Twisted Fingers

A friend asked me to cross my fingers and arms and legs and toes if possible. She had a surprise job interview. If she got the job she’d go from struggling single mom to single mom making just shy of six figures within days. Having friends in the right places helps. Readers and friends have said that they are doing the same for me. They’re crossing whatever they have available as they hope something good happens to me and my finances. It’s been over a year now. Some of them must be getting cramped appendages. Each morning I wake and remind myself of the positive possibilities. Something grand is bound to happen, if for no other reason than so all those fingers can relax again.

My fingers and toes aren’t crossed. It is hard to type with crossed fingers. I’m on the move so much that I’d trip if I crossed my toes. Internally there are a lot of tangles though. Long before I started looking for a job I started fishing for opportunities. A recent comment from a friend with their own set of lines and active appendages helped me reframe those lines as backup plans. I am more organized than I knew. Some of those plans have been going on for months, others for years. One of my strengths if perseverance. It is how I bicycled across America, completed a three year narrative of nature in Washington’s Cascades, completed a five year photo essay of Whidbey Island, and walked across Scotland.

Unfortunately, so far, that hasn’t been enough. My apparent net worth continues to shrink. The rate has decreased because of my frugal lifestyle and my consulting, teaching, and art endeavours. They may all combine to counter the slide and lead back to a thriving life. Consulting alone can provide such an income, and be that job that I enjoy so much that I’d do it even if I wasn’t paid. Teaching and speaking can do that too, but it involves finding people and places off the island. Feel free to pass along suggestions. Art can create wonders; and my books and digital photography can provide more than enough passive income if word of mouth spreads the word and creates a wave of sales.

(Writers can appreciate what just happened. I hadn’t intended to list all of those positive possibilities, but they just flowed out; probably because I practice thinking of them every morning. )

There’s a similarly long mantra of collaborations. Every job application carries the same hopes. So does every lottery ticket. And I’m aware that serendipity happens in unexpected ways. I know of a few folks with imminent windfalls.

My boosterism is necessary, especially as I am reminded of the wealth around me, and my financial obligations. Ads have become laughable. Really, will buying that new car or using a moisturizer really be the thing that makes my life better? Gee, I thought it would be making a mortgage payment on time, or getting the septic system pumped. I feel a pang when I see remodeling in the neighborhood, review the plans I had to renovate my home, and realize that I’ve decided not to afford the lumber to fix a window frame.

My life has always been frugal, and now I have an even finer appreciation for what is important to me. My morning mediations are done under the covers. I recalled a friend who said they wake every day in fear. I’d come to understand that, and feel that. Then I realized that where I was was warm, safe, and comfortable. My body was more relaxed than it had been the night before. The twitches and back spasms always subsided in the night. For those few minutes before my work ethic got me out of bed, I was in an environment that couldn’t be improved with money. Companionship, yes. Money, no. (Pity those two are somewhat related.)

I now carry that realization throughout the day. As I type this, more money would change the bills that are waiting to be paid, because they’d be paid; the house would be in better shape, because I’d paid for the work; and well, there’s undoubtedly more, but they don’t come to mind. The house is warm enough. I’m dressed comfortably enough. I enjoyed my breakfast. The computer and the internet connection would be the same. I like this desk and am fine with this chair. My neighborhood is quiet and I expect to meet a friend for a rare lunch after I ride into Langley on the free bus. With a few hundred thousand dollars more life would be the nearly the same. I know. That’s the life I led two years ago.

Society makes me aware of what I lack. I remind myself of what I have. Advertisers, pundits, and politicians won’t do that. I must do that for myself.

Some interesting synchronicities have arisen in the last few weeks. I thank the universe for serendipities even if they don’t seem to make sense in this world. They may all be building to something wonderful and grand that I can’t imagine. Strange things happen every day.

Ping. The email sings. Pardon me as hope rises and I step away from typing to check what arrived.

Oh nothing. It’s an email from a fascinating company. I applied for a job there, got turned down, and ended up on their email newsletter. Great work folks. Wish I was there to help you.

I thank everyone who is crossing fingers, toes, and limbs as they hope I find a solution to my financial situation. It is touching, and I realize you may feel frustration too because you see the most you can do is to cross your fingers. The thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Like I said, my fingers and toes are too busy to keep crossed. After my fingers type this I’ll use my toes to walk the 1.6 miles to the bus. And maybe that walk will help me unknit my furrowed brow and unclench my jaw. My finger and toe muscles may not be knotted but other muscles seem to be taking their place. Fortunately, it’s a pleasant walk through a forest and along the bay. It’s fall. The rain has stopped. (We’re supposed to get an inch or two.) The wind has calmed. (It wasn’t a hurricane but it was windy enough to shred the leaves from the trees.) The colored leaves are scattered making sure every view has a pointilist’s attention to detail.

I’m heading to lunch to check in on a friend and our collaboration. Who knows what will happen? Well, you will – if you stay tuned. Cross your fingers.

About Tom Trimbath

real estate broker / consultant / entrepreneur / writer / photographer / speaker / aerospace engineer / semi-semi-retired More info at: and at my amazon author page:
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