workin? Great! Me Too!

This economic crisis really is terrifying but overall, I was doing fine -- until I opened up my kids’ mutual fund reports. The hits in the economy have gutted my kids already fairly thin savings, and I really don’t know how I’m going to pay for college. At least they have their whole lives ahead of them and haven't lost their retirement savings like so many have. Just have to keep plugging away and hope they can get loans (although I have higher hopes for my daughter) or that I can sell my house -- which thankfully is still worth more than I owe on it.

I have not been a saver like I should be as a single mother. Then again, as a single mother, I’m lucky, I guess, to save anything at all. I’m operating on a two-mortgage-payments-on-standby principle, and it probably should be more. I put a little something away every month for the kids but I know it isn’t nearly enough, especially with one kid queueing up for college in about 3.5 years. I focus on jettisoning debt, which other than my primary and secondary mortgages – the closest I came to buying into the subprime market was a second mortgage my lender sold me to increase my downpayment, probably not a wise move but hey, at least I can deduct it – is now thankfully relatively small, and I really hope I can keep it that way. I save nothing for myself or my retirement; at this point I’ve decided I probably will work until I die and this is fine with me as long as I can keep doing something I love. Fortunately, that has always been the case and I don’t expect it will ever be different. I love to work at something worth doing.

When I look at the horror stories of other ordinary Americans and what they are going through, how much they’ve lost, it’s devastating – and somewhat motivating. Other than my kids’ child support -- which I would love to do without for any number of reasons -- what comes in is what goes out. I’m finally sending out less than I bring in. And sure, it means I still have that nasty carpet and I have to wash my dishes, but isn’t it grand that I have a home, and can buy gasoline and pay for water and electricity? I should be busting my ass even more, however, if for no other reason than that the recruiting industry, while it may be doing well elsewhere, is not a booming business in Cleveland. Our next assignment is in Connecticut.

So here’s a tune for all the folks who are busting their butts – Blueberry comes to mind, as well as just a whole bunch of other hardworking friends and family. It goes out too to my friend L, too, who took a new post with her company and got a whole lot more than she bargained for, and I worry about her some. She and my sis and Shannon are hopefully going to get some fun in this weekend in that wonderful city of Beer and Brats.

Let me just say a few words about this young man, Jamie Dailey. I am really pleased that his band, Dailey and Vincent – that would be Darrin Vincent, young brother of Bluegrass diva Rhonda, on the upright there in my photo from last weekend – scooped up SEVEN IBMA awards last week. Jamie is one of the finest singers out there, and to me his voice is just clarion. It’s instantly recognizable, and full of passion and life. His deep faith, which as with other bluegrass artists is evident in so much of his music, does not interfere with the fact that he’s also a terribly smart and perceptive person who knows how to have fun. He’s one of the people I appreciate most, and do my best not to miss an opportunity to see him live, because not only is he a thoroughly committed performer who gives you everything he’s got, but in the middle of his shows he’ll tell you something that kind of sticks with you in a meaningful way even if you don’t necessarily agree with where it comes from 100%. He is very special, and his band is phenomenal. Hold on to your hats while you enjoy one now from Jamie and Darrin’s inaugural self-titled release, called “Poor Boy Workin Blues”.


At October 11, 2008 2:25 PM, Blogger drewgolden said...

Don't fear! If the 2nd helped you avoid PMI then you're way better off than most!


At October 12, 2008 7:21 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Well, it sure is true, I'm better off than a lot of people in a lot of ways. I forgot all about PMI--thought you were talking about something else there, for a minute!

Thanks for stopping by and pipin' up.


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