Friday, July 31, 2015

Legacies

    I gave great thought to reducing my business.  I was/am mentally drained.  I also think my environment has an impact.  In L.A. it was easy to remain motivated. I would drive down Rodeo Drive, hang out at the Grove, I had to drive past Hancock Park homes to get home. Being poor would be hard but it would be a lot less work than being middle class poor in a pricey region.  There I knew there was so much more to achieve.  I was so motivated and driven and excited about the possibilities.

   When I got comfy with my decision I read an article "Rich People Raise Rich Kids" and realized I can't deprive my kids of the opportunity to be exposed to the things that will give them choices in life.   The article couldn't say if the difference is that the rich are able to start their kids off with money or if they teach them.  It did say that the rich teach their kids about saving and I am pleased that my kids love to save and know that money should be saved.  At this age they are saving to buy toys but I'm okay with them setting financial goals for toys.

   I realized if I cease to earn and we allow our income to drop, that impacts the kids.  I don't believe kids can be raised to be rich, but I think they can be raised to be able to  figure out how to escape the ravages of poverty.

  I've decided to get closer to the business. I've gotten very far removed from clients and today I did an intake. It felt great!  I'm starting back with the work that I used to enjoy.

   I want to leave a legacy for my kids and I can't do that by sitting down and ceasing to build.

  The other Legacy matter is social and civic organizations. I read an article on how these groups in the community of slave descendants dilute and separate us from common causes.  I don't know, I see both sides.

  I know that I'm too conservative for most civic and social orgs for people of color.  Too much liberalism frustrates me and I'd rather maintain peace than to join and be absent than to sit silently as people promote policies that I think trap people into their situations.

  Anyway, life is what it is and I'm grateful for my kids and their hugs and kisses and touches and words telling me they love me and that I'm beautiful. They like to be around me and will locate me wherever I may be. It's nice that they enjoy my presence. One day they will get bigger and the time they want to spend with me might reduce. So I enjoy the now, now.




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reclaiming my self

Many moons ago, Maxine Waters yielded her time to a congressman and didn't like what he was saying so she began to forcefully state "reclaiming my time". I'd love to locate a youtube clip.  I thought it was exciting the way she said it. Transcript of the hearing.

While I am reenergized I still intend to reduce my load.  I cannot do it all and I am not going to kill myself trying.  I will prioritize and let go of the things that do not fit.

Today my kids went swimming. I am very pleased at their comfort in the water.  It's nice to know they can get in, play and swim confidently and get themselves around in water.                  

We are no longer members at the private club. I do miss it and the kids continue to ask if we can go to the club.  The pool we go to is nice, but it isn't plush like the club.

My hope is that we'll be able to join a country club.  We live near one that has golf, tennis and swimming.  That is my vision for recreation.

Monday, July 27, 2015

New Wind

I got new energy and I feel enthused to go on.  I'm glad I took my day or two to wallow in being overwhelmed.

I've been able to put $400 into the new savings account so I feel like its a start.  If I save overtime money comes in, I will feel like I have a purpose for work. Working to keep working is just a drain.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Blaze

I'm burnt out.  Burnt out.

Still I toil on.  My to do list has grown.  The more money we make the more we need and the more we spend. It is exhausting.  My work is very mentally draining and there is so much I cannot get done because my mind is taxed.  I look at the many things that need to be done to maintain family and add that to the mentally draining work and I have to give my self pep talks to accomplish things.

I think business owners have to choose family or the business. How can a business be built if I am focused on the laundry that needs to be washed, folded and put away or what to plan for dinner?  How can a family be maintained if I am focused on the many files that need to be reviewed, laws researched  and briefs that need to be written.  I don't have it to give anymore.

In the first four months of the year I earned and received more than some families earn per year and its all gone.  That is exhausting. I can't be on that wheel.  Things were much cheaper in L.A. Here I feel like no matter how much I make I won't be able to stop working.

I just opened a new savings account and I put money in.  Starting this blog post was hard but it made me feel empowered. I feel a little more in control. I realized I am sitting here feeling bad about  something I can control. Writing things down is so powerful.

 I am good about transferring money into the kids accounts because I want them to have cash to start out. I also pay them for work they do for the business and I deposit direct to their accounts. We tithe, so 10% goes off the top. Tithing and savings are 2 of the few things I feel is not a misuse of money.

It is discouraging to watch large amounts of money vanish. Our housing expenses are close to $5k a month.  Karate is $206 and going up. Gymnastics is $370 or so a month. Speech was nearly $500 a month and art is $150/mth. We own our cars and don't have car notes, I don't get manicures, pedicures,  I don't get my own hair done very often. Food is pricey because I prefer to eat dairy, produce and meats without hormones and pesticides. Gas for our cars is pricey because we selected kid activities that are 10 miles away.

I spend too much on the kids clothing 2-3 times a year but still under $1k a year.  Shoes are costly, so  more money goes for that.  I haven't had the stomach to calculate but our expenses might be $7k a month.  I won a case recently and I realize that even if the check is $50k, it won't be enough to take a break.  I remember getting a $10k check in L.A. I took 2-3 months off.  Here $10k barely makes a dent.  That is ridiculous.

I've told Mr. A I plan to stop working. I will phase out and phase into a new business.  I am going to spend my retirement days cleaning and organizing my house, grocery shop, cook, do laundry and take my kids on outings.  I am not willing to work just to pay bills.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Twists- and Kiddie Length Check

TR has been wearing twists since April or May.  I like them. They save time, are low maintenance and she can style them.  I don't know why I waited to have her hair styled with them.

Her hair is growing lots with the twists so I plan to leave her hair in twists/braids until it's time to go to the Deb Ball in November.

I started my attempt to monitor progress and have a consistent routine in May 2014.
May 2014





Dec 4, 2014 
TR got a hair cut and a blow dry with curls in January 2015.  I decided to have it straightened for the father-daughter ball.
January 2015
TR is an athlete and loves to work out, so hair is not on her mind. She likes quick and easy styles.



She wore braids on and off for much of March and April and in May she got twists, which she enjoys because it gives her the ability to style her own hair.

Tonight I made a length check t-shirt and this is where we are July 2014.


July 2015

July 2015

  I plan to take the kids to the debutante ball in November and I plan to have her hair twisted until then.   I'l have her hair straightened for that event.  TR says she wants hair to her knees. I think mid back or a little longer is long enough, but we will see where we get.

  I've also been using Simplicity Hair Oil on TR's hair. It works great, and works wonders on those edges!



                                                   
 


Monday, July 20, 2015

The Dream Life v. Reality

Struggle wrapped in strength.

I've seen this saying going around social media and I like it.

Some people like to think I have it all together or even easy, but I am certainly a struggle wrapped in strength.  I think I've found a legal career less stressful than some others, but it can still be a struggle for me.  I hate having to leave my family to go to hearing.  When I win, it's worth it because I can get fees for all of the work but I prefer to take way less money and avoid the hearing and travel that may be involved.

I have a dream life and a reality life and I try to bring my dreams to reality.  Last week I made an early morning trip to the Farmer's Market. In my dream, I would have worked out prior to the trip, came home and made a wonderful breakfast.  I made the breakfast but it wasn't the one of my dreams.

My dream life and my real life plan is to organize my life because I know I can live the dream that exists in my vision.

So my plan is to organize my life and my business, document it and see what happens.

My first step is to get back to my to-do list and set a time each day to work.  I think 9 am to 12 p.m. is good.  I hate missing my kids stuff but work is necessary and when I procrastinate I end up missing big things and not the routine things.

Today I will do a to-do list and work on a few letters and return files to past clients.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Privileged

My desire is to provide my kids a life of privilege.

I grew up surrounded by extended and immediate family and friends.  I had grandparents who were nearby and who welcomed me at all times.  My mother- an only child- had many first cousins, aunts and uncles who I could visit whenever I wanted.  My grandmother had friends from her childhood and those friends had grandchildren  my age, who would visit.

My father is one of 9 and his mother was one of 10 and live in a city with descendants of our slave ancestor, so I had an never ending supply of cousins and aunts, great aunts and cousins of varying degree 40 miles away.

I cannot offer my kids the privilege of family that Mr A and I both grew up with.  It is actually quite crushing.  Wooosahhhh.  We moved from L.A. with the misguided perception that we would have family support and connection.

My mother declines most every time I ask her to watch the kids. Sometimes the kids ask to visit her and she lists all of the tasks/work she has to complete prior to saying no.  They spend a few hours with her after church each week but that is pretty much it.  My grandmother was nineteen when my mother was born. My mother was 30 when she had me and I was 30 something when I had my first child, so I get she is a lot older than both of my grandmothers were. My maternal grandmother was retired and married.  My mother works and is divorced.  I have a slight suspicion that part of her rejection is her consideration of my sister's feelings.

On Mother's day 2014 I invited my mother to dinner and she declined.  She said she didn't want my sister to be alone on that day.  Prior to that I had suspected we were not welcome in her house because my little nuclear family bothers my sister.  My mother always got highly offended when people asked my sister about when she would get married and have kids.  I think I am the reminder of such questions and excluded to avoid the reminder.

I also think  because my mother was divorced she doesn't understand that a married couple needs time alone.  She thinks a married couple has each other and does not need help.  My single childless sister has a group home and my mother told me she cooks for the group home kids once a week because its hard to have to do that. The single person is viewed as the one in need.  When I was a kid my grandmother regularly made dinner for us so my mother wouldn't have to.  My mother though doesn't think about offer my family a similar nicety.

Anyway it is frustrating.   In L.A. we had a baby sitter, a nanny and consistent playmates.  Of course we also had the kids other grandmother who began driving by and telling our neighbors tales.  We had to go.

Anyway it's hurtful and sometimes I want to move so I can pretend to myself that distance is the reason my kids can't visit their grandmother as freely as I visited my own.  Sometimes I want to move because its silly to live near someone who rejects me and my kids.  We could live anywhere.

 I cannot give my kids the privilege I wish and that I know they would enjoy.  We try to give them other things, thing that cost money and that we have the ability to provide.

I am not mad about the situation we exist in.  I realize that I have to accept people as they are, not as I would prefer them to be.  I am sure there are many people would prefer I be different to suit their needs.  I feel sad for my kiddies but they probably don't care, since this is their norm and they have nothing to compare their norm to.

Anyway,  I think a natural response to feeling unloved is to try to do things you think will make the person love you. I'm letting go of that approach.