I was thinking this week, “I should blog, it’s been a while.” I didn’t realise it’s been over three weeks. What.
I’m pretty darn exhausted at the moment. I went to Tamworth to help out for a couple of days at The Tent run by SU NSW during the Country Music Festival. I felt a bit at odds for a lot of it, not really knowing what to do or why I had gone, even though when I decided to go it seemed absolutely clear to me that I should do it. But I think the willingness to show up and to encourage people and to try and think of ways to help in the future was appreciated. I had a few interesting conversations, and although I think The Tent needs an injection of young people on the team to breathe new life into it, I am so amazed and humbled by those who have turned up each year for decades (one fellow had been performing there for 35 years) – all because they love Jesus and they want to tell people about him.
But yeah driving to Tamworth and back in the space of a few days is…pretty tiring. But the drive did have good things about it; I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, which inspired me and made me cry a little and made me determined to write fiction again. On the way up I popped in to surprise Tiff at her pharmacy in Brooklyn, and on the way home I stopped at Maitland to have dinner with Jess. Such wonderful Christian sisters.
What’s really been wearing me down though is not having any money. Ah how I hate money. I hate, hate, hate having to deal with it.
So the low bank account is the cue for that one gremlin, dressed like an army drill sergeant, with a mean face and a horrible voice, to start shouting, “What the hell are you doing you stupid woman? Who told you you could make a living doing any of this ridiculous stuff you’re doing? What made you think you could make this work? You’re a total failure as an adult. You should just stop all this stupid malarkey and get some office job. You’re a hack!” Then a totally different gremlin, this one with weepy eyes and a trembling lip, starts wailing, “You can’t go back to full time work in the one job in an office. You won’t be able to cope with it. Your health will go downhill again. Your depression will flare up. Nobody will understand about your lack of energy and they’ll think you’re a total failure.”
Sense a theme here? Shame is a big thing for me; it’s probably why I love Brené Brown’s work so much. When I’m tired, like I am now, I just don’t have the energy to keep the gremlins at bay, so they are pretty much just shouting at me the whole time, which kind of paralyses me.
So the problem is I haven’t been able to build up a buffer yet in terms of my freelancing work, so the few weeks when most of my clients were shut over the holidays have caught up with me. I had planned to use the down time to work on and launch another project related to the Everyday Gratitude stuff that I hope will be an ongoing income stream, but I ended up kind of pottering and frittering the time away (or, you know, having an end of year break) so it didn’t happen.
I’ve been working quite solidly over the past couple of weeks, which is great, and it’s exciting to have emails every few days offering me work. But though I am grateful for them they’re mostly small jobs, and invoices take time to get paid, and in the meantime I look at the tiny tiny number in my bank account and pray desperately that money would come in when we need it to.
The thing is, it does. God has always provided. I know he will continue to. My prayer is not to be rolling in cash (though occasionally I do wonder what life is like for those people who never have to think about money because they have so much of it). My prayer is that God would keep me trusting him, that he would keep guiding me, keep showing me where he wants me and how he wants to use me. I also pray that he would teach me to be wise and to be prudent. That is my aim this year, to get a bead on this money thing so I’m not in this situation again next January.
Onwards and upwards, right?