Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Looking up

Some of my most recent posts are pretty bleak. At least I was feeling pretty bleak when I wrote them. I’m not free of the problems that led me to the overwhelming situation I’m in, but I’ve gotten some good advice in the past two weeks and finally have some plans in motion to address the issues.

My top priority is to increase my income and reduce expenses so I can stay in my house. Toward that end, I’ve made an arrangement with my NYC client to spend two days onsite instead of one. Even with the discount I offered them, this raises my income substantially. Plus it leaves me free for other billable work and essential tasks.

One of my friends directed a potential new client my way (thank you Cathy!), and I’ve set up a job interview with a consulting firm near my home/office that’s looking for consultants whose skills combine modern and ancient technologies. My daughter found the ad for this position on the popular free bulletin board, Craigslist, and thought I might qualify even though she didn’t know what COBOL is!

I’ve accepted that I can (must!) do something I never wanted to consider before: rent out a room in my house. Over the next few weeks I’ll rearrange a couple of rooms to make a bedroom available for someone else and start looking for a responsible professional to rent to.

Yesterday I met with a CPA who gave me excellent advice about how to discharge some of the massive unsecured debt I’ve accumulated, and how to deal with two ill-timed and devastating real estate investments that have added to the burden. I will probably need to spend hours on the phone, but if I get to the right people, I may be able to handle some of the problems myself, without having to consider bankruptcy.

I’m working on it. And I have an unexpected ally: my ex-husband.

I went to him reluctantly because a year ago I asked him for financial help and he turned me down. Not only did he dismiss the idea completely, but he said some insensitive things at the time that insulted and stung me. Not because he doesn’t care what happens to me, but because of his own limitations, as I slowly came to accept. This time is different. I’m desperate and he recognizes it. He’s offered help in a form I can use. He’s helping me set priorities and work through the details, things he's good at. And he’ll provide some stopgap financial aid in a way he can live with. He’s the ear and the feedback I need right now, and things are indeed looking up.


Tamar E. Granor said...

Glad to hear things worked out with your client. You seem to have turned a corner on this stuff, and that's great.

SusieQ said...

Sorry we couldn't get together when I was in NY. But I'm really happy for you that your ex is willing to help out and that you've gotten more work.

Take care. Hope the nausea problem goes away quickly.

Ceil said...

I'm also sorry I missed you in NY, Susan. My schedule isn't very flexible right now, and the nausea continues to haunt me.

As for my ex... well, no easy routes. :)

And Tamar, you're right, things are finally moving.

For the longest time I felt the problems looming but was afraid to look at them. Difficult as it's been, opening up about it here in cyberspace has made it possible to identify issues and devise plans to address them.