Sometimes I feel the weight of our life decisions. This morning was one of those. We got awful sleep last night. And this morning Pax was crying and grunting and I just couldn't get away from it except by actually leaving the house. Our small space sometimes seems to close in on us.
Yesterday something really bad happened. Our external backup hard drive died. Yah, the hard drive that was backing up Holly's hard drive that died a month ago...that one died. Right. The unfortunate thing is that we didn't have a backup for our backup...do you?!? So, after attempting some data recovery with some consumer-level software, we realized that we would need to call a data recovery place. I told him the symptoms and he said, "Well, be thankful that the drive is still spinning. Once it stops spinning, it could cost between $2000-8000." What the ?!?!?!?!?!? But since it's still spinning, it should be less than $1000. Wow. Wow. Wow. And we have to buy a new backup to replace this one (and perhaps a new backup for our backup?!?).
Wow. That made for a helluva day honestly. Followed by a really bad night of sleep.
I feel like we push ourselves to live in the margins. We host people 4-5 nights a week. We're attempting to get our lives rooted in a deeper, more cosistent spirituality. We take on more work and at lower costs than we ought to. But we do it because we love the people, hunger for a "good life", and need the money to pay off silly college debt.
The whole freelance thing is amazingly romantic...really, it is. We are our own bosses. If we need a vacation, we take one (but we don't get any PTO). If we don't want to do a project, we don't (although I cannot remember the last time we turned down a project). BUT...it can be hugely taxing. Feast or famine, baby. And trying to get people to pay us what we're owed or to stay on schedule can be a bit painful. And neither Holly or I really like playing "Businessman" with our clients.
Here's the wild thing: 2 nights ago, the kid gave us an 8-hour stretch of sleep. And things seemed to be looking up. I passed off the new The Cobalt Season album to Dan to work on for a bit, so that was being tended to. We had a couple clients contact us that we really respect, asking us to do work for them. We had a little space here and there to think thoughts, read a page or two or journal here and there.
But this morning, I had no space. Neither did Holly. So I left to Martha and Brothers Coffee down the street and I sit here typing.
I am becoming more and more aware of my own limitations and of our limitations as a family. We've always prided ourselves on our life-flexibility and ability to do things that others have told us we couldn't do. I am coming to terms, more and more everyday, with the fact that I have limited finances, limited time, and limited emotional-social energy. Yet I continue to spend all resources as though I have an unlimited amount...I don't.
Last year, we gave away 25% of the money we made...that SharpSeven made. We didn't realize this until I crunched the numbers a few weeks back when we were working on our budget. We gave money away somewhat flippantly (although we called it generously and hoped others would, too). I kept calling to mind the Malachi passage about giving, and I was convinced if I could just give money away, we'd be taken care of.
It simply wasn't true. And there's nothing like cold, hard facts about personal debt to call this idealist to the mat. One friend says it because we were giving money away that we didn't actually have. I dunno. Maybe. Perhaps it's that I wanted to play the role of the "donor" which can actually boost one's ego. I dunno. I dunno. I dunno.
So, here's the deal (if you're actually still reading), if you have the little Holly and Ryan voodoo dolls, please put them down. Leave us alone. Let us try to get back to some sort of zero, please? Please?