Posts Tagged ‘financial security’

I Am Not A Coward

November 20, 2013

I said to myself this morning as I once again was having a conversation about justifying my needs, my rates, my time and the compensation of said worth.

Oh for fuck, sake, I thought, just do it.

Just have the uncomfortable conversation so I can stop listening to the melee in my head.

And I did.

And I got the raise.

At least from mom number one.

She was so sweet.

So endearing.

And insisted that I actually start today with the wage increase.

Instead of waiting until December 1st like I had offered.

We also agreed to salary my position with her and how I really love her and her boy.

Do I.

I love both my boys.


I usually fall for the kids, hazard of the job you could say, or I could say it is one of the perks of the job.

I don’t have a lot of bosses that I fall head over heels for, constantly snap photographs of and sing funny songs to.

I suspect that not a lot of my bosses would have been amused by that kind of behavior.

It was such a relief.

My head was quiet all day.

I mean fucking silent.

It just had nothing to chew on.

Thank God.

It did wind up a little bit on the way home, I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet and send an e-mail to the other mom who is out-of-town.

Not my preference, but it had to be done.

I just did that.

I have practiced it all week.

I cut and paste my revised twice e-mail that I had sent off to get approval elsewhere, added in a hope your time out-of-town is going well, love to the baby, and please let me know when you can.

I suspect her answer will be the same.

Then I can stop asking for rate changes as I will be current with market rate.

“I need  a goddamn team of people to support me,” I told my dear friend over soup at Sunflower Sunday night, “it takes a village is no fucking joke.”

I have talked with more than one friend who has advocated again and again and again that I raise my rates.

It only took a few months and some really uncomfortable work to get here, but get here I did.

And now I can stop.



For the next day, then I need to tell my solo day family that my rates are going up too.  I am offering them the same explanation, keeping it simple, to the point, and hopefully without tears.

I doubt, actually that I will tear up, I am not as emotionally connected to their child, though I think she is an utter peach, plus I have only just gotten to know the family.

The mom I spoke with today has known me for over six years.

She was in the office at the Burning Man HQ when I started nannying there.

First temporarily, once a week for a board meeting, then for the retreat, then for the holiday party then for Juni and Reno, who good lord are both six.


I met her when she was six weeks.

Now she is six years.


How much I have grown in that time.

I remember her papa once looking at me and saying, “girl, you got to ask for what you need,” when I finally broke down and asked the family for a cost of living increase that I had needed for months but couldn’t bring myself to do.

I see a pattern.


I am grateful to all the friends who have been in my corner saying all those positive things, I actually do believe them, but old habits, self-effacing ones especially, die-hard.

I am still nervous to hear back from the other mom, but I took the action, let go of the results and did the best I can do.

That’s really all I can do.

That and sit and write.

And do some stretches.

I received my e-mail from the Physical Therapy department at Kaiser, lot’s of stretching, lots of water, continue the ibuprofen, rest, hot and cold, and get a yoga roller.

Ok then.

It was also suggested that I need to get ergonomic with my desk.

Who told that it hurts to type?


I did.


The blog is the last thing I want to give up.

The mom showed me her set up in her private office.

As it turns out, she has a similar issue, which is why there are tennis balls scattered around the house–she uses them to work out muscle soreness.

I had never heard of this before, and it was recommended to me by the PT doc too, use a tennis ball and roll it over the sore spot.

I dug into it today at work while the baby was napping.

Lots of stretches, lots of rolling the ball around my shoulder, more stretching.

And yes, Virginia, I will get myself an ergonomic set up for my computer.

Along with some rain gear.


That was a long, cold, wet ride home tonight.

It wasn’t bad to begin, the November rains began today, and despite holding me hostage in the house, fell soft, gentle, with a noise of hushing reassurance, and the entire world smelt fresh and dewy.

However, after an hour detour this evening at 7th and Irving, I came out into the night to find it down pouring.

Ah, damn.

I was soaked by the time I had gone five blocks.

Slow as slow could be.

All bike lights on, collapsible rear fender pulled out of my bag strapped onto the frame, and hood up on my sweatshirt.

I made it back, stripped down immediately, threw my clothes in the laundry and climbed into a hot, hot, hot shower.


The goodness that is a hot shower, especially after that kind of ride.

And a night-time shower, I don’t know why exactly, but it feels some how decadent.

I suppose because I am not in a rush to get out the door like I am in the morning, I can savor it.

Boy did I ever.


Rain gear.

I can afford it.

I got the raise!

Full Time Work

October 17, 2013

Just landed.

I got out onto the street just now over at Ulloa Street and 41st Avenue to see that one of my families had sent me a voice mail.

My first thought, I shit you not, I did something wrong.

I went to the bathroom in the church, that is also a parochial school, the toilets a little low, the sinks gigantic troughs for washing up, and used one of the back stalls.

Stop it.

Stop thinking about what the message is and just check it.

More work!

Mom called to say that dad got more work and they need me on Wednesdays and Fridays.


The very same two days that I am needing hours filled.

Thursdays are now officially covered with my new charge over in the NOPA neighborhood.  We hung out this afternoon for a few hours, went to the park at Alamo Square, and had a gorgeous late afternoon walk past the painted ladies circling the park.

I start my regular hours with her tomorrow: 9-5.

What with the needs of the other two families I will now be covered full-time for the next two months.  After that will continue to take care of itself.

I also picked up an extra shift to cover one that was dropped this week, for Saturday evening, with, drumroll please…


Oh my gosh.

I get to hang out with the first original boy monkey mine.

Super excited.

It’s going to be a long day Saturday, two separate shifts, one in the morning to early afternoon in the Castro, then a meet up at Philz on 18th and Noe, a long five hours of whatever the hell I want to do, probably wander around the Mission and drink coffee, then a 8p.m. to 2a.m. shift with Reno over in Potrero Hill.

Then that’s it.

I won’t need to pick up any more weekend shifts.

I will work Monday through Friday.

Monday-Wednesday in  Cole Valley: 8:45.m.-5:30p.m.

Thursday in NOPA: 9 a.m.-5p.m.

Friday in the Castro: 9:30a.m.-5:30p.m.

And voila!

I have full-time work.

And am thus one more step closer to not only paying off the Paris ticket to Barnaby, but also to getting myself a wet suit.

I am debating not spending any of my clothing allowance for the next two months to cover it, but then again, I think I can just bite the bullet and get it.

I still want a new dress.

I am secretly hoping for a date with my Joanie to go do some dress shopping in the next week or two.  She has a special event that we are going to be celebrating with some friends and I want to get dressed up for it.

Plus, it’s Halloween.

Not that I have plans, but I am sure there are a number of things going on and unless I plan on dressing up like a Burner, which I already did last weekend, I may want to get a little something or the other.

I am tempted to just go meander through the prom dresses at the GoodWill in the Haight and do something like zombie prom queen or I don’t know.

I can come up with a million ideas for other people to be on Halloween, but I always fall a little short for myself.

I could go as a pin-up girl, I just need to have help with the hair and I would need a vintage dress, throw on a push up bra, toss my crinoline underneath my dress and wear some platforms.


I digress.

It’s just nice to know that the work is coming in.

I also spoke with the mom in Cole Valley tonight about her hours and needs and mine as well.  We’ve decided that she is going to put me on salary, that I will get a set amount regardless of hours (I won’t be working longer hours, rather the inverse) worked.

So if she comes home early, which happened twice this week, I won’t have my hours docked.  I will get a set amount.  She wants to assure my services through the winter to when her contract with Burning Man comes back up–she’s seasonal with them–that’s right there are Burning Man seasons.


Her contract ended this week and will re-new in March.

So, she’ll be home a lot more.

But she doesn’t want me to go and get work with another family, she wants to guarantee that I will be available to work with the family, and go to Burning Man again next year, so on a salary I will go.

I will still be at the house three days a week, she’ll just be around more.

If I work more, I will be compensated for it, should that come up, which I know it will on occasion, but if I work less, I will be covered.  I need to make a certain amount, which we tentatively discussed today.

She is going to take the weekend and come up with a number and I know her to be fair and I am certain all shall work out just fine, without me having any anxiety about it.


Not interested.

Being taken care of.

Now just show up and be of service.

And bug my friend about my book.

Bug friend.

I was thinking, oh, look, she’s been thinking, about nannying and had those old stupid thoughts pop through my mind about career and this that and the other, and for a moment, ok, for a few hours, I was playing the “I should go to med school, I would make a great pediatrician.”

I actually got online and started doing research.

If I spend a quarter of the time on my writing projects and books as it would take to get through med school, I am certain I would be widely published and well paid.

And I won’t have two hundred thousand in student loans to pay off.

Whenever my head decides to research a career I need to look around and realize I don’t have to be anything different from what I am and when I am supposed to change, it will be made really evident.

See the Paris Experiment.

Surrendering to the complete care of getting full-time work and being a fabulous nanny who is learning how to surf and writes a lot.

I mean, come on, look at my amazing life.

Down by the sea, with my bicycle and the waves crashing, the sound a consistent underpinning of my words as I write.


Well, life is good.

Really, really good.

Color Me Changed

September 29, 2013

I did two things today that were completely outside my comfort zone.

To do one thing that I really wanted to do.

I, first, turned down tickets to the Opera and two, I turned down a nanny gig this evening.


I wanted to take myself to the beach and watch the sunset.

Yeah, I know, craven hooker, what was I thinking?

Ocean Beach


Apparently I was thinking that I needed to do for myself.

Yeah, I want work shifts, but I just came off five days, including a double and two night shifts, in a row and I have an interview tomorrow.  I want to be fresh for that and I needed a day, and a night off.

Turning down the opera tickets was a little harder, but I was not prepared to head toward the downtown area when it came in.

I had dinner in the oven and was in the Inner Sunset at 7th and Irving just finishing up with my fellows.

I needed to get back to take it out of the oven, eat it, and well, I really did want to go down to the beach and walk by the tides and see the sun go down in my part of the world.

I was not disappointed with this decision.

I was immediately grateful when I walked out to Judah and saw the sun pitching itself into the ocean and the light was already spectacular on the N-Judah train tracks.

Train Tracks

Train Tracks

I hustled down the side walk listening to the sounds of Ocean Beach at sunset.

There were the rapid voices of a Chinese church community having it’s Saturday night dinner and I could hear ping pong balls being hit and children’s laughter and the rapid Mandarin rolling out the cracked door.

There was the sound of the train running down the tracks to the turn around.

The sound of the ocean was also louder.

I noticed this today.

I was not sure if it was that the tides are closer in at sunset or in the evening, or if there’s less traffic noise and therefor the sound of the surf is louder.

Either way the sound is louder and I enjoyed the laughter I heard and the chatter of the neighbors and the tourists all heading out to the beach.

I saw a new friend from the neighborhood outside of Java Beach Cafe.

“Going to watch the sunset,” he smiled, nodding at the camera in my hand.

“Yup,” I said, not slowing a bit, there were images I knew I wanted to capture.

“Never gets old,” he said and concluded, “enjoy the sunset.”

“Thanks, I will,” I said and cut across La Playa toward Great Highway.

There was a drum circle of kids in the dunes, a gay couple wrapped up in blankets on folding chairs, a waddle of children running toward the beach, lovers holding hands, runners, a few early evening surfers heading into the water, and lots of dogs bounding in and out of the surf.

I pulled off my glasses and turned on my camera.






Coast LIne

Mirror Image


I forgot about the nanny shift, the opera tickets, the world just fell away.

Things are slowly be re-arranged inside, aren’t they?

I stayed until my feet were cold and my heart was warm.

The rosy sky ushered me back home and I sank down at my table and edited my photographs.  More of which may be seen here.

Even when I was writing out the rent check for October and watched the numbers dwindle down quickly in my register, I did not regret the decision.

I needed a day off.

A day to sit on the back patio and read and catch up with a friend on the phone.

A day to sleep in after the head ache I brought home with me last night.

A day to do laundry and the little household things that need to be done on a weekly basis.

What is funny, to me, anyhow, is that this morning when I was doing my writing, three pages long hand, every day, thank you very much, and my morning meditation (just a quick one, eleven minutes, but still any time I can get myself to sit is a good thing), I did not know what I was going to do with the day.

Had I been asked at that time to work, I probably would have said yes.

I am not good with unstructured time.

I feel often that I must go and get and achieve and do.

I forget, more often than not, but not as often as before, that the not doing anything is actually good for me and it allows me to be more efficient when I am trying to get things done.

It is all about balance.

Happiness is not excitement.

Happiness is being serene and calm and present.

I used to think that unless it evoked intense emotionality, the peaks of a roller coaster and the dramatic plunge, that it was not happiness.

Today I know better.

And I can see that I have changed for the better.

I also said I get to go do something fun for me.

I bought tickets to see Mike Doughty play at the Fillmore in November.

I once, and not too far back, would have said that I could not afford it.

But I remembered how disappointed I was with myself the last time he was in San Francisco and I decided I could not afford the ticket.

I can’t afford to not go.

I love Mike Doughty and I swear that listening to his solo album,Yes And Also Yes, while I was in Paris along with a cd compilation a lover had made for me called Something to Write to (there was another, actually, called Something to Move to, that I also frequently listened to) was the sound track to my time in Paris.

He, Doughty, is going to be performing pieces from the Soul Coughing albums.

I am super excited and I dropped the $40 for the ticket without a backward thought or glance.

I also have a number of friends that I know will be going, so that will be good times too.

I am changed.

I am different.

I am slowing down.

Color me content.










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